Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam is hoping to use his folksy personality to connect with everyday Floridians during a nine-day Florida First Bus Tour. The tour kicked off Friday morning with a stop in Winter Park for an “Up & Adam” Grassroots Breakfast.
Putnam is looking to connect with voters in an effort to wipeout the lead his opponent, Ron DeSantis, holds in the polls and turn the momentum that DeSantis has held in the race since receiving the endorsement of President Donald Trump in June.
“Florida is pro-business, Florida is conservative, Florida is pro-family, and Florida needs a Governor who knows this state and how to build on our values,” Putnam said. “This election is so important for our kids, our grandkids and the future of Florida.”
“This grassroots energy is more powerful than any television commercial. It’s going to be a fight for the future of Florida, but the future of Florida is worth fighting for,” Putnam added.
The breakfast meeting with locals is typical of how Putnam has conducted his campaign since entering the race last year. He has held dozens of “Up and Adam” events at small town restaurants across Florida, and has attended just as many barbecue lunches and dinners.
It’s all part of a strategy designed to show Putnam as being a fifth-generation Floridian who is knowledgeable of Florida’s small towns and large cities and the issues they face. Putnam has tried to paint DeSantis as a Washington, D.C., insider who has conducted much of his time campaigning by doing interviews out of a studio with Fox News.
Recent polls have shown DeSantis in the lead and Real Clear Politics which averages poll results shows DeSantis holding an 11-point lead.
A poll conducted for a local news media outlet in Central Florida shows the race tightening with DeSantis up by 2-percentage points. That poll, however, ;carried lose parameters, including surveying some Floridians who weren’t even registered voters.
For Putnam, the bus tour is a return to his strength and allows him to connect with voters. But with 11 days remaining until the primary election, is there enough time for him to connect with all the voters he needs in order to overcome his opponent’s lead.