A new poll suggests there could be a shift atop both party’s list of candidates for governor

by | Mar 20, 2018

A new poll shows the race for governor tightening in both Democratic and Republican contests with U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis moving out to a slim two-point lead over Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

The poll, conducted by Gravis Marketing, shows DeSantis holding a 19 percent to 17 percent lead in March. In December, Putnam held a 23 percent to 12 percent lead over DeSantis. The March numbers are barely within the poll’s 2.1 percent margin of error. Support for House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who is expected to enter the race in the coming weeks, has remained at 2 percent to 3 percent in each of the past three surveys.  

The Gravis poll also shows the Democratic contest is tightening into a three person race between former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, former Congresswoman Gwen Graham and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. Levine has jumped into his first lead with 13 percent, followed by Gillum with 11 percent and Graham falling to third with 9 percent.

A large number of both Republicans and Democrats remain undecided. Sixty-percent of the voters surveyed aren’t certain who they’ll vote for in the Republican primary. On the Democratic side, 64 percent remain undecided.

In a general election showdown, Putnam’s numbers are stronger against Democrats than those of DeSantis. In a contest against either Graham or Gillum, Putnams holds leads of between 2 percent to 6 percent, while DeSantis trails both Democrats.

In the expected race for U.S. Senate between Democrat incumbent Bill Nelson and presumed Republican contender Gov. Rick Scott, Nelson holds a 4-point advantage–44 percent to 40 percent. Scott is expected to announce his intentions to run in the coming weeks.

The poll also gauged voters feelings regarding gun control. The law recently enacted by Florida raising the legal age to buy a firearm to 21 has the support of 76  percent of the voters surveyed, while 20 percent oppose it. The National Rifle Association has filed a federal lawsuit against the age restriction claiming it violates the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.

Regarding the banning of assault-style weapons, voters surveyed support such a ban by a 64 percent to 31 percent measure.

Gravis Marketing is a nonpartisan research firm. The poll was conducted with a random survey of 2,212 likely voters across Florida. The poll was conducted from February 26 through March 19 and has a margin of error of ±2.1 percent.



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