Former U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Graham has Democratic a steady lead over the former Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine, the Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene, Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum and Orlando business man Chris King in the Florida primary for Governor.
TAMPA, Fla. – As the campaign speeches and bus tours draw to an end, all of the five Democratic candidates vying to Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott is a creep of the seat, for every last vote before Tuesday’s primary.
The crowded race, to an extent, was overshadowed by the Republican primary, where Rep. Ron DeSantis is with a trump endorsement against the agriculture Commissioner, Adam Putnam.
But Fox News rates the race for the vacant place a “toss-up” in November, as the Democrats eye a possible pick-up.
“This is a first-class race, one of the top three races in the whole country,” says Susan MacManus, a veteran political analyst and former political science professor at The University of South Florida. “I think the democratic primary election will be very tight … the whole country goes to be coordinated.”
Heading had moved in the last weekend of early voting, more than 1.6 million ballot papers, already 2014 totals surpassed, if 1.2 million people cast a primary ballot before election day.
MacManus says this is one of the most expensive and most exciting gubernatorial primaries of the Sunshine State has ever seen.
On the Democratic side, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham has a steady lead over the former Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine, the Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene, Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum and Orlando businessman Chris King.
“The diversity of the Democratic candidates is incredible—you have to race and age and gender and religion and geography—all kinds of mixtures of candidates, which makes it to follow fascinating,” MacManus said.
In spite of the significantly in terms of financial, by both Greene and Levine, Graham leads by about 7 points on average, according to Real Clear Politics.
But MacManus said Graham’s leadership is not necessarily a guarantee for a victory on Tuesday.
“There are five well-known, credible candidates … each of them must try to carve out, the winning percentage could be very low,” she said. “With that many candidates, you could secure the nomination with thirty-some percent of the voters.”
Fellow frontrunner Levine openness against President Trump and the possibility for independent financing of his campaign made him a close competitor for Graham, whose family has deep political roots in the state. She is the daughter of Bob Graham, a two-term Governor, three-term U.S. senator and 2004, a candidate for the presidency.
“I will continue in this same vein of public service, such as my father to work hard for the people in Florida,” Graham said at a Saturday campaign event in Orlando, Fla.
It positions itself as a check on the Republican-controlled legislature of a swing state that has not seen a Democrat win the governor’s mansion since 1994, and has yet to choose a female Governor.
“I think this is a year when a woman candidate is an advantage … people are looking for change,” democratic strategist and former Florida gubernatorial nominee Jim Davis said.
Graham wants to emphasize de-standardized Tests in public schools and the increase in the environmental standards, while the opposition to the President is a centerpiece of the campaign. Levine, a issues-oriented campaign, the guns on his reputation as a businessman and experience in municipal administration, pledging to ban storm, and has led you raise the minimum wage, an increase in public education spending and aggressive in dealing with climate change.
With Florida’s congressional redistricting — is approaching in 2020, the Governor chose to veto the law, — the impact to be felt in the election of 2018, the Washington-for the next ten years or more.
“The next Governor of Florida will play a large role in the 2020 presidential election,” MacManus said.
MacManus said, because of the large number of voters registered as “no party”, to nominees of both parties, the courses between Tuesday and the General election in November.
“Whoever wins the primary election has suddenly change gears and begin thinking about the General elections outreach,” she said. “Florida has this history of people to win, only one percent can’t win with their own party alone … the attention is” how can I reach that 28 percent of Floridians who are not registered as a Democrat or a Republican?'”
The democratic candidate will face off in November against either Putnam or DeSantis.
Allie Raffa is a multimedia reporter for Fox News based in Tampa.