tbo: Tampa Bay Online.
Sunday, Jun 24, 2018
  • Home
The Buzz
  • The Buzz
  • From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Someone must make the case for Adam Putnam as governor other than 'Adam Putnam was always going to be governor'

This month's Florida Insider Poll poll asked about the prospects of Marco Rubio and Donald Trump running for president again in 2020. And we asked about the evolving races for governor, including the possibility of Jack Latvala and/or John Morgan jumping in. 

The comments are always worth reading:

Democrat:  Two weeks ago, I wouldn't have said Rubio would run in 2020, but two weeks ago, I thought Trump would serve four years as President.  I don't believe that anymore.

Republican: The one quality that sets the Republican candidates apart is only one is a businessman and the other two are career politicos.  Look at the past top of ticket races and the success that businessman have had and you can see why the I think the trend will continue with Scott, Trump and now Latvala being the victor on election day. 

NPA/Other: Pray for the Republic 

R: Putnam seems to be strongest gubernatorial candidate right now, and he will benefit in the general from the smaller non-Presidential  year turn-out.

D: Despite Gwen Graham's recent official entrance into the race, she has been basically campaigning since last year. Her failure to clear the field is perhaps the biggest story on the Democratic side. Andrew Gillum's strong campaign thus far poses a Rubik's Cube of challenges for Gwen. She enters as the most conservative candidate at a time when the Democratic base wants to oppose Trump, not hug him.

R: Looking way too far down the road theory: Vocal anti-Trump Richard Corcoran becomes Governor of Florida and then uses that position to endorse his former boss, Marco Rubio, in the Presidential primary against Donald Trump in 2020. 

R: Yes/No option not easy on some of these.   Trump will face primary opposition in 2020 I would guess -- how serious is the question.  But at his current meteoric pace of daily self-inflicted wounds -- he may not make it to 2020.   Most surely expect him to dig in and fight to the bitter 2020 end  --  or another scenario is his head may implode from watching too much CNN and he may just walk out one day and hand the keys to Pence.   Trump has been an epic disaster so far - but didn't we all know it was coming?  #sad 

R: The recent legislative session was a joke. With leadership acting as though it was a chess board and everybody is too stupid to understand.

D: Trump won't run but sitting President Pence will

D: If he isn't impeached by that point, Donald Trump will certainly run for reelection. 

D: Donald Trump on the ballot in 2020 would be a gift to Democrats, though us Dems never seem to fail to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.  That being said, 2020 would be different from 2016 because Trump now has a record that can be used against him instead competing narratives on what he might do as President.

R: Donald Trump will run for president in 2020...if his presidency makes it that far....As much as I like Putnam, I have a nagging feeling that the whole Rick Scott/Donald Trump outsider candidate phenomenon still holds strong appeal in Florida.  He needs to run a radically different campaign than the one he seems to be running so far.  If I were the Putnam campaign, that would be my number one driving fear/force in the coming months.

D: Adam Putnam remains the favorite. The Democrats need John Morgan to run in the worst way to give an authentic voice who can connect on economic issues. If he doesn't Gwen Graham is the favorite for the nomination though she's limited in how she can distinguish herself from Putnam in the eyes of the voters that abandoned Hillary Clinton for Donald Trump this past year. Corcoran remains a wild card. I expect him to lose the GOP Primary but if he wins it, he will be very strong in the general. Latvala a likely non-starter. A politician political insiders love but voters outside Pinellas County may not care for. He's made his career in politics and has been less consistent in his views than Putnam. He'll have a hard time. 

R: The real question now is whether Adam Putnam is a rockstar, or just Ginger McCollum.

R: The Donald Trump Presidency is a ticking time bomb. Russia doesn't pass the smell test and President Trump keeps acting like someone who has something to hide. I'm not saying I think the President has done anything criminal, that the press, the left, and some Republicans aren't out to destroy him, or that I disagree with many of his policies - but perception is reality and it's going to be difficult for the administration to survive this perfect storm of opposition. Fortunately, there's Mike Pence at the end of the tunnel, but that needs to happen sooner rather than later. Another blessing is that the Senate map is so difficult for Democrats in 2018, the GOP actually has a prayer of holding on to the Majority.

Richard Corcoran's path to victory is to challenge Adam Putnam from the right and drive home the "career politician" narrative. If Jack Latvala were to run for Governor, he would be wasting his time; it would only be worthwhile if his goal were to showcase his key issues and bring the discussion in the Republican Party closer to the center....There is no reason Marco Rubio shouldn't run for President in 2020. His tough stance on Russia will likely be a strong asset depending on what happens with Trump. Marco Rubio is the future of the Republican Party; Donald Trump represents the anger and frustration of the party's past. 

R: Wow. You covered a lot of ground on this one, so I'll just stick to my area of expertise: As a former Member of Congress, Adam Putnam's voting record makes him vulnerable to a primary challenge, but not from any of the usual suspects, because none of them have enough money to define themselves before Putnam's allies weigh in on the topic....The key difference between 2010 and 2018 is that Rick Scott had the cash to get in the race late and still define himself, with almost no input from Bill McCollum for nearly a month. McCollum just didn't have enough money to match Scott on TV in those critical opening weeks....Short of another self-funder with at least $30 million dedicated to establishing him or herself as the true conservative, Adam Putnam will cruise to the nomination. 

R: Not really sure how to answer the Presidential stuff.  Trump is his own worst enemy, and I'm betting that he claims his work is done and bails rather than lose reelection, in which case I do expect Marco Rubio to run....As for Governor, I just don't think Morgan will run.  The populist middle would go for him, but the progressive crowd won't give him a lot of support.

R: There will be more than two Republican candidates in the open seat for governor. Putnam is boring and based on his campaign kick-off believes Florida is Mayberry. His out of touch with reality campaign will encourage more Republicans to run. Latvala will be among them. With a number of candidates in the field and no runoff, anything can happen.

D: I expect Donald Trump will either quit, be impeached or imprisoned by 2020. Dear God please let it come much sooner than that!

D: Putnam is well known and very likable. He is experienced and relatively moderate, which could have killed him in 2016.  I think that post-Trump, in 2018 the Republicans may vote for Moderate experience....Never count out Jack Latvala, a knife fighter and really smart tactician....Morgan has positives and negatives. Will his well known drinking habits help or hurt him?  I think he could win, but he'd have to put in $40 million of his own. 

R: With Corcoran and DeSantis in fighting over who is more conservative and national outside groups that support Richard and Ron all attacking McPutnam, there is a path for Jack Latvala, though dependent on the Rotary Republican primary turnout.

R: I believe Trump is finding the role of President to be bigly unfun.  He will return to the private sector because after all he's achieved his goal - President of the United States.  His goal appears never to be to govern or build a party.      On the Florida scene, still too early to be confident in any prediction. 

NPA/Other: I think Trump has discovered the being president is not a fun job in terms of his personality, day to day activities, and in how he would like to spend his seventies. Thus, assuming he is not impeached or has not died of a heart attack on the golf course, I think he will say that he has done all he is set out to do, declare himself the most successful president in history, and decline to run again (but tell everyone that if he did run his 2nd term victory would be huge).

R: Latvala will be a stronger competitor to Putnam than may meet the eye.  His outspoken style may resonate with voters in this climate, but in a 3 man race, money typically picks the winner and Putnam has a head start. ... One of the overlooked issues that won Rick Scott, and Trump, their elections is their work ethic on the campaign trail.  There is a perception that money won, but Scott worked the campaign trail hard in 2010, an oft forgotten data point. Will John Morgan kiss babies and shake hands on blistering hot summer days when the crowds number less than 100?  I'm not sure if he wants to do what has to be actually done to win.  Name recognition favors Graham in a crowded field. ... There may be a Trump slump at the moment, but he will recover from all these missteps and run a second time just to prove everyone wrong.  Again.  And there is no serious, rallying Democratic candidate on the horizon. 

D: Morgan is the wild card and would be the favorite in a primary. He is the democrat's antidote to Trump and would not need as much money as the other candidates to build name recognition. If morgan doesn't run, I think a fresh face like Chris King could gain traction in a primary. His Achilles heel will be fundraising but if he keeps up his pace, his momentum will carry him through. 

D: Without John Morgan hypothetically in the Democratic primary, I originally picked Graham, but after more thought I picked Gillum. I think that he solidifies the progressives enough in a crowded primary (sans-Morgan) to squeak by.

D: Why is Chris King in the race again? Why is Philip Levine a part of the conversation? Oh, they have money. Other than that, they really aren't on anyone's radar.

D: 2018 will not be a good year for Republicans thus thinning the field of Republicans running for Governor.  

D: My gut says Jack Latvala will run for CFO and is floating the idea of a gubernatorial run in order to bargain for support in a CFO race. 

D: The Democratic field needs to start to play up accomplishments immediately and how they will fight for Florida's future and help bolster the lower and middle class. Too many Floridians are working minimum wage jobs and scraping to get by. The next Governor needs to not just tout jobs but recruit jobs that will pay a livable wage. Opening another McDonald's and counting it as "job creation" is no longer sustainable. 

D: Nobody on the D side will out work, or out raise Graham.  She's proven she knows how to work a campaign.  Ultimately I think Morgan will decide his highest and best use is not jeopardizing the brand he's spent a lifetime developing, but working to force the legislature to enact the medical marijuana amendment and (hopefully) to mount another statewide campaign to raise the minimum wage.  Latvala will have a hard time finding the financial support for a run for Governor, but I think a cabinet run should very much be a part of his consideration.  Rubio continues to ignore the state of Florida and continues to show his inability to make strong or forceful decisions and continues to cower in the face of Trump, no way he musters the resolve needed to run against Trump.  

R: I think the advantage in both party's race for Governor will go to the candidate who is the least involved in party politics and/or the candidate who creates the image as being the one most likely to shake up the system.  That's why the advantage goes to Morgan, who has never run for office, and to Corcoran who wants to blow up the system.

D: Trump is done. It just depends on whether he leaves on his terms or whether the Unholy Trinity (Pence, McConnell, and Ryan) bring out the chloroform.  #CYABye

R: We can kiss goodbye the notion of a balanced US budget.  

D: DeSantis is a problem 

D: Popular right after Trumps victory, will enthusiasm for the idea of a John Morgan candidacy wane as folks see how Trump preforms as President?

R: Graham the front runner, but out of state interests are doing a good job of prompting up Gillum as the rising Obama 2.0. 

R: Expect Rubio to run for Fl Governor if he believes the US Senate will go DEM in 2018. His word to the voters of Florida means nothing. 

D: As a Democrat "in the woods" decades now, I'm really looking forward to the opportunity that John Morgan gives us as the "800 pound gorilla" that can give the Republicans a real run for their money!...Jack Latvala, at this point in his life, really has nothing to loose by running for Governor...and Richard Corcoran is in the same boat...reaching the pinnacle of their careers to this point. Adam Putnam is not perfect and no one should assume that his nomination is "in the bag"! ....If The Donald keeps spiraling out of control you will see the sharks like "Little Marco" dive in for a kill...and opportunity!

D: Latvala strategy of being the guy to the middle left will be more formidable than many think. Still I think Putnam edges him and the speaker with wider resources. The bashing of the front runner Putnam will be strong and he needs to follow his instincts rather than his leadership team in dealing with it. 

D: Richard Corcoran is doing everything he can to lay the groundwork for a statewide run. But ultimately, his strength as a master political strategist will fail him when he steps out of his confines of Tallahassee and attempts to connect with Donald Trump's Florida. 

R: The stars are aligning as the field for Statewide offices gets a little more concrete.  On the Democrat side, it's Graham's to lose ... unless John Morgan gets in and sucks all the air out of the room.  On the Republican side, it's Putnam ... even if Corcoran gets in ... unless some millionaire comes out of nowhere.  Corcoran will probably move to the AG's race as a fallback if things don't go his way.  DeSantis would probably make a good AG candidate rather than Gubernatorial candidate.  I don't see Papa Bear Latvala making the run for Governor....if he does he won't get much traction.  All that said, we are still a long way off....As far as Trump goes, I still don't believe the normal rules apply.  Impeachment talk is nonsense with Republicans controlling the house right now, and the media's fascination with his every move means they will get distracted from all this Russia stuff soon enough.  As to whether Trump has done a good job?  If one is being honest, they would be thinking that he hasn't accomplished much.  Let's hope this turns around soon.

D: With the crowded primaries, donors should keep their support and wallets close to their chest until the general. 

R: Putnam needs to block, tackle and let the field sort itself out. Latvala is smart enough to run the numbers and see it's a long shot at best, and Corcoran will run, sputter and quit. Morgan will just bankroll whomever pulls ahead (D or R) and rent the office instead of trying to own it himself.

D: So far, FL Democrats have learned nothing from 2016. They are running FL versions of Hillary, Bernie, and O'Malley. #BowWowChallenge 

NPA/Other: Donald Trump most likely won't be able to run for president in 2020

R: Latvala for Governor - I imagine that Latvala will most likely run for Governor.  I don't believe that Latvala is done with Florida just yet, and I don't think that Latvala would be happy in any other seat in Florida's Cabinet. To top it off I can't imagine him wanting to go to DC, so the Governors Desk will be what he sets his sites on.
Morgan for Governor - I don't see what Morgan has to gain.  He doesn't have a fire for public service, his true passion lies in boosting his ego.  Morgan should also be weary of the liability that a public campaign will bring to his law firm.  I don't believe that his opponents would hold back on airing every bit of dirty laundry, which could be detrimental to his business.  That being said, Morgan has a monumental amount of name ID in the state and it's already branded "for the people".  I just don't see him overcoming the amount of negative press attention combined with his ego and hot temper.  Morgans mountain of dirt makes Rick Scott's look like an ant hill.
Corcoran for Governor - I think that the only way Corcoran enters the Republican Primary for Governor is if he sees an opening and a clear path to victory.   Corcoran, if he intends on holding to his statement of waiting until after the close of the 2018 Legislative Session to make his announcement, would only have a few months to run a campaign that others had developed for over a year.  I only see him throwing his hat in the ring if all other candidates are floundering.
Democrat Primary - The Primary is Gwen Grahams to lose.  Levine could make an honest run at it, but he would have to raise and invest a mountain of cash to build up his name ID to combat Graham.  John Morgan would burned at the stake.  And then there's Andrew Gillum, the only thing that Gillum has going for him is that he's young and black.  He appeals to a cross section of democrat voters, but his corruption and failures as Mayor of the city of Tallahassee would be on full display.  He's even being attacked by members of his own party inside of Tallahassee due to the scandals that his office has created.  Who is Chris King again?  He has a lot of work to do to build up his name ID just to be relevant.  Is he really willing to invest that kind of personal wealth?
Republican Primary - Putnam will face strong opposition.  While Putnam has an early, and sizable lead in the money race, it's still very early.  IF Desantis decides to enter the race he could capture a large share of the hard right.  IF Latvala enters the race he could gather up a large share of the moderate vote.  Desantis would resonate with hard conservatives, which by the way are the ones that vote in Primaries, while Latvala takes chunks out of the soft R's, effectively destroying Putnams chance at the Governors Office.  If you add Corcoran in to the mix I think it actually increases Latvalas chances of pulling off a Primary victory.  That would put three folks diving "to the right" while Latvala sits on an island of "good public policy".
Rubio/Trump 2020 - I would say that this would be conditional upon Trump not running for reelection.  Trump, IF HE'S STILL IN OFFICE, will run again in 2020.  I don't see how his ego could ever let him walk away from that position.  If Trump has either been removed, or completely disavowed by Republicans, I think that Rubio would field a campaign and perform very well.

D: I don't think Donald Trump is mentally or physically capable of getting through his first term, let alone another campaign.

R: Someone needs to make the case for Adam Putnam as governor other than 'Adam Putnam was always going to be governor.'

D: I should qualify my last answer: Trump will run for reelection as President if he is till in office in 2020. For the sake of the nation (and I was an unapologetic Kasich, then McMullin supporter), let's hope he is already impeached or resigned by then.

D: If Jack Latvala runs for Governor he will be defeated and out of Florida politics.  Run, Jack, Run!

R: Gwen's "North Florida values" would come second to the smash mouth politics Morgan would/will play. Without Morgan, she can pound Gillum on emails indefinitely. How many Democrats want a nominee with another email scandal hanging over  them? The last one didn't work out so well.

r: Several strong candidates potentially for the Republican Party gubernatorial primary. ... 
Though Democrats will take a shot at the EOG, I believe a Republican will be the next FL governor....While Pragmatic political prognosticism currently favors Adam Putnam, the platform and knowledge presented in public policy which affects all Floridians could be the game changer.  (see Donald Trump)

D: Elections are structural, the turnout will be 4 percent more republican then democrat and republicans voter for republicans and democrats vote for democrats so Putnam will win.

D: Morgan - the consummate outsider -  trumps Putnam - the ultimate insider. Putnam will be haunted by his ties to big moneyed interests like sugar, utilities etc. Morgan does to Putnam what Trump did to Jeb and Marco.

D: Chris King has an interesting background- seems incredibly bright and solid. Would like to see more of him in Tampa. 

R: It is hard to ever count out Jack Latvala for two reasons - 1. He is one of the best politicians in the state, and 2. the GOP, in recent memory, hasn't nominated the presumed primary front-runner. Trump's ego requires him to run for reelection. If people didn't remember Jeb Bush, no one will remember Gwen Graham's father and she doesn't come from an area of the state that nominates democrats. If she is nominated, she will be formidable, because she comes from the part of the state that will vote for a "local" democrat in statewide races and those are votes the GOP nominee will need to win.

D: Not sure who will primary Putnam but given the lack of name ID in the recent polls will be surprised if someone does not get in the race. Possibly a political unknown that can self-fund. But the big $ # early and early organization is very smart to scare folks from getting in. 

D: I know conventional wisdom is Putnam is the front runner but that hasn't ended well in the past in Republican primaries.  I expect a strong challenge from Corcoran from his right.  Putnam was in DC a long time, something I'm sure Corcoran will only be too happy to point out.

R: The Republican Primary may have a late self funder get in. The problem is self funders, at $100 million, usually have some scars. Ugly. Putnam has never had a job. Plus to be the #3 guy when he was in Congress means he voted for things that are unpleasant....If Morgan does not run, Gwen Graham will win the primary. Very good demeanor.

D: Under Trump there may not be a 2920 Presidential election.  He may designate a family member or in-law as president.

NPA/Other: Very little of Fl big races has jelled yet. 

D: Trump will be gone by 2020. Too arrogant to resign. Mike Pence plays Brutus. He will praise Trump, then bury him. John Morgan is the new Governor. 

R: Trump will seek re-election if he is not impeached first...which is looking more and more likely by the hour...

R: I believe that President Trump will resign and that VP Pence will run in 2020.

D: I think Andrew has problems at home/tallahassee, Gwen has a difficult time coming out a primary, and if King can raise money he can sneak away with the dem nomination (if he can raise $). I really do think he has put together the better team that can develop and execute a winning strategy. That said: Morgan runs = Morgan wins (primary and general).
I think Putnam will be tough to beat in the end, there will be chatter about Corcoran and others but it dies down and republicans fall in line like the always do (which contributes to their success of last 20 years). I can see Putnam being very smart and strategic with his LT Gov pick......
I am VERY scared that the Trump shit is happening way TOO soon. I think Pence is worse and would like for him to unravel closer to election day on 2020. Bad thing for republicans is that the stench of Trump will be tied to them by good candidates and operatives in specials and 2018 cycles. 

This month's Florida Insiders included:

Jason Rosenberg, Christian Camara, Zachariah Zachariah, Eric Zichella, Gerald Wester, Peter Wallace, JC Planas, Joe Gruters, Julia Gill Woodward, Chris Hartline, Susie Wiles, Steve Schale, Rodney Barreto, Brett Doster, Sam Rashid, Roly Marante, Christian Ulvert, Oscar Anderson, Mathew Corrigan, Ken Jones, Screven Watson, Marc Reichelderfer, Ben Pollara, Jim Cherry, Charles Dudley,  Brad Coker, Stephanie McClung, Kathy Mears, Ashley Walker, Meredith O'Rourke, Dan McLaughlin, Jim Horne, Phillip Thompson, Christian Ziegler, Tre Evers, Jim Davis, Scott Arceneaux, Doug Kaplan, George Riley, Stephanie Grutman, Cory Tilley, Eric Jotkoff, John Dowless, Mac Stipanovich, Rich Ramos, Bernie Campbell, Hayden Dempsey, Ron Pierce, Peter Antonacci, Beth Leytham, Steve Vancore, Justin Day, Jill Chamberlin, John Wehrung, John French, Rich Heffley,Pete Dunbar, Bill Lee, Ann Herberger, Brian Franklin, Sean Phillippi, Gus Corbella, Ryan Duffy, Kartik Krishnaiyer, Mel Sembler, Rick Wilson, Dave Aronberg, Anthony Bonna, Chip Case, Brian Burgess, Jon Costello, Stafford Jones, Erin VanSickle, Brian Crowley, Chris Cate, David Bishop, Jason Altmire, Stephanie Kunkel, Kirk Pepper, Alan Stonecipher, Van Poole, Chris Korge, Christina Johnson, Clarence McKee, Frank Tsamoutales, Steve Geller, David Johnson, Alex Patton, Kevin King, Aubrey Jewett, Chris Hand, Franco Ripple, Henry Kelley, Nancy Texeira, Pablo Diaz, Katie Bohnett, Bud Shorstein, Leslie Wimes, Lucy Morgan, Travis Blanton, Ron Bilbao, Robin Rorapaugh, Kevin Cate, Alan Clendenin, Christina Baker, Pat Neal, Ashley Bauman, Karl Koch, Jack Furnari, Eric Eikenberg, Doc Dockery, Darryl Paulson, Jon Mills, Susannah Randolph, David Beattie, Brian Goff, Mark Ferrulo, Jason Unger, John Morgan, Ryan Tyson, Cesar Fernandez, Zach Learner, Erik Kirk, Tom Alte, Jeff Kottkamp, Patrick Slevin, Mike Fasano, Pete Mitchell, Jack Seiler, Paula Dockery, Victor DiMaio, David Mica, Jason Roth, Betty Castor, Ron Greenstein, Kathleen Shanahan, Richard DeNapoli, Evelyn Perez-Verdia, Darrick D. McGhee, Mike Williams, Greg Goddard, Mike Hamby, Dominic Calabro, Greg Turbeville, Jim Rimes, Tom Lewis, Patrick Manteiga, Matthew Isbell, Towson Fraser, April Schiff, Matthew Van Name, Stephen Shiver, Don Hinkle, Seth McKee, Joshua Karp, David Rancourt, Thomas Grigsby, Husein Cumber, Mark Zubaly, Susan Smith, Greg Blair, Amber Stoner, Paul Mitchell, Ron Gunzburger, Marion Hammer, Damien Filer, Tom Scarritt, Bob Sparks, Nancy McGowan, Ellen Freidin, Barry Edwards, Jose Mallea, Susan Glickman, Ana Cruz, Peter Feaman, Jack Hebert, Fred Karlinsky, Andrew Weinstein, Jamie Miller, Ryan Banfill, Omar Khan, Gretchen Picotte, Josh Geise, Matt Bryan, Allan Bense, Jon Ausman, Jeff Johnson, Susan MacManus, Jamie Wilson, Fred Cunningham, Mitch Ceasar, Karen Unger, Wayne Bertsch, Jackie Lee, Jon Woodard, Nan Rich, Robert Wexler, Chip LaMarca,Reggie Cardozo, Greg C. Truax, Marty Fiorentino, Gregory Wilson, Abel Harding, Bob Graham



Weather Center