The divider in chief, Donald Trump, took steps to widen the racial wedge between the Florida gubernatorial candidates by implying an education at a historically Black college or university (HBCU) was decidedly inferior to the Ivy League. The president made his ignorant statement in a tweet despite growing evidence that the Democratic candidate — Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum — has consistently displayed a far more superior ability to campaign based on fact and policy over his opponent, Republican Ron DeSantis.
But of course, Trump never lets the facts get in between him and his Twitter fingers.
Gillum is a proud graduate of Florida A&M University, an HBCU.
Nevermind the racist dog whistling in the tweet that was Trump calling Gillum “a thief,” an unsubstantiated charge from a president who routinely reinforces negative stereotypes about Black people.
DeSantis has shown himself to be an unabashed racist, something that his alma maters Harvard and Yale universities can’t be proud of, no matter if the schools’ histories reflect otherwise (they do). Further, Gillum has twice upstaged DeSantis in both gubernatorial debates held last week, showing a masterful knowledge of policy compared to the racist attacks the Republican and his supporters have consistently resorted to.
Trump’s tweet came less than a week after a report that he planned to make last-ditch pleas for votes for controversial GOP candidates.
While Gillum has been consistently polling ahead of DeSantis, who resigned from Congress under a cloud of controversy stemming from a House ethics complaint against him, early voting reports in Florida have indicated not many Democrats were going to the polls, which could spell bad news for the mayor.
But if the election is decided based on policy plans and not racial rhetoric — DeSantis and his supporters have made multiple “monkey” references about the Democrat who could become the Sunshine State’s first African-American governor — Gillum should emerge victorious, by far.
As of early Monday afternoon, Gillum was reportedly ahead of DeSantis by either 1 or 5 percentage points, depending on the poll.
While political polling has proven to be an inexact science (see the 2016 presidential election for more on this), polling in the state of Florida has been pretty consistent over the years, especially when it comes to the governor’s race.
“Four years ago, Charlie Crist led Rick Scott in eight of the final 20 2014 gubernatorial race public polls, Rick Scott led in six, and six polls showed them tied,” the Tampa Bay Times reminded readers on Monday. “The final polling average showed Crist with by just .6 percentage points, and Scott won reelection by 1.1 percent.”