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Republican Adam Putnam and Democrat Gwen Graham continue to be their parties’ frontrunners in the race for governor. That’s according to the latest poll conducted by the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

In the Chamber’s first poll of the new year, Putnam leads the newcomer on the Republican side, Ron DeSantis, by a 23 to 18 percent advantage. About 50 percent of the GOP voters remain undecided.

DeSantis’ support in the poll doubled from September when he garnered 9 percent. DeSantis has only been a candidate since last Friday.

On the Democratic side of the race, Graham received 14 percent of the support of voters, with Philip Levine getting seven percent and Andrew Gillum with six percent. Chris King is in fourth place with one percent. Sixty-four percent of Democrats say they have yet to make up their mind.

“Voters will elect a new Governor, all new members of the Florida Cabinet and 140 members to the Florida House and Senate. It’s still very early in what will be a busy 2018 election cycle. In the coming months, voters will begin to take a much closer look at the candidates for office,” said Marian Johnson, Senior Vice President of the Chamber.

As for the job performance of Gov. Rick Scott, 57 percent approve of the job he’s doing as he heads into his final year as governor. As expected, 82 percent of Republicans give him high marks, 30 percent of Democrats approve as do 56 of those who list themselves as NPA.

What do voters have on their minds as they head into the election year? The Chamber’s poll shows education leading the list among 17 percent of those surveyed. That’s followed by the economy at 13  percent and healthcare at 12 percent. Immigration and global warming tied for fourth with five percent each.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce political poll was conducted on January 2-5 by Voter Opinions and has a margin of error of +/-4 percent. The poll uses live telephone interviews of likely voters. The sample size included 235 Democrats, 259 Republicans and 106 Others for a total of 600 respondents statewide. The samples for the polls conducted by the Florida Chamber are consistently drawn from likely voters and newly registered voters.

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