Is Florida governor’s race a witness protection program option?

Florida candidates for governor and the percentage of voters who have heard of them, from left: Republican Adam Putnam, Democrat Philip Levine, Republican Ron DeSantis, Democrat Gwen Graham, Republican Richard Corcoran, Democrats Andrew Gillum and Chris King.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has won two statewide elections and has spent $3.7 million on his 2018 campaign for governor — but 75 percent of voters in a new Quinnipiac University poll say they haven’t heard enough about him to form an opinion.

And Putnam is the best-known candidate in the race.

Click here to read about the rest of the Quinnipiac poll — including the Bill Nelson-Rick Scott Senate race and President Donald Trump’s approval rating in Florida.

Other candidates for governor are unknown to between 81 percent and 93 percent of the state’s voters, according to the poll.

The poll gives Democrats some optimism about regaining the governor’s mansion that the GOP has held since 1999. By a 45-to-37 percent margin, voters say they favor a Democrat for governor over a Republican. And  only 22 percent of voters say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports Trump, compared to 42 percent who say they are less likely to vote for a pro-Trump candidate.

“In the governor’s race, none of the candidates is well-known. Florida voters can expect massive – and probably nasty – TV advertising as the candidates for governor try to introduce themselves, and their opponents, to the electorate,” said Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

The new poll doesn’t appear to be an outlier on gubernatorial anonymity. A University of North Florida poll this month also found most voters not knowing about the candidates for governor. And a recent Mason-Dixon poll found a plurality of voters undecided in the Republican and Democratic primaries for governor.

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