Florida Insider Poll: Richard Corcoran is toast against Adam Putnam in gov primary
Republican Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran has been on a roll lately, generating headlines about his standing up for taxpayers and transparency against the lobbying corps and even Gov. Rick Scott on "picking winners and losers" through economic incentive programs. One can imagine a compelling message along those lines in a 2018 gubernatorial campaign.
But a new Florida Insider Poll finds Florida's political elites highly skeptical about Corcoran's ability to win the GOP nomination against likely candidate Adam Putnam, the state agriculture commissioner. Among 180 political professionals, lobbyists, fundraisers, activists, and academics participating in our latest unscientific Florida Insider Poll, only 10 percent predicted Corcoran would win the nomination, while 70 percent said Putnam, and 20 percent selected the "Someone else" option.
"This is Adam Putnam's nomination to lose," said one Republican. "Corcoran is known only in Tallahassee and it won't matter how many state reps endorse him (see Jeb's candidacy as an example). BUT there's still a chance some multi millionaire comes out of nowhere to go for the Republican nomination."
Rick Scott was the self funding outsider who came out of nowhere in 2010, and some politicos see Scott recruiting a wealthy businessman to succeed him. He is tight with neither Corcoran nor Putnam.
Eighty-four percent said Putnam would be the strongest nominee for Republicans and 16 percent said Corcoran.
"Adam Putnam is running the 'Jeb Bush for President' in his quest to fulfill a lifetime dream to be governor," a Republican said. "He's earnest and means well, but it's hard to imagine his establishment campaign resonating with the restless GOP electorate that propelled Rick Scott and Donald J. Trump to victory."
On Rick Scott's next step, the conventional wisdom among Florida's most savvy politicos is nearly unanimous: A whopping 95 percent expect him to run against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in 2018.
We surveyed the esteemed Florida Insiders about the Democratic field for governor but due to early onset senility neglected to include Orlando area trial lawyer and medical marijuana crusader John Morgan among the choices. We still don't know how seriously Morgan is looking at it, but we know he is serious about convincing people he is serious about it.
"John Morgan will beat any Democrat in a primary and Republicans take him lightly at their own peril," a Republican said. "John Morgan is the Democrat version of Trump; well-known, out-spoken, provocative, Twitter crazy - only difference is he is a heavy drinker so Twitter should be even better."
Asked whom they expected to be the Democratic nominee for governor in 2018, an overwhelming 58 percent said former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, 23 percent selected the "Someone else" option, 10 percent said Tampa Mayor Bob Miami Buckhorn, 7 percent said Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, and 2 percent said Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.
Asked who would be the strongest Democratic nominee, 58 percent said Graham, 28 percent Buckhorn, 9 percent Levine, and 5 percent said Gillum.
"Gwen Graham is a perfect mix of left-leaning centrism and the personal charm that made her father a legend in the state," one Democrat said. " Her biggest obstacle in the primary is the left flank due to her moderate voting record. She will need a well known leftist for the LG slot once if gets through the primary."
From a Republican: "Dem field is weak. Buckhorn has a better base. Graham is counting on her Dad who is not known by majority of people. Gillum is a weak mayor in a small media market."
This week's Florida Insiders included:
Javier Manjarres, Susie Wiles, JC Planas, John Konkus, Screven Watson, Fred Piccolo, Scott Barnhart, Nick Hansen, Bill Lee, Rockie Pennington, John Wehrung, Pat Neal, Matthew Corrigan, Jason Altmire, Bob Poe, Stafford Jones, Mac Stipanovich, Joshua Karp, Travis Blanton, John Morgan, Ana Navarro, Joy-Ann Reid, Travis Blanton, Bernie Campbell, Rich Heffley, Mark Ferrulo, Kevin Cate, Fernand Amandi, Ashley Walker, Mike Fasano, Aubrey Jewett, Bud Shorstein, Robin Rorapaugh, Henry Kelley, Ryan Banfill, Christian Ulvert, Meredith O'Rourke, Eric Zichella, David Beattie, Andy Ford, Brian May, Karen Unger, Jeff Johnson, Paul Mitchell, Jason Rosenberg, Jason Roth, Brian Goff, Ron Pierce, Darryl Paulson, Brian Franklin, Nancy Texeira, Brad Coker, Patrick Manteiga, Eric Eikenberg, Doug Kaplan, Dan Gelber, Richard DeNapoli, Dan McLaughlin, Ryan Duffy, Pete Mitchell, Roly Marante, Tony DiMatteo, Jim Rimes, Chip Case, Alex Patton, Geoffrey Becker, Jim Davis, Frank Tsamatoules, Brian Hughes, Erin VanSickle, Abel Harding, John French, Ellen Freidin, Mike Hightower, Hayden Dempsey, Scott Peelen, Peter Feaman, Jon Mills, Bridget Nocco, Paula Dockery, Doc Dockery, Marion Hammer, Frank Torres, Jeff Kottkamp, Jim Holton, Ron Gunzburger, Fred Cunningham, Gretchen Picotte, David Rancourt, Tre Evers, Mary ann Carter, Nikki Lowrey, Arlene DiBenigno, Jason Unger, Nancy McGowan, Mark Foley, Greg C. Truax, Pablo Diaz, Betty Castor, Nan Rich, Jill Chamberlin, Chip LaMarca, Jamie Wilson, Sarah Rumpf, Kathy Mears, Darrick D, McGhee, Patrick Slevin, Ralph Arza, Mike Hanna, Kartik Krishnaiyer, Mark Zubaly, Karen Giorno, Robert Wexler, Peter Wallace, Stephanie Kunkel, Evelyn Perez-Verdia, Towson Fraser, Tom Lewis, Bill Bunkley, Chris Hand, Gus Corbella, George Riley, Steve Schale, Richard Gentry, Monica Russo, Justin Day, Jon Ausman, Eric Jotkoff, Alan Clendenin, Matthew Isbell, Susan Smith, John Dowless, Dan Smith, Frank Tsamaoutles, Jeff Hartley, Cynthia Henderson, Peter Antonacci, Alan Stonecipher, Tom Scarritt, Seth McKee, Andrew Weinstein, Kristy Campbell, Barry Edwards, Stephen Shiver, Don Hinkle, Rodney Barreto, David Mica, David Johnson, Andrea Reilly, Matt Bryan, Zachariah Zachariah, Dean Cannon, Cory Tilley, Julia Woodward, Nels Kingston, Marion Hammer, Marty Fiorentino, Richard Swann, Jack Furnari, Jorge L. Arrizurieta, Christina Johnson, Alex Sink, Ashley Bauman, Jackie Lee, Brandon Patty, Van Poole, Slater Bayliss, Marian Johnson, Cindy Graves, Jim Cherry, April Schiff, Karl Koch, Jose Gonzalez, Clarence McKee, Ann Herberger, Damien Filer.