In the first poll released since his stunning upset victory in the Democratic primary on Tuesday, rising progressive star Andrew Gillum leads Republican opponent Ron DeSantis in the race to be Florida‘s next governor.
According to Public Policy Polling, the Democrat has a five-point lead over the Trump clone – 48 percent to 43 percent.
The poll also found that Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson has a slim one-point lead over his Republican opponent Gov. Rick Scott.
#NEW First post-primary Florida poll#FLGov:@AndrewGillum (D – Inc) 48% (+5)@RonDeSantisFL 43%pic.twitter.com/cKpr6JUFu8#FLSen:@SenBillNelson (D – Inc) 46% (+1)@ScottForFlorida (R) 45%@PPPpolls (D) via @CUlvertpic.twitter.com/paq6lsNAvu
— Political Polls (@PpollingNumbers) August 30, 2018
If the polling carries all the way to the November elections, not only would Democrats reclaim the governor’s mansion in Florida, but they would hold onto a Senate seat Republicans are desperate to put into their column.
Another referendum on Trump
A Gillum victory would be yet another rebuke of Trump in a year full of political setbacks for the president. Like Trump, DeSantis appears to be running a campaign of bigotry and minority resentment in hopes of turning out the Republican base.
The day after Gillum’s surprise primary victory in Florida, the GOP candidate used racially tinged rhetoric to rally his supporters against his African American opponent.
“The last thing we need to do is monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state,” DeSantis said in a highly criticized set of remarks.
Democrats are looking toward the future
If one thing is becoming clear about the Democratic Party in 2018, it’s that they are looking toward the future. The party’s candidates are diverse and offer an optimistic view of America – a stark contrast to the dark rhetoric of the other side.
Andrew Gillum is no exception to this long line of promising fresh faces in the Democratic Party. If he wins in November, he will be the first African American governor in Florida‘s history.
Meanwhile, the Republican Party continues to move backward by fully embracing the politics of fear and bigotry that Trump used to fuel his presidential campaign – and, now, his presidency.
The Democratic Party looks like the future of America – inclusive, diverse and full of hope – and the GOP is a spitting image of Donald Trump, reviving the worst elements of America’s past in order to win votes.
For Republicans, that is a long-term recipe for disaster.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.