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FL-Gov: New poll shows Adam Putnam with a strong lead in GOP primary

Florida Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam (center) speaks at a news conference with Sen. Roy Blunt (who was a member of Congress at the time) and former Speaker John Boehner (then House Minority Leader) in October 2008. A recent poll shows Putnam with a solid lead over his opponent, Rep. Ron DeSantis, in the GOP primary for Florida governor. (2008 file photo/Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images)

A new NBC News/Marist poll shows Florida Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam with a 17-point lead over his opponent, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis. This is the second major poll to show Putnam with a large lead over DeSantis.

What did the poll say?

The poll showed Putnam with 38 percent of the vote, while DeSantis had only 21 percent. However, 39 percent of respondents said that they were undecided — more than Putnam's total — heading into the Aug. 28 primary.

The NBC News/Marist poll surveyed 1,083 adults, 947 of whom were registered voters and 326 of whom were registered Republicans. The poll, taken June 17-21, had a margin of error of +/- 6.7 percent for registered Republicans, who were the only ones asked about Putnam and DeSantis.

An earlier poll conducted June 7-9 by the Florida Chamber of Commerce (which supports Putnam) showed Putnam leading DeSantis 32 percent to 15 percent. That poll interviewed 501 likely Republican voters by phone, and had a margin of error of +/- 5.3 percent.

Who are the candidates?

Putnam and DeSantis are hoping to replace Florida's current term-limited Gov. Rick Scott, who is currently running for a U.S. Senate seat.

In order to run for governor, DeSantis announced that he would not be seeking re-election for his seat in Congress. Five Republican candidates are competing for the GOP nomination to replace DeSantis in the House of Representatives.

Putnam is also a former Republican member of Congress. He was elected to five terms in Congress, before leaving to run for Florida Agricultural Commissioner in 2010. In addition to the Chamber of Commerce, Putnam has been endorsed by Florida Family Action.

DeSantis has been endorsed by President Donald Trump. Trump tweeted on Dec. 22, two weeks before DeSantis announced his run on Jan. 5, that DeSantis was a "brilliant young leader" and would make a "GREAT governor of Florida." He tweeted on June 22 that DeSantis had his "full endorsement."

Trump had also praised DeSantis in 2012, during his congressional run that year. DeSantis has returned the favor by criticizing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump.

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