An Update On Florida’s Biggest Races

posted by Claudia Mendoza - 

We’re now under three weeks before the general election. Florida’s two biggest races this year are exact opposites of one another. A year ago, just about everyone thought we’d have a Nelson vs Scott match-up for the US Senate. A race featuring two of the biggest names in Florida politics. Conversely, a year ago, few Floridians were even familiar with the names Gillum and DeSantis let alone of the belief that they’d be their party nominees. 

Let's start with Florida’s senate race. Current Senator Nelson is coming in with 47% (+1) while Governor Rick Scott is now at 49% (+3). However, there's still 4% of undecided voters. 

Governor Scott is peaking at the right time in this race. It’s notable that in the St. Pete poll that came in, they polled on Rick’s handling of Hurricane Michael. By a 61%-21% margin, Floridians approve of his performance. This has always been a strength of Governor Scott’s. Earlier in the cycle, I cited the potential for something like a hurricane to have a potential impact in this race. It would appear that a race that’s gone from a tie to a two-point lead in a week for Rick might indicate that he’s benefiting from his leadership through the emergency/recovery effort.  

As for Bill, this polling also reflects any sentiment change based on Bill Nelson’s no vote on Brett Kavanaugh. 

As for the Governor’s race, Andrew Gillum is coming in at 47% (+2%) and Ron DeSantis at 46% (+2%). There's a 2% of Others and 5% of undecided voters. 

Early voting is set to kick off next week and we’re seeing undecided voters starting to consolidate in the race with the outcome being the same. A one-point race that’s set to be a nail-biter on Election Night. The good news for DeSantis, who’s never led in even one poll in this race since the primaries, is that while still appearing to trail slightly, he’s managing to win over some undecided voters who’d previously been on the sidelines. The bad news for Ron is that in the same polling as the Senate race, meaning same people being questioned and he’s under-performing Rick Scott by 2.7%.  

Photo by: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

 

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