MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace said Thursday that she does not "want to jinx anything" regarding polls showing positive momentum for Florida Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum, suggesting that she is hopeful for a victory for the progressive candidate.
Wallace—who worked for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush before entering the White House of his brother, George W. Bush, in the 2000s—discussed the testy race between Gillum and Republican nominee Ron DeSantis, a strong backer of President Donald Trump. In their debate this week, Gillum accused DeSantis of racism.
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Polling shows Gillum ahead of DeSantis by an average of 4.5 points, according to RealClearPolitics. Asking New York Times reporter Nicholas Confessore what he makes of the race, Wallace curiously remarked that the state has become "very red" in presidential elections.
"It really has," Confessore said.
Trump, however, carried Florida by only 1.2 points in 2016, and Barack Obama won the state in 2012 and 2008. George W. Bush won it by 5 points in 2004, and the 2000 contest famously came down to Bush winning by 537 votes and a lengthy recount court battle.
Confessore said DeSantis has become "too Trumpy" in wholeheartedly embracing the president. The Republican put up one of the more famous—or infamous—ads of the 2018 election cycle, in which he taught his young child to build a wall out of his blocks and read out of The Art of the Deal. It worked, in that DeSantis won the nomination, but his hopes for a general election win are in jeopardy with Election Day less than two weeks away.
Wallace also discussed the race with liberal MoveOn.org adviser and frequent MSNBC guest Karine Jean-Pierre, and expressed optimism for Gillum.
"This race seems like one that is—I don't want to jinx anything—but trending in the Democrat's favor," Wallace said, asking Jean-Pierre to describe what she is seeing in a "pretty red state."
Jean-Pierre also called Florida, a traditional presidential battleground, a "very red" state and slammed DeSantis for taking on the worst parts of Trumpism.
Democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) has endorsed Gillum for running on an unabashedly liberal platform.
Current Florida Gov. Rick Scott is a Republican, as were his two most recent predecessors, Charlie Crist and Jeb Bush. Crist has since become a Democrat and currently represents Florida's 13th Congressional District in the House of Representatives.