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FL-Gov, Sen: Democrat Gillum leads in gubernatorial race, but Republican Scott leads in the Senate

A new poll shows Republican Gov. Rick Scott (left) polling ahead of Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in the race for U.S. Senate seat, while the Andrew Gillum (right), the Democratic candidate for governor, is polling ahead of his Republican rival, Rep. Ron DeSantis. (Both photos by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

While Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott is polling slightly ahead of sitting Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in the Sunshine State's Senate race, Democrat Andrew Gillum is polling slightly ahead of Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis for the governorship soon to be vacated by Scott.

How close are the polls?

According to a poll conducted Oct. 1-5 by Florida Southern College's Center for Polling and Policy Research, Scott leads Nelson by a narrow 46 to 44.5 percent margin. That's only a fraction of the margin of error for this poll, which was 4.49 percent.

This isn't the first poll to show the two candidates this close. Two polls in June, one by the Florida Chamber of Commerce and one by Politico and AARP, showed Scott leading 48 to 45 percent and 40 to 39 percent, respectively.

Whether he wins or loses, Scott, who is term limited, will leave the governor's mansion in January.

Meanwhile, the same poll by Florida Southern College shows Gillum, the former mayor of Tallahassee, leading DeSantis 47 to 44 percent. This is still within the margin of error. Independent voters seem to be bolstering Gillum's support, siding with him 46 to 33 percent, as do Hispanic voters (63 to 24 percent). Gillum is also drawing younger voters (ages 18 to 44) while DeSantis leads among those over 45.

An endorsement from President Donald Trump helped DeSantis win his primary, where more than 72 percent of Republicans strongly approve of the president and another 18 percent somewhat approve. However, when Democratic and independent voters are included for the general election that drops to 34.12 percent who strongly approve and 13.68 percent who only somewhat approve.

What else?

Gillum, however, can testify that polls can be very wrong. He pulled off an upset during his primary. Before the election on Aug. 28, Gillum was polling third with just 18 percent behind former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, who polled at 26 percent, and former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, who polled at 25 percent.

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