Now, days after Florida's primary, the first poll of the Gillum-Ron DeSantis gubernatorial race has emerged.
The use of language seen as coded racism prompted an extraordinary rebuke from Fox News after DeSantis appeared on the network Wednesday.
During an interview on Fox and Friends the day after the election, DeSantis was asked about his opponent Andrew Gillum's handling of the economy. Gillum did not directly answer that they were, but insinuated it.
DeSantis' campaign continues to deny any racial undertones to his remark.
Florida's race for Governor Rick Scott's seat has been framed as a referendum on Trumpism versus progressivism-with DeSantis representing the former, and Gillum the latter. "To characterize it as anything else is absurd", said Stephen Lawson, a spokesman for the campaign.
DeSantis based almost his entire primary run on Trump and acknowledged his endorsement was the key.
McSally defeated two hardline conservative candidates: former state Sen.
Trump had mostly stayed out of the race but he endorsed the 52-year-old McSally on Wednesday, saying she was "strong on crime" and "the border". "If the Democrats can get the majority of those, they could actually take control of the House", said Sobel.
Gillum is a black man. DeSantis is white.
DeSantis assailed Gillum in a Wednesday TV appearance that critics denounced as racist. They will have to figure out how to translate the enthusiasm among primary voters to the general election, and will have to win over moderate Democrats, independents, and probably some Republicans. "This is not what Florida wants or needs!"
Some observers saw DeSantis' use of the term "monkey this up" as a racist insult.
Gillum, who has called for Trump's impeachment, is the first African-American to win Florida's Democratic nomination for governor and his surprise win came against better-funded, more mainstream opponents.
"I'm going to stay true, I'm going to stay true to my values", Gillum said.
"I don't think it was very artful, but I know he didn't mean any ill will", Scott said.
Gillum predicts Trump's style of campaigning won't work in Florida.
He has claimed Gillum, who was an early backer and later a delegate of Hillary Clinton in 2016, will lead Florida down a path toward socialism.
"Floridians joined Andrew in standing up and demanding real change and showed our nation what is possible when we stand together", the Vermont senator tweeted.
Yesterday's Florida primary for governor had a surprise victor last night, and the race is getting interesting. As of Thursday, the group had almost 95,000 followers on Facebook. Democrats hope to reclaim the governor's mansion after decades of GOP control.
The result of its governor's race in this year's midterm elections will be a temperature test for voters' attitudes ahead of the 2020 presidential vote.