Gillum poll says Gillum can win Democratic nomination for Florida governor

Democratic candidates for governor, alphabetically from left: Andrew Gillum, Gwen Graham, Chris King, Philip Levine.

Is a picture worth 22 polling points?

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum‘s campaign is touting an internal poll that shows Gillum vaulting from 13 percent support to 35 percent and taking the lead in Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial primary field after voters were fed positive information about — and shown pictures of — each candidate.

The release of the online survey by Change Research comes as the Gillum camp is eager to demonstrate viability amid weak fundraising and polls that typically show him in a lower tier than former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham.

The May 8-11 poll of 1,107 likely Democratic voters, which has a 3 percent margin of error, shows Levine leading an initial ballot test with 20 percent, followed by Gillum and Graham at 13 percent apiece and Winter Park businessman Chris King at 3 percent. A majority of Democrats — 52 percent — were undecided.

The poll then provided positive messaging about each candidate (Gillum’s is arguably more glowing, but see the wording below to judge for yourself) and showed their pictures. Under those conditions, Gillum rocketed to 35 percent and first place, followed by Graham at 23 percent. Levine, the best-known candidate after spending about $8 million on TV ads since November, remained unchanged at 20 percent. King increased to 10 percent.

Gillum is the only African-American candidate in a party where blacks are about 28.5 percent of the statewide electorate. He began May with $1.4 million in cash on hand between his principle campaign and an affiliated political committee. King started the month with $1.6 million, Levine with $3.5 million and Graham with $4.7 million.

Below are the statements voters were given about each candidate in the poll:

• Andrew Gillum is the son of a construction worker and a bus driver, the first in his family to graduate from high school and college, and has been a bold progressive Mayor of Tallahassee who’s beaten the gun lobby twice in court. Andrew is running for Governor to rebuild Florida into a state that works for all of us.

• Chris King is a husband, father, Democrat and progressive entrepreneur who’s worked on affordable housing issues. He’s a proven leader who’s running for Governor so everyone in Florida has the opportunity to rise and lead.

• Philip Levine has been successful in the private sector as a self-made entrepreneur and in the public sector as a two-term mayor of Miami Beach. He’s running for governor because he has a progressive vision to move Florida forward as a leader in the 21st century economy.

• Gwen Graham is a mother of three and daughter of former Florida governor Bob Graham who felt called to public service after being fed up with partisan gridlock and unseated a Tea Party congressman in 2014. Now she’s running for governor to continue bringing bipartisan common-sense solutions for Florida

 

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