A new poll of likely voters from Quinnipiac University shows Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, ahead of former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., as the clock ticks down until the election in two weeks.
Quinnipiac released the poll on Tuesday which shows Gillum taking 52 percent followed by DeSantis with 46 percent while 1 percent back other candidates and 2 percent of those surveyed remain undecided.
DeSantis is up with white voters 54 percent to 44 percent but Gillum takes 99 percent of black votes with only 1 percent of them for the Republican. Gillum also leads with Hispanics 59 percent to 36 percent.
There is also a gender gap as women go for Gillum 59 percent to 38 percent while DeSantis is up with men 54 percent to 44 percent.
Both candidates have secured their party bases with 96 percent of Democrats for Gillum and 89 percent of Republicans for DeSantis. Voters outside the major parties break Gillum’s way with 57 percent of them for him and 39 percent of them for DeSantis.
Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, offered his take on the poll.
“Looking inside the numbers of the governor’s race between Mayor Andrew Gillum and former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, we see shining examples of the problems Republicans face this year, not just in Florida, but around the country,” Brown said. “The GOP has faced strong opposition from women and other anti-Trump voters. These defections have hurt GOP candidates around the country and made it difficult to attract the number of independent voters that are often major players in successful campaigns.
“Here in Florida that has translated into an 18 point Gillum lead among independents,” Brown added. “Even more problematic for the GOP and telling about Mayor Gillum’s candidacy is that a liberal Democrat is on the plus side of a 50-47 percent split among white women.”
Gillum is seen as favorable by 50 percent of those surveyed while 38 percent see him as unfavorable. DeSantis is treading water with 43 percent seeing him favorably and the same percentage viewing him in an unfavorable light.
The poll of 1,161 likely voters in Florida was taken from Oct. 17 through Oct. 21 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent.