The first round of general election polling is out in the race for Florida governor and it spells bad news for Congressman Ron DeSantis, the Republican candidate endorsed by President Donald Trump.
Florida Democratic consultant Christian Ulvert commissioned the survey from left-leaning Public Policy Polling, which is the first since DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum secured their respective party's nominations on Tuesday. Gillum is finishing his tenure as mayor of Tallahassee, Florida's capital.
Conducted from August 29-30, the poll found that 48 percent of 743 voters surveyed preferred Gillum for governor, while 43 percent of voters said they support DeSantis.
Among independents, a voting bloc which is key to victory in Florida, Gillum holds a 34-point edge over DeSantis.
Gillum also scored higher favorability ratings than DeSantis: 45 percent to 41 percent, respectively.
People are excited over the prospect of Florida electing its first black governor. The last Democrat to occupy the office was Buddy McKay in the late 1990's.
The importance of voting cannot be overstated no matter what polls say.
Besides the gubernatorial race, the PPP poll had other bad news for Trump.
Trump's job approval rating was underwater, with 49 percent of respondents saying they disapprove of Trump's handling of the presidency. Forty-six percent approve of Trump's job performance.
The U.S. Senate race in Florida is also extremely tight, the poll showed. Incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson leads outgoing Republican Governor Rick Scott 46-45 percent. Eight percent of voters were undecided.
Gillum won an upset victory on Tuesday over Congresswoman Gwen Graham (D) and has the support of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), one of the most powerful voices in the growing progressive movement.
Progressives are hoping that Gillum's momentum will propagate down the ballot and propel Nelson, 75, to a fourth term in the Senate.
DeSantis, a three-term Congressman and Trump worshipper, began his general election campaign on Wednesday morning by urging voters not to "monkey this up" by voting for Gillum. DeSantis's plainly racist warning was followed by him referring to Gillum as "articulate."
DeSantis's primary campaign featured a bizarre ad in which he was shown teaching his kids to read and speak using Trump-branded catchphrases like "build the wall," "you're fired," and "bigly."
DeSantis's wife Casey narrated the July ad that uncomfortably attempted to equate good parenting with supporting Trump.
A Gillum victory in November would be a stunning rebuke of Trump, who not only carried Florida in the 2016 election but has vociferously campaigned for Republican candidates across the country.
It would also be a monumental victory for the progressive left, which is still feeling the sting of Hillary Clinton's unexpected loss to Trump in 2016.