Poll: Women powering Democrats' lead in Florida

CNN's David Chalian breaks down new polling that shows Democrat Andrew Gillum leading Republican Ron DeSantis in the Florida gubernatorial race and Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson leading Republican Gov. Rick Scott in the race for the Senate.

Posted: Oct 22, 2018 5:11 PM
Updated: Oct 22, 2018 5:23 PM

As the final two weeks of campaigning begin, Democrats hold an edge in both the gubernatorial and Senate contests in the key state of Florida, according to a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS. Democratic nominee Andrew Gillum holds a wide 12-point edge over his Republican opponent Rep. Ron DeSantis in the race for governor, while the Senate contest is a closer matchup with incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson at 50% to Republican Gov. Rick Scott's 45%.

Gillum's 54% to 42% lead rests on advantages among women (60% back him vs. 34% who say they favor DeSantis), non-white voters (74% back Gillum, 23% DeSantis), younger voters (60% for Gillum, 33% for DeSantis) and political independents (51% back Gillum, 42% DeSantis). Gillum has also consolidated Democratic support (97% favor him) in a way that DeSantis has not matched on the Republican side (88% back him).

Views of Donald Trump are about as polarizing as partisanship in this race, which Trump has tweeted about multiple times. Among the 51% of likely voters who disapprove of the president, 92% back Gillum, while 87% back DeSantis among the 43% who approve of Trump.

The poll shows a wider lead for Gillum than some other recent telephone polling, nearly all of which was conducted before Hurricane Michael struck the state on October 10. Before the storm, public polling in mid- to late-September on these contests was mixed, with some (including surveys from Mason-Dixon and the University of North Florida) finding near-even races while others (including the Quinnipiac University and NBC News/Marist polls) gave the Democratic candidates the edge.

The CNN findings could be an outlier -- a statistical anomaly which occurs in polling by random chance. It also could be an indicator of renewed Democratic enthusiasm.

In the poll's sample of registered voters, the mix of Democrats and Republicans surveyed almost exactly matches the numbers reported by Florida's Secretary of State: 38% report being registered as Democrats, 35% as Republicans and 27% are registered with no party affiliation or as members of another party. Those identified as likely voters are similarly divided between Democrats and Republicans (40% to 37%) with fewer who are registered without a party affiliation or as members of a third party (23%).

And the Democratic advantages in the poll were similar across multiple versions of a likely voter model, including those driven more by interest in the campaign and those which placed stronger emphasis on past voting behavior.

Several recent national polls -- including surveys from CNN, the Washington Post and ABC News, and the Wall Street Journal and NBC News -- have also found wider Democratic leads in generic congressional ballots among likely voters than among registered voters, and have found signs of strong enthusiasm among Democratic voters.

Florida Senate race

In the Senate contest, Nelson's slimmer edge is likewise dependent on wide gaps by gender and race, though the divide is far smaller by age and each candidate's backing among their own partisans is similar. Both candidates for Senate are viewed favorably by 47% of likely voters. Nelson, however, is less likely than Scott to be seen unfavorably, 37% say they have a negative view of Nelson, compared with 46% who have a negative take on Scott.

In both races, 11% of likely voters say there's a chance they could change their minds before Election Day.

Likely voters in this poll give Scott broadly positive marks for his response to Hurricane Michael, 64% approve and 17% disapprove. Nelson's response also merited more positive than negative reviews, 40% approve to 23% disapprove, but a sizable 37% weren't sure how they felt about the Senator's response to the storm.

Scott tops Nelson by a wide 51% to 39% margin in North Florida and the Panhandle, which was most deeply affected by the storm and is a typically Republican-leaning region. Gillum, who is mayor of Tallahassee, outperforms Nelson in the region, splitting it evenly with DeSantis at 47% for each.

Florida's likely voters are about equally likely to say health care (26%) and the economy (25%) are the most important issues they're considering in the Senate contest. Immigration and gun policy follow, with 15% calling immigration most important to their vote and 12% gun policy.

As in other states, health care voters broadly back the Democratic candidate, breaking overwhelmingly for Nelson here 81% to 14%. Economy voters favor the Republican, 72% for Scott to 23% for Nelson.

The CNN Poll in Florida was conducted by SSRS October 16 through 20 among a random statewide sample reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample of 1,012 adults have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points, for the subset of 872 registered voters, it is plus or minus 3.9 and for the 759 likely voters plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1097128

Reported Deaths: 17438
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1437882222
Lake712531225
Allen65537867
Hamilton50147482
St. Joseph48760639
Elkhart39461538
Vanderburgh34221495
Tippecanoe30237271
Johnson27179463
Hendricks25845379
Porter25014381
Madison20656444
Clark19898275
Vigo18764308
LaPorte16857260
Delaware16425291
Howard16408311
Monroe16379217
Kosciusko13936163
Hancock12841185
Bartholomew12686188
Warrick11995189
Wayne11879265
Floyd11869225
Grant11701235
Morgan10252188
Boone9675120
Noble9069121
Henry9002165
Marshall8907146
Dearborn881799
Dubois8710139
Shelby8054128
Cass8014127
Lawrence7922182
DeKalb7591106
Huntington7448108
Jackson743893
Gibson7002118
Montgomery6910123
Harrison685296
Knox6827113
Steuben654186
Miami6477107
Whitley642260
Putnam631982
Clinton618976
Wabash6060108
Jasper601791
Jefferson5689103
Ripley549192
Adams532381
Daviess5003116
Scott480378
Wells471799
White468767
Greene461799
Clay457462
Decatur4529109
Jennings439666
Fayette435694
LaGrange419290
Posey403244
Washington384154
Randolph3818107
Fountain368362
Spencer355846
Fulton355572
Starke348772
Owen346276
Sullivan344954
Orange324470
Jay318650
Rush298332
Carroll289438
Franklin286744
Perry283253
Vermillion280458
Tipton247365
Parke246330
Pike244144
Blackford218044
Pulaski205658
Newton179052
Brown171850
Crawford167929
Benton163217
Martin150819
Switzerland145112
Warren132216
Union117816
Ohio91413
Unassigned0585

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1683472

Reported Deaths: 26483
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1766331826
Cuyahoga1641462636
Hamilton1122641528
Montgomery794721387
Summit702171199
Lucas618431017
Butler55878803
Stark525841170
Lorain41058639
Warren35404412
Mahoning35095769
Lake31445493
Clermont30711362
Delaware26682182
Trumbull26664611
Licking26200335
Medina25291351
Fairfield24173287
Greene24051369
Clark21653387
Portage20709280
Richland20587336
Wood19626246
Allen18542320
Miami17031348
Columbiana16502331
Muskingum16416206
Wayne15432304
Tuscarawas14086357
Marion13054194
Erie12423198
Ashtabula12314225
Scioto12235182
Pickaway12070151
Ross11487223
Hancock11256173
Geauga10666174
Lawrence10504171
Belmont10259231
Huron9588155
Jefferson9462225
Union939175
Sandusky9068166
Seneca8692156
Knox8618169
Washington8613156
Athens827396
Darke8270179
Ashland7840147
Auglaize7741115
Shelby7337132
Defiance7210114
Crawford7082150
Brown7052115
Fulton7016111
Logan6857108
Mercer681697
Guernsey680283
Highland6615117
Madison641389
Clinton6388106
Williams628798
Preble6171139
Putnam6089120
Jackson572396
Champaign568286
Perry558879
Coshocton5552103
Ottawa553599
Morrow506464
Fayette483170
Hardin477899
Gallia462978
Pike459076
Van Wert454691
Adams4514109
Henry424976
Hocking401493
Holmes3939137
Wyandot367973
Carroll351578
Paulding319349
Meigs302457
Monroe231860
Noble216447
Morgan210138
Harrison205152
Vinton183937
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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Huntington
Clear
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Decatur
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Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
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The warming trend is expected to continue through Thursday before cooler air returns to the Midwest.
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