Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis at a campaign rally in Pensacola.

The first public poll taken after President Donald Trump endorsed Ron DeSantis shows the Northeast Florida Congressman leading Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in the GOP nomination for governor. The survey conducted by Remington Research Group on behalf of the Tenth Amendment Project shows DeSantis leading 43-26 over Putnam, with 25 percent undecided. The polling company is owned by an organization running anti-Putnam commercials.

That’s a 17 point lead for DeSantis, which if accurate, would be an amazing turnaround from the last three public polls showing Putnam with a nearly identical lead. The Florida Chamber, Fox News and NBC News/Marist poll showed Putnam with a 15-17 point lead over DeSantis.  Each poll was taken before DeSantis was publicly endorsed by President Trump and before last week’s Republican Party of Florida/Fox News debate. The same polling company had DeSantis leading Putnam in a December 2017 survey, before DeSantis had officially entered the race.

UPDATE: The DeSantis campaign also released an internal poll to supporters Friday evening show DeSantis leading Putnam 47-28 – a 19 point lead.

The Trump endorsement, matched with a $12 million TV ad buy has signaled the full-throttle start of DeSantis’ campaign. DeSantis received another boost this week when he campaigned with Fox News personality Sean Hannity and Northwest Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz in Fort Myers, Tampa and Pensacola.

DeSantis has stepped-up his attacks on Putnam, calling him a career politician who’s weak on immigration. Putnam hits back labeling DeSantis as a creature of Washington, DC who’s out-of-touch with Florida issues.

The new poll was conducted this week, July 2-5, surveyed 2,900 registered Republican voters and has a margin of error of 1.84%.

Remington Research Group receives a grade of “C” from FiveThirtyEight’s Pollster Ratings, which conducts a comprehensive review of every known political polling organization in the country.

If the new poll is accurate or even if – more likely – the race has tightened, it shows nearly seven weeks before the August 28 Republican Primary vote, this is finally a race.

David Bishop is a native Floridian, husband and father. During his 30 year career, David has been a journalist, political operative and communications consultant.