By Sean Yoes, Baltimore AFRO Editor, [email protected]
With about two weeks to go before the midterm elections on Nov. 6, Andrew Gillum the Democratic candidate for governor of Florida moved out to a double-digit lead over his Republican rival in a recent poll.
According to a CNN/SSRS poll, Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, Fla. leads Ron DeSantis, a Congressman representing Florida’s 6th District by 12 points, 54 percent to 42 percent.
The poll conducted, Oct. 16 through Oct. 20, also indicates a massive gender gap between the two candidates. According to a report by CNN, women in Florida overwhelmingly support Gillum over DeSantis, 60 percent to 34 percent, a 26-point advantage for Gillum. DeSantis has only a seven-point advantage over Gillum with male voters in Florida, 52 to 45 percent.
A CNN debate over the weekend produced several heated exchanges between Gillum and DeSantis.
“Well, Ron is being Don and that’s Donald Trump, neglecting all sense of reason and facts. I preside over a city that is experiencing a five-year low in our crime rate on trajectory to be at a 20-year low in our crime rate,” Gillum said in response to a question about crime, which he said DeSantis distorted the record of the Tallahassee mayor.
The contest between Gillum and DeSantis has been consistently contentious and at times downright ugly. As the two emerged from their respective primaries as the choice of their party, a comment by DeSantis sparked controversy. “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 on Aug. 29, during an interview on Fox News, the day after the primary elections in Florida, in reference to a question about Gillum’s primary victory.
If Gillum wins on Nov. 6, he would be the first Black governor in Florida’s history.