We allow participants in the Florida Insider Poll to weigh in anonymously to encourage honest answers. Here's what they had to say of the general election match ups:
Republican: Every race is going to be tight. Gillum will lead in early polls because most people know nothing about him. Once voters start to learn of the FBI investigation and how he played politics with restoring power after a hurricane hit Tallahassee, he's toast. Gillum clearly has national aspirations. If he doesn't get beat now, there may be no stopping him.
Democrat: There can be little doubt November is a referendum on Donald Trump. With historical record low approval ratings and a motivated Democratic base, Democratic candidates have the wind to their backs. … The biggest challenge Democrats face is down ballot drop off. Nikki Fried's progressive marijuana position should help her keep the young progressives. Both Bill Nelson and Sean Sean will get a boost from significantly higher black turnout. …This might just be the perfect blue storm of young, old, brown, black, and that will sweep Democrats into office.
R: Rick Scott gained among black voters in 2014. However, he wasn't facing a black opponent as DeSantis is now. DeSantis must campaign strongly among American and Haitian blacks and not take their vote for granted. He will not win without their support.
R: Gillium's energized based will not be enough to get him elected, but it will be enough to help Nelson hold off Scott. Any other Gov nominee and Scott was a certain winner.
D: Democrats fate will be defined by turnout. If they show up in big numbers it will help the slate.
D: Some amendments will be struck from the ballot.
R: I'm assuming, and frankly hoping, that having Andrew Gillum on the ballot will inspire younger voters and minority voters to turn out in higher numbers than normal. If the Gillum effect is similar to President Obama's pull in 2008 and 2012, it should help Democrats up and down the ticket. Mayor Gillum would help himself with an experienced woman, and as much as I love Gwen Graham, a dynamic leader from South Florida or at least Tampa or Orlando would be smart. … There will be a pretty strong "vote NO on everything" push. It's possible that even the (few) good and decent amendments will suffer; that 60% threshold is killer, and when in doubt, people vote no. nonsense will run headfirst into a reality check by sane Floridians
R: It's all about turnout
R: Gillum-DeSantis will be very close. DeSantis has zero margin for error, and his first week has to be his worst week. It's very likely Gillum's impact will be felt far down ticket as well.
D: If anything or anybody will wake up Republicans and Independents it's Andrew Gillum and his socialist mentality and habitual lying. He may be embraced by the ultra left George Soros, Michael Bloomberg and the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democrat party, but the moderate Democrats are embarrassed and turned off by Gillum.
D: This November's electorate will be the most progressive in contemporary history. Andrew Gillum's victory on behalf of lefties and working people may not drag Fried or Ring along, but it will save Bill Nelson's moribund campaign from defeat. Gillum may even improve the Florida Democratic Party's brand, despite all its functionaries and consultant parasites opposing him until the end. … Meanwhile on the GOP side DeSantis may finally found a candidate from whom reasonable Republicans might recoil. Nonetheless, the vastly larger subset of primary voters who are loyal to Trump and Fox News' editorial stances will come out. The wild card may be how well they can make Gillum's lapses of judgement at Tallahassee City Hall stick in the minds of independents.
R: Florida is not a progressive state and will not elect a socialist governor. After voters learn about his liberal positions and his FBI investigation, Gillum will be left with only his charisma. Ask Charlie Crist how far that gets you. That said, DeSantis had better organize a strong ground game to ensure his folks are voting, because the black vote will be energized.
D: Nelson will get a lift from stronger black turnout because of Gillum's win. He's close without spending much pre-Labor Day. But the governor's race is a tossup. Which is stronger, distrust of a black governor or antipathy toward Trump? I'm guessing the latter.
NPA: I will be one of the few honest "pundits." I have no idea how most of the races will turn out. I do know that the races will be decided by the following: either the progressives and Dems will be so incensed by Trump and his policies that they will turn out in massive numbers to swamp the Republicans, or attacks on corruption associated with Gillum will raise doubts about his competency and Republicans will benefit from a depressed non-presidential year turn out to retain their advantage statewide. .. I do hope the voters pass Amendment 4 because it is the right thing to do. When one out of every four felons who are denied the vote live in Florida, you know that our policies are way out of the mainstream. When one out of four African Americans in Florida are denied the vote, you know the system is unfair. Both liberals and conservatives should support expanding the electorate, giving citizens a second chance, and reducing costs to Florida taxpayers by lowering recidivism.
R: Despite an ignominious start to the general election campaign, DeSantis should be able to pull this off. And if the top goes red then so does the rest. In fact, even if DeSantis were to somehow lose, the rest of the cabinet would still go red.
NPA: Andrew Gillum's nomination just revived/saved Bill Nelson. Nelson's effort to date has been plodding and not generating much excitement. Gillum will boost Dem turnout in November and save Nelson (barely).
R: It's turnout stupid.
D: Andrew Gillum has Democrats excited like they haven't been in a generation (they're done waiting for some mythical soft-spoken white moderate to save them) and are on a path to finally turn out to win the Governor's mansion. For two decades Broward County has failed to turn out for Dems in governor's races, but the primary results are a strong leading indicator that this year will be different. The biggest beneficiary of an enthused Democratic electorate may well be Bill Nelson, who will win re-election despite his best efforts to the contrary.
R: The Democrats are mistaking Trump skepticism with a call for radical liberalism. Their candidates are all adopting very extreme messaging strategies that won't be persuasive with enough voters.
D: It's going to be an interesting campaign; I can't wait for the first debate! This election there truly is a difference between the D and the R. DeSantis' starts the campaign off with a racial volley during an interview on his free media source, FOX (btw, the $9 million value of free airtime on FOX during the primary shouldn't be legal; the FCC needs to reinstate the "equal time doctrine"). DeSantis also got into name calling and labeling right off the bat as well during that interview. Add-in his far right positions, and he is probably not going to appeal to independent and Republican women. It's sad that the GOP is now blatantly racist in campaigns. Andrew Gillum's skill, expertise, charisma, knowledge and policy/issue positions will be a major asset in not only getting elected, but then to get job done. DeSantis still has to learn the issues—he doesn't even know Florida; that's why he spends so much time talking DC and the endorsement; he has nothing to offer. The Trump endorsement, which will hurt him come November, was his primary campaign. He must step up.
R: Florida, as a purple State, is clearly the indicator of whether the Nation prefers Trumpism or Democratic progressivism. I predict it will stick with Trump, and exit polling will indicate that the choice will be based on the good economy.
R: We have 4 people who should be unelectable running for Governor and US Senator -an extreme Right winger versus an extreme Left winger, a crook versus a mummy- but two of this unelectables are going to get elected. God help us.
D: Control of the US Senate may come down to the Nelson-Scott race. Despite recent polling, Scott remains popular enough to defy any blue wave and win this election. He's effectively created a non-Trump brand within the GOP without offending Trump voters. That is a winning formula.
D: Bill Nelson should thank his lucky stars that Gillum won. The energizing effect of his candidacy could yet save Nelson's seat.
D: Democrats are energized, but this year, unlike past midterms, they are also organized. They have four bellweather special election wins in a row, fielded a deep slate of candidates, began a statewide field program in early summer, and had the highest primary voter turnout since 1978. The GOP stumbled badly out of the gate with the DeSantis monkey comment, and the Dems are off and running after hosting a successful post-primary unity tour (a full week before the GOP).
D: Democratic turnout that smashed records for a Gubernatorial Primary going all the way back to 1978 (and even beating 2016!) shows that D enthusiasm demonstrated by this year's five special election wins is real — and is growing. Democrats actually won Early Voting for the first time and substantially cut the traditional Republican vote by mail advantage. The nominations of Andrew Gillum, Sean Shaw, & Nikki Fried will mean a boost in usually lower off-year African American & younger voter turnouts, while the Republican nomination of Ron DeSantis will turn off many NPAs. This is not your mother's typical "off-year" election, and there will not be the typical result — Democrats will take over the Governor's Mansion & cabinet.
R: I sure hope the DeSantis camp isn't taking Mayor Gillum for granted. There's real momentum behind his candidacy. Real policy initiatives are required from DeSantis now that he's advanced. He can't win solely overly using the POTUS endorsement and name. This is the general election now. Appealing to the moderates is necessary. Also, carelessly using terms that are deemed derogatory doesn't help either.
D: Most amendments will fail except 4 which was done by initiative and the greyhound amendment will also pass. Bundling of new good and new bad policies as amending will fail.
R: Who becomes the gov will be determined to a large degree by who appears less radical.
D: I think it's going to be straight no on all amendments.
D: While donors are tripping over themselves to contribute to Gillum, corporations are getting cold feet being associated with DeSantis's racist comments.
R: The governor's race quickly became a microcosm of national politics. As goes this contest, so goes the 2020 presidential election.
R: If Desantis can behave like a governor and not a Congressman, he will win handily. Once Floridians understand the contrast between Desantis and Gillum, I don't believe it will be close. Florida will not elect a left-wing progressive, particularly one who has had issues with competency and the cloud of corruption that seems to be over Tallahassee city government. I concede my understanding of the electorate isn't what I once thought it was, but I'm convinced there are not a majority of voters who will choose the path of Andrew Gillum. No way.
D: Honestly, given the outcome of Tuesday's primary election I have literally no idea who will win anything or what the voters will do anymore. But I do know this, ground game is everything. We have to meet or exceed the primary ground game to be successful. And hope the other guy continues to "monkey it up".
R: This election season will have mixed-party successes, and accepted referendums. It's also not about who raises the most money, it will most certainly be about politics, the environment, government over-reach, and DC.
D: The Blue wave washes away the red tide!
D: While the Republicans will engage in a negative effort to defeat the Democrat for Governor the positive message of hope of Andrew Gillum will prevail over it.
D: Gillum changes the dynamics of the general election because he will continue to grow his coalition and expand the voter base. He proved he can do it in August and will do the same in November. The fact the Republicans right out of the gate attached him showed they are worried! Nelson will also benefit from the Gillum coalition!
D: This (of Dem gov and sen wins) is just a semi-pipe dream dependent on Trump Favs at nadir and Dem's funding at or close to parity.
R: What a choice Floridian's made: A Socialist v. a Racist- What is your Hot Sauce Tolerance because you will have severe heartburn and buyers remorse either way!
R: The battle at the top of the ticket this year is going to get ugly and expensive. DeSantis and Gillum are both the worst possible candidates from their respective parties, so prepare to see two walking examples of left-wing Florida man and right-wing Florida Man clowning themselves for the next two and a half months. In the end DeSantis probably wins because Gillum is too far to the left on gun control alone.
NPA: Bill Nelson just might continue his streak as one of the luckiest men in Florida politics. He was never going to be able to motivate African-American and young voters to the polls, but Gillum just might and that might send him back to the U.S. Senate. I do think DeSantis begins the race with an edge, but it's certainly not by much. If he continues his streak of infrequent campaign appearances and FOX News-only TV appearances, I think Gillum might have the chance to pull off the upset.
R: Democrats are going to have a problem because they didn't hammer Gillum during the primary. Now he is going to be defined by the Republicans, instead of all the scandals having already come to life and then be ignored. Gillum is "new news" to a lot of Floridians, and it won't be pretty.
D: I plan to vote no on all the amendments.
D: Florida desperately needs a statewide transportation plan. We have gone backwards for 8 years under Rick Scott.
NPA: Rs, who have a built-in advantage in midterm elections, hold governor's mansion and all three cabinet posts.
R: Gov. Ron DeSantis is going to be a breath of fresh air as our next governor. As the people of Florida come to know him and understand his platform for the state of Florida they will embrace him. Floridia voters will reject Gillum's socialist plans, open borders lawlessness and unnecessary taxes which would depress wages and reverse course on our thriving economy.
R: Remember the pregnant pigs? Voters love amendments Dog racing and gambling ads will be a big part of our future television watching. Wish some of the choices for winners were "Who the heck knows" …The ever present Trump and his various personalities will figure prominently but who knows if the influence will be positive or negative on the GOP. Strangest election cycle I ever saw.
D: Gillum has united and inspired Democrats like we haven't seen in years. His positive message of unity and focus on issues is a stark contrast with the politics of derision and divisiveness championed by Desantis and his White House puppet master. He can bring it home up and down the Democratic ticket. Voters are ready to drain
the republican swamp of Tallahassee
R: I'm sure Democrat insiders are fired up about Gillum, and Republican insiders are generally a bunch of sour faced Jeb! devotees who can't fathom how the party has slipped away from them in recent years….GOP insiders are out of touch and their sentiment is no longer a barometer with which one can judge anything with confidence.
NPA: In the GOP primary, DeSantis didn't have to define his agenda, giving him some flexibility in reaching out to centrist voters. In the Democratic primary, Gillum didn't have to face down the FBI probe of Tallahassee, which will weigh him down with centrist voters.
R: The last few gubernatorial races have all been won by a point or two, and this one will be no different. Enthusiasm for Gillum by Democrats, or fear of Gillum by Republicans, will drive the turnout and determine the win.
R: Florida isn't ready to be Californianized. Outside of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, no one could motivate moderate Democrats to vote for DeSantis more than Gillum. Gillum winning is the greatest gift to DeSantis' governor race since Trump's endorsement.
D: Desantis had millions spent attacking him, Gillum none. Gillum will be withered under the coming onslaught.
D: Wind is at the back of anyone with a D in front of their name. Bonkers turnout.
D: DeSantis is much too smart to have miscommunicated a phase used by no one ever. Is he pleading the Rosanne defense? This was pure racism and Florida should send a strong message that we won't go there.
R: Gillum is the most attractive and persuasive candidate Democrats have produced in modern political history. He is also the most radical. He is Obama 2.0. In hind sight, I think Gwen Graham would be much easier to beat. I don't think Republicans have any idea what or who they are up against.
D: I picked GIllum but what I mean is somebody other than DeSantis. I am not sure Gillum survives til Election Day. If he is indicted, his running mate might win. DeSantis could easily sink if Trump continues to deteriorate.
NPA: Buckle Up. We are about to experience the most expensive, combative and ugly gubernatorial election in memory. It will set the stage for 2020's national drama of the fight for our future.
D: I thought Amendment 13 (dog racing) had been kicked off the ballot. Don't think the "Blue Wave" will be a "Title Wave" but the overall disgust with Donald Trump and the excitement and opportunity by the Democrats to make a statement and get even with the Donald and his Republican lap dogs will be just enough for the Democrats to stumble over the finish line and reverse 20 straight years of Republican rule in Tallahassee.
D: Team DeSantis is going to run an ugly racist gutter-style campaign against Gillum. It's the wrong campaign to run and the wrong time to run it and they're going to lose.
D:I am hopeful most of these constitutional amendments are thrown out, and not on the ballot!
D: For Gillum, it all depends upon what happens with the FBI.
NPA: Senate Race is a toss-up. Nelson has opening using environmental issues.
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