February 6, 2007 - Florida Voters Give New Governor High Grades, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; They Back His Moves On Insurance, Property Taxes
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has a lofty 69 - 6 percent job approval rating based on his first month in office and very strong support from voters for his efforts to reduce insurance rates and property taxes, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Democrats approve of the new Republican governor 65 - 7 percent.

Voters say 67 - 6 percent that Gov. Crist has kept his campaign promises so far and believe 60 - 23 percent that Gov. Crist will reduce property taxes. Voters also say 59 - 32 percent that people with homes of equal value should pay the same amount of property tax, no matter how long they have owned the home, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

"It is very unusual to find a governor in a competitive state like Florida with an approval rating as high as Gov. Crist, even as he deals with tough issues such as insurance and property taxes," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. "He has made a very impressive start in the eyes of Floridians."

Voters support 62 - 14 percent recent legislation to address Florida's property insurance problems, and 61 percent say it is "very likely" or "somewhat likely" the new law would mean a "significant reduction" in insurance rates.

This insurance reform, meaning state government will take on added financial responsibility in case of a major storm is a "good deal for the people," voters say 59 - 32 percent.

"Voters apparently like Gov. Crist's populist style when it comes to dealing with insurance companies," said Brown. "Most interesting is that his approach appeals equally to Democrats, Republicans and independents."

When it comes to property taxes, 77 percent of voters support Crist's call for doubling from $25,000 to $50,000 the amount of a principal residence's value that would be exempt from taxation.

The survey began before Crist announced other details of his property insurance plan.

Only 34 percent believe that homeowners, landlords and business property should pay the same tax on similarly valued property rate, while 57 percent do not. Among those who do not, 80 percent think businesses should pay more.

On a related matter, 52 percent say, as Crist has alleged, the major reason for skyrocketing property taxes is poor government management. But although Crist claims local government is the culprit, 43 percent of those who blame government point the finger at state government, while 26 percent say local government and 16 percent cite the federal government.

Florida voters are not enthusiastic about moving the date of the presidential primary to increase state voters' clout in picking the nominees: 46 percent approve of such a change, which the legislature is expected to consider, while 36 oppose it, with 19 percent undecided.

From January 29 - February 4, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,003 Florida voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 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.

30. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Charlie Crist is handling his job as Governor?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Approve 69% 77% 65% 70% 72% 67% 70% Disapprove 6 4 7 5 4 8 6 DK/NA 25 19 28 25 24 25 24

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Approve 66% 64% 68% 75% 74% Disapprove 7 8 4 1 7 DK/NA 27 28 27 24 19



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

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Approve 50% 64% 44% 44% 52% 47% 65% Disapprove 27 17 31 31 27 26 20 DK/NA 24 19 24 25 20 27 16

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Approve 54% 39% 53% 63% 47% Disapprove 26 32 25 13 29 DK/NA 20 29 22 25 23

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?

                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Feb 6   Dec 20  Jul 26  Jun 29  May 24  Sep 23  Dec 20
                        2007    2006    2006    2006    2006    2004    2006  


Approve 50 38 43 44 40 51 38 Disapprove 27 43 41 40 44 34 43 DK/NA 24 19 17 16 16 15 19



32. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Nelson is handling his job as United States Senator?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Approve 54% 49% 63% 52% 54% 53% 54% Disapprove 18 26 13 16 18 18 19 DK/NA 28 25 25 32 27 29 27

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Approve 59% 52% 58% 39% 52% Disapprove 20 15 23 18 14 DK/NA 21 33 19 43 35

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Nelson is handling his job as United States Senator?

                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Feb 6   Dec 21  Oct 11  Jul 27  Jun 30  Feb 6   Aug 12
                        2007    2006    2006    2006    2006    2007    2004


Approve 54 51 43 44 45 54 42 Disapprove 18 23 26 25 23 18 18 DK/NA 28 26 31 30 32 28 40



33. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mel Martinez is handling his job as United States Senator?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Approve 48% 67% 37% 45% 50% 46% 56% Disapprove 22 11 32 22 24 21 17 DK/NA 29 22 31 33 26 33 28

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Approve 54% 47% 55% 57% 35% Disapprove 22 25 19 9 28 DK/NA 24 28 26 34 37

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mel Martinez is handling his job as United States Senator?

                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Feb 6   Dec 21  Jul 27  Jun 30  May 25  Feb 6   Jul 27
                        2007    2006    2006    2006    2006    2007    2006 


Approve 48 42 40 42 41 48 40 Disapprove 22 25 33 31 32 22 33 DK/NA 29 32 27 28 28 29 27



41. Based on what you have seen so far, 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     Evnglcl


Better 34% 13% 51% 34% 32% 35% 26% Worse 5 9 2 4 7 3 6 The same 49 64 38 49 50 48 53 DK/NA 13 13 9 13 12 14 15

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Better 33% 26% 27% 27% 49% Worse 5 5 6 5 3 The same 50 55 48 57 40 DK/NA 12 14 19 11 8



42. Do you think that Charlie Crist has kept his campaign promises so far or not?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Yes 67% 73% 67% 68% 68% 67% 69% No 6 3 9 4 5 7 5 DK/NA 27 24 25 28 26 27 27

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Yes 62% 68% 67% 74% 68% No 8 7 3 1 9 DK/NA 30 25 30 24 23



43. Do you think Charlie Crist will reduce property taxes in Florida or not?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Yes 60% 66% 60% 59% 59% 61% 61% No 23 21 22 24 24 22 23 DK/NA 17 13 18 18 17 17 16

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Yes 51% 64% 61% 56% 64% No 35 22 20 32 15 DK/NA 14 15 19 13 21



44. 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 affect 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     Evnglcl


Length of time 32% 34% 32% 34% 34% 30% 28% Property value alone 59 60 59 58 57 61 64 DK/NA 9 7 9 8 9 9 8

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Length of time 29% 25% 33% 30% 40% Property value alone 65 68 56 59 50 DK/NA 6 7 11 11 11



45. 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     Evnglcl


Yes, same rate 34% 35% 28% 43% 37% 32% 36% No, diff. rate 57 56 63 50 56 57 54 DK/NA 9 8 8 8 7 11 9

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Yes, same rate 36% 38% 30% 36% 34% No, diff. rate 57 50 58 59 59 DK/NA 7 12 13 6 7



46a. (If "different rates" q45) Who should pay the highest rates?

                        DIFFERENT RATES Q45.....................................
                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Businesses 80% 83% 77% 81% 77% 82% 83% Landlords 12 9 15 11 14 10 13 Home owners 1 1 2 - 1 2 2 DK/NA 7 7 6 8 8 6 2



46b. (If "different rates" q45) Who should pay the lowest rates?

                        DIFFERENT RATES Q45.....................................
                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Businesses 1% 1% 1% 1% 2% 1% 3% Landlords 4 4 3 3 3 4 4 Home owners 89 90 88 92 89 89 93 DK/NA 6 4 8 4 6 6 1



47. Florida homeowners who qualify for the Homestead tax exemption currently pay property taxes on $25,000 less than their home's assessed value. Governor Christ wants to double the exemption to $50,000 less than a home's assessed property value. Do you support or oppose that proposal?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Support 77% 81% 76% 77% 77% 78% 74% Oppose 15 14 16 17 18 13 20 DK/NA 7 5 8 7 5 9 6

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Support 73% 79% 75% 72% 83% Oppose 23 11 17 18 11 DK/NA 4 10 8 10 6



48. Which comes closer to your point of view: A. Rising property taxes are the result of Florida's increasing population and the need for more government services. OR B. Rising property taxes are the result of the government's inability to properly manage the tax money it collects.

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


A. Increasing pop/ Need for services 38% 42% 38% 37% 37% 39% 40% B. Gov's inability to manage money 52 44 51 58 52 51 48 DK/NA 10 14 11 6 11 10 12

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

A. Increasing pop/ Need for services 41% 35% 42% 44% 32% B. Gov's inability to manage money 49 58 49 44 54 DK/NA 9 8 9 12 14



49. (If government mismanagement is the problem q48) What level of government is primarily responsible -- local government, state government, or federal government?

                        GOVERNMENTS'S INABILITY TO MANAGE MONEY Q48.............
                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Local 26% 22% 26% 34% 32% 22% 33% State 43 47 39 49 44 42 46 Federal 16 10 25 7 14 18 16 DK/NA 15 21 9 10 10 19 5



50. As you may know, the legislature recently passed, and Governor Crist has signed, legislation to deal with the state's property insurance problems. In general do you approve, or disapprove of the changes that were made?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Approve 62% 67% 60% 64% 64% 60% 67% Disapprove 14 13 14 13 15 13 11 DK/NA 24 20 26 23 21 27 22

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Approve 54% 60% 62% 66% 68% Disapprove 15 16 16 8 11 DK/NA 31 25 22 26 21



51. How likely do you think it is that this legislation will lead to a significant reduction in property insurance rates in Florida? Very likely, somewhat likely, not very likely or not likely at all?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Very likely 13% 13% 13% 14% 12% 14% 13% Smwht likely 48 51 52 41 46 49 50 Not very likely 22 23 18 27 23 22 23 Not likely at all 10 6 11 12 15 6 7 DK/NA 7 6 6 5 4 9 6

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Very likely 15% 8% 9% 13% 20% Smwht likely 41 54 50 47 47 Not very likely 22 23 22 24 20 Not likely at all 13 13 11 7 6 DK/NA 9 3 7 8 7



52. As part of the new property insurance bill, insurance companies will be required to cut their rates and the state will take on greater financial responsibility in the event of major storm damage. Do you think this is a good deal for the people of Florida or not?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Yes 59% 58% 61% 61% 58% 61% 57% No 32 34 27 33 33 30 34 DK/NA 9 8 11 6 8 9 9

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Yes 52% 61% 53% 68% 67% No 37 32 36 22 27 DK/NA 11 7 11 9 6



53. How likely do you think it is that this situation will cause an increase in taxes in Florida? - Very likely, somewhat likely, not very likely or not likely at all

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Very likely 43% 37% 41% 48% 41% 44% 41% Smwht likely 40 44 44 33 37 43 44 Not very likely 9 12 8 9 12 7 10 Not likely at all 4 2 4 7 7 2 2 DK/NA 4 5 3 2 4 4 4

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Very likely 52% 42% 43% 43% 35% Smwht likely 35 43 43 35 42 Not very likely 5 8 7 17 11 Not likely at all 6 3 2 2 7 DK/NA 2 4 5 3 5



54. Florida lawmakers are talking about changing the date of the state's presidential primary in order to increase the state's influence in picking the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. Do you support or oppose this idea?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Support 46% 42% 53% 44% 46% 45% 45% Oppose 36 40 30 38 36 36 37 DK/NA 19 18 17 18 18 19 18

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Support 47% 42% 39% 39% 55% Oppose 37 38 43 42 24 DK/NA 15 20 18 19 20