February 19, 2009 - Florida's Independent Voters Swing To Obama And Crist, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Don't Think Stimulus Plan Will Help Them

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President Barack Obama may be getting criticism for his stimulus package in Washington, but Floridians are as sweet on him as they are on their own wildly popular Gov. Charlie Crist. The two men have lofty positive job approval ratings, 64 - 23 percent for President Obama and 67 - 22 percent for Gov. Crist, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Florida voters split on whether the Obama stimulus package will help solve the nation's economic problems, with 51 percent who are "very confident" or "somewhat confident" the plan will help, and 49 percent who are "not too confident" or "not confident at all," the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

Voters say 60 - 35 percent that the stimulus plan will not help them personally. Even voters making less than $50,000 a year don't expect the plan to help their finances.

The key to high voter approval ratings for Democrat Obama and Republican Crist is party crossover and the good will of independent voters: The President gets a 33 - 47 percent approval from Republicans and a 66 - 22 percent thumbs up from independents, while Crist gets a 66 - 22 percent score from Democrats and a 63 - 24 percent nod from independents.

"Floridians give President Obama a 64 - 23 percent job approval rating, almost as high as the 67 - 22 percent rating they give Governor Crist. Asked to rate the men favorably or unfavorably, they give the President a 69 - 22 percent positive rating and Crist a 68 - 21 percent verdict," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Those are the kinds of numbers that politicians die for. Crist has been at about this level for two years so it's a safe assumption that he is no flash in the pan."

"Obama certainly has made a good first impression. For him the question is whether he can sustain these levels as has Crist," Brown added.

Obama, who surprised many by carrying Florida, albeit narrowly, in the November election, even gets a 44 - 42 percent job approval from white evangelical Christians, a heavily Republican group.

Crist doesn't do nearly as well among Republicans, a 71 percent job approval, as Obama does among Democrats, 91 percent. Among Republicans, Crist and Obama both do best among those who consider themselves to be moderate or liberal, about a third of the GOP electorate.

"It's not surprising that when the Democratic President came to Florida to tout his economic program, the Republican Governor was at his side. Both men are trying to cultivate the political middle. The President's support among his own party is stronger than the Governor's by a substantial amount, but he can't come close to Crist's strength among the opposition," said Brown.

Only 4 percent of Florida voters expect the economic stimulus plan to deliver results in one year, while 70 percent say it will take more than a year and 24 percent say it never will work. Still, 65 percent of voters say the U.S. economy will get better by the end of Obama's first term.

"Floridians appear to see the economic morass as something that will pass with time, not necessarily the kind of problem that the government will be able to solve quickly," said Brown. "And most don't expect to benefit personally from the stimulus plan."

Voters are much more pessimistic about the state and national economy than they are about their own financial situation: 97 percent rate the national economy as "not so good" or "poor," while 91 percent rate the state economy the same way and 52 percent rate their own personal finances that way.

From February 11 - 16, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,001 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 Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research.

12. 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              67%    71%    66%    63%    65%    69%    67%
Disapprove           22     21     22     24     23     20     21
DK/NA                11      9     12     14     12     11     12
 
                     North/                             REPUBLICAN....
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE   Cons   Mod/Lib
 
Approve              61%    73%    58%    80%    71%    69%    74%
Disapprove           26     16     25     13     23     24     15
DK/NA                13     11     16      7      7      7     11
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Charlie Crist is handling his job as Governor? (*also High 73% on 3/29/07)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Feb 19  Jan 21  Nov 18  Sep 8   Jun 3   Jul 19  Apr 10
                     2009    2009    2008    2008    2008    2007*   2008
 
Approve              67      65      68      61      61      73      59
Disapprove           22      24      18      25      23      11      25
DK/NA                11      11      13      14      16      16      15
 
 
14. 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              48%    36%    63%    47%    48%    48%    49%
Disapprove           22     35      9     22     24     21     27
DK/NA                30     30     28     31     28     31     24
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              48%    56%    45%    42%    46%
Disapprove           23     18     24     28     22
DK/NA                29     26     31     30     32
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Nelson is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Feb xx  Jan 21  Nov 18  Sep 8   Jun 3   Feb 6   Aug 12
                     2009    2009    2008    2008    2008    2007    2004
 
Approve              48      53      51      49      51      54      42
Disapprove           22      19      22      23      26      18      18
DK/NA                30      29      27      28      24      28      40
 
 
15. 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              43%    56%    32%    40%    43%    43%    51%
Disapprove           31     21     40     35     33     30     27
DK/NA                26     23     28     25     24     27     22
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              38%    48%    46%    30%    44%
Disapprove           28     30     29     44     34
DK/NA                34     23     25     26     22
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mel Martinez is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Feb xx  Jan 21  Nov 18  Sep 8   Jun 3   Feb 6   Oct 24
                     2009    2009    2008    2008    2008    2007    2007
 
Approve              43      42      42      37      40      48      35
Disapprove           31      30      33      32      35      22      34
DK/NA                26      28      25      31      25      29      31
 
 
18. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              64%    33%    91%    66%    61%    67%    44%
Disapprove           23     47      2     22     28     19     42
DK/NA                13     20      7     12     11     14     14
 
                     North/                             REPUBLICAN....
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE   Cons   Mod/Lib
 
Approve              58%    64%    61%    50%    76%    18%    56%
Disapprove           27     22     25     41     13     61     25
DK/NA                15     14     14      9     10     20     19
 
 
19. Is your opinion of - Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            69%    39%    96%    70%    66%    72%    46%
Unfavorable          22     46      2     20     26     19     44
Hvn't hrd enough      6     10      2      6      5      6      7
REFUSED               3      5      1      3      3      3      2
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable            60%    69%    65%    57%    84%
Unfavorable          28     21     24     35     13
Hvn't hrd enough      9      7      7      1      3
REFUSED               3      3      4      6      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                             FAVORABLE....
                                                             High    Low
                     Feb 19  Jan 21  May 22  May 1   Apr 2   Feb 19  Feb 07
                     2009    2009    2008    2008    2008    2009    2007
 
Favorable            69      66      44      47      42      69      37
Unfavorable          22      16      40      36      38      22      18
Hvn't hrd enough      6      12      14      14      16       6      44
REFUSED               3       5       2       3       4       3       1
 
 
20. 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            68%    76%    65%    63%    67%    69%    70%
Unfavorable          21     16     23     23     22     20     20
Hvn't hrd enough      9      6      9     10      9      8      5
REFUSED               3      2      3      3      2      3      5
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable            64%    75%    59%    82%    70%
Unfavorable          24     14     25     15     21
Hvn't hrd enough     11      8     11      1      7
REFUSED               1      3      5      2      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Charlie Crist favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Feb 19  Jan 21  Nov 18
                     2009    2009    2008
 
Favorable            68      67      65
Unfavorable          21      21      22
Hvn't hrd enough      9      10      10
REFUSED               3       2       2
 
 
26. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the economy?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              59%    29%    88%    56%    54%    63%    44%
Disapprove           28     54      3     28     33     23     45
DK/NA                13     17      8     16     13     14     11
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              48%    59%    58%    46%    71%
Disapprove           33     26     31     44     17
DK/NA                19     15     11     10     12
 
                     INCOME.............  NoColl College
                     <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Approve              62%    57%    55%    57%    64%
Disapprove           23     34     37     28     28
DK/NA                15     10      8     16      8
 
 
27. Would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as - excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Excellent             -      -      1%     -      1%     -      -
Good                  3      4      2      3      4      2      3
Not so good          25     32     21     21     26     23     29
Poor                 72     64     76     76     69     75     68
DK/NA                 -      -      -      1      -      -      -
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Excellent             2%     -      -      -      -
Good                  2      5      3      1      3
Not so good          30     25     28     16     19
Poor                 66     70     69     82     77
DK/NA                 -      -      -      1      -
 
                     INCOME.............  NoColl College
                     <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Excellent             1%     -      -      1%     -
Good                  2      4      2      3      3
Not so good          24     32     17     24     25
Poor                 73     65     81     72     72
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -
 
TREND: Would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as - excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                     Feb 19  Sep 23  Aug 12
                     2009    2004    2004
 
Excellent             -       4       3
Good                  3      36      38
Not so good          25      38      37
Poor                 72      21      21
DK/NA                 -       1       1
 
 
28. Would you describe the state of Florida's economy these days as - excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Excellent             -      1%     -      -      -      -      -
Good                  9     14      4     10     12      6     10
Not so good          40     50     37     31     40     39     49
Poor                 51     35     59     59     48     54     40
DK/NA                 -      1      -      -      -      1      1
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Excellent             1%     -      -      -      -
Good                 14      8      8      6      8
Not so good          51     46     39     28     31
Poor                 33     46     53     66     61
DK/NA                 1      -      -      -      -
 
                     INCOME.............  NoColl College
                     <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Excellent             -      -      1%     -      1%
Good                  6     13     10      9     10
Not so good          42     44     29     42     35
Poor                 52     43     60     49     54
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      1
 
TREND: Would you describe the state of Florida's economy these days as - excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                     Feb 19  Dec 7  Jun 29
                     2009    2004   2004
 
Excellent             -       8      7
Good                  9      52     48
Not so good          40      27     31
Poor                 51      10     11
DK/NA                 -       3      3
 
 
29. Would you describe the state of your own personal finances these days as - excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                                                              WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Excellent             6%     5%     3%     8%     8%     3%     7%
Good                 41     50     32     42     42     40     47
Not so good          34     31     40     30     34     34     31
Poor                 18     12     24     18     14     22     13
DK/NA                 2      1      1      2      3      1      1
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Excellent             6%     4%     6%     9%     5%
Good                 50     47     39     34     33
Not so good          27     31     36     29     40
Poor                 15     15     17     26     21
DK/NA                 2      2      2      1      1
 
                     INCOME.............  NoColl College
                     <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Excellent             3%     3%    17%     5%     7%
Good                 28     59     59     37     51
Not so good          40     31     20     35     32
Poor                 28      6      3     22      9
DK/NA                 1      -      -      2      2
 
TREND: Would you describe the state of your own personal finances these days as - excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                     Feb 19  Nov 19
                     2009    2008
 
Excellent             6       7
Good                 41      49
Not so good          34      30
Poor                 18      13
DK/NA                 2       1
 
 
30. Would you say that you are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Better off           17%    24%    12%    15%    21%    12%    20%
Worse off            61     54     66     63     59     64     55
SAME(VOL)            21     21     19     21     18     23     24
DK/NA                 2      1      3      -      2      2      1
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Better off           24%    18%    19%    10%    10%
Worse off            51     60     58     70     70
SAME(VOL)            24     19     21     20     19
DK/NA                 1      3      1      -      2
 
                     INCOME.............  NoColl College
                     <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Better off           16%    14%    27%    17%    16%
Worse off            64     60     57     62     59
SAME(VOL)            19     24     16     19     24
DK/NA                 -      1      -      1      2
 
TREND: Would you say that you are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?
                     Feb 19  Nov 19   Dec 7
                     2009    2008     2004
 
Better off           17      20       42
Worse off            61      59       34
SAME(VOL)            21      20       22
DK/NA                 2       1        1
 
 
31. During the next 12 months, do you think your own personal finances will get better, get worse, or stay about the same?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Get better           29%    28%    32%    26%    31%    27%    27%
Get worse            17     18     13     22     19     16     21
Stay the same        50     51     50     49     47     53     51
DK/NA                 4      3      5      2      3      4      1
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Get better           26%    34%    34%    13%    27%
Get worse            19     16     16     13     20
Stay the same        53     45     48     73     48
DK/NA                 2      5      3      2      5
 
                     INCOME.............  NoColl College
                     <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Get better           28%    28%    30%    29%    28%
Get worse            17     20     19     16     20
Stay the same        52     50     50     51     49
DK/NA                 3      2      1      4      4
 
TREND: During the next 12 months, do you think your own personal finances will get better, get worse, or stay about the same?
                     Feb 19  Nov 19
                     2009    2008
 
Get better           29      31
Get worse            17      21
Stay the same        50      44
DK/NA                 4       4
 
 
32. By the end of Barack Obama's term in office, do you expect the economy to be better than it is today, worse than it is today, or about the same?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Better               65%    37%    89%    68%    60%    69%    40%
Worse                17     33      2     15     22     12     35
Same                 14     25      7     12     13     15     20
DK/NA                 4      5      3      4      5      4      5
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Better               54%    60%    65%    55%    79%
Worse                24     17     17     24      8
Same                 19     18     12     15     10
DK/NA                 4      4      5      6      3
 
                     INCOME.............  NoColl College
                     <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Better               66%    64%    66%    63%    69%
Worse                13     18     22     16     18
Same                 16     14     12     16     10
DK/NA                 5      5      1      5      3
 
 
33. Congress is debating President Obama's economic stimulus package which includes tax cuts and new federal spending of about 800 billion dollars. Do you support or oppose this economic stimulus package?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Support              56%    26%    88%    53%    51%    61%    35%
Oppose               36     66      7     37     43     29     56
DK/NA                 8      9      6     10      6     11      9
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Support              43%    53%    53%    41%    75%
Oppose               46     37     40     53     17
DK/NA                11     10      6      6      8
 
                     INCOME.............  NoColl College
                     <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Support              61%    50%    54%    54%    60%
Oppose               30     44     42     36     35
DK/NA                 9      6      4     10      5
 
 
34. How confident are you that this economic stimulus package will help solve the nation's economic problems - Very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not confident at all?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Very confident        9%     1%    19%     5%     9%     8%     4%
Smwht confident      42     19     65     39     36     47     29
Not too confident    25     36     12     29     24     25     24
Not confident at all 24     44      3     25     30     18     40
DK/NA                 2      1      1      2      2      2      3
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Very confident        8%     6%     8%     3%    14%
Smwht confident      38     44     34     43     50
Not too confident    18     28     28     19     25
Not confident at all 34     21     27     35     10
DK/NA                 2      1      3      -      1
 
                     INCOME.............  NoColl College
                     <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Very confident       11%     3%     7%     9%     8%
Smwht confident      45     41     35     40     45
Not too confident    23     26     28     26     22
Not confident at all 19     28     29     24     23
DK/NA                 2      2      -      2      2
 
 
35. How long do you think it will take for the program to work - less than a year, more than a year, or will it never work?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Less than a year      4%     2%     7%     2%     4%     4%     2%
More than a year     70     51     88     71     65     74     49
Never                24     45      3     26     30     19     45
DK/NA                 2      2      2      2      1      4      3
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Less than a year      3%     6%     2%     -      5%
More than a year     63     69     67     59     81
Never                33     23     27     36     12
DK/NA                 1      2      4      4      2
 
                     INCOME.............  NoColl College
                     <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Less than a year      3%     5%     4%     4%     3%
More than a year     74     69     63     69     70
Never                20     26     33     24     25
DK/NA                 3      1      1      3      1
 
 
36. Do you think the economic stimulus package will help your personal financial situation?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Yes                  35%    16%    55%    33%    33%    36%    23%
No                   60     80     39     60     64     55     73
DK/NA                 6      4      6      6      3      8      4
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Yes                  29%    38%    32%    27%    42%
No                   64     60     60     70     52
DK/NA                 7      3      8      3      5
 
                     INCOME.............  NoColl College
                     <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Yes                  39%    33%    27%    34%    36%
No                   57     62     68     59     60
DK/NA                 4      6      5      6      4