Florida Primaries heat up for Governor and Gov. Scott maintains edge over Sen. Nelson in US Senate race


With just under 6 weeks until the Florida primaries, both the Democrats and Republicans find their races for Governor to be ultra-competitive. In the US Senate race, Governor Scott’s popularity has kept him ahead of Senator Bill Nelson.

The Republican nomination for Governor appears to be coming down to Rep. Ron DeSantis at 36%and Agriculture Commissioner/former Rep. Adam Putnam at 27%. No other candidate clears 3% with 23% left undecided; the number of undecided is down from 43% in May.  The May poll had DeSantis at 16% and Putnam at 15%.

DeSantis areas of strength are in the Central region of the state where he leads 42% to 27% and in the Southern region where he leads 34% to 15%. Putnam’s area of support is in South Central where he leads 43% to 32%.

In the Democratic primary, former Rep. Gwen Graham has 20%, followed by Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine at 16% and real estate entrepreneur Jeff Greene at 14%, wealthy real-estate executive Christopher King at 9% and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum at 7%. 31% of voters were undecided; In May 37% of voters were undecided. It appears that the Greene candidacy is a game-changer in the race for the Democratic Nomination, in May without Greene running, Levine (16%) and Graham (15%) were the front runners, now Greene is in the top tier of candidates.

Graham’s strength lies in the Northern and Central regions of the state where she leads with nearly 27% of the votes with Levin at 12%. However Greene leads in Southern Florida with 23% of the votes and in the South Central region with 18% of the votes.

Presidential job approval graph

Job Approval for the President, Senator and Governor were also measured. President Trump has a 41% approval and 47% disapproval, down from May when he had a 43% approval and 45% disapproval. Senator Bill Nelson has a 37% approval and 32% disapproval while Governor Scott has a 50% approval and 32% disapproval. Trump enjoys an 80% approval among Republicans but 76% disapproval from Democrats. Independents disapprove of the President 51% with 31% approving.

The US Senate race has stayed the same since the May poll with Governor Scott leading Senator Nelson 44% to 40%.

The top issues remain with immigration (29%) and healthcare (26%), 13% reported the economy and 10% said Gun Control policy, similar to the May poll findings. The most important issue for Democrats is healthcare at 34%, for Republicans the most important issue is immigration at 43%. Independents are split between the two issues with 24% saying healthcare was most important and 23% saying Immigration.

Overall, 62% of Florida voters are concerned that Russia may try to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections, of which 39% were very concerned and 24% were somewhat concerned. 21% were not very concerned and 12% were not concerned at all.

Overall, 86% were concerned about the toxic algae blooms occurring along the state’s coasts. 53% were very concerned, 33% somewhat concerned while 11% were not very concerned and 4% were not concerned at all.


This survey was conducted using an online sample supplied by Survey Sampling International (n=400) and via an automated telephone platform (IVR) using registered voter landline phone lists supplied by Aristotle, Inc. (n=400) for a total sample size of n=800 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points. It is important to point out that subsets have higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. The margin of error for the Democratic Primary (n=271) is +/- 5.9 percentage points and for the Republican Primary (n=262) is +/- 6.0 percentage points. The data was collected July 20-July 21, 2018 and weighted by ethnicity, region, party affiliation and gender.