Florida Influencer Poll: Who will be the Democratic gubernatorial nominee?

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Charlie Crist is the favorite, but some expect the field to grow.

The Democratic Primary for Florida Governor is 10 months away, but the top minds in Florida politics are pretty sure they know who will win it: U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist.

A flash poll of Florida Influencers — powered by our friends at Clearview Research — found 73% think the former GOP Governor will land the Democratic nomination. Meanwhile, one in five Influencers believe Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried will block Crist from serving as the party’s nominee.

Crist’s lead is strongest among idependents (83%-8%) and Republicans (78%-15%). He holds a sizable lead among Democrats, too (57%-33%).

Astute readers may notice that the percentages aren’t adding up to 100 — that’s because a sliver of those polled believe Sen. Annette Taddeo will enter the fray.

The South Florida lawmaker has been toying around with the idea for months, and her campaign videos as of late have focused on bashing Gov. Ron DeSantis. There’s no rule saying a Senate candidate can’t use the Governor as a punching bag, but it sure seems like she’s targeting higher office.

44% of those polled think Taddeo will officially enter the race, and 5% think she’ll land the nomination — it’s a blip on the radar right now, but it does show that those who believe a Taddeo for Governor campaign is in the works think she’s got the chops to win the nomination.

According to one Influencer, “Taddeo is going to surprise everyone, not unlike Andrew Gillum in the primary.”

The contrasting take: “Annette Taddeo’s threat of entering the race is a demonstration that her ego is the size of Texas while her prospect of becoming the Democratic nominee for governor is roughly equal to Anthony Sabatini’s prospects of passing a piece of legislation in 2022.”

Another 3% said they think someone else will emerge victorious. No names were given, just an expectation that whoever snakes the nom will have the cash shoulder a run on their own.

As one Influencer put it, the eventual nominee will be “someone with much more money and ego to match.” Somewhere out there, Jeff Greene is wondering whether that’s an invitation to enter another Primary race. (It’s not.)

Of course, Influencer predictions are just educated guesses. They aren’t prophecy. Look no further than their picks for DeSantis’ next Chief of Staff.

With Adrian Lukis out, Alex Kelly was the Influencer favorite to succeed him at 50%. James Uthmeier the guy who actually landed the gig — was far behind at 22%.

Their fallibility may be comforting to Fried and Taddeo, but there’s one person in Tallahassee who hopes this edition of the Influencer poll is spot on: Mike Norvell.

Asked whether they think the embattled Florida State football coach will survive until next season, 73% said yes. That doesn’t mean he won’t get Zookered.

“Norvell will be coach at the start of 2022 season, but definitely not at the end,” one Influencer said.


The Influencers who took part in this survey: Lester Abberger, Phil Ammann, Gayle Andrews, Allison Aubuchon, Roger Austin, Albert Balido, Robert Beck, Geoffrey Becker, Wayne Bertsch, Amanda Bevis, Taylor Patrick Biehl, Barney Bishop III, Sam Blair, Katie Bohnett, Ron Book, Wilbur Brewton, Yolanda Cash Jackson, Kevin Cate, Josh Cooper, Gus Corbella, Keyna Cory, Husein Cumber, Karen Cyphers, Juan Del Cerro, Richard Denapoli, Pablo Diaz, Andrew Dolberg, Chris Doolin, Barry Edwards, Alia Faraj-Johnson, Damien Filer, Marty Fiorentino, Matt Florell, Shawn Foster, Towson Fraser, Don Gaetz, Julia Gill Woodward, Marion Hammer, Jeff Hartley, Rich Heffley, Cynthia Henderson, Max Herrle, Tasi Hogan, Jim Horne, Tanya Jackson, Nicolas Janovsky, Jeff Johnson, David Johnson, Jon Johnson, Fred Karlinsky, Micah Ketchel, Russ Klenet, Jeff Kottkamp, Kartik Krishnaiyer, Jackie Lee, Beth Lerner, Karis Lockhart, John Lux, Roly Marante, Tracy Mayernick, Darrick Mcghee Sr., Kathy Mears, Joe Mobley, Tim Nungesser, Sal Nuzzo, Edie Ousley, Meredith O’Rourke, Alex Patton, Anthony Pedicini, Sean Phillippi, Ron Pierce, Evan Power, Noah Pransky, Bert Ralston, Foyt Ralston, Marc Reichelderfer, Jim Rimes, Franco Ripple, Evan Ross, Ashley Ross, Preston Rudie, Ron Sachs, April Schiff, Stephen Shiver, Derek Silver, Steve Simeonidis, Patrick Slevin, Chris Stranburg, Phillip Suderman, Kevin Sweeny, Herbie Thiele, John Trombetta, Christian Ulvert, Steven Vancore, Nancy Watkins, Kevin Watson, Christian Weiss, Andrew Wiggins, Susie Wiles, Jamie Wilson.

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.


  • Alex

    October 4, 2021 at 7:15 am

    It’s time Florida woke up to the crazy that’s taken over the GOP.

    Trump was a disaster for honesty, transparency, and simple civility in Government, and his terrible decision to do little or nothing in the pandemic made it much worse than it should have been.

    His extremist followers like the division and disruption of civility, some going so far as attacking the Capitol in the radicalization.The long term result has been an entire segment of America refusing to vaccinate for irrational reasons and prolonging the pandemic.

    We cannot let this craziness continue, and the single best way to accomplish this is to vote for Democrats to send the GOP the message we will not allow our country to descend into dishonesty, ignorance, and dangerous radicalism.

  • Tom

    October 4, 2021 at 7:57 am

    What a meaningless crock of manure this column is along with socialist Alex’s meaningless observations.

    Whoever the nominee is, will get politically grilled as they offer nothing. America’s Governor wins going away

    Haters like Alex, ,Frankie, JD and Alice in wonderland Peter H are a joke. Hack partisan haters, who somehow think their judgements matter on the Repub. party. Total fools.

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  • Captain Howdy

    October 4, 2021 at 8:44 am

    FJB! and Charlie Crist too!

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