Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis is not yet running for governor of Florida — though that is not stopping his campaign team from promoting the idea that he would be a tough out.
The DeSantis team blasted out an email Tuesday highlighting a recent poll that showed the three-term congressman leading Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and House Speaker Richard Corcoran among likely GOP primary voters.
Mr. Putnam announced his candidacy for governor in May while Mr. Corcoran plans to make an announcement about his future following the 2018 legislative session.
The poll from Remington Research Group found Mr. DeSantis leading Mr. Putnam, 28 percent to 25 percent, followed by Mr. Corcoran at 3 percent. Meanwhile, 44 percent of respondents were undecided in the poll, which carried a 2.6 percent margin of error.
Mr. DeSantis represents the 6th Congressional District, which includes Daytona Beach and the suburbs south of Jacksonville, and is positioning himself as the conservative alternative to Mr. Putnam.
Mr. DeSantis got a boost last month when President Trump praised him on Twitter.
“Congressman Ron DeSantis is a brilliant young leader, Yale and then Harvard Law, who would make a GREAT Governor of Florida,” the president tweeted. “He loves our Country and is a true FIGHTER!”
The automated survey was conducted from Dec. 30-31 and included 1,423 likely Republican voters.
It found that 69 percent of the respondents were more likely to support Mr. DeSantis given Mr. Trump’s support, that 84 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Mr. Trump, that 36 percent considered themselves “Trump Republicans.”
Mr. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race in Florida by just over a percentage point.