SGA report previews pros and cons of battleground gubernatorial races

Florida: DeSantis vs. Gillum

This is the fourth and final installment of the AFSA State Government Affairs (SGA) team’s White Paper on the 2018 Gubernatorial Elections Preview, examining the races in states that will hold elections. Newsbriefs is highlighting the races in four swing states: Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida. The SGA White Paper does a comprehensive deep dive into the races looking at factors such as independent polling, key endorsements and campaign fundraising. Today we examine Florida.

With two-term Republican Rick Scott term-limited and running for the U.S. Senate, Florida’s gubernatorial election is a major battleground as Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis squares off against Democrat Andrew Gillum, Mayor of Tallahassee.

Some see this as a test of the durability of President Trump’s appeal in the state which he won by 1.2% in 2016.

DeSantis is campaigning as a strong supporter of President Trump while Gillum represents the Bernie Sanders-style progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

Gillum came from back in the pack to overtake three rivals to win the Democratic primary. His major vulnerability is an ongoing FBI investigation into his city’s government. The major vulnerability for DeSantis may be Trump’s sagging net approval ratings in early September polls.