Florida's top of the ballot races for governor and senate are up for grabs, but Republicans are overwhelmingly favored for the statewide Cabinet races, the first Florida Insider Poll of the general election found.
The unscientific poll of nearly 220 political consultants, lobbyists, money raisers, academics and other political experts found Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis slightly favored over Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Rick Scott slightly more favored to beat incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson.
Nearly 52 percent predicted DeSantis will be Florida's next governor, and nearly 54 percent predicted Scott will be the next U.S. Senator.
"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," said a Republican.
“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,” one Insider registered to neither major party said. “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. “
We allow anonymous comments and votes in order to encourage honest assessments from people closely involved in the process and in some cases working for the candidates in question.
From a Democrat: “DeSantis had millions spent attacking him, Gillum none. Gillum will be withered under the coming onslaught.”
On the Cabinet races:
Sixty percent predicted Republican Ashley Moody will be the next attorney general, and 40 percent predicted Democrat Sean Shaw.
Seventy-five percent predicted Republican Jimmy Patronis, appointed chief financial officer earlier this year, will win the race for CFO, and 25 percent said Democrat Jeremy Ring.
Fifty-eight percent predicted Republican Matt Caldwell will be elected agriculture commissioner, and 42 percent Democrat Nikki Fried.
We also asked for predictions on three of the constitutional amendments should the courts allow them on the ballot.
About seven in 10 expected voters to give themselves control over gambling in Florida (Amendment 3), to approve restoration of voting rights for felons who have completed their sentences (Amendment 4) to require a super majority of the legislature to raise and add new taxes (Amendment 5), and to end dog racing (Amendment 13).
This week's Florida Insiders – 49 percent Republican, 45 percent Democrat, and 6 percent other – included:
Susie Wiles, Benjamin Pollara, Joe Gruters, Frank Mirabella, Fred Karlinsky, Bernie Campbell, Bob Poe, Jeff Wright, Gus Corbella, William March, Javier Manjerres, Ashley Walker, Eric Johnson, Dean Cannon Christian Ziegler, Alex Sink, Steve Uhlfelder, Bridget Nocco, Barry Edwards, Scott Arceneaux, Kevin Cate, Susannah Randolph, Anthony Pedicini, Reggie Cardozo, Phillip Thompson, Alan Beckerm Doug Kaplan, Rick Asnani, John Stemberger, Harold Mills, Tom Alte, Jack Seiler, Husein Cumber, Jack Levine, John French, Victor DiMaio, Eric Jotkoff, David Bishop, Terry Fleming, Kirk Pepper, Cesar Fernandez, Brian Ballard, Chip Case, Trey Traviesa, Mark Foley, Alex Burgos, Zachariah Zachariah, Ralph Arza, Bill Carlson, Mike Hanna, Alan Clendenin, Dominic M. Calabro, Geoffrey Becker, George Riley, Fred Piccolo, Matthew Isbell, Ryan Duffy, Alex Patton, Peter Feaman, Christina Johnson, Zach Learner, Jeff Kottkamp, Mitchell Berger, David Johnson, Michael Barnett, Pat Roberts, Katie Bohnett, Nancy Watkins, Marion Hammer, Roger Stone, Pamela Burch Fort, Jon Johnson, Ryan Ray, David Colburn, Beth Matuga, John Konkus, Kathy Mears, Bob Doyle, Jamie Wilson, John Falconetti, Alan Stonecipher, Pamela Goodman, Ron Sachs, Dave Aronberg, Darryl Paulson, Jason Unger, Damien Filer, Edie Ousley, Richard DeNapoli, Slater Bayliss, Nikki Lowrey, Hayden Dempsey, Allan Bense, Seth McKee, Jorge Pedraza, Ron Gunzburger, Sean Phillips, Eric Zichella, Mike Hightower, Joshua Karp, Franco Ripple, Mitch Ceasar, Ellen Freidin, Sarah Rumpf, Andy Ford, Meredith O'Rourke, Pete Dunbar, Jim Holton, Ana Navarro, Jim Horne, Kartik Krishnaiyer, Robert Wexler, Karl Koch,Willy Guardiola, Pablo Diaz, Joy-Ann Reid, Tom Lewis, Chris Kise, Bud Shorstein, Jackie Lee, Jamie Miller, Juan Penalosa, Samuel Neimeiser, Clarence McKee, Terrie Rizzo, Darrick D. McGhee, Kirk Fordham, John Wehrung, Jason Altmire, Eleanor Sobel, Bill Lee, Steve Schale, James Harris, April Salter, Christina Barker, Henry Kelley, Omar Khan, Chip LaMarca, Pat Neal, Kristy Campbell, Max Herrle, Tom Scarritt, Greg Blair, Evelyn Perez-Verdia, Tom Tillison, Ashley Bauman, Richard Swann, Aubrey Jewett, Kathleen Shanahan, Brandon Patty, Alan Levine, Kevin Watson, Stephanie Kunkel, Erik Kirk, April Schiff, Al Maloof, Nancy McGowan, Don Hinkle, Alexander Heckler, Jim Cherry, Scott Barnhart, Donna Arduin, Andy Palmer, Paula Dockery, Doc Dockery, Terrance Freeman, Jon M. Ausman, Christian Ulvert, Wayne Garcia, Stan Adkins, Roly Marante, Lee Moffitt, Bill Helmich, Evan Power, Mark Ferrulo, Rick Boylan, Nick Hansen, Jack Furnari, Ron Bilbao, Lisa Perry, Eric Eikenberg, Rick Wilson, Rachel Perrin Rogers, Betty Castor, Abel Harding, John Dowless, Sam Bell, Thomas Hall, Greg C. Truax, Lawton Bud Chiles, Joe Perry, Lester Abberger, Tom Scherberger, Mike Hamby, Brian Burgess, Bob Graham, Jeff Johnson, Linda Shelley, Andrew Weinstein, Jean Clements, Ron Pierce, Jose Gonzalez, Alan Williams, Christian Camara, Fred Cunningham, Ryan Wiggins, Monica Rodriguez, Rich Heffley, Brad Coker, Alma Gonzalez, Dan Smith, Pegeen Hanrahan.