Nearly two out of three of the veterans of Florida politics participating in our latest Florida Insider Poll this week predicted that Andrew Gillum will be Florida's next governor, rather than Republican Ron DeSantis. And most say that the Senate confirming Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court would hurt Republican candidates in Florida.
"Although Gillum is much too liberal to win any Florida statewide election in the past 30 years, he is well on his way to winning this one," said one independent Insider. "DeSantis' general election campaign has been a disaster. Nelson is showing signs of life. Gillum has the Democratic based even more fired up than they were when they were just mad at Trump – and even more importantly, Gillum is attracting huge sums of money from deep pocket out of state progressive donors."
The 112 political operatives, money-raisers, activists, and political scientists surveyed include 63 Republicans, 40 Democrats, and nine people registered to neither major party. While overwhelmingly predicting a Gillum win in the governor's race, 56 percent expect Republican Rick Scott to unseat Democratic U.S. Senate Bill Nelson.
(NOTE: A glitch prevented a ton of Insiders from receiving the survey. No one has been deleted from the list — and we always encourage nominations, if you want to suggest people, including their/your email)
"For those of you who under estimate the voters' pent up frustration against career politicians and Washington's ruling class, you're in for a rude awakening this November," said one Republican. "President Trump, love him or hate him, will generate a significant loyal voter turnout that is continually undercounted in conventional polling wisdom."
"A Kavanaugh confirmation will be a victory for the Trump White House but will drive the Democrat turnout even stronger in November- maybe pushing a growing wave to a full on tsunami," another Republican said. "Republican turnout will stay at high levels, but Trump and Kavanaugh will push turnout to perhaps record levels for a midterm. Gillum in the ticket saves a lagging Nelson candidacy."
The Times allows the Insiders to weigh in anonymously to encourage honesty from people working and interacting with many of the candidates in question.
Overall, 46 percent said Kavanaugh's confirmation would hurt Republican candidates in Florida, 38 percent said it would help, and 15 percent said it would make virtually no difference.
**56 percent predicted Scott will win the Senate race, and 43 percent said Nelson.
**64 percent said Republican Ashley Moody will be the next Florida attorney general, and 35 percent said Democrat Sean Shaw.
**52 percent said Democrat Nikki Fried will be the next agriculture commissioner and 46 percent said Republican Matt Caldwell.
**72 percent said Republican Jimmy Patronis will win the race for chief financial officer, while 25 percent predicted Democrat Jeremy Ring.
This months Insiders:
Lester Abberger, Gayle Andrews, Dave Aronberg, Jon M. Ausman, Ryan Banfill, Michael Barnett, Slater Bayliss, Travis Blanton, Dale Brill, Matt Bryan, Christian Camara, Bernie Campbell, Al Cardenas, Bill Carlson, Chip Case, Jill Chamberlin, Jim Cherry, Brad Coker, David Colburn, Mike Colodny, Gus Corbella, Matthew Corrigan, Husein Cumber, Darrick D. Mcghee, Jim Davis, Justin Day, Richard Denapoli, Nelson Diaz, Pablo Diaz, Brett Doster, Pete Dunbar, Barry Edwards, Peter Feaman, Marty Fiorentino, Andy Ford, Pamela Burch Fort, Brian Franklin, Towson Fraser, John French, Ron Greenstein, Pegeen Hanrahan, Jeff Hartley, Jack Hebert, Rich Heffley, Bill Helmich, Mike Hightower, Jim Horne, Matthew Isbell, Aubrey Jewett, David Johnson, Christina Johnson, Jeff Johnson, Ken Jones, Fred Karlinsky, Henry Kelley, Chris Kise, Karl Koch, John Konkus, Chris Korge, Jeff Kottkamp, Chip Lamarca, Bill Lee, Beth Leytham, Nikki Lowrey, Al Maloof, Clarence Mckee, Jamie Miller, Frank Mirabella, Paul Mitchell, Travis Moore, Lucy Morgan, Anthony Pedicini, Jorge Pedraza, Scott Peelen, Evelyn Perez-Verdia, Joe Perry, Ron Pierce, Bob Poe, Van Poole, Evan Power, David Rancourt, Marc Reichelderfer, Nan Rich, Jim Rimes, Jason Rosenberg, Caroline Rowland, Keith Rupp, Tom Scarritt, April Schiff, Jack Seiler, Linda Shelley, Patrick Slevin, Susan Smith, Sharon Smoley, John Stemberger, Richard Swann, Kevin Sweeny, Nancy Texeira, Karen Thurman, Jim Towey, Greg C. Truax, Jason Unger, Steven Vancore, Peter Wallace, Robert Watkins, Screven Watson, Andrew Weinstein, Susie Wiles, Rick Wilson, Leslie Wimes, Jeff Wright, Zachariah Zachariah.