New poll shows Gillum with 9 point lead in Florida

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) holds a 9-point lead over former Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisFlorida gov says arrested Giuliani associate was seen as a top Trump supporter in the state Backlash erupts at video depicting Trump killing media, critics WHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets MORE (R) in the Florida gubernatorial race, according to new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. 

Gillum leads DeSantis, 54 percent to 45 percent, among likely voters, according to the poll, and 94 percent of voters who picked a candidate said their minds are made up.

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The poll contrasts with a Quinnipiac survey released Sept. 4 that showed a statistical dead heat, with Gillum's 3 percentage lead will within the 4.7 point margin of error.

Polling has steadily shifted toward Gillum since then, with an NBC–Marist poll released Tuesday finding Gillum leading by 5 points. 

Quinnipiac's most recent poll finds huge advantages for Gillum among black and Hispanic voters as he leads 98-2 and 59-41 respectively in those groups.

Despite outspending Gillum on advertising, DeSantis is struggling with his favorability numbers, according to Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"Those TV ads, run in an effort to introduce DeSantis to Florida voters, are airing at the same time his favorability numbers are sinking and Mayor Gillum's are rising," Brown said.

"When asked whether they view each of the candidates favorably or unfavorably, Gillum's rating is 24 percentage points positive, and DeSantis' score is 5 points negative. At this point, Gillum's biggest asset is just that voters like him better."

DeSantis came under fire a day after Florida's August primary after saying in a Fox News interview that voters should not “monkey this up” by electing Gillum, who is black.

DeSantis denied that the comment, which was condemned by both Democrats and Republicans, had anything to do with race.

The poll surveyed 888 likely Florida voters Sept. 20–24 and had a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.