On Tuesday evening many Florida voters found themselves surprised when former Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum defeated Congresswoman Gwen Graham to win the Democratic nomination for Florida Governor. Gillum and his supporters, however, were not shocked at all.
Pre-primary polls indicated that Graham had the best shot at defeating the Trump-endorsed Republican nominee Ron Desantis, but a recent survey conducted by the Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling, conducted immediately following the primary vote on August 29-30, indicates that Gillum currently has a large lead over DeSantis if the election was to take place today. Out of the 743 Florida voters surveyed, 48% chose Gillum, while just 43% chose DeSantis.
DeSantis has been off to a shaky start following his nomination on Tuesday, making what some considered to be racist remarks during a Fox News interview following the election. In the interview, DeSantis warned Floridians not to ‘monkey this up’ by voting for the first African American to ever be nominated for Florida Governor. Meanwhile Gillum, endorsed by Senator Bernie Sanders, has raised over $1 million following Tuesday’s nomination.
While there is still over two months to go before the midterm elections, the Public Policy Polling survey clearly indicates that Gillum is off to a strong start.
With the possibility of additional Trump administration indictments and news that DeSantis helped moderate a Facebook group that was filled with racist comments, Gillum looks to continue to keep that upper hand. When it comes to fiercely fought midterm elections, however, there are many variables that can change the trajectory of one’s campaign within an instant.