It’s the governor’s race that most concerns the White House. Governors traditionally play a key role in raising money, hiring staff and marshaling resources ahead of presidential elections. So aides fear that a loss could undermine their efforts to capture the state’s all-important 29 electoral votes in 2020.
A victory by Democrat Andrew Gillum, on the other hand, could buoy Trump’s general election opponent. Gillum, an African-American mayor of Tallahassee, has excited liberals across the state — and presumably, he would work to gin up support for the eventual Democratic nominee.
“A Gov. Gillum would be a significant obstacle for a Trump presidential campaign in Florida, and a Gov. DeSantis would be a significant asset,” said Mac Stipanovich, a longtime Republican lobbyist in the state.