Surprising, but totally explainable outcomes
I will skip any flowery intro and get to the results because that is all that matters, right? Inside the results are some lessons, at least I think there are some to be learned.
In the Florida Governor's race, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis rode the endorsement of President Donald Trump to an easy win in the GOP primary. Did he win? Or did Adam Putnam lose? I would submit, both.
DeSantis received millions and millions of dollars of free advertising from FOX News over the last year, becoming a surrogate for the President while subtly laying the foundation for his push to become Governor. Putnam, the current Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and a former Congressman, who embraced President Trump's agenda, but strongly denounced the man when Trump was a candidate, never saw it coming.
When DeSantis began building momentum the Putnam campaign made one of the single biggest blunders in modern electoral history - it reacted. Remember, never react (unless you are saving a life); always respond. There's a difference. Putnam went negative.
The nail in Putnam's campaign was his attack ad against Congressman DeSantis' support of the Fair Tax. It was wrong, misleading, unfair, and it backfired. I confronted the candidate on the show and Putnam doubled down. The race ended right then.
But, the DeSantis win was dampened by the reality he has not been polling well against leading Democrat gubernatorial candidates. Then, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum won his party's nomination, unbelievably, beating Gwen Graham.
High ranking Democrats are changing their underwear today. They now have a clear picture of what many of us have been saying for years...the party has moved too far left. So, how did that happen?
I'll offer my perspective.
Florida voter registration numbers since 2016 indicate a lot of Democrats left the party and went NPA (No Party Affiliation), while Republican registration climbed modestly. This left the party, well, left...waaaay left.
Here's a basic rule of life, which includes terrorism and politics - In any vacuum, the extreme will fill it. Look at what happened when U.S. troops were pulled out of Iraq by former President Barack Obama. It left a void and ISIS filled it.
The Democrat party has swung so far left (evidenced by the#WalkAway movement) and many have just left the party. The vaccum has been filled by the militant extremists and, hence, Andrew Gillum.
The good news is that Andrew Gillum is the weakest candidate the Democrats could run to beat DeSantis. He is funded by socialists, endorsed by socialists, and is the most extreme candidate the Dems could roll out. But, he only got 34% of the Democrat votes. I do not think he will win many NPA votes because his platform is full of socialist agenda items and highers taxes. Keep in mind, Florida is full of people who fled high tax states and they like lower taxes. Plus, the state is doing well and the economy is something Ron DeSantis needs to be laser focused on in the coming two months.
But, the man who best courts the NPA voters (many who left the Democrat party and moved to the right) will win.