June 6, 2007 - Florida Voters Back Governor, Expect Big Tax Cut, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Crist More Principled Than Most Officials, Voters Say

Word format

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist remains wildly popular with a 70 - 12 percent job approval rating and voters see him as much more principled than most politicians, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

By a 69 - 19 percent margin, Florida voters say most public officials make decisions based on what they think is popular rather than based on principle and what they think is right, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey finds. But voters say 60 - 25 percent that Gov. Crist acts on principle, rather than on what's popular.

A total of 53 percent of voters say it is "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that the governor and the State Legislature will agree on a plan to "significantly cut property taxes," while 43 percent say it is "not too likely" or "not likely at all."

In defining what would be a "significant" property tax cut:
  • 10 percent of Florida voters say less than 10 percent;
  • 33 percent see a tax cut of 10 - 20 percent;
  • 27 percent say 21 - 40 percent is significant;
  • 16 percent say more than 40 percent.
"Gov. Crist's popularity can no longer be described as part of some honeymoon. Florida voters like this marriage after five months and at this point things are blissful," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "What's even more impressive is that Floridians think he is three times more a man of principle than the typical politician. It's hard for Crist to have better news than that."

Voters say 71 - 22 percent that local governments have not done a good job balancing the need for services and keeping property taxes down.

But by a 53 - 32 percent margin, they still think local governments are better at making decisions safeguarding taxpayer dollars than state government.

Although 55 percent of voters said they were willing to trade lower property taxes for reduced local government services, the only area they would approve cutting is the local government workforce - not law enforcement, programs for seniors, libraries, school crossing guards, public health clinics or parks.

In looking at a series of proposals regarding property tax relief, voters say the most popular - with 63 percent support and 27 percent opposition - is the idea that taxes should be cut by the same percentage statewide for all homeowners. The idea of giving lower-priced homes a larger percentage cut than higher priced homes is supported 49 - 41 percent.

Basing the size of the tax cut on the price of homes in each county is rejected with 65 - 24 percent. When told supporters of that approach are trying to help poorer counties protect their tax base, 26 percent said that might make them more likely to support that approach, with 15 percent less likely and 50 percent saying it does not make a difference.

"Florida voters think everyone should be treated the same, and are less comfortable with the idea that lawmakers should play Robin Hood," said Brown.

On other matters, 61 percent agree that Crist did the right thing in vetoing a number of state university building projects approved by lawmakers, but by a 50 - 38 percent margin, voters disagree with the Governor's decision to award $5 million in public funds to the family of a youth who died at a state-run juvenile boot camp.

From May 29 - June 4, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,174 Florida voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 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 -- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x271.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

20. 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 70% 80% 63% 69% 71% 69% 76% Disapprove 12 7 15 12 12 11 8 DK/NA 19 13 22 19 17 20 16

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Approve 73% 63% 70% 72% 73% 71% Disapprove 10 15 10 9 12 12 DK/NA 17 21 19 19 15 17

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

                        Jun 6   Mar 29  Feb 6  
                        2007    2007    2007


Approve 70 73 69 Disapprove 12 9 6 DK/NA 19 18 25



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

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Approve 41% 56% 32% 37% 42% 40% 44% Disapprove 38 27 44 42 39 37 31 DK/NA 22 17 24 21 20 23 26

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Approve 42% 43% 42% 42% 50% 33% Disapprove 37 38 43 35 26 41 DK/NA 21 19 15 23 24 26

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

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


Approve 41 42 50 38 43 51 38 Disapprove 38 33 27 43 41 34 43 DK/NA 22 25 24 19 17 15 19



25. Do you think that most public officials make decisions based on principle and what they think is right, or do so based on what they think is popular at the time?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


What's right 19% 27% 21% 10% 18% 20% 19% What's popular 69 64 68 77 71 68 73 DK/NA 11 10 11 12 11 12 9

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

What's right 20% 14% 17% 21% 25% 22% What's popular 69 74 77 69 66 61 DK/NA 11 12 7 10 9 17



26. Whether you personally agree with him or not, do you believe Governor Charlie Crist makes decisions based on principle and what he thinks is right, or does he make decisions based on what he thinks is popular at the time?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


What's right 60% 67% 56% 61% 61% 60% 65% What's popular 25 23 27 23 26 24 22 DK/NA 15 10 17 16 13 17 14

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

What's right 65% 56% 62% 62% 69% 57% What's popular 23 26 27 22 22 25 DK/NA 13 18 11 16 8 18



28. As you may know the governor and legislature are trying to come up with a plan to cut property taxes. How likely is it that the state legislature and Governor Crist will be able to agree on a plan that will significantly cut property taxes - Very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely or not likely at all?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Very likely 12% 15% 10% 11% 15% 9% 13% Smwht likely 41 46 37 41 43 39 48 Not too likely 27 24 29 27 22 30 28 Not likely at all 16 11 19 19 15 17 8 DK/NA 5 4 6 3 5 5 2

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Very likely 13% 10% 7% 15% 15% 14% Smwht likely 43 41 46 37 41 40 Not too likely 26 32 28 24 22 24 Not likely at all 14 13 17 18 15 15 DK/NA 4 4 2 5 6 6

ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...... <30 30-50 50-100 >100K

Very likely 12% 7% 17% 12% Smwht likely 43 46 37 43 Not too likely 26 28 26 27 Not likely at all 14 17 20 15 DK/NA 5 1 1 3

TREND: How likely is it that the state legislature and Governor Crist will be able to agree on a plan that will significantly cut property taxes - Very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely or not likely at all? * 3/29/07 did not include the word "significantly".

                        Jun 6   Mar 29
                        2007    2007*


Very likely 12 15 Smwht likely 41 45 Not too likely 27 21 Not likely at all 16 13 DK/NA 5 6



29. How much would the property tax cut have to be for it to be significant for you? Less than 10 percent, 10-20 percent, 21-40 percent, or more than that?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


<10% 10% 9% 11% 10% 10% 9% 10% 10-20% 33 39 29 32 37 30 34 21-40% 27 26 28 29 25 29 29 >40% 16 12 17 16 15 16 11 DO NOT OWN HOME(VOL) 4 3 7 2 3 4 3 DK/NA 10 11 9 10 9 11 13

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

<10% 10% 12% 14% 10% 8% 4% 10-20% 34 39 33 30 45 26 21-40% 29 22 28 25 24 35 >40% 16 8 15 17 12 22 DO NOT OWN HOME(VOL) 1 5 4 3 4 4 DK/NA 10 13 6 14 7 9

ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...... <30 30-50 50-100 >100K

<10% 9% 11% 10% 9% 10-20% 26 37 40 32 21-40% 28 31 30 30 >40% 15 14 12 20 DO NOT OWN HOME(VOL) 10 1 2 - DK/NA 11 5 7 8



30. There have been several proposals for property tax relief in Florida. Do you support or oppose property tax cuts based on a set percentage statewide, so that all homes would receive a tax exemption of the same percentage?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Support 63% 68% 57% 67% 69% 58% 64% Oppose 27 24 29 26 23 30 24 DK/NA 11 8 14 7 8 13 13

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Support 64% 66% 67% 58% 70% 60% Oppose 27 19 27 30 20 31 DK/NA 9 15 7 12 10 9

ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...... <30 30-50 50-100 >100K

Support 65% 65% 64% 65% Oppose 22 30 28 29 DK/NA 13 5 8 6



31. Do you support or oppose property tax cuts based on a statewide formula that would give less expensive homes a larger percentage tax exemption than more expensive homes?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Support 49% 41% 61% 44% 49% 49% 43% Oppose 41 53 25 44 45 37 46 DK/NA 11 5 13 12 6 14 11

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Support 47% 52% 51% 46% 44% 49% Oppose 44 40 39 39 47 42 DK/NA 9 9 10 15 9 9

ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...... <30 30-50 50-100 >100K

Support 57% 56% 44% 41% Oppose 30 37 49 53 DK/NA 14 7 6 6



32. How much have you heard or read about the property tax proposal which bases the exemption on the average value of homes in each county - A great deal, some, not much, or nothing at all?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


A great deal 11% 9% 12% 11% 12% 11% 11% Some 35 32 36 39 34 35 31 Not much 35 38 33 33 33 36 40 Nothing at all 18 20 17 15 20 16 17 DK/NA 2 1 3 1 1 2 1

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

A great deal 11% 7% 12% 12% 19% 12% Some 37 33 38 30 31 40 Not much 33 36 34 37 40 30 Nothing at all 17 23 16 19 8 17 DK/NA 1 1 - 3 2 2

ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...... <30 30-50 50-100 >100K

A great deal 13% 7% 10% 15% Some 30 41 42 33 Not much 30 36 31 40 Nothing at all 25 14 17 11 DK/NA 2 1 - 2



33. Do you support or oppose property tax cuts based on the average value of homes in each county where homes in poorer counties would receive less of a tax cut than homes in wealthy counties?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Support 24% 24% 22% 24% 27% 20% 21% Oppose 65 65 62 68 64 65 69 DK/NA 12 12 15 8 9 15 10

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Support 24% 21% 21% 24% 24% 27% Oppose 65 69 69 65 68 56 DK/NA 12 11 11 11 8 17

ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...... <30 30-50 50-100 >100K

Support 20% 18% 27% 28% Oppose 62 72 68 62 DK/NA 18 10 5 9



34. Supporters of this proposal say that it will help poorer counties retain their tax base. Does this make you more likely to support this proposal less likely, or doesn't it affect your support?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


More likely 26% 19% 29% 27% 24% 27% 24% Less likely 15 16 13 15 14 15 12 No effect 50 56 47 52 56 46 56 DK/NA 9 9 12 6 6 13 8

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

More likely 27% 26% 18% 30% 31% 25% Less likely 15 12 19 13 14 15 No effect 48 54 54 48 52 45 DK/NA 10 8 9 9 4 14

ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...... <30 30-50 50-100 >100K

More likely 28% 26% 24% 27% Less likely 16 15 13 16 No effect 44 53 58 53 DK/NA 13 6 4 4



35. Do you think local governments in Florida have done a good job balancing the need for services and the need to keep property taxes as low as possible or don't you think so?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Yes/Good job 22% 29% 18% 19% 24% 20% 24% Don't think so 71 66 74 73 71 71 68 DK/NA 7 6 8 8 5 9 7

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Yes/Good job 23% 31% 17% 25% 26% 13% Don't think so 70 58 76 68 68 80 DK/NA 7 11 6 7 5 6

ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...... <30 30-50 50-100 >100K

Yes/ Good job 19% 26% 20% 25% Don't think so 75 70 74 69 DK/NA 7 5 6 6



36. Who do you trust more to make the right decisions when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars; the state government or local government?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


State government 32% 35% 29% 36% 36% 30% 32% Local government 53 51 58 50 53 53 54 DK/NA 15 14 13 14 12 17 14

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

State government 34% 28% 27% 35% 44% 33% Local government 52 56 63 48 44 50 DK/NA 14 16 10 16 12 17

ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...... <30 30-50 50-100 >100K

State government 31% 33% 33% 42% Local government 53 56 57 47 DK/NA 17 11 10 11



37. In general are you willing to accept fewer local government services in exchange for lower property taxes?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Yes 55% 61% 51% 54% 59% 51% 56% No 36 32 38 37 34 38 34 DK/NA 9 6 10 9 6 11 10

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Yes 57% 53% 58% 56% 51% 54% No 36 37 37 32 39 38 DK/NA 8 10 5 12 10 7

ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...... <30 30-50 50-100 >100K

Yes 54% 54% 58% 60% No 37 40 35 33 DK/NA 10 6 6 7

TREND: In general are you willing to accept fewer local government services in exchange for lower property taxes?

                        Jun 6   Mar 29
                        2007    2007


Yes 55 49 No 36 40 DK/NA 9 11



38. If reducing property taxes required your local government to cut services to make up for the reduced tax revenue, would you support or oppose cutting - Police and fire services?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Support 13% 11% 13% 14% 15% 11% 10% Oppose 85 87 84 84 84 86 88 DK/NA 2 1 3 2 1 3 2

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Support 12% 13% 10% 16% 16% 12% Oppose 86 85 88 82 83 85 DK/NA 2 2 2 2 1 3

ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...... <30 30-50 50-100 >100K

Support 14% 7% 12% 16% Oppose 83 92 87 83 DK/NA 3 1 - 1



39. If reducing property taxes required your local government to cut services to make up for the reduced tax revenue, would you support or oppose cutting - Parks and recreation programs?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Support 38% 46% 31% 40% 42% 34% 52% Oppose 58 50 66 54 56 59 43 DK/NA 5 4 4 6 2 7 5

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Support 41% 35% 47% 39% 33% 33% Oppose 54 59 50 55 63 64 DK/NA 4 7 3 6 4 3

ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...... <30 30-50 50-100 >100K

Support 33% 34% 41% 49% Oppose 62 65 57 45 DK/NA 5 2 2 6



40. If reducing property taxes required your local government to cut services to make up for the reduced tax revenue, would you support or oppose cutting - Libraries?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Support 25% 30% 20% 26% 30% 21% 32% Oppose 73 68 78 72 69 76 67 DK/NA 2 2 2 3 1 3 2

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Support 27% 22% 26% 28% 27% 23% Oppose 71 74 73 70 71 74 DK/NA 1 3 1 2 2 2

ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...... <30 30-50 50-100 >100K

Support 22% 21% 26% 37% Oppose 76 78 73 60 DK/NA 2 1 1 3



41. If reducing property taxes required your local government to cut services to make up for the reduced tax revenue, would you support or oppose cutting - Public health clinics?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Support 20% 24% 15% 20% 22% 17% 18% Oppose 77 72 82 76 74 79 78 DK/NA 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Support 20% 18% 19% 21% 17% 21% Oppose 76 78 76 75 82 75 DK/NA 3 4 4 4 2 4

ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...... <30 30-50 50-100 >100K

Support 17% 10% 23% 31% Oppose 80 88 75 65 DK/NA 4 1 2 5



42. If reducing property taxes required your local government to cut services to make up for the reduced tax revenue, would you support or oppose cutting - School crossing guards?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Support 23% 26% 18% 26% 26% 20% 23% Oppose 74 72 79 69 72 75 74 DK/NA 3 2 3 5 2 5 3

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Support 24% 24% 20% 26% 26% 20% Oppose 74 70 78 72 72 76 DK/NA 3 5 3 2 2 4

ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...... <30 30-50 50-100 >100K

Support 18% 19% 28% 30% Oppose 80 80 68 69 DK/NA 3 1 4 2



43. If reducing property taxes required your local government to cut services to make up for the reduced tax revenue, would you support or oppose cutting - Local government workers?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Support 47% 53% 37% 52% 53% 41% 53% Oppose 45 39 53 40 40 49 37 DK/NA 9 8 9 8 7 10 10

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Support 49% 44% 51% 46% 52% 43% Oppose 43 48 42 41 41 50 DK/NA 8 8 7 13 6 8

ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...... <30 30-50 50-100 >100K

Support 37% 41% 58% 59% Oppose 55 53 36 34 DK/NA 8 6 7 7



44. If reducing property taxes required your local government to cut services to make up for the reduced tax revenue, would you support or oppose cutting - Programs for senior citizens?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Support 19% 24% 14% 22% 24% 15% 18% Oppose 77 72 84 75 73 81 77 DK/NA 4 4 2 4 3 4 4

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Support 20% 19% 17% 18% 26% 19% Oppose 76 79 81 77 70 77 DK/NA 3 3 2 5 4 4

ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...... <30 30-50 50-100 >100K

Support 12% 16% 23% 30% Oppose 83 83 75 66 DK/NA 5 1 3 4



45. In an effort to cut state spending Governor Crist recently vetoed a number of public university building projects. Do you agree with the governor that reducing spending is more important, or with the legislature which wanted to fund the building projects?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Governor 61% 73% 53% 60% 66% 57% 72% Legislature 22 13 30 24 23 22 14 DK/NA 17 14 17 16 11 22 14

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Governor 64% 59% 64% 63% 56% 60% Legislature 21 21 24 20 24 23 DK/NA 14 19 12 17 19 17

ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...... <30 30-50 50-100 >100K

Governor 54% 66% 64% 72% Legislature 27 23 24 18 DK/NA 20 12 13 9



46. Do you agree or disagree with the decision by Governor Charlie Crist to award $5 million in public funds to the family of Martin Lee Anderson as compensation for his death in a juvenile boot camp?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Agree 38% 27% 45% 40% 36% 39% 28% Disagree 50 64 42 47 53 47 60 DK/NA 12 9 13 12 11 13 12

Home North/ Owners PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Agree 36% 29% 42% 36% 36% 43% Disagree 53 58 47 52 54 43 DK/NA 12 13 11 12 11 14

ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...... <30 30-50 50-100 >100K

Agree 39% 43% 36% 36% Disagree 52 48 53 50 DK/NA 9 9 10 14