Primary update - The race to be Florida's next Governor

posted by Brian Mudd - 

Updated - The race to be Florida's next Governor     

Bottom Line: Today’s primary day so this is it...after the most wide-open cycle for both parties I’ve seen in our state – we'll soon know who to top two candidates for Florida’s next governor will be. It’s important to remember that polling not only becomes more accurate as we close in on an election but it’s often not just a reflection of how people intend to vote...for many respondents – it's how they voted. With nearly two-million Floridians having already casts ballots, they’ve officially voiced their opinions.      

Starting with the Democrats here's where we stand with an average of the most recent accredited polling (using the three most recent polls).   

  • Graham: 28%    
  • Levine: 22 
  • Gillum: 20%     
  • Greene: 14%   
  • King: 3%   
  • Others/Undecided: 13%     

We still have double digit percentages of undecided voters on Election Day. It’s also remarkable that the winner might win only about a third of the votes. With the final update in this race we’ve seen a significant shakeup over just a week ago. On back of the endorsement and rallies by Bernie Sanders, Andrew Gillum’s candidacy gained momentum taking him from 4th to 3rd place in polling and placing him within striking distance of Gwen Graham. Based on the final polling it appears as though his momentum is there but perhaps not quite enough to pull out the win. With 13% still undecided the only given on today’s Election Day is that Chris King will not factor heavily into this race and Jeff Greene appears to mainly have served as foil to Philip Levine’s candidacy. If Levine doesn’t win, there’s a strong chance that Greene’s entering the race was the reason as they’ve largely competed over a similar voter. But...while there’s a been a lot of maneuvering behind Gwen Graham in recent months – she's been the lone constant in this race. The last time Graham didn’t hold a regular polling advantage was in May. If you’re Gwen, it’s a bit concerning that she hasn’t shown an ability to win over more undecided voters as a front-runner in this race but then again, the others haven’t either. For this reason, it’s highly likely Gwen Graham pulls out the win in this race. 

On the Republican side of the isle the polls had been all over the place for the previous couple of weeks before becoming more decisive in recent days. After Adam Putnam appeared to remerge with a slight lead about a week ago, we’ve had three new polls that’ve all pointed in the same direction and it isn’t his. Here’s the average of them... 

  • DeSantis: 42%   
  • Putnam: 30%  
  • Other candidates: 6%    
  • Undecided: 18%     

Like Democratsdouble-digit percentages of Republicans are also on the fence as they head to the polls. Unlike the Democrats there’s a clear front-runner with a double-digit lead. While Putnam has showed well in an occasional poll here and there he hasn’t been the front-runner in this race consistently since mid-June. This is a fascinating race for a few reasons. Most notably, Adam Putnam has the best election track record of any Republican in Florida’s history – having won two state-wide elections by 18 points. It’s a Republican primary that’s likely to put an end to that run. Putnam would need to consolidate almost all of the undecided voters to pull out a win and that’s unlikely to happen.  

Gwen Graham and Ron DeSantis will likely be our candidates for governor once all of the votes have been counted.  

Until next time...    

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