A new poll out by Quinnipiac University shows Florida governor’s race within to be basically neck and neck, with Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, the Democrat, up by three points against Republican Rep. Rob DeSantis.
The race will be one of the closely watched contests in November since DeSantis has tied himself to President Donald Trump and defeated more establishment Republicans. Gillum, meanwhile, would become the state’s first black governor, and has the backing of progressives like Bernie Sanders. In the primary, he was the only Democrat running who supported “Medicare for all” single-payer health care.
Most likely voters have their minds already made up; 94% said they won’t change their mind on who to vote for before the election. That number didn’t change dependent on which candidate they had picked.
The poll was conducted during the time in which a racist robocall targeting Gillum was running and in the news.
The poll suggests and extreme divide along party lines. Ninety-two percent of Republicans plan to vote for DeSantis and 93% of Democrats said the same of Gillum. But Gillum does hold an advantage among independents, with a majority (55%) saying they plan to vote for him in November.
However, Gillum doesn’t have great name identification. One in five likely voters said they haven’t heard enough about him to say whether they felt favorably or unfavorably towards him. That number is the same among likely independent voters. Among those who did know enough though, 46% said they had a favorable view of the candidate, with only a third who said they saw him as unfavorable.
While more people know who DeSantis is, that’s not necessarily a good thing for him. Only 11% said they haven’t heard enough about him to give an opinion, but his favorability is split, with 45% who said they have a favorable opinion of him and 43% who viewed him in an unfavorable manner.
Another negative indicator for DeSantis is Trump’s approval rating in Florida. As someone who has pushed his association with the President, DeSantis could be affected by Trump’s disapproval rating of 51% (lower than the rest of the country, but still a majority).
Likely voters are nearly tied on whether they like DeSantis or Gillum based on their positions – 47% said they like DeSantis’ positions on the issues and 46% said the same about Gillum. But more voters like Gillum as a person than like DeSantis, with 49% who said they like Gillum and 40% who said they like DeSantis.
Gillum, however, also has a much higher number of likley voters who said that they don’t know if they like him as a person.