Florida's races for Governor and Senate - the latest

posted by Brian Mudd - 

Tracking Time – An update on Florida’s biggest races 

Bottom Line: We’re now just over 50 days away from the general election and Florida’s two biggest races this year are exact opposites of one another. A year ago, just about everyone thought we’d have a Nelson vs Scott match-up for the US Senate. A race featuring two of the biggest names in Florida politics. Conversely, a year ago, few Floridians were even familiar with the names Gillum and DeSantis let alone of the belief that they’d be their party nominees. First up Florida’s senate race:  

We’ve had two polls roll in within the past week and we do have a small change over a week ago. Here’s the current average. 

  • Nelson: 47% (unchanged) 
  • Scott: 48(+1) 
  • Other 2% 
  • Undecided: 3%

Not surprisingly there aren't many undecided voters left in this race. It’s rare to have two candidates as well established and known throughout the state running against one another. Also, not surprisingly this continues to look like a race that’ll come down to the wire. The one change over a week ago is that Governor Scott has edged out to an ever so slight lead in this race once again.  

Of course, Rick Scott isn’t accustomed to anything other than super-close races having won twice by 1%. Nelson hasn’t faced a serious challenger since his initial race in 2000, so it’s unclear how late breaking voters might break in this race. Switching gears to our Governor's race.  

We’ve also had three new polls roll in over the past week and they’re still pointed in the same direction. A close race with an advantage for Andrew Gillum. Here’s an average of the most recent polling. 

  • Gillum: 47 
  • DeSantis: 44 
  • Other: 1% 
  • Undecided: 8 

Most of the polling conducted doesn’t yet include any potential impact from the announced running mates, Chris King for Andrew Gillum and Jeanette Nunez for Ron DeSantis (not that I’m expecting much of a change regardless) somewhat notable is that with new polling we don’t have many changes except for the “other” category. There are three independent candidates and a reform party candidate that will be on November’s ballots. Between them they’re know polling at 1%. That’s up from 0 last week and might seem silly to discuss, however we’re well aware of the potential impact of 3rd party and independent candidates in close statewide elections. Should this race come down to another 1%ish margin of victory, those who opt to break for these candidates over the major party candidates could prove to be decisive.  

When digging deeper into the data, 90% of voters are solidly decided already. With the political differences of these candidates being so stark and the race being so close, the fight to win over these voters is critical but what approach these candidates is also unclear. Will Gillum attempt to win over undecideds with his hard left Impeach Trump and abolish ICE messaging or moderate? Will Ron DeSantis run on Trump’s coattails boldly or will he take a page from Rick Scott’s pragmatic playbook?

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