Matt Isbell (@mcimaps) has been kind enough to share his preview of tomorrow’s Sunshine State primaries. We’re going to focus on the gubernatorial races but he has a breakdown of all the key races at his site. Be sure to heck it out.
The democratic primary is coming down to three candidate – former Congressman Gwen Graham – former Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine – and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. Polls indicate strong regionalism in the race, with Levine strong in South Florida, Graham strong in North Florida, and Gillum improving his standing among African-Americans.
The likely biggest factor between Graham and Levine will be how the Tampa Bay and Orlando media markets break. Graham seems to have a lead there, and has secured lots of local backing, but she will need good margins to make up for Levine’s expected strength in the southeast and southwest. The Gillum campaign is focusing on consolidating African-American votes, which make up 30% of the primary. A poll out just today puts Gillum in 2nd — the result of now winning 50% of the black vote. However, Graham is also moving up and maintains a 6% lead. This chart from St Pete Polls shows the shifts.
As results come in, remember to account for the counties reporting. Graham is strong in the North, Levine in the south, and many of these counties have large non-white populations.
The democratic primary winner could easily emerge with just around 30% of the vote.
Adam Putnam had grand plans to be governor. In 2010, the then-Congressman announced he would run for state Agriculture Commissioner. This move was widely seen as a step toward running for Governor – a chance to get him out of DC and back “home.” Putnam started 2017 with a huge war-chest and the clear frontrunner. Then, Congressman Ron DeSantis, a tea-party congressman, got Donald Trump’s backing, and Putnam’s lead evaporated. Most polls now show DeSantis with a solid lead.
Putnam couldn’t have foreseen the Trump push for DeSantis, and endorsement that seems entirely based on loyalty and not policy. Putnam hasn’t given up but reputable polls all say the same thing – DeSantis is heading for a solid win.