Adam Putnam Archives - Page 6 of 91 - Florida Politics

Gubernatorial candidates making final primary vote push this weekend

With one last weekend to rally votes before the primary election on Tuesday, candidates for governor for both parties can be found in all corners of the state energizing their own coalition of supporters. Who’s campaigning near you?

Democratic candidate Gwen Graham will be at the Orange County Supervisor of Elections office with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, who plans to formally endorse her at a rally with other local officials already on the Graham train before casting his early voting ballot. The event starts at 11 a.m. at the Kaley Street office. Then Graham heads to Se7en Bites Bake Shop for one of her signature workdays, spending a shift serving donuts and buttering up voters.

Republican candidate Adam Putnam will bring his bus tour to The Villages today at 9 a.m. at Brownwood Paddock Square, where he campaigns with Marion Sheriff Billy Woods, state Sen. Dennis Baxley and former state Rep. Marlene O’Toole. Then he rolls on to Sanford for a candidate meet-and-greet. The Seminole for Putnam event’s list of major guests includes former Senate President Mike Haridopolos, former Speaker Steve Crisafulli, Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma, Brevard Sheriff Wayne Ivey, state Sen. David Simmons and state Reps. Colleen Burton and Scott Plakon. The event starts at 1 p.m. at Venue 1902 at Preservation Hall. Putnam will conclude his nine-day bus tour this evening at the Hillsborough for Putnam Grassroots BBQ, which kicks off at 6 p.m. at M&B Products in Temple Terrace.

Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum will take his “Bring It Home” bus tour all over South Florida today, starting with an early voting event in Riviera Beach at 9 a.m., a West Palm Beach Century Village Meet & Greet at 2:30 p.m., Pompano Beach early voting at 4 p.m. and Lauderhill early voting at 5:15. The day reaches its climax when Gillum campaigns alongside Julian Castro, former HUD secretary under President Barack Obama, at a Miami Unidos por Gillum event kicking off at Cubaocho at 6:30 p.m. Gillum’s campaign also welcomes surrogate Angela Rye to the state. She headlines the “Be The Vote” forum at Edward Waters College, an event that kicks off at noon at Milne Auditorium.

Democratic candidate Philip Levine will also work South Florida early voting locations today, and will take time to meet with the South Florida AFL-CIO. He starts the day campaigning at the North Shore Branch Library early voting spot in Miami Beach at 8:45 a.m., meets with the union in Miami Springs at 9:30 a.m., stops by early voting locations in Coral Springs at 11 a.m. and Plantation at noon, launches a canvassing at the Sistrunk Office in Fort Lauderdale at 1 p.m., then hits early voting in West Palm Beach at 2 p.m.

Democratic candidate Chris King will be in Orlando conducting a “Get Out the Vote Day of Action.” The event runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Republican candidate Ron DeSantis has announced that on Monday, he will traverse the state with a “Turnout Tour,” launching in Jacksonville at 9a.m. at The Local, then heading to Tiffany’s Restaurant in Palm Harbor at 11 a.m., Three Fisherman Seafood Restaurant at 2 p.m. in North Fort Myers, Versailles Restaurant in Miami at 4 p.m., E.R. Bradley’s Saloon in West Palm Beach at 6 p.m. and finally the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in Daytona Beach at 8:30 p.m.

This story will be updated as candidates announce more public events.

Voters to decide contentious primary races

By late Tuesday night, it will be better known how much sway President Donald Trump holds among Republican voters.

Meanwhile, Democrats will decide if they are marching for governor in the year of the woman, or if they want to elect the state’s first African-American governor or a wealthy, progressive businessman.

In the top-of-the-ticket governor’s race, Democrats will pick from among former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former Miami Beach Mayor and businessman Philip Levine, Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene and Winter Park entrepreneur Chris King.

Republican voters will settle months of fighting between Congressman Ron DeSantis, Trump’s endorsed candidate for governor, and Adam Putnam, the state’s two-term Agriculture Commissioner.

Voters in both parties also will choose nominees to replace term-limited Attorney General Pam Bondi and to succeed Putnam as Agriculture Commissioner.

The Republican contest for attorney general has emerged as the most divisive of the Cabinet contests. State Rep. Frank White, a Pensacola Republican, continues to hammer his primary opponent, former Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Ashley Moody, over her family’s part in a condominium-development lawsuit against Trump nearly a decade ago and for having once been a registered Democrat.

In a new 30-second ad by White, an announcer proclaims, “Ashley Moody was a lifelong Democrat.” The ad includes an edited part of an audio clip from a TV reporter who said, “It’s true Ashley Moody was first a registered Democrat, but it’s false she has been her whole life. She entered college as a Democrat and in her 20s became a Republican.”

However, in the ad, the audio says: “It’s true Ashley Moody was registered Democrat,” with “first a” edited out. The ad also does not include the explanation about Moody becoming a Republican.

Moody’s campaign, which has the backing of Bondi, has labeled White a “car salesman turned politician” with no prosecutorial experience. White is a freshman legislator who is an executive of a chain of family-owned auto dealerships.

The Democratic primary for attorney general also has included animosity, with Rep. Sean Shaw of Tampa filing a lawsuit arguing that his opponent, Hillsborough County lawyer Ryan Torrens, should be decertified as a candidate. Shaw has alleged Torrens improperly used a check written in his wife’s name to help cover the qualifying fee for the Cabinet race. Torrens has countersued for libel.

The tone has a been a little more tempered in the races for agriculture commissioner.

In the Republican contest, Rep. Matt Caldwell of North Fort Myers has lately campaigned in South Florida with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. State Sen. Denise Grimsley of Sebring has rolled out her own big-name endorsements, while former state Rep. Baxter Troutman of Winter Haven has used his personal wealth to fund ads.

A fourth Republican candidate, Plant City palm-tree farmer and retired Army Col. Mike McCalister, is running his third statewide campaign and has had little money to get his message out.

On the Democratic side of the race for agriculture commissioner, Fort Lauderdale lawyer and medical-marijuana advocate Nikki Fried has been scoring free media. Fried went public this week with a dispute about Wells Fargo dropping her campaign account because of her links to the medical-marijuana industry.

Otherwise, Fried and her primary opponents, Homestead Mayor Jeff Porter and environmental scientist Roy David Walker of Fort Lauderdale, have struggled for funding and attention compared to the other Cabinet contests.

A number of Congressional primaries are also drawing heavy attention heading into Tuesday.

The retirement of longtime Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has attracted nine Republicans and five Democrats for the Congressional District 27 seat in Miami-Dade County.

The Democratic contenders include former University of Miami President Donna Shalala and state Rep. David Richardson of Miami Beach. Among the Republicans are former state Rep. Bruno Barreiro, Cuban-American broadcast journalist Maria Elvira Salazar and former Doral Vice Mayor Bettina RodriguezAguilera.

Democrats, meanwhile, are watching a primary in North Florida’s Congressional District 5, where former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown is trying to oust U.S. Rep. Al Lawson. Also, they are watching the primary in Central Florida’s Congressional District 9, where former Congressman Alan Grayson is trying to wrest the Democratic nomination away from U.S. Rep. Darren Soto.

Additional Republican retirements have created competitive primaries in other parts of the state.

Republicans are looking to replace retiring Congressman Dennis Ross in Congressional District 15 with a GOP field of five candidates who include former state Rep. Neil Combee of Auburndale and state Rep. Ross Spano of Dover.

To replace U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney in Congressional District 17, a contentious primary fight has emerged among state Sen. Greg Steube, a Sarasota Republican, state Rep. Julio Gonzalez of Venice, and Bill Akins of Port Charlotte.

Another race that, at least officially, must be watched Tuesday is the Republican U.S. Senate primary.

Gov. Rick Scott has the low hurdle of defeating San Diego businessman Rocky De La Fuente — who has already lost races for the U.S. Senate this year in California, Minnesota, Washington and Wyoming — before facing U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in November.

Legislatively, the biggest fights will occur in the November general election.

Going into Tuesday’s primaries, Democrats are assured of holding 27 state House seats heading in the 2019 legislative session and 15 seats in the Senate. They will also hold five seats in Congress.

Meanwhile, Republicans are assured of occupying 12 state House seats, eight seats in the Senate and none in Congress.

The numbers are based on a lack of primary opposition, candidates who will face only write-in opposition in November and members of the Senate who are not up for election this year.

Counted among the Republican gains is House District 56 in DeSoto, Hardee and part of Polk counties. The race, featuring a pair of Republican candidates, was moved to the November ballot after a write-in candidate who had closed the primary withdrew from the contest.

The remaining 81 House races, 17 Senate contests and 22 congressional races are being contested, mostly between Republicans and Democrats. In some cases, independents or third-party candidates are also on the slate.

Pam Bondi atop list of LG possibilities for Adam Putnam, say sources familiar

Though Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam faces a sizable deficit in our latest poll of the GOP Governor’s race against U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, sources familiar with the campaign’s thinking relate that Putnam has a short list of five potential Lt. Gov. picks, all of whom are Republican women.

Topping the list: Attorney General Pam Bondi, one of Putnam’s highest-profile endorsers.

The two Cabinet members are natural allies, demographically, politically and temperamentally aligned, with long records of service that Florida Republicans admire.

Bondi endorsed her “dear friend” Putnam, then cut an ad for him, and will be in the Jacksonville market with Putnam, looking very much like a running mate at a Monday rally at the local Fraternal Order of Police.

Both Bondi and Putnam are very much aligned with the law enforcement community.

Bondi offers another unique value add: the unequivocal approval of Pres. Donald Trump, offering a bridge if Putnam should beat the President’s endorsed candidate.

Kendall Republican Jeanette Núñez is also under consideration. The 46-year-old Kendall Republican is termed out of the House and has already launched a 2020 state Senate campaign.

Núñez would help shore up Putnam’s support in the Miami area, where per our polling, DeSantis is up over 70 percent with primary voters.

Sen. Dana Young of Hillsborough County is also under consideration, per our information.

Young lauded Putnam after the first of two debates between the GOP gubernatorial hopefuls.

“Adam certainly thrives on state issues and that’s what this election is about,” said state Sen. Dana Young of Tampa. “I really enjoyed when Adam welcomed the moderators to Florida and welcomed his opponent to Florida.”

Also under consideration: Education Commissioner Pam Stewart.

Putnam has campaigned heavily on the need for more workforce education, arguing that vocational training would fill skills gaps and fill needs throughout the state that aren’t necessarily fulfilled by liberal arts degrees.

Erika Donalds, a Collier School Board member and the wife of state Rep. Byron Donalds, is a school choice advocate.

As a member of the Constitutional Revision Commission, Donalds pushed to get Amendment 8 on the ballot, which would impose statewide school board term limits. That Amendment is currently being challenged in court.

Here’s Florida Politics’ final poll of GOP primary for Florida governor

Five days out from the Republican gubernatorial primary, Ron DeSantis has a commanding lead over Adam Putnam, 56 percent to 33 percent according to a fresh survey by St. Pete Polls.

Among those Republicans who already voted, DeSantis leads by 27 points. And 38 percent of those surveyed said they already have voted, meaning the cement is beginning to set.

The poll, conducted with automated phone surveys of 2,141 registered Republican voters on Wednesday and Thursday, has a margin of error of 2.1 percent. Those who said they did not intend to vote in next Tuesday’s Republican primary were dropped from the results.

The survey found DeSantis winning across the board in demographic breakdowns by age, gender, race and media market, with Putnam leading in only one area: the Tallahassee market where his position as Florida Agriculture Commission gets the most attention and has the most sway. Otherwise, Putnam is not within 10 points of DeSantis in any demographic or geographic breakout, except the Tampa market, where DeSantis leads by just four percentage points.

DeSantis, the three-term congressman from Ponte Vedra Beach who is running with President Donald Trump‘s endorsement, also has nearly a 20-point lead among those Republicans who said they have not yet voted but intend to vote in the primary.

Bob White drew about 3 percent in each group.

DeSantis has the strongest appeal among black and Hispanic Republicans, who are showing little interest in Putnam, though the samples of those groups were pretty small. DeSantis also is drawing powerful support among Republicans in South Florida, topping 60 percent in the Fort Myers and West Palm Beach markets and more than 70 percent in the Miami market.

Blue wave? Red tide? Election answers could be in numbers

After months of envisioning a “blue wave” because of voters tired of President Donald Trump, Florida Democrats say they still see a swell coming amid an increase in mail-in ballots compared to the 2014 midterm elections.

But Republicans point to a GOP lead in votes already cast for Tuesday’s primaries as a sign that Democratic voters have a “lack of enthusiasm” for candidates at the top of the ticket and that the lack of enthusiasm will translate down the ballot.

More than 1.38 million votes had been cast as of Thursday morning through mail-in ballots or early voting for the primaries. But political experts were cautious about drawing conclusions from the numbers, as both parties gear up for the November general election, which will include choosing a governor and a U.S. senator.

“Should be interesting to see if there is energy on either side that is not typical for a midterm election,” said Florida Atlantic University political-science professor Kevin Wagner.

Wagner said people trying to decipher the primary results to find trends for the general election need to look at party turnout and then mine the demographics of voters.

“Are younger voters participating at higher rates?” he said. “This might give us some clues about the November electorate.”

Susan MacManus, a distinguished professor of government and international affairs at the University of South Florida, said an indication of enthusiasm will initially be based on the turnout percentages of the parties. However, a deeper dive will occur after the primary, as more demographic data is released about turnout rates among Democrats by gender, age, race and media-market location.

“Democrats are banking on higher-than-usual turnout among female, minority and younger registrants,” MacManus said. “Democrats will also be carefully analyzing turnout rates in Southeast Florida counties, especially Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach. Over the last couple of election cycles, Democrats have lost statewide races because of lagging turnout in these counties.”

Further analyses will then go into evaluating open congressional and legislative seats, she said.

“Who wins here? Among Democrats, who wins these seats?” MacManus said in an email. “Any pattern by ideology (progressives), gender (females), younger first-time candidates or established candidates? Among Republicans, level of support for Trump, region of the state and type of location (rural, suburban, urban)?”

The parties are already watching voters who have been to the polls and who will cast ballots over the next few days, but they’re not waiting for the final numbers to project general-election trends.

Florida Democratic Party spokeswoman Caroline Rowland compared the votes already cast this year to the same point in 2014 as she expressed optimism about the fall races.

Rowland said that with special-election victories, “growing voter turnout and a record number of Democratic candidates helping to turn out Democratic voters in every corner of the state, Florida Democrats feel good about our chances in November.”

As of Thursday morning, 646,706 Republicans and 579,672 Democrats had cast ballots. Republicans were up by more than 60,000 in vote-by-mail ballots — 481,149 to 419,480 — and by 5,000 in people who had gone to early-voting locations.

Four years ago, with about a week remaining before the 2014 midterm primaries, Republicans were ahead of Democrats in vote-by-mail ballots 438,893 to 360,387 and were edging Democrats 135,539 to 135,494 in early voting.

Marian Johnson, senior vice president of political strategy for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, is in the camp of people who say that based on the turnout so far, Democrats won’t see their envisioned midterm bump.

“No one knows exactly what the outcome of the primaries will be, so this could change, but right now, there is just not any massive blue wave coming in Florida,” Johnson said.

The Republican Party of Florida also points to the lack of a dominant candidate in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. A Florida Atlantic University poll this week, for example, had former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee atop the Democratic field with 29 percent of the vote. Former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine had 17 percent, followed by Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Palm Beach investor Jeff Greene, who both had 11 percent. Chris King, a Winter Park businessman, had 10 percent.

“If the (gubernatorial) nominee gets approximately 30 to 33-percent, that means that Florida Dems will have a much harder time unifying for the general election because nearly two-thirds of their most loyal voters do not have their first choice,” state Republican Chairman Blaise Ingoglia said.

The same poll, however, showed Congressman Ron DeSantis up 32 percent to 31-percent over Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in the Republican gubernatorial primary. The poll indicated 22 percent of GOP voters were undecided.

Ingoglia also indicated that the early Republican lead in primary voting is a sign that a blue wave isn’t in Florida’s near future.

“From what we are seeing right now, the Florida Dems turnout is low, which points to lack of enthusiasm about their candidates,” Ingoglia said. “This will surely bleed over into the general election.”

Florida fire crews heading into Oregon

With large parts of the western United States continuing to grapple with damaging wildfires, Florida is sending more help.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said Thursday that 20 of the state’s firefighters are going to help battle fires in Oregon.

The Friday morning deployment will bring to 132 the total number of Florida Forest Service personnel helping fight fires across the country.

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which includes the forest service, did not provide details in a news release about where the Florida firefighters will work in Oregon.

“We are committed to protecting lives, homes and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire both at home and across the country,” state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said in a prepared statement.

On the road again: Six stop ‘turnout tour’ Monday for Ron DeSantis

As the GOP primary contest in the Governor’s race comes to an end, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis plans a “turnout tour” of the state, with an eye toward hitting six markets Monday.

Events kick off Monday in Jacksonville, with a 9:00 a.m. stop at “The Local” on the Southside.

From there, an 11:00 visit to “Tiffany’s Restaurant” in Palm Harbor, followed by a 2 p.m. in Fort Myers (Three Fishermen Seafood Restaurant.”

The road show moves on to Miami (4 p.m. at “Cafe Versailles”), then a 6 p.m. stop in West Palm Beach at “E.R. Bradley’s Saloon.”

The final stop of the day finds DeSantis in his home district: an 8 p.m. engagement at Daytona Beach’s Motorsports Hall of Fame.

DeSantis, when compared to primary opponent Adam Putnam, has not exactly been a road warrior (even as DeSantis’ camp contends they too have had a robust travel itinerary).

Putnam makes multiple stops a day, hammering his “Florida First” message home to crowds across the state.

“President Trump ran on a plan and he’s working on implementing that plan. No surprises. My opponent’s not running on a plan, he’s running on an endorsement. And Florida deserves better than that,” Putnam said in West Palm Beach — and in many other markets around the state.

The Putnam campaign has emphasized grassroots, with 400,000 doors knocked around Florida, and a lot of local endorsements piled up before Pres. Donald Trump “put his thumb on the scale” and endorsed DeSantis emphatically at a rally weeks back.

Trump described that endorsement colorfully this week in a rally in West Virginia.

“I don’t want to brag about it, but man do I have a good record of endorsements,” Trump told attendees. “In Florida, we have a great candidate, his name is Ron DeSantis, and he called me, and asked whether or not I could endorse him.”

“I said ‘let me check it out,’” Trump said he told DeSantis. “ … This was a few months ago. He was at three, and I gave him a nice shot, and a nice little tweet — bing bing — and he went from three to like twenty something.”

Shortly after the tweet, some polls showed DeSantis skyrocketing in favorability. A St. Pete Polls survey in July gave DeSantis a 20 point edge, a Mason-Dixon survey later that month gave DeSantis a 12 point lead.

Some new polling, however, suggests a bit of that lead has declined. A survey from Florida Atlantic University released on Tuesday gave DeSantis a single point lead, meaning the primary race is in a dead heat.

Material from Danny McAuliffe and A.G. Gancarski was used in this post. 

CD 15 Democratic primary split could mean general election defeat

The campaign of Kristen Carlson, a Lakeland Democrat running for Florida’s 15th Congressional District, is accusing primary opponent Andrew Learned of Valrico of negative campaigning.

Learned’s campaign claims Carlson‘s money is coming from outside the district, making her beholden to corporate campaign contributors.

A political scientist from Florida Southern College in Lakeland said the damage of a primary fight may very well end Democrat’s hope of flipping decades-long Republican control of the district.

A third Democrat, Raymond Pena of Lakeland, is also seeking his party’s nomination for the CD 15 seat and has largely been out of the fray between the two candidates.

“The whole race looks like the Democrats are in a primary fight that could mean trouble in November,” said Florida Southern professor Bruce Anderson.

The last highly competitive Democratic Primary in the region, now known as CD 15, was 1976 when Winter Haven banker Andy Ireland won the primary and general election. In 1984, Ireland switched to the Republican Party.

Republicans have represented CD 15 ever since.

The fact that two Democrats are “slugging it out” is an indication that Democrats believe that after more than 30 years of GOP control of the seat they have a chance to win it back.

Both campaigns appear to have left the issues and are nitpicking at each other.

Learned has criticized Carlson for accepting large corporate donations. Her campaign reached back and found a donation made to Learned from the Steel Manufacturers Association.

It was one contribution made before Learned said he would not accept corporate donations.

“Andrew Learned is running a negative, dishonest campaign,” said Conor Hurley, Carlson’s campaign manager, who does most of the talking for the Carlson campaign.

Learned disagreed. “That’s not personal,” he said. “That’s her on the record.”

Anderson said he believes such decisions should be left to campaign managers.

“Running your own campaign is the worst thing in the world,” Anderson said seeming to agree with the Carlson campaign’s relationship of letting its manager manage.

It might be true considering one ad takes on longtime Polk County families. The mailer states: “Carlson Gave to Extremist Republicans.”

The “extremists” she gave to, according to the mailer, were Adam Putnam and Jennifer Spath, both Polk County residents. Probably not a good idea to call Polk County’s “hometown boy” an extremist in mailers to Polk voters (regardless of party) or Spath who ran unsuccessfully as a mainstream Republican in a special primary election for the Florida House in January.

It is clearly a rookie mistake, and not a wise one. But perhaps neither is the Carlson campaign manager hammering at the opponent as well.

“Either could have a chance to win (over a Republican) but only with a united campaign in the general election,” Anderson said.

He added that Carlson and Learned appear to be at a point where they cannot work together after the primary and there will not be a united front against the Republican nominee in a traditionally Republican congressional district.

“I was at the 1984 Democratic Convention in San Francisco,” Anderson said. “When Walter Mondale won the presidential nomination the Gary Hart supporters and workers were ignored and practically thrown out. Everyone realized that Mondale then basically lost half the party.”

He had to run against Ronald Reagan, popular and running for his second term, with only half the Democratic Party,” Anderson said.

A guide to whether a poll of the Fla. Governor’s race should be taken with a grain of salt

Andrew Gillum may indeed be in the lead.

And so may Adam Putnam.

Is it possible that after Donald Trump’s endorsement and the dramatic rise in Ron DeSantis’ numbers, GOP voters are having buyer’s remorse and are reverting back to the more familiar comfort of Putnam?

Maybe. And if so, good for both of them.

But for readers of this website — political junkies, all of you! — please try to ignore many of the recent clickbait polls. Why? Because when you get past the headlines, even those readers without advanced degrees in statistics or polling methodology can and should quickly see that many of these polls are really not worth their (ahem) salt.

To help each of you get through the next few days, use the following guidelines to help you apply your own saltshaker test and decide if a poll is worthy of sharing on social media.

These are a few items that should make you question the validity of a poll:

— Small sample sizes: If you see a statewide poll of fewer than 500 respondents be wary. If it is less than 300, take out your Men In Black neuralizer and block it from your mind.

— Polls of “adults”: Several recent polls actually surveyed “adults.” As if they matter. Well yes, they matter in the grand scheme of things, but not in elections, as only 75 percent of them are even registered to vote, and only about half of those who are registered will cast a ballot in the general election. Of course, for primaries, surveying “adults” is even more of an absurdity.  

— Polls of “registered voters”: Better, but still a problem. Polls — especially primary polls — should be taken only of likely voters as determined by the readily available voting history. Past is prologue, and a good pollster will ensure that a large percentage of the survey sample will contain those who have a proven track record of actually voting. And while it is true that about a third of the electorate will be infrequent and newer voters, having a sample of “registered voters” is not a good sign.  

— Self-described “likely voters”: Everyone who reads Florida Politics flosses every day, balances their checkbooks every month, calls home to mom at least once a week and never – ever – misses an election. Of course, we know that only about half of registered voters will vote in the upcoming general election — and far less will vote in the primaries. Yet in poll after poll that we have taken, about 80 percent of respondents claim they vote in every election. (Sure you do.) There is a voter history and every pollster should always use it! If a pollster is relying on letting the respondent tell their voting history, this is a clue that the poll also has other problems.  

— Online polls: These can be excellent if done right. But in this growing field, getting a valid and reliable online poll (especially of primary voters) is tough. But here’s a clue. If it’s an online poll and has one of the common problems listed above, it probably was not done well.

— IVR or robopolls: Also, potentially good and frankly they are proving to be reasonably reliable if the vendor knows how to manage the voter files (and we do them all the time.) But, as with online polls, they can be tricky, and they have their limitations. Also, consider this; many cannot be taken on cellphones. Do you trust a poll that does not include at least 30 percent of calls taken on cellphones? As a rule of thumb, if a robopoll also has one of the above problems, it likely is not valid.

— Is it an outlier?: Without some dramatic event (A POTUS endorsement, a criminal conviction, etc.) voters’ minds don’t change that quickly. In fact, voters are a stubborn lot, and it takes a lot to change their minds — especially this late in an election. If a poll is very different from the others and defies trends by a large margin, it is probably flawed. (Sorry to use this example because he seems like such a decent guy, but if one showed Chris King surging to the lead, we just have to assume something is wrong with how the poll was conducted.)

Over the past few weeks, we have been asked literally dozens of times to evaluate the validity and reliability of numerous published polls. Use these simple guidelines and decide for yourself.

We hope this helps.

Adam Putnam ad focuses on vets’ responses to ‘Operation Outdoor Freedom’

Republican gubernatorial candidate and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam‘s latest campaign commercial is less about any issues that have defined and divided the 2018 Governor’s race and instead focuses on wounded military veterans’ responses to a program he helped create.

“Grateful,” a 30-second spot launching statewide Tuesday, talks about vets who have participated in Florida Operation Outdoor Freedom, a program Putnam established in the Florida Division of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs to provide wounded vets with recreation and rehabilitation opportunities in state forests and other holdings at no charge.

The program has welcomed more than 3,600 participants, including retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Luke Murphy, who stars in the new commercial.

“I was on the initial assault into Baghdad, the vehicle I was riding on was hit with an explosive device and it blew my right leg off instantly. When I finally got home to Florida, for the first time in my life I felt alone,” Murphy begins.

Then he adds, “Operation Outdoor Freedom, that’s where the healing started. There’s a lot of wounded veterans like myself that might not be here today if it wasn’t for this organization and for Adam Putnam’s leadership.”

Putnam’s in an apparently tightening race with frontrunner U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis for the Aug. 28 Republican gubernatorial primary.

The new commercial also features video of Putnam joining Murphy and someone else in fatigues on a walk, hunting, and joining a number of veterans for an evening around a campfire.

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