January 27, 2010 - Republican Leads In Florida Governor's Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Say Yes To Oil Drilling, No To Haitians

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Florida voters support State Attorney General Bill McCollum's promise to challenge the constitutionality of any federal health care bill that forces people to buy health insurance and give the Republican a 41 - 31 percent lead over State Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the Democrat, in the governor's race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

McCollum's promised legal challenge is a "good idea," Florida voters tell the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey 49 - 42 percent. Support for the idea is 73 - 18 percent among Republicans and 53 - 39 percent among independent voters. Democrats oppose the lawsuit idea 73 - 19 percent.

Florida voters disapprove 57 - 32 percent of the health care reform plan being considered by Congress.

In the Governor's race, McCollum leads Sink 84 - 4 percent among Republicans and 33 - 25 percent among independent voters, while Democrats back Sink 68 - 8 percent.

"Attorney General Bill McCollum has moved out to a double-digit lead in the race for Governor. He's beating CFO Alex Sink among independents and doing better among Democrats than Ms. Sink is doing among Republicans," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "But McCollum shouldn't start picking out draperies for the governor's office. Certainly part of his lead is due to being somewhat better known than Ms. Sink - although neither one is a household name in the state. "

Voters approve 56 - 20 percent of the job McCollum is doing and give him a 35 - 15 percent favorability, with 48 percent who don't know enough about him to form an opinion.

Sink gets a 39 - 22 percent approval rating, with 40 percent undecided, and 68 percent don't know enough about her to form an opinion.

McCollum dominates a Republican primary with a 44 - 6 percent lead over State Sen. Paula Dockery, while 47 percent remain undecided.

In a general election matchup, Sink leads Dockery 35 - 29 percent.

Offshore Drilling

When it comes to energy, Floridians favor 63 - 33 percent increased offshore drilling nationally. They support drilling in federal waters off the Florida coast by a smaller 55 - 38 percent margin. But a proposal to allow drilling within five miles of the Florida coast is a "bad idea," voters say 53 - 39 percent.

"Floridians favor more offshore drilling, just not too close to the state's coastline," said Brown. "They are okay with drilling in their neighborhood just not in their yard. On all of the drilling questions, Republicans and men are the most supportive, Democrats and women the least supportive and independents are in the middle."

Haitian Immigrants

When it comes to Haiti, Florida voters say 51 - 43 percent that immigration laws should be fully enforced rather than waived. Voters split 47 - 48 percent on increasing the number of legal immigrants allowed in the United States, and disapprove 50 - 46 percent of a decision by the Obama Administration to grant temporary legal status for 18 months to Haitians who were living in the United States illegally when the earthquake struck.

"In the wake of the cataclysmic Haitian earthquake, many Floridians are willing to loosen restrictions on immigration, but more voters do not want to open up the state to more refugees from the troubled island nation," said Brown.

From January 20 - 24, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,618 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points. The survey includes 673 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 3.8 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. (If registered Republican) If the 2010 Republican primary for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Bill McCollum and Paula Dockery,for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICAN......................
                                          Lib/          WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Mod    Con    Evnglcl
McCollum             44%    53%    36%    30%    52%    46%
Dockery               6      9      4     10      5      7
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      2      3      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      1      2      1      1      2
DK/NA                47     37     56     56     41     44
 
TREND: (If registered Republican) If the 2010 Republican primary for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Bill McCollum and Paula Dockery, for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICAN
                     Jan 27  Oct 21
                     2010    2009
McCollum             44      43
Dockery               6       7
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1       2
DK/NA                47      47
 
 
3. If the 2010 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Alex Sink the Democrat and Bill McCollum the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
Sink                 31%     4%    68%    25%    32%    30%    13%
McCollum             41     84      8     33     44     38     62
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      1      -      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      1      1      3      3      2      2
DK/NA                25     11     22     39     22     29     22
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Sink                 30%    33%    27%    24%    36%
McCollum             45     40     44     43     34
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      3      3      7      1
DK/NA                25     23     25     26     28
 
TREND: If the 2010 election for governor were being held today and the candidates were Alex Sink the Democrat and Bill McCollum the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Jan 27  Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 9
                     2010    2009    2009    2009
Sink                 31      32      34      38
McCollum             41      36      38      34
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -       2       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2       2       1       2
DK/NA                25      27      25      25
 
 
4. If the 2010 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Alex Sink the Democrat and Paula Dockery the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
Sink                 35%    10%    70%    29%    36%    34%    17%
Dockery              29     61      8     21     29     29     46
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      -      1      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      2      1      4      4      2      4
DK/NA                32     26     21     44     29     35     32
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Sink                 35%    37%    29%    27%    41%
Dockery              34     33     32     32     19
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      1      2      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      3      3      6      3
DK/NA                29     26     35     34     36
 
 
10. Is your opinion of - Bill McCollum favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
Favorable            35%    50%    23%    34%    40%    30%    45%
Unfavorable          15      6     24     15     19     11      8
Hvn't hrd enough     48     43     51     47     37     57     45
REFUSED               2      1      1      4      3      1      2
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Favorable            35%    39%    42%    29%    27%
Unfavorable          12     13     15      8     21
Hvn't hrd enough     51     45     40     63     50
REFUSED               2      3      2      -      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Bill McCollum favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him? (*Attorney General Bill McCollum)
                     Jan 27  Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 9   Jan 21
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2009*
Favorable            35      34      42      40      40
Unfavorable          15      14      13      13      14
Hvn't hrd enough     48      50      43      46      44
REFUSED               2       2       2       2       1
 
 
11. Is your opinion of - Alex Sink favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
Favorable            24%    13%    36%    23%    27%    20%    16%
Unfavorable           8     13      4      7     10      6     13
Hvn't hrd enough     68     73     59     68     61     73     70
REFUSED               1      1      -      1      1      -      2
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Favorable            21%    27%    21%    17%    28%
Unfavorable           8      9     11      7      5
Hvn't hrd enough     71     64     66     74     67
REFUSED               -      -      1      2      -
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Alex Sink favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her? (*Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink)
                     Jan 27  Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 9   Jan 21  Nov 18
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2009*   2008*
Favorable            24      23      23      25      24      27
Unfavorable           8       8       8       7       5      13
Hvn't hrd enough     68      68      68      66      70      59
REFUSED               1       1       1       1       1       1
 
 
12. Is your opinion of - Paula Dockery favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
Favorable             8%    12%     7%     6%     9%     7%    11%
Unfavorable           6      4      7      5      8      4      3
Hvn't hrd enough     85     84     84     88     81     89     84
REFUSED               1      -      1      2      2      1      1
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Favorable             9%    15%     4%     4%     7%
Unfavorable           6      9      4      3      5
Hvn't hrd enough     84     74     91     93     87
REFUSED               -      2      1      -      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Paula Dockery favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     Jan 27  Oct 21
                     2010    2009
Favorable             8       5
Unfavorable           6       3
Hvn't hrd enough     85      91
REFUSED               1       1
 
 
17. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill McCollum is handling his job as Florida's Attorney General?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
Approve              56%    73%    44%    54%    57%    54%    67%
Disapprove           20      8     30     20     25     16     13
DK/NA                24     19     25     26     18     30     20
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Approve              60%    59%    58%    54%    48%
Disapprove           17     21     16     11     28
DK/NA                22     20     25     35     24
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill McCollum is handling his job as Florida's Attorney General?
                                                              APPROVE.......
                                                              High    Low
                     Jan 27   Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 9   Apr 15  Jan 27  Oct 24
                     2010     2009    2009    2009    2009    2010    2007
Approve              56       53      53      51      48      56      44
Disapprove           20       19      16      16      18      20      17
DK/NA                24       27      31      33      34      24      39
 
 
18. 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              39%    35%    48%    36%    42%    35%    36%
Disapprove           22     23     16     26     23     20     26
DK/NA                40     43     37     38     35     44     38
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Approve              37%    50%    34%    29%    38%
Disapprove           25     22     24     14     19
DK/NA                37     28     41     57     43
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Alex Sink is handling her job as Florida's Chief Financial Officer? (*High approve also 39% Feb 2009 and Jun 2009)
                                                              APPROVE.......
                                                              High    Low
                     Jan 27   Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 9   Apr 15  Jan 27  Feb 18
                     2010     2009    2009    2009    2009    2010*   2009
Approve              39       38      37      39      33      39      32
Disapprove           22       23      21      17      22      22      22
DK/NA                40       39      42      44      46      40      46
 
 
24. In general, do you support or oppose the United States increasing the amount of drilling for oil and natural gas in offshore waters?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
Support              63%    85%    40%    65%    67%    58%    77%
Oppose               33     13     54     32     30     36     20
DK/NA                 4      3      6      3      3      6      3
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Support              65%    51%    71%    67%    61%
Oppose               29     45     25     30     35
DK/NA                 6      4      5      3      3
 
 
25. Some state officials have suggested lifting the bans on drilling in federal waters off Florida. Do you think lifting those bans is a good idea or a bad idea?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
Good idea            55%    70%    37%    58%    61%    49%    66%
Bad idea             38     19     55     38     35     40     27
DK/NA                 8     11      8      4      4     11      7
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Good idea            59%    47%    63%    56%    50%
Bad idea             35     43     30     39     41
DK/NA                 6     10      7      4      9
 
 
26. One proposal would allow drilling rigs 5 miles off the Florida coast. Do you think that is a good idea or a bad idea?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
Good idea            39%    50%    27%    41%    46%    33%    49%
Bad idea             53     38     66     53     49     56     43
DK/NA                 8     12      8      6      5     12      8
 
 
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Good idea            41%    33%    48%    32%    36%
Bad idea             48     61     45     65     53
DK/NA                11      6      7      3     11
 
 
27. In general, do you think normal immigration laws should be waived in a time of crisis like the Haitian earthquake, or should existing laws be fully enforced?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
Yes/Waive laws       43%    31%    59%    40%    38%    48%    29%
No/Fully enforced    51     63     38     53     58     46     67
DK/NA                 6      6      3      7      4      7      5
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Yes/Waive laws       38%    37%    44%    39%    52%
No/Fully enforced    57     59     52     52     41
DK/NA                 6      4      4     10      7
 
 
28. Do you think that the number of legal immigrants from Haiti currently allowed should be increased at this time, or not?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
Yes/Increased        47%    35%    58%    48%    42%    51%    38%
No                   48     59     37     47     54     42     57
DK/NA                 5      6      5      5      4      6      5
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Yes/Increased        46%    43%    44%    47%    52%
No                   49     53     50     47     41
DK/NA                 5      4      5      6      6
 
 
29. The Obama administration will grant temporary legal status for 18 months to tens of thousands of Haitians immigrants who were living in the United States illegally before the earthquake. Do you approve or disapprove of that decision?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
Approve              46%    31%    63%    45%    43%    49%    24%
Disapprove           50     65     33     51     53     47     72
DK/NA                 4      4      4      4      4      5      4
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Approve              42%    37%    41%    35%    64%
Disapprove           51     60     56     56     32
DK/NA                 6      3      3      8      4
 
 
30. From what you've heard or read, do you mostly approve or mostly disapprove of the proposed changes to the health care system under consideration in Congress?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
Mostly Approve       32%    10%    57%    31%    32%    33%    14%
Mostly Disapprove    57     83     28     58     59     54     77
DK/NA                11      7     14     11     10     12      9
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Mostly Approve       27%    26%    25%    30%    49%
Mostly Disapprove    60     66     62     57     41
DK/NA                13      8     13     13     10
 
 
31. Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum says that if Congress passes a health care bill that requires all Americans to buy health insurance he will file a lawsuit challenging the law's constitutionality. Do you think filing a lawsuit is a good idea or a bad idea?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
Good idea            49%    73%    19%    53%    54%    44%    68%
Bad idea             42     18     73     39     39     45     23
DK/NA                 9      9      9      8      7     10      8
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Good idea            52%    52%    53%    56%    38%
Bad idea             39     38     38     33     55
DK/NA                10     10      9     11      7