ORLANDO, Fla. — A new poll is showing just how narrow the Democrat’s race for Governor is becoming.
- Andrew Gillum gains sudden surge in support
- Surge could be thanks to Bernie Sanders endorsement
- Gubernatorial candidates make campaign stops in Central Fla.
- LINK: Decision 2018 Voting Guide
- RELATED: FAU poll shows GOP race for Florida governor nearly tied
St. Pete Polls surveyed 2,202 likely Florida Democratic primary voters during the weekend of August 18.
Those results show greatest promise for Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who nearly doubled his support compared to previous polls.
In the St. Pete Polls results, Gillum is standing at 21.4 percent, nearly six points behind front runners Gwen Graham (27 percent) and Philip Levine (25.2 percent).
Orlando businessman Chris King registered just 2.7 percent in the poll, less than the 5.7 percent of likely voters who said they remained undecided.
Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene earned 14.5 percent in the rankings, far less than the previous standings in a Spectrum News poll released two weeks ago.
Gillum’s sudden surge in support could in part be thanks to the recent endorsement from former presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders.
The two appeared together at a pair of campaign rallies Friday in Tampa and Orlando.
“The progressive movement in this state is going to show up like we never have before,” Gillum said during the Friday rally in Tampa. “We’re going to show up because we believe health care is a right, not a privilege. Climate change is real, and stand your ground has no place in a civilized society.”
While many of the Democrats are taking similar positions on issues, including supporting $15 hourly minimum wage, expanding affordable housing, and investing in education, Gillum says his recent surge is also the result of careful campaign planning.
“The plan that we said would be necessary to come together is actually coming together,” Gillum told Spectrum News Tuesday. “It was always our opinion that it was important for us to surge at the right moment. I believe firmly that we are having that surge right now and it will be enough to put us over the top in time for the August 28 election.”
Most of the Democratic candidates have focused heavily on the crucial left-leaning pockets of Florida, including Miami Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, as well as the I-4 corridor.
Gillum said what sets him apart in the Democrat’s race for governor is that he is the only non-millionaire candidate, and he is the only candidate to spread his time across the entire state, including primarily Republican-led counties.
Gillum will continue his statewide bus tour this week with stops in Kissimmee and Orlando on Wednesday and Thursday. Chris King, Gwen Graham, and Philip Levine also have additional Orlando area events planned for later in the week.
On the Republican side, candidates Ron DeSantis and Adam Putnam also have multiple central Florida campaign stops planned.