ORLANDO, Fla. — An exclusive Spectrum News Decision 2018 gubernatorial poll shows if Florida’s general election were held today, it would be too close to call.
- Exclusive poll shows gubernatorial race would be close call
- Poll shows Gillum has 4-point lead in race statewide
- Results show DeSantis lacking in independent support
Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis are facing off to replace term-limited Gov. Rick Scott.
Gillum, who picked primary challenger Chris King as his lieutenant governor running mate, is hoping to become the state’s first Democratic governor in more than 20 years.
Ron DeSantis, who chose State Rep. Jeanette Nunez as his lieutenant governor running mate, beat Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in the GOP primary by a large margin.
DeSantis, even with the backing of President Donald Trump, is lagging in independent support, according to the exclusive Spectrum News Decision 2018 poll released Tuesday.
Spectrum News commissioned SurveyUSA to carry out an online survey that includes 634 likely voters, which produced results with a credibility interval of +/- 5.3%.
Results show Andrew Gillum with just a 4 point lead in the race statewide:
- Andrew Gillum: 47 percent
- Ron DeSantis: 43 percent
- Undecided: 9 percent
The results show both candidates are faring well within their respective party’s base and even among independents with similar political viewpoints.
Party affiliation: Independent
DeSantis has 79 percent support among self-described “conservative” independents, whereas Gillum is tracking 87 percent support among self-described “liberal” independents, and 57 percent self-described “moderate” independents.
“Independents in Florida are somewhat persuadable, but they’re not just totally moldable clay,” said Aubrey Jewett, a professor of political science at University of Central Florida. “Many people who identify as independent really do lean a little either Democrat or Republican, and so the number of true independents who have no preference one way or the other is actually pretty small.
Jewett says independent voters often look for a purpose to vote, beyond the party or candidate.
When asked about issues, this is how voters replied about what’s importance in this year’s election:
- Economy: 29 percent
- Immigration: 18 percent
- National Security: 14 percent
- Other: 14 percent
- Environment: 10 percent
- Education: 6 percent
- Terrorism: 6 percent