August 20, 2009 - Obama Approval Hits New Low In Florida, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Say 5-1 Town Hall Protests Are Not Un- American

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President Barack Obama gets a 47 - 48 percent approval rating from Florida voters, down from 58 - 35 percent June 10, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This is President Obama's lowest approval in any national or statewide poll conducted by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University/

Voters approve 55 - 35 percent of the protests against health care reform and reject 79 - 14 percent the argument that these protests are un-American.

Floridians also reject 59 - 37 percent enacting health care reform if it "significantly" increases the federal budget deficit. By a 71 - 23 percent margin, voters don't believe Obama can keep his promise to reform health care without increasing the federal budget deficit.

Florida voters oppose 62 - 35 percent the idea that Democrats in Congress should use their majorities to push through a health care overhaul even if it only gets Democratic votes.

But voters support 58 - 36 percent creating a government health insurance plan.

"Although he still gets a 51 - 44 percent favorability rating, that's down from 62 - 32 percent in June and the President's 47 - 48 percent thumbs down verdict on his job performance makes Florida the first state in which a Quinnipiac University survey shows his job approval is underwater, even if his nose is right at the surface," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "This is also the first time that President Obama's approval rating has fallen below the 51 percent of the popular vote that he won in Florida.

"At least in Florida, the protests against the proposed health care overhaul that have been surfacing at town meetings held by members of Congress have struck a chord with the public."

"Voters approve of the demonstrations and they overwhelmingly disagree with the view expressed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that these protests are un-American," Brown added.

"There is a partisan split on approval of the protests, as Democrats disapprove 61 - 29 percent. But on whether they are un-American, even Democrats don't think so, 67 - 25 percent."

Obama's positive job approval among Democrats dropped from 91 percent to 83 percent. But a larger and politically more significant drop is among independent voters who disapprove 51 - 46 percent, down from a 50 - 42 percent approval June 10.

While lower income voters are more optimistic that Obama's economic and health care policies will help them personally, that optimism drops as income rises.

Overall, voters say 46 - 42 percent that his policies will help the economy, but only 33 percent say it will help them financially, while 39 percent say it will hurt them and 25 percent say it will make no difference. By a 48 - 34 percent margin, voters say Obama's health care plan will hurt rather than help the economy.

Only 38 percent believe his plan will improve health care nationally, while 45 percent say it will hurt health care.

And only 23 percent say Obama's plan will improve the quality of the care they receive, while 38 percent say it will hurt their quality of care and 35 percent say it won't affect their care.

Still, Florida voters trust Obama more than Congressional Republicans 42 - 38 percent to handle health care. And voters support several elements of Obama's plan, including:
  • 59 - 38 percent in favor of raising taxes on high-income couples to pay for health care reform;
  • 57 - 34 percent in favor of subsidies for families earning up to $88,000 a year;
  • 49 - 40 percent in favor of requiring businesses to provide employee health insurance.
"It's no coincidence that as skepticism about the President's health care and economic programs grows, his job approval drops. In 2008, President Obama's ability to carry Florida was one of the surprises of the election. His loss of support there is something the White House will undoubtedly be paying attention to as the calendar shifts toward 2012," said Brown.

From August 12 - 17, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,136 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 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.

19. 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              47%    12%    83%    46%    45%    49%    21%
Disapprove           48     84     11     51     50     45     74
DK/NA                 5      4      6      3      5      6      5
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Approve              56%    48%    48%    40%
Disapprove           33     49     48     58
DK/NA                11      3      4      3
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president?
                     Aug 20  Jun 10  Apr 16  Feb 19
                     2009    2009    2009    2009
 
Approve              47      58      60      64
Disapprove           48      35      32      23
DK/NA                 5       7       8      13
 
 
20. Would you say that Barack Obama is doing a better job as president than you expected, a worse job, or about what you expected?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Better               17%     6%    32%    13%    19%    16%    10%
Worse                26     44      6     31     29     24     39
About expected       55     49     60     55     51     59     50
DK/NA                 2      1      1      1      2      2      1
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Better               19%    22%    14%    17%
Worse                22     30     26     26
About expected       55     48     59     57
DK/NA                 4      -      -      -
 
TREND: Would you say that Barack Obama is doing a better job as president than you expected, a worse job, or about what you expected?
                     Aug 20  Jun 10  Apr 16
                     2009    2009    2009
 
Better               17      27      28
Worse                26      17      15
As expected          55      53      52
DK/NA                 2       3       5
 
 
21. 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            51%    14%    88%    50%    49%    53%    24%
Unfavorable          44     80      8     47     47     41     69
Hvn't hrd enough      3      3      2      -      2      4      3
REFUSED               2      3      2      3      2      3      5
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Favorable            64%    48%    51%    45%
Unfavorable          28     48     47     53
Hvn't hrd enough      5      2      1      1
REFUSED               4      1      2      -
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                             FAVORABLE....
                                                             High    Low
                     Aug 20  Jun 10  Apr 16  Feb 19  Jan 21  Feb 19  Feb 07
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2007
 
Favorable            51      62      63      69      66      69      37
Unfavorable          44      32      30      22      16      22      18
Hvn't hrd enough      3       4       5       6      12       6      44
REFUSED               2       2       1       3       5       3       1
 
 
25. Do you think President Obama's policies have helped the economy, hurt the economy, or haven't made a difference?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Helped               36%    10%    68%    29%    37%    35%    17%
Hurt                 37     65      7     40     40     34     63
No difference        23     23     21     25     20     25     17
DK/NA                 4      2      4      6      3      5      3
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Helped               37%    38%    36%    38%
Hurt                 25     40     41     37
No difference        32     18     20     24
DK/NA                 6      5      3      1
 
 
26. Looking forward, do you think President Obama's policies will help the economy, will hurt the economy, or won't make a difference?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Will help            46%    12%    84%    41%    44%    49%    21%
Will hurt            42     75      7     47     45     38     66
No difference         8     10      6      7      8      8     10
DK/NA                 4      3      3      6      2      5      3
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Will help            58%    44%    47%    39%
Will hurt            24     44     47     53
No difference        12      8      3      6
DK/NA                 6      4      2      1
 
 
27. Do you think President Obama's policies have helped your personal financial situation, hurt your personal financial situation, or haven't made a difference?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Helped               14%     3%    30%     9%    14%    15%     8%
Hurt                 26     46      7     23     25     26     39
No difference        59     50     62     67     61     58     51
DK/NA                 1      1      1      1      -      1      1
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Helped               14%    16%    13%    18%
Hurt                 22     23     26     32
No difference        64     61     60     50
DK/NA                 1      -      -      -
 
 
28. Looking forward, do you think President Obama's policies will help your personal financial situation, will hurt your personal financial situation, or won't make a difference?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Will help            33%     7%    60%    30%    33%    34%    13%
Will hurt            39     68      6     42     40     37     61
No difference        25     22     31     25     26     25     24
DK/NA                 3      3      3      3      2      4      3
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Will help            38%    30%    38%    27%
Will hurt            23     45     41     47
No difference        35     23     18     26
DK/NA                 4      2      3      -
 
 
29. Who do you trust to do a better job handling health care - President Obama or the Republicans in Congress?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
President Obama      42%     8%    79%    37%    42%    43%    17%
Reps in Congress     38     73      9     35     38     37     59
DK/NA                20     18     11     28     20     20     24
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
President Obama      57%    40%    43%    35%
Reps in Congress     26     43     44     45
DK/NA                18     18     13     20
 
 
30. Do you think President Obama's health care plan would improve the quality of health care in the nation, hurt the quality of health care in the nation, or not make a difference?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Improve              38%     8%    73%    34%    37%    39%    11%
Hurt                 45     81     11     47     46     44     71
No difference        11      7     11     11     10     11      9
DK/NA                 6      4      6      8      6      6      9
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Improve              48%    34%    39%    31%
Hurt                 31     50     49     53
No difference        14     11      7     13
DK/NA                 7      6      5      2
 
 
31. Do you think President Obama's health care plan will improve the quality of health care you receive, hurt the quality of health care you receive, or not make a difference?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Improve              23%     6%    45%    17%    25%    21%     7%
Hurt                 38     68      9     40     37     39     65
No difference        35     23     40     40     35     35     25
DK/NA                 4      2      6      4      3      5      4
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Improve              38%    20%    18%    16%
Hurt                 28     41     43     44
No difference        27     36     38     39
DK/NA                 7      3      2      1
 
 
32. Do you think President Obama's health care plan would help the economy, hurt the economy, or not make a difference?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Help                 34%     8%    64%    29%    33%    35%    10%
Hurt                 48     81     15     54     49     48     75
No difference        13      9     15     11     15     11     11
DK/NA                 4      1      6      6      3      6      4
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Help                 39%    31%    37%    28%
Hurt                 34     50     51     57
No difference        20     14      8     14
DK/NA                 7      5      3      1
 
 
33. Do you think President Obama's health care plan would increase your health care costs, decrease your health care costs, or not make a difference?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Increase costs       40%    63%    16%    39%    41%    39%    63%
Decrease costs       18      6     31     17     19     17      7
No difference        37     24     47     39     36     37     25
DK/NA                 6      6      6      5      4      7      5
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Increase costs       29%    45%    40%    43%
Decrease costs       21     21     14     24
No difference        43     29     41     30
DK/NA                 8      4      6      3
 
 
34. Do you think President Obama's health care plan would increase the taxes that you pay, decrease the taxes you pay, or not make a difference?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Increase taxes       65%    88%    38%    71%    68%    61%    87%
Decrease taxes        5      1      9      5      4      7      2
No difference        26     10     48     19     26     26     10
DK/NA                 4      1      5      5      3      6      2
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Increase taxes       44%    71%    66%    81%
Decrease taxes        7      6      4      1
No difference        43     20     26     16
DK/NA                 5      3      4      2
 
 
35. Do you support or oppose requiring people to have health insurance or pay a fine of 2.5 percent of their income?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Support              27%    21%    37%    24%    31%    24%    22%
Oppose               66     74     52     71     64     67     73
DK/NA                 7      5     11      5      5      9      5
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Support              24%    29%    33%    27%
Oppose               61     68     63     72
DK/NA                16      4      4      1
 
 
36. Do you support or oppose requiring businesses with payrolls of 250,000 dollars per year to offer their employees health insurance or pay the government 8 percent of their payroll to underwrite health insurance?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Support              49%    30%    72%    46%    44%    54%    33%
Oppose               40     62     18     40     47     33     56
DK/NA                11      8     10     14      9     13     11
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Support              55%    50%    56%    35%
Oppose               27     40     38     62
DK/NA                18     10      6      3
 
 
37. Do you support or oppose giving people the option of being covered by a government health insurance plan that would compete with private plans?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Support              58%    32%    84%    57%    55%    61%    42%
Oppose               36     60     11     39     42     31     54
DK/NA                 6      9      5      4      3      8      4
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Support              63%    61%    60%    53%
Oppose               28     35     37     44
DK/NA                 9      5      3      3
 
 
38. Would you rather purchase health insurance from a private sector company or from a government program?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Private sector       59%    81%    32%    65%    64%    54%    78%
Gov't program        22     10     36     19     19     24     12
DK/NA                19      9     32     16     17     21     11
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Private sector       41%    59%    67%    78%
Gov't program        36     23     14     12
DK/NA                23     18     19     10
 
 
39. Do you support or oppose government subsidies for individuals who earn 43,000 dollars or less or families of four who earn less than 88,000 dollars a year to buy health care insurance?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Support              57%    39%    73%    58%    58%    56%    47%
Oppose               34     52     19     32     35     34     44
DK/NA                 9      9      8      9      7     10      9
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Support              56%    65%    59%    53%
Oppose               33     26     35     46
DK/NA                11      9      6      2
 
 
40. To extend health insurance coverage to most Americans over the next decade, would you support or oppose imposing an extra tax on individuals who earn more than 350,000 dollars and couples who earn more than 1 million dollars a year?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Support              59%    32%    83%    60%    56%    62%    41%
Oppose               38     63     15     37     41     35     55
DK/NA                 3      5      2      3      3      3      4
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Support              69%    62%    57%    48%
Oppose               26     36     39     51
DK/NA                 4      2      4      2
 
 
41. To extend health insurance coverage to most Americans over the next decade, would you support or oppose a new tax on employees for the health care benefits that they receive from their employers?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Support              21%     8%    34%    23%    25%    18%    13%
Oppose               73     88     59     73     73     74     82
DK/NA                 5      3      7      5      3      8      5
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Support              23%    24%    20%    19%
Oppose               67     71     78     80
DK/NA                 9      5      3      1
 
 
42. Which concerns you more - Congress does not pass legislation to overhaul the nation's health care system or the cost of overhauling the nation's health care system will significantly increase the federal budget deficit?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Cong doesn't pass    39%    23%    63%    32%    38%    40%    24%
Increase deficit     50     68     27     58     52     49     65
DK/NA                11      9     10     11     10     11     11
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Cong doesn't pass    41%    42%    42%    37%
Increase deficit     41     47     50     60
DK/NA                18     11      8      3
 
 
43. Do you agree or disagree with the following: Congress should approve a health care overhaul plan even if only Democrats support it.
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Agree                35%    10%    67%    30%    36%    34%    16%
Disagree             62     87     31     67     60     63     81
DK/NA                 3      3      2      3      3      3      3
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Agree                47%    37%    34%    26%
Disagree             48     61     62     73
DK/NA                 5      2      3      2
 
 
44. President Obama has pledged that health insurance reform will not add to our federal budget deficit over the next decade. Do you think that President Obama will be able to keep his promise or do you think any health care plan that Congress passes and President Obama signs will add to the federal budget deficit?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Will keep promise    23%     5%    44%    19%    23%    23%    10%
Will add to deficit  71     92     46     77     73     69     83
DK/NA                 6      4     10      4      4      8      6
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Will keep promise    30%    21%    19%    25%
Will add to deficit  61     74     75     74
DK/NA                 9      5      5      1
 
 
45. Do you agree or disagree with the following: Overhauling the nation's health care system is so important that it should be enacted even if it significantly increases the federal budget deficit.
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Agree                37%     9%    66%    34%    37%    38%    19%
Disagree             59     87     29     63     60     58     77
DK/NA                 4      4      5      3      3      4      4
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Agree                44%    41%    37%    28%
Disagree             50     57     60     71
DK/NA                 6      2      3      1
 
 
46. Are you now covered by any form of health insurance or health plan?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Yes                  87%    91%    91%    84%    86%    89%    92%
No                   12      9      9     16     14     11      8
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -      -      -
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Yes                  77%    85%    96%    94%
No                   23     15      4      6
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -
 
 
47. (If yes q46) Is your health insurance plan Medicare, Medicaid, or a private health insurance plan?
                     YES Q46...........................................
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Medicare             11%    10%    13%     9%    10%    12%    11%
Medicaid              4      4      8      1      3      5      3
Private plan         64     64     62     66     64     63     58
COMB OF PLANS(VOL)   19     19     16     20     18     19     26
DK/NA                 3      4      1      3      4      1      2
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Medicare             22%     8%     6%     2%
Medicaid             12      3      -      4
Private plan         37     67     75     86
COMB OF PLANS(VOL)   26     19     17      4
DK/NA                 2      3      2      3
 
 
48. Do you approve or disapprove of the protests at the recent town hall meetings on health care reform?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              55%    78%    29%    58%    55%    54%    69%
Disapprove           35     13     61     32     38     32     23
DK/NA                10     10     10     10      7     14      8
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Approve              41%    55%    62%    62%
Disapprove           43     36     29     34
DK/NA                16      9      9      4
 
 
49. Some people have called these protests un-American. Do you agree or disagree?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Agree                14%     6%    25%    11%    15%    14%     7%
Disagree             79     87     67     84     81     78     85
DK/NA                 6      7      7      5      5      8      8
 
                     INCOME....................
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Agree                20%    11%    15%     8%
Disagree             69     82     81     88
DK/NA                10      7      4      3