TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – The race to be Florida’s next governor has drawn nationwide attention in this midterm election.
The latest poll shows Democratic nominee Andrew Gillum up seven points over his opponent Republican Ron DeSantis.
Tuesday morning, Gillum said don’t believe everything you hear.
“Don’t believe the polls. Go out and vote, vote, vote,” he told CBS4.
More than five million people in the state took part in early voting – a record turn out for a midterm election. Gillum said he’s not surprised.
“We experienced this in the primaries where we saw in my primary, we had 150,000 voters who either were voting for the first time or had not voted in the previous three elections. We’re seeing that repeat itself but in greater numbers in this General Election. I am so excited to see so many people turning out to vote. I have no clue how they are going to vote but I believe we are going to win tonight,” he said.
Gillum said even though the latest Quinnipiac poll has him up seven points over DeSantis, it’s not going to affect how he will campaign on the final day for good reason.
“In the primary, there was not a single poll showing me leading and we ended up winning that race, supposedly coming from behind seven points to end up three points ahead. What’s important, and that’s why we were campaigning all day yesterday in the Panhandle, the day before that we were in South Florida for three days, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach, we’re not leaving anybody behind. We are leaving it all on the field all the way up until the very last minute, I am going to be out there trying to secure every vote that we can. The more people we involve in this process, I think, is better for us,” he said.
“It’s time that people stop treating politics and these elections as if it’s a spectator sport. It isn’t. You have to be involved if you want to have a say in our community,” he added.
Gillum’s opponent, DeSantis, has received support from President Trump. Gillum said if elected, he would do what’s right for Florida, not just for the party.
“This is the United States of America, not Russia. The president doesn’t get to punish people because of the different political parties. He’s elected to do a job and if elected governor, my job will be to serve the people of the State of Florida. One of the reasons why we’ve campaigned in red areas and blue areas and purple areas of the state is because I want them to know I want to be their governor too. Unlike Rick Scott, who gave back $2.8 billion to the federal government when we tried to build high-speed rail and that came from the Obama administration, the over $6 billion we failed to bring down for Medicaid, I don’t have a lot in common with Donald Trump but if he tries to send me those resources, we’re going to take it and put it to work for the people of Florida,” said Gillum.
The Democratic nominee acknowledges that this year’s campaigns have been contentious, with attacks flying from both sides, but he’s proud of the campaign he’s run.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am. Our campaign from the very beginning has been really powered forward by everyday people in this state. I mean we were the little engine that could. My wife actually refers to our campaign as Seabiscuit, you know come from behind to win. We wouldn’t change anything about how we campaigned,” he said.
“One of the reasons I’ve been in very conservative areas, even as late as last night, is because I want them to know that I want to be their governor too. You may not agree with me on every issue but you’re always going to find a governor with a listening ear, who regardless of who is on the other side of us, I am always going to be Team Florida. That’s my job, when you’re the Governor of Florida, you have to be the governor for everybody,” he added.