By Raz Shafer
Next year’s race for Florida Governor is a long way off but reputations are already being tested and top contenders compared. Exclusive access to new polling from WPA Intelligence gives Resurgent readers a clear view of the state of play in Florida.
Rep. Ron DeSantis has been previously endorsed by the conservative Madison Project and the organization’s President, Former Congressman Jim Ryun, summed up the situation in Florida beautifully:
Ron has been a common sense conservative from the day he won his seat in Congress and I think the voters in Florida realize this. He’s not just a regional candidate-Ron is a Congressman who has worked hard to represent the entire state of Florida. Running for governor is a no brainer for him. Because of his demeanor and the way he approaches the decisions he makes in politics, his opponents are going to have a hard time attacking him. This speaks highly of Ron. He’s taken some tough votes in Congress, votes that he promised to take on the campaign trail and I think that’s what people are looking for in elected officials today-people who say what they mean and then back it up. ”“ Former Congressman Jim Ryun, Madison Project
THE FLORIDA GUBERNATORIAL RACE IS WIDE OPEN FOR DESANTIS TO RUN AND WIN
WPA Intelligence statewide polling shows no clear favorite in the Governors race, evidence that establishment favorites have failed to position a blocking candidate in this race. More than 2000 Republican Primary voters were surveyed to gauge the favorability of the most likely candidates and the results are very encouraging for DeSantis.
Rep. Ron DeSantis and Ag. Commissioner Adam Putnam both have strong early support and great name ID. DeSantis has 49% name ID with a 14% favorable to 10% unfavorable opinion split. Putnam’s statewide office had benefited him somewhat in terms of favorability (23% favorable and 7% unfavorable) but has done nothing for him in terms of increasing name ID.
When asked who they would support, if the election were held today, Putnam took 17% and 9% went to DeSantis, while 3% were carried by each Corcoran and Latvala. While DeSantis may trail Putnam at this early date, with 52% of voters undecided and 51% not knowing who he is, this race is wide open.
DESANTIS IS STRONG STATEWIDE, NOT JUST REGIONALLY
The greatest question raised about Rep. DeSantis’ ability to run for Governor is about his viability statewide. As a Congressman, high name ID and favorability in ones home district is assumed but turning that local fan club into a statewide election machine is another matter.
Ron’s renown for standing up for conservative causes and putting principle before personal aggrandizement have catapulted him to a significantly broader reputation than one might expect from a House member. In 2016, Ron started out to run for open U.S. Senate seat, but when Marco reentered the Senate race following his Presidential campaign exit, DeSantis deferred to Rubio and endorsed him in the race.
Doing the right thing has a knack for making people like you and DeSantis’ selfless actions, as well as his strong conservative policy positions, have built a statewide base of support. Should he enter the Gubernatorial challenge, this foundation will grow quickly.
RON IS THE CLEAR CHOICE FOR CONSERVATIVES
As Former Representative Ryun said at the beginning of this article, Rep. DeSantis has been a common sense conservative through the entirety of his term. His high marks on conservative score cards exhibit consistent conservatism and he never shrinks from a fight when principle is threatened.
Floridians need a Governor who can articulate the arguments for conservative policies and whom they can trust to fight for their best interests. That’s Ron DeSantis’ record in Congress and that’s exactly the kind of public servant he’ll be in the Governor’s Office.