Congressman Ron DeSantis
Photo by Gage Skidmore / Alamy Stock Photo

A new poll by Florida Atlantic University Business and Economic Polling Initiative has Ron DeSantis leading in the Republican race for Governor, while Gwen Graham leads the Democratic field.

On the GOP side, DeSantis leads Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam 36-27. That confirms other public polls showing DeSantis as the front runner and making the recent Florida Chamber poll, which showed the race tied, the outlier survey.

“President Trump’s backing of Congressman DeSantis appears to have pushed the congressman past the early favorite Adam Putnam in the Republican primary,” said Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow of the Initiative. “While the President can help Congressman DeSantis in the primary, Mr. Trump’s underwater approval ratings may be a drag in the general election.”

Among the Democrats, former Congresswoman Gwen Graham leads the field at 20%, with former Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine at 16%. Businessman Jeff Greene is at 14%, businessman Chris King at 9% and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum at 7 percent. Undecided voters still play a major role in this race with 31 percent uncommitted.

Graham has benefitted from Green’s late entry into the race. “It appears that the Greene candidacy is a game-changer in the race for the Democratic nomination,” said Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of the BEPI. “In May, without Greene running, Levine and Graham were the front runners, now Greene is in the top tier of candidates.”

While the August 28 primary is a month away, domestic absentee ballots are being sent out this week – meaning votes are being cast now.

In the Senate race, Governor Rick Scott continues to lead incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson. The FAU poll has Scott winning 44-40 percent. Even more impressive for Scott is his personal approval rating is at 50% while Nelson stands at 37%

The online/automated dial poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 6 percentage points. The survey was taken July 20-21 and included 800 Florida registered voters.