Andrew Gillum AP thegrio.com
Andrew Gillum addresses his supporters after winning the Democrat primary for governor on Tuesday, August 28, 2018, in Tallahassee, Fla.(AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

Despite the racist robocalls impersonating Andrew Gillum and an attempt to target voters against him, and Rep. Ron DeSantis warning Florida voters to not “monkey this up” the Tallahassee Mayor is in the lead in the Florida governor’s race, based on a new Quinnipiac University poll.

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The race for governor in Florida is warming up for Gillum, who defeated former Rep. Gwen Graham in the state’s democratic primary last week and is up by three points against Republican Rep. DeSantis, CNN reports.

The 39-year-old saw a boost in fundraising when the Democratic Governors Association sent his political action committee a check for $1 million. Before the primary win, Gillum’s campaign coffers had just $200,000.

According to the poll, party lines, however, remain divided.

Ninety-two percent of Republicans are planning to cast their vote in support of DeSantis while 93% of Democrats will likely vote for Gillum.

Gillum also has a stronghold among independents, with a majority (55%) planning to vote for him in November.

DeSantis’s ace however, may be the fact that he has the full support of President Trump in territory that strongly supports him.

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The Hate They Give Against Gillum

Earlier this week, robocalls from a white supremacist group called The Road to Power were going out using the killing of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts  to promote a thinly veiled racist message because the suspect in her death is said to be an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. But a voice on the robocall identified itself as Andrew Gillum asking voters for their support.

Gillum quickly denounced the calls saying on CNN: “I want to make sure that we don’t racialize, and, frankly, weaponize, race as a part of this process.”

Meanwhile, DeSantis, Gillum’s Republican opponent, also denounced the robocalls.

“This is absolutely appalling and disgusting — and hopefully whoever is behind this has to answer for this despicable action,” DeSantis communications director Stephen Lawson said. “Our campaign has and will continue to focus solely on the issues that Floridians care about and uniting our state as we continue to build on our success.”

DeSantis faced harsh criticism for saying during a Fox News appearance that voters should not “monkey this up” by electing Gillum the day after he won the Republican primary for governor. But his campaign said the comments had nothing to do with race.

“Ron DeSantis was obviously talking about Florida not making the wrong decision to embrace the socialist policies that Andrew Gillum espouses, ” said Lawson in his defense. “To characterize it as anything else is absurd.”