December 20, 2006 - Little Support For State-Backed Property Insurance, Quinnipiac University Florida Poll Finds; Most Say Bush Was 'Great' or 'Good' Governor
Florida voters, by a 49 - 36 percent margin, do not want state government to get into the "reinsurance" business, and by a 53 - 39 percent margin don't like the system that taxes equally valued homes differently based on how long the owner has lived there, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

In an open-ended question, where respondents can give any answer, 22 percent of Florida voters list property insurance as the most important problem in the state today, followed by 15 percent who list education.

Voters have high expectations that Governor-elect Charlie Crist will be as good as or better than outgoing Gov. Jeb Bush, whom they rate highly, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

But by a 55 - 38 percent margin, Florida voters oppose Crist's proposal to automatically restore the civil rights, including the right to vote, of felons once they complete their sentence, agreeing with the position of Attorney General-elect Bill McCollum. Currently, felons must petition to have their civil rights restored.

"Even though property insurance ranks as the biggest problem facing Florida in the poll," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, "voters are wary of the state taking on potential risk by selling insurance companies low- cost reinsurance policies as a way of reducing the costs to consumers."

Voters strongly favor, by a 63 - 28 percent margin, changing the law to allow the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to sell less risky and more profitable forms of non-hurricane insurance in order to help it absorb storm losses.

"Floridians also balk at the system created by a constitutional amendment that limits property tax increases to homeowners as long as they remain in their homes," said Brown. "This has the effect of forcing two neighbors with similarly valued homes to pay widely different property taxes."

Under the "Save Our Homes" amendment passed in 1992, property tax increases are limited to 3 percent annually for a homeowner's primary residence. This limit does not apply to non-owner occupied, or business, property. It has the practical effect of raising taxes for property that is not occupied by a homeowner.

Yet, by a 55 - 39 percent margin, voters say different types of property should be taxed at different rates and favor making businesses pay the highest rates.

"This seeming contradiction in public opinion highlights the complexity of dealing with the public unhappiness with rising property taxes which is primarily being driven by the big jump in housing appreciation," said Brown.

The poll found that those who had lived in their homes the longest were the most favorable to the current system.

Asked how they would rate Bush as governor, 21 percent say "great" and 36 percent say "good."

While they give Bush high marks, 21 percent of Florida voters, including 28 percent of independent voters, say they expect Crist will be a better governor, while 53 percent expect Crist to be about the same as Bush.

From December 12 - 18, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,066 Florida voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data -- www.quinnipiac.edu and click on Institutes and Centers, or call (203) 582-5201.

1. How would you rate Jeb Bush as governor of Florida -- Has he been a great governor, a good governor, a so so governor or a bad governor?

                                                                      WtBrnAgn
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evngel


Great 21% 47% 3% 14% 26% 17% 38% Good 36 41 26 42 36 35 38 So so 31 10 49 33 26 34 17 Bad 10 1 19 8 11 9 6 DK/NA 2 1 2 3 - 4 1

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Great 17% 22% 24% 42% 15% Good 32 36 32 37 40 So so 33 29 31 17 34 Bad 13 9 10 2 11 DK/NA 5 3 2 1 -

TREND: How would you rate Jeb Bush as governor of Florida -- Has he been a great governor, a good governor, a so so governor or a bad governor?

                        Dec 20  Nov 23
                        2006    2005


Great 21 14 Good 36 40 So so 31 31 Bad 10 15 DK/NA 2 1



4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?

                                                                      WtBrnAgn
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evngel


Approve 38% 55% 27% 32% 41% 36% 47% Disapprove 43 26 54 48 44 42 34 DK/NA 19 19 19 20 16 22 19

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Approve 37% 34% 45% 49% 33% Disapprove 45 48 40 30 43 DK/NA 18 18 15 21 24

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Dec 20  Jul 26  Jun 29  May 24  Apr 19  Sep 23  Dec 20
                        2006    2006    2006    2006    2006    2004    2006  


Approve 38 43 44 40 43 51 38 Disapprove 43 41 40 44 40 34 43 DK/NA 19 17 16 16 17 15 19



6. Do you think Charlie Crist will be a better Governor than Jeb Bush, a worse Governor, or about the same?

                                                                      WtBrnAgn
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evngel


Better 21% 11% 25% 28% 20% 22% 11% Worse 9 17 6 7 9 9 12 The same 53 57 53 49 54 52 60 DK/NA 17 15 16 16 17 17 17

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Better 20% 28% 16% 6% 24% Worse 7 3 14 13 10 The same 58 51 48 63 53 DK/NA 15 18 23 19 13



7. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Florida today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

                                                                      WtBrnAgn
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evngel


Very satisfied 10% 20% 3% 5% 12% 7% 13% Smwht satisfied 41 54 30 41 45 37 51 Smwht dissatisfied 29 19 38 33 23 35 24 Very dissatisfied 19 7 28 20 18 20 11 DK/NA 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Very satisfied 10% 5% 11% 14% 9% Smwht satisfied 50 34 39 56 36 Smwht dissatisfied 29 28 30 26 31 Very dissatisfied 9 31 18 4 23 DK/NA 1 1 2 - -

TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Florida today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

                        Dec 20  Jun 29  May 24  Apr 19  Feb 22  Nov 15  Aug 31
                        2006    2006    2006    2006    2006    2005    2005


Very satisfied 10 13 15 14 15 15 15 Smwht satisfied 41 45 41 45 43 43 42 Smwht dissatisfied 29 26 25 24 26 20 25 Very dissatisfied 19 16 18 15 14 21 17 DK/NA 1 1 1 2 2 1 1



8. What do you think is the most important problem facing Florida today?

                      Tot 


Property Insurance 22%

Education Total 15% Education general 9 Teachers 1 Funding education 2 School choice/ Vouchers 1 Education other 2

Immigration 9%

Taxes Total 9% Taxes general 3 Property tax 6

Crime Total 4% Crime/Violence gen 3 Drugs 1

Economy Total 6% Economy general 2 Unemployment/Jobs 2 Minimum wage too low 1 Cost of living 1

Overcrowding/ Over population 4

Open space/Urban sprawl/Overdvlpmnt 3

Environment/Pollution 2

Healthcare/Costs/ Insurance/HMO's 2

Bush administration 1 Drought/Water probs 1 Energy costs general 1 Highway traffic/ congestion 1 Housing Costs/ Availability 1 Poor condition of roads/highways 1 Poverty/Homeless 1 Racism/Race relations 1 Senior issues 1 War (Iraq) 1

Other 7 DK/NA 4

TREND: What do you think is the most important problem facing Florida today?

                                        Dec 20  Jun 29  May 24  Apr 20  Feb 22
                                        2006    2006    2006    2006    2006  


Crime Total 4% 5% 2% 3% 6% Crime/Violence general 3 4 2 2 4 Gangs/Youth crime - - - - 1 Drugs 1 1 - 1 1

Economy Total 6% 6% 6% 10% 10% Economy general 2 1 1 3 2 Unemployment/jobs 2 2 2 3 4 Minimum wage too low 1 1 1 1 1 Cost of living 1 2 2 3 3

Education Total 15% 19% 19% 24% 21% Education general 9 14 14 18 15 Teachers 1 1 1 1 1 Funding education 2 3 3 3 4 School choice/Vouchers 1 - 1 1 1 Education other 2 1 - 1 -

Energy costs Total 1% 2% 3% 4% 2% Energy costs general 1 1 1 1 1 Gas prices - 1 2 3 1

Environment/Pollution 2 3 3 4 3

Healthcare Total 2% 2% 3% 6% 4% Healthcare/Costs/Insurance/HMO's 2 2 3 4 4 Medical malpractice - - - 1 - Medicare - - - 1 -

Home/Property Insurance 22 5 6 - -

Hurricanes/Weather Total - 5% 7% 5% 5% Hurricanes - 4 7 5 5 Prepared for weather - 1 - - -

Immigration 9 10 13 13 6

Open space/Urban sprawl/Overdev 3 5 4 2 3

Overcrowding/Over population 4 6 7 5 7

Politicians/Campaigns Total 1% 2% 3% 4% 2% Politicians/Campaigns general - - 1 1 1 Political corruption - 1 1 1 - Bush administration 1 - - 1 - Governor/State leadership - 1 1 1 1

Taxes Total 9% 3% 3% 3% 2% Taxes general 3 1 1 2 1 Property tax 6 2 2 1 1

Other 7 6 3 3 6 DK/NA 4 5 6 6 7



9. In Florida, the civil rights of convicted felons, including the ability to vote and hold certain jobs, are not automatically restored when they complete their sentence - Do you support or oppose automatic restoration of civil rights for convicted felons upon completion of their sentence?

                                                                      WtBrnAgn
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evngel


Support 38% 23% 50% 39% 40% 36% 30% Oppose 55 72 42 51 55 54 62 DK/NA 8 5 8 10 5 10 8

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Support 39% 37% 39% 27% 39% Oppose 55 57 51 63 53 DK/NA 6 5 9 10 8



10. Recently property insurance costs in Florida have risen dramatically due to hurricane damage. Some have suggested that the state help by selling insurance companies low cost reinsurance coverage. - Supporters say that insurance companies would pass their savings on to policy holders. - Critics say the state would be subsidizing insurance rates and in the case of a catastrophic hurricane, taxes would have to go up to cover the losses.

Do you support or oppose the state selling low cost reinsurance coverage to insurance companies?

                                                                      WtBrnAgn
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evngel


Support 36% 34% 41% 34% 37% 35% 32% Oppose 49 52 43 51 52 47 51 DK/NA 15 13 16 15 11 18 16

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Support 30% 32% 34% 43% 42% Oppose 59 52 51 44 41 DK/NA 10 16 16 13 17



11. Currently the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance can only sell hurricane policies which are high risk while private insurers can cover less risky and more profitable fire and general property damage policies. Do you think that the state backed Citizens Insurance should be able to sell other types of insurance or not?

                                                                      WtBrnAgn
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evngel


Yes 63% 59% 63% 68% 63% 63% 57% No 28 31 26 27 32 25 31 DK/NA 9 11 11 5 5 12 12

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Yes 61% 56% 61% 64% 70% No 31 38 29 22 21 DK/NA 8 6 10 13 10



12. Currently, longtime homeowners pay lower property taxes than neighbors with homes of equal value who bought more recently. Should the length of time that a person has lived in their house effect the amount of property taxes that a person pays or should taxes be based on property value alone?

                                                                      WtBrnAgn
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evngel


Length of time 39% 41% 34% 40% 40% 38% 43% Property value 53 50 58 52 50 55 49 DK/NA 9 9 8 8 11 7 8

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Length of time 41% 40% 37% 47% 36% Property value 56 53 52 45 53 DK/NA 3 7 11 8 12

Years owning current residence UpTo3 4-10 >10

Length of time 31% 41% 46% Property value 59 53 46 DK/NA 9 6 8



13. Thinking about different types of property such as business, rental, and residential, should different types of property, assessed at the same value, be taxed at the same rate or not?

                                                                      WtBrnAgn
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evngel


Yes, same rate 39% 41% 38% 37% 45% 35% 43% No, diff. rate 55 55 55 58 49 59 48 DK/NA 6 4 7 5 6 6 8

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Yes, same rate 35% 46% 42% 37% 36% No, diff. rate 59 51 52 56 57 DK/NA 6 3 7 7 7

Years owning current residence UpTo3 4-10 >10

Yes, same rate 42% 37% 41% No, diff. rate 53 59 52 DK/NA 5 4 7



14. (If "No" q13) Who should pay the highest rates?

                      "No" Q13................................................
                                                                      WtBrnAgn
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evngel


Businesses 76% 78% 73% 80% 73% 78% 81% Landlords 14 10 15 15 16 12 9 Home owners 1 3 1 - 2 1 - DK/NA 9 10 11 5 10 9 10

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Businesses 83% 76% 68% 86% 74% Landlords 9 12 18 11 15 Home owners 1 2 2 1 1 DK/NA 7 9 12 3 11

Years owning current residence UpTo3 4-10 >10

Businesses 76% 81% 73% Landlords 15 10 14 Home owners - 3 1 DK/NA 9 6 12



15. (If "No" q13) Who should pay the lowest rates?

                      "No" Q13................................................
                                                                      WtBrnAgn
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evngel


Businesses 2% 3% 2% 1% 2% 1% - Landlords 3 2 6 1 3 3 2 Home owners 90 89 87 95 90 89 92 DK/NA 5 6 5 3 4 6 5

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Businesses 2% 3% 1% 1% 2% Landlords 5 1 2 - 6 Home owners 91 92 88 96 87 DK/NA 3 4 9 4 5

Years owning current residence UpTo3 4-10 >10

Businesses - 2% 3% Landlords 2 2 2 Home owners 94 92 87 DK/NA 4 4 7