Poll: Andrew Gillum surges into second place

Published: Aug. 27, 2018 at 4:38 PM EDT
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By: Jake Stofan | Capitol News Service

August 27, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- With just one day before the primary election, all eyes are on Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.

Gillum has been stuck fighting for third place in the Democratic gubernatorial primary since the start of the race, but the tides appear to be turning in his favor. A new independent poll conducted by St. Pete Polls shows Gillum in second place.

“I think it's coming up because he's got a lot of field work. He's got a lot of support. I think the mainstream Democrats and Progressives really probably resonate with his message,” said FSU Political Science professor Dr. Carol Weissert.

Gillum has long said he has the support of black and young voters. That can be seen on FAMU’s campus, the historically black college where Gillum got his start in politics serving as the President of the FAMU Student Government Association from 2001 to 2002.

“He likes to put people at the forefront and that's what I really appreciate about him. He always comes to FAMU, he's very generous in doing so, and yeah, I definitely think he can get the win,” said FAMU Political Science major Theondre Peoples.

“I stand with his ideas and what he wants to accomplish and I do think he can definitely push through and get that win,” said FAMU student Dre Bradley.

Even still, Gillum is trailing frontrunner Gwen Graham by nearly seven points.

Graham holds a significant lead with voters over the age of 50 and with the first day of the college fall semester just one day before the primary, youth turnout could take a hit

“The end of August is a really busy time, particularly for university students,” said Weissert.

The latest poll now puts Philip Levine in third, but still within striking range of Gillum. Levine is only four points behind.

His campaign said in a statement, “We are confident in the final hours of this election.”

Gillum will be returning to FAMU Monday night; it’s the last stop of a week-long statewide bus tour.

Gillum’s campaign said in a statement, "This race has always been late breaking and we're confident that the energy we've created in the past two weeks -- from Bernie Sanders' endorsement to our statewide 'Bring It Home' Bus Tour -- have put Mayor Gillum in front of more voters than ever before. We're going to make history tomorrow.”

The tour was a last push to gather support and seems to have paid off, but with 8.1 percent of those yet to vote undecided, it’s still anybody’s race.