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New poll shows tight primary races for governor

Yet another survey shows a sky-high share of undecided voters.
Rep. Ron DeSantis questions Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein during a December hearing of the House Judiciary Committee. (Screengrab)
Rep. Ron DeSantis questions Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein during a December hearing of the House Judiciary Committee. (Screengrab)
Published Feb. 20, 2018

With six months to go until the Democratic and Republican primaries, no clear frontrunners have emerged in the Florida governor's race.

That's according to a new poll by Gravis Marketing, which showed former Congresswoman Gwen Graham and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine tied atop the Democratic field; and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Congressman Ron DeSantis in a statistical tie on the Republican side.

Graham and Levine pulled 12 percent support, with Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in third at nine percent. Orlando businessman Chris King drew just two percent support.

Putnam led the Republican field with the backing of 18 percent of respondents. But the poll's 2.2 percent margin for error put DeSantis' 16 percent showing within statistical range of the Agriculture Commissioner. House Speaker Richard Corcoran pulled three percent.

As Gravis President Doug Kaplan noted in a writeup of the results, both Graham and Putnam saw their polling numbers dip. Graham had 18 percent support in Gravis' first tracking poll; Putnam, 23 percent.

But perhaps the poll's most telling finding was Florida's sky-high number of undecided voters. A whopping 63 percent of Democratic voters and 61 percent of Republican voters said they have not yet picked a governor candidate.

Read more: Poll: Adam Putnam, Ron DeSantis and Gwen Graham, Philip Levine neck and neck in gubernatorial primaries

Gravis — which earned a B-minus rating from Nate Silver's data journalism site, FiveThirtyEight, during the 2016 election cycle — tracked a lot more than the governor's race in the poll.

The survey, released Tuesday, found that 41 percent of Florida voters have a favorable view of President Trump, compared with 49 percent who who have an unfavorable view.  It found that voters approve of Governor Rick Scott's job performance by a 43-35 margin. And it showed a tight "generic ballot" 2018 race. Thirty-nine percent of voters said they would support a generic Democrat, compared with 36 percent of voters who said they'd support a generic Republican.

The poll surveyed 1,978 registered voters and was conducted from Feb. 1 to Feb. 18. Check out the full results here.


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