Chamber poll: Andrew Gillum holds 6-point lead over Ron DeSantis

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A new poll conducted last week by the Florida Chamber of Commerce shows Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum has increased his lead over Republican opponent Ron DeSantis to 6-points

The poll, conducted Sept. 19 through Sept. 24, found the Tallahassee Mayor and his Lieutenant Governor pick, Orlando-area businessman Chris King, with a 48-42 percent lead over the former Congressman, who is running alongside state Rep. Jeannette Nuñez.

The lead represents a 2-percentage-point increase for Gillum, who led 47-43 percent in the Chamber’s prior measure, which was conducted Sept. 6 through Sept. 9. Unlike the last poll, the new results fall outside the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

The late-September poll was conducted prior to the Chamber offering DeSantis it’s “firm endorsement” Thursday in Orlando. During the Republican primary for Governor, the Chamber was an unwavering supporter of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, and their 2018 Future of Florida Forum opened with a video celebrating the two-term cabinet member’s career.

Of the remaining 10 percent of respondents, 6 percent said they were still undecided, while 2 percent said they were backing Reform Party gubernatorial nominee Darcy Richardson and Nancy Argenziano.

Thanks to the support of President Donald Trump, DeSantis steamrolled Putnam in last month’s primary election by more than 20 points. On the Democratic side, Gillum defied most polling to defeat former Congressman Gwen Graham and several other contenders by a slim margin.

Gillum has led in most polls since the title card was set, though most of his polling leads have fallen within the margin of error. The RealClearPolitics average of all public polling for the general election matchup shows Gillum with a 4.5 percentage point lead over DeSantis.

One of the policy proposals DeSantis has hammered Gillum on – the latter’s plan to raise the corporate income tax from 5.5 percent to 7.75 percent to raised $1 billion in funding for public education – was supported by a supermajority of Florida voters.

Overall, two-thirds of voters approved of the plan and 28 percent were opposed. It was most popular among registered Democrats, who favored it by an 85-11 percent margin, while NPA’s were in favor 71-27 percent and a plurality of Republicans also gave it the green light, 48-44 percent.

The new results were in spite of Floridians believing the state was on headed in the “right direction” by a margin of 47-37 percent. Other measures of note: Trump’s job approval rating was underwater by 5 points, while U.S. Senate contenders Bill Nelson, the Democratic incumbent, and Gov. Rick Scott were plus-5 and plus-4 respectively.

The poll also found other statewide Democrats in the lead, with Democratic Ag Commissioner nominee Nikki Fried leading Lehigh Acres state Rep. Matt Calwell 42-37 percent; Democratic Attorney General nominee Sean Shaw leading Republican nominee Ashley Moody 35-33 percent; and sitting CFO Jimmy Patronis tied with former Democratic Sen. Jeremy Ring 38-38 percent.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


  • William

    September 28, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Looking good for Democrats!

    • Judy Spangler

      September 28, 2018 at 8:05 pm

      Yes, thank God most Floridians will vote for someone who is in favor of putting more money towards our schools to help give our kids a better education. Statistics show that most corporations in Florida use so many tax loopholes they end up paying little to no taxes…so I certainly don’t think raising the corporate 2 % will hurt them or keep other businesses from coming into Florida. It’s nice to see someone who cares about the little guy for a change and also our kids.

      • Nordonia Nate

        September 29, 2018 at 9:30 am

        Paying teachers more is NOT putting more money towards our schools and does not guarantee a better education. It IS a bribe to get teachers to vote his ticket.

        Statistics show Florida corps little to no tax? Please provide the source(s) for that. IF that were true, HOW does Florida pay for operating? I believe you made that up.

        This “..little guy..”? When taxes go up, and corp cut costs, what happens to the little guy? Especially when the money generated doesn’t cover 10% of the costs Gillum proposes. Who makes up the difference?

        Just think, the kids will be taught the same curriculum, with the same results, by higher paid teachers. How do the kids make out?

        • Judy Spangler

          September 29, 2018 at 12:05 pm

          Just curious as to why you’d be surprised that lots of corporations use so many tax loopholes they end up paying very little taxes if any? Have you forgotten how Donald Trump BRAGGED during the 2016 campaign that, because he’d used those same loopholes, he’d paid almost zero in taxes for the last 8 or 9 years? And his supporters DEFENDED him by saying “why would anyone pay taxes if they don’t have to…if I could get away with it I’d do it too!”….remember? So…this is nothing new and I don’t know why you’re shocked by this. The lower & middle classes fund most states….not wealthy corporations.

          • Nordonia Nate

            September 30, 2018 at 10:11 am

            Judy…. anecdotal evidence is wonderful when you truly have nothing to back it up.. You have chosen NOT to tell us HOW Gillum is going to implement and finance his plan.

            Relative to the statement regarding the low and middle class fund most states… Would like to see your source(s) to support this claim?

            Per… 43% of Florida revenue based upon property tax and 47% based upon sales/gross receipts..
            This pretty much refutes your claim. AND, when you read the stats..90% the states rely on these areas for their revenue..
            5% of the states that relied on State Income tax were majority Democrat.

            Once again… WE would be better served IF WE knew HOW Gillum would finance and implement his plan. Can YOU tell us?

            OR… Are YOU preparing for the Gillum failure and getting the blame game going early?

        • Philip Ryan

          October 1, 2018 at 8:42 am

          Really? You cannot process that through as anything other than a bribe? To retain good staff so your company thrives is not a bribe! It’s an investment in your company. Paying good teachers what they are worth to retain them is smart governance. And if you want to talk about where the money comes from, would you please have a chat with Republicans up in Tallahassee who have been stealing the lottery money that was supposed to go to education?

          • Nordonia Name

            October 1, 2018 at 9:12 am


            Please provide the evaluation process to measure the teacher’s ability and effectiveness.. You want to discuss retention strategies, start there.. Let’s conclude that you are not making a blanket statement as we are aware there are many contributing factors associated with defining a “..good teacher..”..

            All for implementing a fair, and objective retention plan that compensates those that have met specified objectives.. Unfortunately, you believe that you can run a school like a business… You cannot.

            Until you can define a fair evaluation process… WE have people like Gillum offering EVERYONE a piece of the pie regardless of their ability..

            Phillip…. Obviously YOU are another Gillum supporter that cannot define HOW Gillum proposes to deliver. You are already making excuses and pointing fingers before the elections are over.

            Shame on you

          • David

            October 1, 2018 at 2:46 pm

            As a former teacher I can attest that Florida government does not care about funding the school system. Since public schools are run by the county then they should have the same textbooks, curriculum and get rid of grading schools. Such a waste. Oh wait take the money away from public schools and give them to charters. Walked up people

          • Nordonia Nate

            October 1, 2018 at 3:56 pm


            What do you have against Charter schools? Because of the failure of the counties to address the needs of their public schools, why do you condemn Charter schools?

            Does it not stand to reason that parents are withdrawing from public education because of the failure of County administration? As a former teacher, you should embrace the fact parents are stepping up to improve the quality of education for their children.

            I am truly at a loss as to WHY so many people want to throw more money into public education when they can’t make current funds work? Throwing money into a hole doesn’t make the money work.

            Here’s a thought: allow teachers to teach as opposed to babysit. Hold parents accountable for their children. Reform school boards into education centric bodies as opposed to dysfunctional meetings.. Install curriculum standards inclusive of authority to oversee.

            Education starts at home… I have yet to see a school board EVER start there..

    • Nordonia Nate

      September 29, 2018 at 9:35 am

      It ALWAYS “..looks..” good for the Democrats.. Until they actually have to deliver… Then, not so much..

      Watch how quickly Gillum kills the Florida economy and starts taxing retirees…. Let me guess.. That will never happen…

      Gillum never explains HOW he plans to finance and implement his agenda.. Maybe you can?

    • Rob Rodriguez

      September 30, 2018 at 9:28 am

      You mean good for the tax and spend crowd that likes to take other people’s money. Gillum’s health care plan will require large property tax increases as well and is a disaster for residents. But who cares certainly not the have nots of the world? Vote Republican and keep more of what you make.

  • Greg

    September 28, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    ALL polls are showing that Ron De-Sinefeld and his “campaign” about nothing is losing. De-Seinfeld better stop monkeying around with his appearances on Fox News Channel and instead visit local TV stations and discuss his agenda. Recall he had no Florida agenda in the primary.

    I have never seen a candidate shoot themselves in the foot faster than De-Seinfeld with his monkeying around comment within 10 hours of winning the primary.

  • James Brown

    September 29, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Florida is a successful state. Why voters would want to elect someone who will turn it into a failed state like California or Illinois is hard to understand. I guess the siren song of blaming the “other” and promises to give out free stuff by taking it from them will always appeal to some. With Hitler it was the Jews. With Lenin the bourgeois. With gillum the corporations. Well greed is a horrible sin and many have learned how to exploit it.

    • Judy Spangler

      September 29, 2018 at 9:37 am

      Just fyi…California has the 7th largest economy in the WORLD…it is FAR from a ” failed” state. And enough of the “socialist ” propaganda…Gillum has a very workable platform that will put (finally) more money towards our schools…and his plan of raising corporate taxes less than 2 % (from 5.7 % to 7.5%) is very do-able and will not hurt corporations and businesses at all when you consider the fact that most corporations use so many tax loopholes they end up paying little to no taxes anyway under the current tax plan. Andrews Gillum is the candidate that will fight for our kids and for the middle class while DeSantis will always represent and fight for the wealthy donor class .

      • Nordonia Mate

        September 29, 2018 at 1:41 pm

        California carries a $1.7T debt..

        This workable platform from Gillum.. Gillum stated the increased taxes on corporations will not cover his costs. HOW do you makebupnthe difference? HOW much is the difference?

        The more money towards schools is in the form of raises to teachers. HOW does that create better curriculum? Get parents involved? Improve school boards? Provide a better educated graduate?

        Let me guess… You claiming Gillum is fighting for the kids and middle class suffices. You can’t quantify the Gillum platform. You can’t explain where ALL the money comes from. You can’t show HOW he helps the kids…

        Scary… Same people commenting selling an agenda that can’t be quantified, but is soooo great..

        • Judy Spangler

          September 29, 2018 at 1:56 pm

          I’ve never heard Gillum say that raising corporate taxes a little ” won’t cover his debt”…all I have heard him say ( about this issue) is that by raising corporate taxes by less than 2 % that would generate $1 billion dollars to go towards schools and while our schools need more than that it is a good start. Most of our public schools are crap…they need so much upgrading it’s disgusting. And our teachers don’t even have the bare minimum of supplies they need and end up buying a lot of the stuff themselves..although Lord knows they can’t afford it off what they make. What is Ron DeSantis’s big master plan…other than the failed trickle down economics the GOP has stayed with since Reagan?

          • Nordonia nate

            September 29, 2018 at 2:24 pm

            The chair of U. of Miami stated Gillum’s tax plan could make Florida less competitive. Most Florida corps used the recent GOP tax cuts to increase wages and benefits.

            As we do not know the full extent of the $1B and how it pertains to the total cost, HOW can anyone assess the proposal.

            Gillum has stated his proposal does not cover all expenses and proposes a “confederation” is surrounding states to help with some of the healthcare piece.. Words …

            Ya know.. I have children involved in education. You make these emotional comments and … although compassionate.. where is the substance?

            DeSantis wants to increase the vocational training program and get people, especially children involved in long term employment.

            It’s kinda amusing… YOU have this passion for anything Gillum, but you can’t explain it. When you are given the opportunity, you immediately choose to attack the “GOP” agenda. By your own admission you can’t define either candidates’ plan, but you got the political rhetoric mastered..

          • Nordonia Nate

            September 29, 2018 at 2:26 pm

            Judy… I missed this and apologize..

            Gillum is planning on a 2.25% corporate tax increase. Can you show the source that stated it was less than 2%.

            Many would like to read it.

      • Max Norton

        September 30, 2018 at 12:22 am

        We as Conservative Republicans are shipping plastic straws to the freak Gov, Jerry Brown. Maybe he wants all the straws for himself for Mexican or South American cocaine. Oh yeah keep those criminals coming Jerry.You demoncrats have no clue except how to be evil.

    • Robert Easton

      September 29, 2018 at 1:07 pm

      California and Illinois are failed states? California’s economy is bigger than most countries. And they pay more than their fair share of taxes into the federal government that goes to keep broke Red states afloat. Last I checked, a lot of major corporations are HQ in both Chicago and all throughout California and a glut of professional, high-paying jobs professional jobs.

      • Nordonia Nate

        September 29, 2018 at 1:32 pm

        Yes, Illinois and California do have some global HQ in their states and do have economic power.

        California holds a $1.7T …TRILLION.. debt. Forbes, 4/19/2018. Illinois holds a $130B in unfunded pension liabilities and a $7B outstanding debt. Chicago Sun-Times, 6/52018.

        BOTH California AND Illinois are high tax states… Which could account for the high-paying professional jobs.

        California has one of the highest homeless rates in the USA. Chicago pretty much speaks for itself ..

        I guess some have different perspectives when it comes to success and failure? Curious .. HOW will Gillum afford his budget without raising taxes. Ask some of the retirees that question…

    • Robert Barnett

      September 30, 2018 at 6:43 am

      Get a new argument. Floridians are sick of the Socialist argument which has no merit. Andrew Gillum will fight for the people. Finally a Governor that really cares.
      Republicans offer no agenda other than negative no answers. Time to kick out the no agenda, non caring, and Trump based Republicans.

      • Judy Spangler

        September 30, 2018 at 10:11 am

        Agree @Robert Barnett

  • Austin Cassidy

    September 29, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Any crosstabs for this poll? How many were in the survey?

    • Greg

      September 29, 2018 at 1:15 pm

      The FCOC has not issued their press release just yet for the latest poll. But their poll from earlier in Sept had these crosstabs:

      ABOUT THIS POLL: The Florida Chamber of Commerce political poll was conducted on September 6 – 9, 2018 by Cherry Communications during live telephone interviews of likely voters, and has a margin of error of +/-4.4 percent. The sample size included 210 Democrats, 205 Republicans and 99 Others for a total of 514 respondents statewide. Voters were called both on cell phones and landlines with 67 percent reached via cell phone and 33 percent via landline. The samples for the polls conducted by the Florida Chamber are consistently drawn from likely voters and newly registered voters, meaning those voters who have the propensity and past performance of voting in elections, rather than simply including registered voters. Voters are again screened for likelihood of voting.

  • Tristan

    September 30, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Vote Ron DeSantis and Republican in the election…Lets Go out and Vote Republican…our state is doing so well…we can not risk messing this up

  • The I-4 Corridor

    October 1, 2018 at 12:32 am

    Voting for DeSantis, hands down, without a doubt, and so is the rest of the I-4 corridor.

Comments are closed.


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