- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Although he has closed the gap slightly, former GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis still trails Democrat Andrew Gillum in the Florida governor’s race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday.

Mr. Gillum, the left-wing mayor of Tallahassee who is running on a platform with many of the elements independent Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont pushed in 2016, holds a 6-point lead among likely voters, according to the poll.

A month ago, Mr. DeSantis trailed by 9 points, Quinnipiac found.

The advantage lies almost exclusively among women and black voters, where Mr. Gillum’s lead exceeds, while Mr. DeSantis is still ahead with white voters and men, according to the poll.

The survey reflects other trends Quinnipiac has found in other states, according to the poll’s assistant director Peter A. Brown.

“Looking inside the numbers of the governor’s race … we see shining examples of the problems Republicans face this year, not just in Florida but around the country,” he said. “The GOP has faced strong opposition from women and other anti-Trump voters. These defections have hurt GOP candidates around the country and made it difficult to attract the numbers of independent voters that are often major players in successful campaigns.”

Mr. DeSantis, who resigned his House seat to focus on the campaign and is running with a strong endorsement from President Trump, leads Mr. Gillum 54-44 among white voters, the same margin he holds among men, Quinnipiac found.

But those advantages are dwarfed by those Mr. Gillum, an African-American, holds with black voters (99-1), Hispanic voters (59-36) and women (59-38), according to the poll.

• James Varney can be reached at jvarney@washingtontimes.com.

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