FAU poll reveals close Florida Senate, governor race

Senate candidates Rick Scott and Bill Nelson tied, while governor hopeful Andrew Gillum gained a small lead over Ron DeSantis.

Tallahassee+Mayor+Andrew+Gillum+gained+an+edge+over+his+opponent%2C+Ron+DeSantis+in+the+Florida+governor+race%2C+at+least+according+to+an+FAU+poll.+Photo+courtesy+of+Facebook

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum gained an edge over his opponent, Ron DeSantis in the Florida governor race, at least according to an FAU poll. Photo courtesy of Facebook

Kerri Covington, Editor in Chief

A new College of Business poll found that Florida voters are split on who to vote for ahead of the Nov. 6 general election.

Governor Rick Scott and current Florida Senator Bill Nelson are in a “statistical” tie in the Florida Senate race, according to the poll. While Scott received 42 percent of the vote and Nelson received 41 percent, the difference can be ignored because the entire population wasn’t polled. Eleven percent of voters were undecided.

Meanwhile in the Florida governor race, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum received 41 percent of the vote, with Ron DeSantis receiving 39 percent. The other 15 percent were undecided.

FAU political science professor Kevin Wagner, who takes part in the research portion of BEPI, said the poll’s results weren’t surprising.

“Florida is a very sharply divided state, so it is not surprising that both races are very close and within the margin of error,” he said. “It seems likely that these races will be decided by which candidates are better able to get their voters out to the polls.”

The poll also found that 39 percent of Florida voters approve of President Trump, while 47 percent disapprove. This is his lowest approval rating since August 2017. Last month, he had a 43 percent approval and 45 percent disapproval rate.

Aside from the candidate races, the poll revealed where voters stand on several different policies.

PolicySupportOpposedUndecided
Assault weapons ban50.7 percent30 percent 19.3 percent
$15 minimum wage52.2 percent27.2 percent20.6 percent
Restoring felon voting rights48.5 percent25 percent26.4 percent

The poll, referred to as the Business and Economics Polling Initiative, is conducted monthly by FAU students in the business college and overseen by economics and political science professors. As part of an independent study course, the students work under economics professor and BEPI director Monica Escaleras.

This month’s poll was carried out from Sept. 13-16. A total of 850 registered voters, who said “they were more likely to vote than not,” were sampled. The data, collected via phone and through an online survey, was evenly balanced by region, party affiliation, gender, and ethnicity.

Kerri Covington is the editor in chief of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her @kerri_marie23.