February 3, 2011 - Florida's Nelson Gets OK Grades, But Under 50%, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Divided On Second Term For Obama

Word format

Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has a 45 - 21 percent job approval rating among registered voters, who say 43 - 33 percent that he deserves re-election, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has a 42 - 20 percent job approval rating after his first month in office, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

President Barack Obama gets a split job approval rating as 47 percent approve and 49 percent disapprove. By a narrow 48 - 45 percent margin, voters say the president does not deserve a second term. In fact, 40 percent of Florida voters would back Obama while 42 percent say they would back an unnamed Republican challenger.

"Sen. Bill Nelson's numbers are mixed. Only one in five voters is unhappy with his job performance, which indicates he hasn't stirred up strong opposition. But history shows that when only 43 percent of voters say an incumbent deserves another term, that incumbent sometimes doesn't get another term," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Sen. Nelson is not in terrific shape but he is not in terrible shape either. His fate may rest with how President Barack Obama does in 2012 as Florida voters see the two men similarly on the issues."

Florida voters say 46 - 17 percent that Nelson generally shares the same views as President Obama. Independent voters, often the key voting group, say he shares Obama's views 44 - 17 percent.

A plurality of voters, 44 percent, say Obama is too liberal, as 4 percent say he is too conservative and 43 percent say the president is about right. Almost the same number, 44 percent, say Nelson is about right, while 23 percent say he is too liberal and 7 percent too conservative. But 26 percent don't have a view of Nelson, much greater than the 8 percent who say that about Obama.

When Nelson is matched against an unnamed Republican in a trial 2012 heat, he wins 41 - 36 percent.

Obama's 47 - 49 percent job approval rating is statistically unchanged from his 47 - 47 rating the last time Quinnipiac University surveyed registered Florida voters in August 2010.

He gets a thumbs up from Democrats 83 - 12 percent and a thumbs down from Republicans 84 - 14 percent. Independent voters split with 47 percent approving and 49 percent disapproving.

By a reverse 49 - 47 percent, still basically a tie, Florida voters have a favorable opinion of Obama.

On other matters, Florida voters are down on both the war in Afghanistan and the president's health care overhaul.

Voters say 54 - 38 percent that the United States should not be involved in Afghanistan, part of a continuing decline in the war's popularity. In Quinnipiac University's August poll, voters said 49 - 43 percent America should not be involved the war.

By 50 - 43 percent, Florida voters say the health care overhaul should be repealed.

From January 25 - 31, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,160 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

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, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Marco Rubio is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              42     65     23     38     43     42     56
Disapprove           20      9     36     17     22     19     11
DK/NA                37     26     41     44     35     39     33
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              47     40     45     44     39
Disapprove           14     22     23     15     22
DK/NA                38     39     33     41     39
 
 
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              45     37     55     44     49     42     33
Disapprove           21     32     10     22     26     17     34
DK/NA                34     32     35     35     25     41     33
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              48     43     47     39     46
Disapprove           22     29     25     25     11
DK/NA                31     29     28     36     43
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Nelson is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS....
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Feb 03  Aug 19  Jul 30  Jun 09  Feb 06  Aug 12  Aug 19
                     2011    2010    2010    2010    2007    2004    2010
 
Approve              45      45      46      47      54      42      45
Disapprove           21      33      30      31      18      18      33
DK/NA                34      22      24      22      28      40      22
 
 
4. 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     14     83     47     45     50     24
Disapprove           49     84     12     49     52     46     72
DK/NA                 4      2      5      4      4      4      4
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Feb 03  Aug 19  Jul 30  Jun 09  Apr 19  Feb 19  Jun 09
                     2011    2010    2010    2010    2010    2009    2010
 
Approve              47      47      46      40      50      64      40
Disapprove           49      47      50      54      45      23      54
DK/NA                 4       5       4       6       5      13       6
 
 
7. Looking ahead to the 2012 election for President... If the 2012 election for President were being held today, do you think you would vote for Barack Obama the Democratic candidate, or the Republican candidate?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Obama                40      5     82     37     37     42     13
Republican           42     84      8     35     43     41     70
DEPENDS ON CAND(VOL) 12      8      7     19     14     10     11
DK/NA                 6      2      4      9      6      7      6
 
 
8. Looking ahead to the 2012 election for President... Do you feel that Barack Obama 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
 reelection          45      9     81     46     44     46     18
No/Does not          48     85     13     44     49     47     73
DK/NA                 8      5      6     10      7      8      8
 
 
9. Looking ahead to the 2012 election for United States Senator... If the 2012 election for United States Senator were being held today, do you think you would vote for Bill Nelson the Democratic candidate, or the Republican candidate?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Nelson               41     11     79     37     41     40     19
Republican           36     73      7     31     37     36     56
DEPENDS ON CAND(VOL) 10      9      6     14     10     10     12
DK/NA                13      6      7     18     12     14     14
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Nelson               37     37     41     34     47
Republican           37     43     40     43     26
DEPENDS ON CAND(VOL) 12      8     10      7     11
DK/NA                14     11      9     16     16
 
 
10. Looking ahead to the 2012 election for U.S. Senate... Do you feel that Bill Nelson 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
 reelection          43     21     69     40     45     41     27
No/Does not          33     56      9     33     38     28     48
DK/NA                25     23     22     27     17     32     26
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Yes/Deserves
 reelection          39     41     43     37     48
No/Does not          38     35     34     36     25
DK/NA                22     23     23     28     27
 
 
12. 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            49     13     87     49     48     50     23
Unfavorable          47     84     10     45     49     45     72
Hvn't hrd enough      2      1      1      5      1      3      3
REFUSED               2      2      3      2      2      2      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                             FAVORABLE....
                                                             High    Low
                     Feb 03  Aug 20  Jun 10  Apr 16  Feb 19  Feb 19  Feb 07
                     2011    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2007
 
Favorable            49      51      62      63      69      69      37
Unfavorable          47      44      32      30      22      22      18
Hvn't hrd enough      2       3       4       5       6       6      44
REFUSED               2       2       2       1       3       3       1
 
 
13. Is your opinion of Marco Rubio favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            41     66     17     38     41     41     54
Unfavorable          17      6     33     13     17     16     10
Hvn't hrd enough     41     28     48     48     41     41     34
REFUSED               2      1      2      1      1      2      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Marco Rubio favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                             FAVORABLE.....
                                                             High    Low
                     Feb 03  Aug 19  Jul 30  Jun 09  Apr 15  Feb 03  Apr 16
                     2011    2010    2010    2010    2010    2011    2009
 
Favorable            41      35      35      36      36      41      10
Unfavorable          17      28      24      28      22      17      11
Hvn't hrd enough     41      34      38      34      41      41      78
REFUSED               2       2       3       2       1       2       2
 
 
14. Is your opinion of - Bill Nelson favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            39     25     59     35     41     37     25
Unfavorable          23     39      9     21     29     18     43
Hvn't hrd enough     36     35     31     42     30     42     29
REFUSED               2      2      1      1      -      3      3
 
 
15. Do you think Barack Obama is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Liberal              44     79      9     42     46     43     72
Conservative          4      2      7      5      6      3      4
About right          43     12     79     43     39     46     19
DK/NA                 8      8      5     10      9      8      5
 
TREND: Do you think Barack Obama is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
                     Feb 03  May 01
                     2011    2008
 
Too liberal          44      36
Too conservative      4       5
About right          43      47
DK/NA                 8      12
 
 
16. Do you think Bill Nelson is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Liberal              23     39      6     23     26     20     39
Conservative          7      4      9      8      8      6      2
About right          44     33     63     39     47     42     34
DK/NA                26     25     22     30     19     32     24
 
TREND: Do you think Bill Nelson is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
                     Feb 03  Aug 31
                     2011    2005
 
Too liberal          23      17
Too conservative      7       7
About right          44      50
DK/NA                26      25
 
 
17. Do you think Bill Nelson generally shares the views of Barack Obama on major issues or not?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Yes                  46     47     48     44     50     43     47
No                   17     20     16     17     21     14     17
DK/NA                37     33     36     40     30     43     35
 
 
29. Do you think the U.S. is doing the right thing by fighting the war in Afghanistan now, or should the U.S. not be involved in Afghanistan now?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Right thing          38     59     18     37     45     33     51
Should'nt be invlvd  54     33     74     57     50     59     39
DK/NA                 7      8      8      6      5      9     10
 
TREND: Do you think the U.S. is doing the right thing by fighting the war in Afghanistan now, or should the U.S. not be involved in Afghanistan now?
                     Feb 03  Aug 19
                     2011    2010
 
Right thing          38      43
Shld't be invl       54      49
DK/NA                 7       7
 
 
30. Do you think Congress should repeal the new health care law, or should they let it stand?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Should repeal it     50     78     18     52     52     48     73
Let it stand         43     15     74     43     44     42     21
DK/NA                 7      7      8      5      4     10      5