FAU poll: DeSantis leads GOP gubernatorial contest, Graham leads Dems with Greene becoming a factor

by | Jul 26, 2018

A new poll conducted by Florida Atlantic University shows the race for governor remains fairly competitive on both sides, while the contest for U.S. Senate hasn’t really moved much since the last poll conducted in May.

On the Republican side of the gubernatorial contest, the poll shows U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis pulling out to a 9-point lead. DeSantis received the support of 36 percent of those surveyed compared to 27 percent for state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, with 23 percent remaining undecided.

“DeSantis areas of strength are in the Central region of the state where he leads 42 percent to 27 percent and in the Southern region where he leads 34 percent to 15 percent. Putnam’s area of support is in South Central where he leads 43 percent to 32 percent,” the poll concludes.

On the Democratic side of the race,, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham holds a slim 4-point advantage. Graham received the support of 20 percent of those polled, followed by former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine at 16 percent and real estate entrepreneur Jeff Greene at 14 percent.  Real-estate executive Chris King comes in fourth at 9 percent followed by Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum at 7 percent. Thirty-one percent of the Democrats surveyed remain undecided.

The poll suggests that Greene’s entry into the Democratic race has had an impact on the contest. Greene, a multi-billionaire real estate investor from Palm Beach, entered the race late, announcing his candidacy on June 1. Since then, Greene has spent close to $15 million of his own money on television ads.

“It appears that the Greene candidacy is a game-changer in the race for the Democratic Nomination, in May without Greene running, Levine (16%) and Graham (15%) were the front runners, now Greene is in the top tier of candidates,” the FAU poll concludes.

“Graham’s strength lies in the Northern and Central regions of the state where she leads with nearly 27 percent of the votes with Levin at 12 percent,” the poll points out.” However Greene leads in Southern Florida with 23 percent of the votes and in the South Central region with 18 percent of the votes.

In the race for U.S. Senate between Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson and his Republican opponent, Gov. Rick Scott, the contest remains the same as it was back in May with Scott holding a 4-point lead. Scott received the support of 44 percent of those surveyed, compared to 40 percent for Nelson.

The top issues for voters this election year are  immigration (29 percent) and healthcare (26 percent), followed by the economy (13 percent) and gun control (10 percent).

The most important issue for Democrats is healthcare at 34 percent, for Republicans the most important issue is immigration at 43 percent. Independents are split between the two issues with 24 percent saying healthcare was most important and 23 percent saying Immigration.

The survey polled 800 Florida registered voters between July 20-21. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points. The margin of error for the Democratic Primary is +/- 5.9 percentage points and for the Republican Primary is +/- 6.0 percentage points.




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