The race for Florida's next Governor is likely to the most hotly contested from start to finish we've seen. Multiple credible candidates for both parties for the primaries and what's certain to be as hotly contested of a general election as we've seen in Florida and is likely to take place nationally this year (be mindful that state and even occasionally local elections are often nationalized these days).
The second round of accredited polling rolled in for the primaries last week and revealed that no party has a clear-cut front-runner at the onset of this cycle. Let's start with the Democrats:
According to the average accredited polling...
Gwen Graham (Former US Rep): 19%
Philip Levine (Former Miami Beach mayor): 12%
Andrew Gillum (Tallahassee Mayor): 11%
Notably 55% of Democrats are undecided leaving this race as about wide-open as it could be about 6 months before the primary. It's a slightly different version of a similar thing on the right.
There's a bit more polling available (three accredited polls compared to two for the Democrats) for the Republicans. Here's where we stand as we begin to track the race:
Adam Putnam (Florida's Ag Commissioner): 25%
Ron Destanis (US Representative): 21%
Nearly one in two Florida Republican voters (49%) are currently undecided. It's notable that Putnam is the only candidate in either party who's won a statewide election but it's notable that he's only consolidated about one in four primary voters so far. Typically, those with less name recognition have the best opportunity for growth and momentum in primaries as voters become more familiar with them and potentially are convinced of their candidacy. That could be good news for Destanis in this race. We're just getting warmed up in this mid-term cycle. Until next week.