Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam may be winning the fundraising battle in the Republican primary for Florida governor. But liberal activist group American Bridge thinks that U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, the endorsed candidate of President Donald Trump, is the “frontrunner.”
The message of the campaign: DeSantis is Trump’s “#1 fan.”
The spot strings together one statement after another in which DeSantis offers uncritical endorsements of Trump, saying “he’s the best we’ve had as President for a long time, maybe ever” and the like.
Per an internal strategy memo, American Bridge laid out its thinking: “Putnam, long believed to be the front-runner, has turned in a remarkably weak performance, and Congressman Ron DeSantis increasingly looks like the new front-runner in the Republican primary.”
“As a permanent fixture on FOX News, an entrenched member of the Tea Party, and Trump’s personally endorsed nominee, on paper, he looks like a GOP primary voter’s dream. The same profile that makes DeSantis a strong primary candidate, however, will be toxic in the general election, as demonstrated by historical trends, current polling, recent Democratic gains in the state, and the swing nature of Florida’s electorate.”
The memo asserts that “Republicans’ structural weaknesses will be compounded when voters begin to hear more about the disastrous DeSantis-Trump agenda and its consequences for Florida. In Washington, DeSantis has voted with Trump more than 94% of the time.”