Surprising Number of Black Floridians Back DeSantis; Polling Error Perhaps?!

Democrat Andrew Gillum (left) and Republican Ron DeSantis (right) battle for the Governor’s seat in 2018

Despite widespread accusations of racist words and deeds by the Republican gubernatorial hopeful and his backers, recent polls say as many as one quarter of black Floridians are backing Ron DeSantis.

That’s an even higher share of African Americans who backed then Republican Charlie Crist to win the Governor’s seat in 2006 (18%). And its three times the 8% of black Floridians who voted for Donald Trump, according to exit polling.

It seems unlikely, given the “all in” energy of many African Americans hoping to see Democrat Andrew Gillum become Florida’s first black governor.

But two of the latest polls say one in four African Americans in Florida are in DeSantis’ corner.

The September 11th Rasmussen poll shows 24% of black voters backing DeSantis, while a September 16th Florida Atlantic University poll has 25% of black Floridians siding with the 40-year old Republican contender.

In the week following the August 28th primary, it looked absolutely certain that Gillum would receive an Obama-sized share of black voters support. One post-election poll showed 93% of African Americans for Gillum.

So are the two polls above a blip of sampling error, or is there a real trend of black voters backing the man who made the infamous “monkey it up” comment about his Democratic challenger? – which posts polls chronologically– shows four post-primary polls with race group breakdowns in the Governor’s race. Three of the four have African Americans giving DeSantis double-digit support.

What the Polls Say about Black Voters in Florida

8/30 Gravis Poll

9/3 Quinnipiac Poll 9/11 Rasmussen Poll 9/16 FAU Poll
Andrew Gillum 70% 93% 75% 54%
Ron DeSantis 18% 2% 24% 25%
Undecided/Other 12% 5% 1% 21%

The Rasmussen poll results also 25% of African Americans strongly approve of Donald Trump who endorsed DeSantis. Go figure.

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