November 18, 2008 - Gov. Crist Is Man To Beat In Florida, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Sen. Martinez Gets Mixed Grades From Voters

Word format



Florida Gov. Charlie Crist remains overwhelmingly popular with a 68 - 18 percent job approval rating that makes him a strong favorite for re-election in 2010, but Sen. Mel Martinez's 42 - 33 percent approval rating makes him much more vulnerable, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

State Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink is at this point the best positioned among leading Democrats to challenge Gov. Crist, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

Crist scores an impressive job approval rating of 78 - 12 among Republicans, 60 - 26 among Democrats and 66 - 17 among independent voters. In response to a separate question 58 percent of Florida voters say he deserves a second term in office, compared to 27 percent who say he does not. On a third question, 50 percent say they would vote for Crist if the 2010 election were today, while 28 percent say they would vote for his unnamed Democratic opponent and 23 percent are unsure.

"Florida votes Democrat for President; unseats a couple of Republican congressmen and the state GOP is worrying about the state turning blue, but nothing seems to hurt Gov. Crist," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Charlie Crist is a like a Swiss watch: his numbers are both predictable and impressive. There are a lot of Democratic governors in America who aren't as a popular with members of their own party as is Crist, a Republican."

"Even in bad economic times and with his Republican Party seemingly on the ropes, he remains incredibly popular," Brown added.

Among the Democratic officials mentioned as possible 2010 Crist opponents and whom respondents were asked to rate favorably or unfavorably, Ms. Sink - the only statewide elected official among the four - scores best.

She is viewed favorably by 27 percent, unfavorably by 13 percent, with 59 percent of voters saying they don't know enough about her to form an opinion. Still those numbers are far superior to U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd, with an 11 - 5 percent favorability, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, with a 14 - 8 percent score, and State Sen.-elect Dan Gelber, with an 8 - 3 percent favorability.

"No matter who becomes the Democratic nominee, Gov. Crist will start the campaign as a big favorite for re-election," said Brown.

Although Sen. Martinez gets a somewhat favorable job approval rating, only 36 percent of voters say he deserves another term, while 38 percent say no and 26 percent say they are not sure. If the election were today, 36 percent say they would vote for Martinez while 40 percent would support his unnamed Democratic opponent and 24 percent are undecided.

"The road to a second term appears more difficult for Sen. Martinez than for Gov. Crist. Martinez' numbers aren't awful. The key to his winning re-election will be winning back the allegiance of independent voters, who currently are not in his corner. But with a third of independents saying they re undecided, he certainly has an opportunity to accomplish that end," said Brown.

Attorney General Bill McCollum gets a 51 percent job approval rating, three times the 17 percent who give him a thumbs down verdict.

CFO Sink has a 35 - 21 percent job approval rating, while U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson gets a 51 - 22 percent score.

Florida voters approve 30 - 66 percent of the job President George W. Bush is doing.

From November 11 - 16, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,361 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points.

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

1. 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              68%    78%    60%    66%    68%    69%    76%
Disapprove           18     12     26     17     20     17     14
DK/NA                13     10     14     17     13     14     10
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              72%    74%    59%    73%    68%
Disapprove           16     16     25     11     18
DK/NA                12     10     16     16     13
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Charlie Crist is handling his job as Governor? * also 73% on 3/29/07
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Nov 18  Sep 8   Jun 3   Apr 10  Oct 24  Jul 19  Apr 10
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2007    2007 *  2008
                             
Approve              68      61      61      59      65      73      59
Disapprove           18      25      23      25      17      11      25
DK/NA                13      14      16      15      18      16      15
 
 
2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              46%    59%    36%    42%    46%    46%    58%
Disapprove           35     20     43     41     38     32     25
DK/NA                19     20     20     17     16     22     17
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              49%    47%    45%    53%    41%
Disapprove           31     33     35     27     42
DK/NA                20     20     20     20     17
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Nov 18  Sep 8   Jun 3   Apr 10  Oct 24  Sep 23  Apr 10
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2007    2004    2008
 
Approve              46%     40      38      32      36      51      32
Disapprove           35      41      46      48      43      34      48
DK/NA                19      19      17      20      22      15      20
 
 
3. 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              51%    41%    65%    47%    50%    52%    49%
Disapprove           22     30     11     25     27     17     26
DK/NA                27     29     24     28     22     31     25
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              50%    57%    55%    39%    48%
Disapprove           27     20     26     24     16
DK/NA                24     23     19     37     36
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Nelson is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               Highest Lowest
                                                               Approve Approve
                     Nov 18    Sep 8   Jun 3   Apr 10  Oct 24  Feb 6   Aug 12
                     2008      2008    2008    2008    2007    2007    2004
 
Approve              51        49      51      49      48      54      42
Disapprove           22        23      26      25      24      18      18
DK/NA                27        28      24      26      28      28      40
 
 
4. 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              42%    59%    30%    36%    42%    42%    53%
Disapprove           33     20     42     38     39     28     18
DK/NA                25     22     28     26     20     30     28
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              42%    47%    40%    39%    40%
Disapprove           27     34     39     29     33
DK/NA                31     19     21     32     26
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mel Martinez is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Nov 18, Sep 8   Jun 3   Apr 10  Oct 24  Feb 6   Oct 24
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2007    2007    2007
 
Approve              42      37      40      36      35      48      35
Disapprove           33      32      35      37      34      22      34
DK/NA                25      31      25      27      31      29      31
 
 
5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill McCollum is handling his job as Florida Attorney General?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              51%    62%    46%    43%    46%    55%    57%
Disapprove           17     10     21     21     22     12     13
DK/NA                32     28     33     36     32     32     30
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              49%    54%    53%    49%    47%
Disapprove           20     11     20     16     18
DK/NA                31     34     27     35     35
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill McCollum is handling his job as Florida's attorney general?
                     Nov 18  Jun 3   Oct 24
                     2008    2008    2007
 
Approve              51      52      44
Disapprove           17      20      17
DK/NA                32      28      39
 
 
6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Alex Sink is handling her job as Florida's chief financial officer?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              35%    34%    35%    38%    38%    32%    34%
Disapprove           21     19     24     20     22     20     18
DK/NA                44     47     41     42     40     48     48
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              31%    46%    38%    29%    28%
Disapprove           18     19     21     20     25
DK/NA                50     35     40     50     48
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Alex Sink is handling her job as Florida's chief financial officer?
                     Nov 18  Jun 3   Oct 24
                     2008    2008    2007
 
Approve              35      33      38
Disapprove           21      25      15
DK/NA                44      42      47
 
 
7. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              30%    66%     4%    19%    34%    27%    51%
Disapprove           66     30     93     77     64     68     43
DK/NA                 4      4      2      4      2      5      6
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              39%    30%    26%    36%    27%
Disapprove           56     68     69     62     70
DK/NA                 5      2      5      2      3
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Nov 18  May 22  May 1   Apr 2   Feb 14  Sep 23  May 1
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2008    2004    2008
 
Approve              30      28      24      29      31      50      24
Disapprove           66      68      71      67      61      47      71
DK/NA                 4       5       5       5       8       3       5
 
 
8. Looking ahead to the 2010 election for Governor, do you feel that Charlie Crist deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Yes/Deserves         58%    70%    44%    60%    57%    58%    67%
No/Does NOT          27     18     40     23     27     28     20
DK/NA                15     12     16     17     16     14     13
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Yes/Deserves         57%    63%    52%    67%    56%
No/Does NOT          28     25     31     18     28
DK/NA                15     12     17     15     16
 
 
9. If the 2010 election for Governor were being held today, do you think you would vote for Charlie Crist the Republican candidate or for the Democratic candidate?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Crist                50%    82%    20%    47%    53%    47%    71%
Democrat             28      4     57     21     25     30     11
DK/NA                23     14     22     32     22     23     18
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Crist                56%    53%    43%    59%    45%
Democrat             24     29     29     26     28
DK/NA                20     18     27     15     27
 
 
10. Looking ahead to the 2010 election for United States Senator, do you feel that Mel Martinez deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Yes/Deserves         36%    54%    25%    28%    36%    36%    47%
No/Does NOT          38     22     50     40     44     31     23
DK/NA                26     24     25     31     19     33     30
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Yes/Deserves         43%    37%    37%    31%    31%
No/Does NOT          31     39     37     40     42
DK/NA                26     24     27     29     27
 
 
11. If the 2010 election for United States Senator were being held today, do you think you would vote for Mel Martinez the Republican candidate or for the Democratic candidate?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Martinez             36%    71%     9%    28%    38%    34%    57%
Democrat             40      9     74     36     40     40     19
DK/NA                24     20     17     36     22     27     24
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Martinez             39%    35%    35%    44%    33%
Democrat             34     44     40     35     42
DK/NA                27     22     25     21     25
 
 
12. Is your opinion of -- Mel Martinez favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            31%    51%    17%    26%    32%    31%    45%
Unfavorable          28     15     37     33     36     22     15
Hvn't hrd enough     37     30     44     37     30     44     39
REFUSED               3      4      1      3      3      3      2
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable            37%    32%    30%    30%    28%
Unfavorable          21     32     30     24     32
Hvn't hrd enough     39     35     36     44     37
REFUSED               3      2      4      1      2
 
 
13. Is your opinion of -- Charlie Crist favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            65%    78%    50%    68%    65%    65%    76%
Unfavorable          22     14     32     19     22     22     15
Hvn't hrd enough     10      7     16      8     10     11      7
REFUSED               2      -      2      5      3      2      2
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable            65%    67%    58%    69%    69%
Unfavorable          20     20     26     17     23
Hvn't hrd enough     14      9     13     10      7
REFUSED               1      4      3      5      1
 
 
14. Is your opinion of -- Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            27%    26%    28%    29%    29%    25%    25%
Unfavorable          13     12     13     12     14     11     10
Hvn't hrd enough     59     60     59     58     55     62     64
REFUSED               1      1      1      2      1      1      1
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable            26%    37%    28%    26%    19%
Unfavorable          14     11     10      8     18
Hvn't hrd enough     59     51     61     66     61
REFUSED               2      1      -      -      2
 
 
15. Is your opinion of -- Congressman Allen Boyd favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            11%     9%    15%     8%    11%    11%    14%
Unfavorable           5      5      3      6      5      4      2
Hvn't hrd enough     83     84     81     84     82     84     82
REFUSED               2      3      1      2      2      1      2
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable            25%     9%     7%     9%     4%
Unfavorable           8      6      3      4      3
Hvn't hrd enough     66     83     88     85     90
REFUSED               1      2      1      2      3
 
 
16. Is your opinion of -- Congressman Kendrick Meek favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            14%     6%    26%    10%    13%    16%     5%
Unfavorable           8     13      5      6      9      7      8
Hvn't hrd enough     76     79     69     81     76     76     87
REFUSED               2      2      1      2      3      1      1
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable            11%     7%    11%     8%    28%
Unfavorable          10      6      6      6     11
Hvn't hrd enough     78     85     82     85     58
REFUSED               1      1      1      -      3
 
 
17. Is your opinion of -- State Senator-elect Dan Gelber favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable             8%     5%    14%     5%     5%    11%     4%
Unfavorable           3      4      2      4      4      2      3
Hvn't hrd enough     87     90     83     88     88     86     92
REFUSED               2      2      1      3      3      1      1
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable             5%     8%     6%     4%    15%
Unfavorable           3      3      5      3      2
Hvn't hrd enough     90     88     89     93     81
REFUSED               2      1      1      -      2
 
 
21. Do you think that Charlie Crist has kept his campaign promises so far or not?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Yes                  56%    71%    42%    57%    56%    56%    69%
No                   23     14     33     19     22     23     15
DK/NA                21     15     25     24     21     21     16
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Yes                  60%    60%    51%    52%    57%
No                   19     24     26     15     24
DK/NA                22     17     23     33     19
 
TREND: Do you think that Charlie Crist has kept his campaign promises so far or not?
                     Nov 18  Sep 8   Jun 3   Apr 10  Oct 24  Sep 11  Feb 6
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2007    2007    2007
 
Yes                  56      51      55      51      57      55      67
No                   23      29      29      33      24      23       6
DK/NA                21      20      17      16      19      22      27