Poll: Adam Putnam is front-runner in governor’s race

In the race to be Florida’s next GOP gubernatorial nominee and governor in a head to head matchup with Democratic rivals, Adam Putnam looks like the early favorite one year out.

A.G. Gancarski, Florida Politics

It’s clear that Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has been running a careful race for Florida governor.

And Republican voters like what they are seeing, according to a new poll from the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

Putnam is obliterating the GOP primary field, says the live-dial poll of 256 Republican likely voters conducted Sept. 14 through Sept. 21. The Bartow Republican enjoys the support of 26 percent of respondents, well ahead of U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, coming in second at 9 percent.

Clearwater Republican Sen. Jack Latvala (2 percent) and House Speaker Richard Corcoran (1 percent) both trail an enigmatic “someone else” (3 percent).

If there is any silver lining for the single-digit candidates, it’s that more than half of respondents (59 percent)are undecided.

Putnam offers voters the best combination of name identification and favorability of the field, the Chamber poll says.

Though his favorable rating is a relatively modest 24 percent, that is still more than twice his unfavorables (at 11 percent).

Putnam’s aggregate +13 favorable rating (and the fact that 54 percent had heard of him) bodes well, as no other candidate has a similar level of favorability or visibility.hen polled in many head-to-head contests against potential Democratic adversaries, Putnam also prevails.

When polled in many theoretical head-to-head matchups with potential Democratic adversaries, Putnam also prevails.

In a hypothetical head-to-head contest, 615 respondents (263 Democrats, 256 Republicans and 96 others), put Putnam over Gwen Graham (39 to 37 percent), John Morgan (40 to 37 percent), Andrew Gillum (40 to 33 percent), Philip Levine (40 to 32 percent), and Chris King (40 to 31 percent).

Expect Putnam to continue what he is doing, given that no Republicans are even close to him right now and his support in a general election is consistent, no matter which opponent he faces.

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