Tallahassee Democratic Mayor Andrew Gillum, the first Black major party nominee for Florida governor, has strong support for his candidacy outside the state’s African-American communities, according to a new poll.
A Quinnipiac University survey released on Wednesday showed Gillum with a strong lead among women, Independent and Hispanic voters over his Trump-backed rival Ron DeSantis, WTVJ-TV, an NBC News affiliate, reported.
Gillum had a 59 percent to 39 percent lead among women voters. With Independents, the mayor led DeSantis 56 percent to 40 percent, and he garnered 59 percent of the Hispanic vote. Meanwhile, 98 percent of Black voters said they planned to cast their ballot for Gillum.
Overall, Gillum had a nearly double-digit lead over his GOP opponent: 54 percent to 45 percent.
This appears to be the biggest lead in the polls since Gillum won an amazing come-from-behind primary victory in August. Previously, a Reuters–Ipsos–UVA Center for Politics poll published Sept. 19 gave the Black candidate a 6-point lead over DeSantis.
Indeed, his poll numbers have increased each week. A Real Clear Politics average of several polls (covering Aug. 29 through Sept. 20) showed Gillum with an average lead of roughly 4 percentage points.
Gillum selected a white running mate for lieutenant governor who brings a surprising asset to the ticket: the support of Black leaders in a key region of the state.
Orlando-area businessman Chris King developed relationships with Black ministers and activists in Central Florida during his run for governor in the 2018 primaries against Gillum.
DeSantis, who resigned from Congress on Sept. 10 to focus on the election, came under fire for a racist remark about Gillum less than 24 hours after winning the GOP nomination. He urged voters not to “monkey this up” by voting for the Black candidate. He’s also been in the spotlight over his deep connections to white supremacists.