With just one tweet, President Trump turned the Republican nomination for governor on its ear Friday morning.
Trump gave his full support to Congressman Ron DeSantis saying “He will be a Great Governor and has my full Endorsement!”
Congressman Ron DeSantis, a top student at Yale and Harvard Law School, is running for Governor of the Great State of Florida. Ron is strong on Borders, tough on Crime & big on Cutting Taxes – Loves our Military & our Vets. He will be a Great Governor & has my full Endorsement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
This endorsement comes on the heels of a new Fox News poll released late Thursday showing Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam with a double-digit (32-17) lead over DeSantis. Trump’s endorsement will match his popularity among Florida Republicans, 86% according to the same Fox News poll, against Putnam’s well-organized and better-financed campaign. Putnam has raised 10 times the amount of money DeSantis has raised. Putnam also has the backing of the establishment base of the Republican Party.
President Trump has a mixed record on endorsements. In Alabama, he backed Senator Luther Strange over Roy Moore in the U.S. Senate Republican Primary and lost. He then backed Moore in the general election, and the Democrat won. In South Carolina, his last minute tweet opposing Congressman Mark Sanford likely led to the loss in that recent primary.
What remains to be unseen is if President Trump plans to campaign for DeSantis before the Republican primary in nearly 9 weeks. His tweets carry weight, but a presidential visit could be a game changer in this race.