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Election 2018: Florida Governor

Florida Governor: Gillum (D) 48%, DeSantis (R) 42%

Friday, September 14, 2018

Democrat Andrew Gillum holds a six-point lead over Republican Ron DeSantis in the race to be Florida’s next governor.

The first Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey of the race finds that Gillum earns 48% support to DeSantis’ 42% among Likely Florida Voters. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate, and eight percent (8%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Among voters who say they are certain to vote in the upcoming election, Gillum leads 49% to 44%.

Current Republican Governor Rick Scott is term-limited and cannot seek reelection. He is running for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson, and the Florida Senate race is a virtual tie.

Forty-eight percent (48%) of Florida voters approve of the job Scott is doing; 47% disapprove. This includes 30% who Strongly Approve and 32% who Strongly Disapprove.

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The survey of 800 Likely Voters in Florida was conducted on September 10-11, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

The GOP candidate picks up 80% of the vote from his fellow Republicans. Gillum has 82% support among Florida Democrats and a near two-to-one advantage among voters not affiliated with either major political party.

DeSantis leads among men and middle-aged voters. Gillum has the advantage among women, younger voters and seniors.

The African-American mayor of Tallahassee, Gillum, has 75% of the black vote and leads among other minorities. DeSantis has a double-digit lead among Hispanics. Whites are evenly divided.

Gillum is viewed favorably by 50% of voters in the Sunshine State and unfavorably by 36%. This includes 28% with a Very Favorable opinion of him and 26% with a Very Unfavorable one.

DeSantis, a U.S. congressman, earns favorables of 45% and unfavorables of 42%, with 28% who see him Very Favorably and 32% with a Very Unfavorable view.

When Florida voters are given a list of eight issues and asked which is most important to their vote, 23% say the economy, followed by government ethics and corruption (15%). Illegal immigration and taxes and government spending are the priority for 13% each. Social issues (8%), the environment (8%), education (6%) and school safety (6%) round out the list. Five percent (5%) say some other issue concerns them most.

DeSantis leads among voters who choose the economy, taxes and spending and illegal immigration as their top concerns. Gillum is the favorite of voters who emphasize education, school safety, the environment, social issues and government ethics and corruption.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of Florida voters rate the U.S. economy good or excellent these days, while just eight percent (8%) describe it as poor.  Sixty-three percent (63%) also offer a positive assessment of their own personal finances; 11% say their finances are poor.

When asked about the massacre in February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School near Miami, just 39% of Florida voters blame the lack of adequate gun control. Fifty-three percent (53%) say the failure of government agencies to respond to numerous warning signs from the prospective killer is more to blame. This is comparable to findings nationally.

Gillum earns 88% support among voters who blame a lack of adequate gun control. DeSantis gets 69% of the vote from those who think the failure of government agencies is more to blame.

Thanks to our citizen sponsors, additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are open to the public.

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