Last September five of the six major party candidates running for the U.S. Senate held by retiring Frank Lautenberg were virtually unknown. Former Gov. Jim Florio, the only widely known candidate but a contentious figure, ran just slightly ahead ofthe Republicans he was matched up against. Florio’s opponent Jon Corzine was a blip on the radar screen—known to only about 1 in 7 Democrats. And just one-quarter of the Republicans interviewed expressed an opinion about any of their candidates.