Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum holds a 6-point lead over Ron DeSantis (R) in the hotly contested gubernatorial campaign in Florida, according to a newly released poll conducted by Reuters–Ipsos–UVA Center for Politics poll.
Just weeks ago, Republicans were confident about keeping the Florida governor seat. Now, however, they are scrambling to contain a blue wave that is threatening to sweep them out of the water in the sunshine state.
The Reuters–Ipsos–UVA Center survey found that 50 percent of voters surveyed support Gillum, compared to 44 percent who back DeSantis.
The remaining percentage of voters did not indicate support for any candidate.
Gillum and DeSantis are running to replace outgoing Gov. Rick Scott (R), who is term-limited and running for Senate. The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the gubernatorial contest a “toss-up.”
A RealClearPolitics average of polls also shows Gillum with a lead of roughly 5 percentage points.
Gillum, currently the mayor of Tallahassee, has earned the backing of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and has campaigned on a progressive agenda that includes expanding Medicare to cover everyone.
DeSantis, who resigned as a congressman earlier this month to focus on campaigning for governor, has received the endorsement of President Trump.
DeSantis sparked controversy just a day after he and Gillum won their respective primaries when he urged voters not to “monkey this up” by voting for Gillum, who would be the state’s first African-American governor, and his policies in the November election.
His comments prompted a fierce backlash, with critics suggesting the remarks had racial undertones or were outright racist.