A year until the primaries, with Gov. Rick Scott facing term limits next year, Florida Republicans and Democrats are not sure who they want to replace him in Tallahassee, a new poll shows.
Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) Business and Economics Polling Initiative (BEPI) unveiled the poll on Tuesday which shows around half of Republicans and Democrats in the Sunshine State remain undecided.
More than half of Florida Republicans--53 percent--are still on the fence but Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has a clear lead among those who have made up their minds already. Putnam takes 27 percent of Florida Republicans while Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Lutz, who is still deciding on whether to enter the race, pulls 10 percent. U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., who is also considering entering the race, takes 9 percent. State Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, who entered the race earlier this month, trails with only 2 percent.
The poll shows Democrats are also divided on who they want on the ticket in 2018 with 47 percent of them undecided. Attorney John Morgan, who is mulling over running for governor, takes 19 percent of Florida Democrats. Former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, D-Fla., who is an active candidate, claims 14 percent followed by Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is also in the race, with 9 percent. Possible candidate Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine gets 8 percent while Orlando businessman Chris King, an active candidate, lags with 4 percent.
Kevin Wagner, an associate professor of political science at FAU, said to keep an eye on Morgan and other candidates without political experience.
“Donald Trump's success has encouraged nontraditional candidates to consider running for office, and our results suggest that well-known attorney John Morgan may have an opportunity in the Democratic gubernatorial race,” Wagner said. “But, it is very early with many undecided voters.”
The poll of 800 registered voters in Florida was taken from Aug. 24 through Aug. 26 and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.