Florida Governor Race Recount Now Likely, Andrew Gillum Claims Vote Gap Down To 15,000 Votes Behind DeSantis

Jonathan Vankin

As the United States Senate race in Florida headed to a recount, the governor's race there on Wednesday morning also looked likely to go to a recount of its own even though Democrat Andrew Gillum, as The New York Times reported, gave a concession speech on Tuesday and Republican Ron DeSantis, who was endorsed by Donald Trump, declared victory.

Though the latest vote count in the race, reported by The Times, showed DeSantis ahead by 55,439 votes, a margin of 0.7 percent, just outside of the 0.5 percent margin that's required for an automatic recount. According to one report, Gillum's camp now says that the vote gap between the two candidates is much smaller.

According to April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, Gillum's representatives as of Wednesday morning said that his losing margin was only about 15,000 votes.

"The [DeDantis] and [Gillum] fight is not over for the Florida governorship," Ryan wrote on her Twitter account. "The Gillum camp offers numbers are closer with a difference of 15 Thousand votes between the two. Gillum folks contend they are not giving up! More votes remain to be counted."

The result of the race came as a shock after Gillum led DeSantis in almost every poll, and in many by significant margins, heading into the election, according to a listing of all polls by Real Clear Politics. Gillum in the RCP average led by an average of 3.6 points.

In fact, in 23 polls taken since the beginning of October, Gillum led in all but two, including by as many as seven points in a Quinnipiac poll released just two days before Tuesday's 2018 midterm election.

The same all showed Democrat Bill Nelson, the incumbent, leading Florida's current, outgoing governor Rick Scott by an identical seven-point margin. But Nelson also lost his race by a narrow margin and has now called for a recount, according to a CNN report.

Ryan also reported that the NAACP planned to investigate "voter irregularities" in Florida — as well as in Georgia where Democrat Stacy Abrams trailed by less than 1 percent of the vote and believed that she would gain in ballots yet to be counted, forcing a runoff election under Georgia election laws in her governor's race against the state's Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, according to an Associated Press report on Wednesday.