May 25, 2011 - Florida Voters Turn Thumbs Down On Gov. Scott 2-1, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Say Property Insurance Is Getting Worse

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Florida voters disapprove 57 - 29 percent of the job Gov. Rick Scott is doing, the worst score of any governor in the states surveyed by Quinnipiac University and down from a 48 - 35 percent disapproval in an April 6 survey, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

The state's new budget is unfair to people like them, voters tell the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll 54 - 29 percent. Gov. Scott and the State Legislature are equally responsible for the budget, 68 percent of voters say. The legislature's job approval rating is nearly identical to that of the governor, as voters disapprove 56 - 27 percent, compared to 47 - 35 percent disapproval in April.

Despite the new property insurance law signed by the governor, voters say securing insurance is getting harder and more expensive.

"Voters have turned even more negative on Gov. Rick Scott since the last Quinnipiac University survey," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "It probably doesn't make him feel any better that the State Legislature is sharing the basement suite in the eyes of the electorate. The good news for the governor is that he has three and a half years to turn public opinion around. "

Even Scott's support among Republicans is relatively weak, with 51 percent of GOP voters approving and 37 percent disapproving of his job performance. Disapproval is 72 - 13 percent among Democrats and 57 - 28 percent among independent voters. Both sexes are down on Scott: Men disapprove 53 - 35 percent and women disapprove 60 - 24 percent.

"The data on the perceived fairness of the governor's budget is crucial. When voters by almost 2-1 say his approach is unfair to them, that's a giant flashing political warning sign for Scott," said Brown. "When voters don't think they are being treated fairly, they tend to react negatively."

On that question Democrats say the budget is unfair 68 - 18 percent, and independent voters say unfair 52 - 30 percent, while Republicans say it is fair 47 - 38 percent. Men say unfair 48 - 38 percent; women say unfair 60 - 22 percent.

Asked about the cuts in state spending contained in the budget, 47 percent say they go too far, while 18 percent say not far enough and 22 percent say they are about right. And by 38 - 23 percent voters think those cuts will hurt, rather than help, Florida's economy.

Voters split 42 - 40 percent on whether they think Scott kept his promise not to raise taxes.

On insurance, 63 percent say property insurance is getting more difficult to obtain in Florida and 3 percent say it is getting easier. One in four voters, 26 percent, say there has been no change.

An even larger share, 74 percent, say property insurance is getting more expensive in Florida, as 3 percent say it is getting less expensive and 16 percent say there has been no change.

This frustration with the insurance market for consumers leads 59 percent of voters to call for more government regulation of property insurance in the state, while 29 percent say the state is doing enough.

"Whether the new law changes public attitudes about insurance in Florida, only time will tell, but there is no doubt that the electorate sees a crying need for something to make getting and paying for property insurance in Florida less onerous," said Brown.

From May 17 - 23, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,196 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 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.

5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Rick Scott is handling his job as governor?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              29%    51%    13%    28%    35%    24%    48%
Disapprove           57     37     72     57     53     60     37
DK/NA                14     12     15     15     12     16     15
 
                     North/                             STATE BUDGET Q20
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE   Fair   Unfair
 
Approve              34%    28%    34%    36%    19%    64%    10%
Disapprove           54     63     53     51     60     25     81
DK/NA                12      9     13     13     21     11      9
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Rick Scott is handling his job as Governor?
                     May 25  Apr 6   Feb 2
                     2011    2011    2011
 
Approve              29      35      35
Disapprove           57      48      22
DK/NA                14      17      43
 
 
8. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              27%    43%    18%    21%    31%    24%    32%
Disapprove           56     40     64     61     57     55     52
DK/NA                17     16     17     17     12     21     16
 
                     North/                             STATE BUDGET Q20
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE   Fair   Unfair
 
Approve              30%    33%    27%    25%    21%    51%    15%
Disapprove           56     55     55     52     59     36     74
DK/NA                14     12     18     23     20     13     11
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     May 25  Apr 6   Aug 19  Jul 30  Jun 9   Sep 23  May 25
                     2011    2011    2010    2010    2010    2004    2011
                                                             
Approve              27      35      30      30      30      51      27
Disapprove           56      47      56      54      53      34      56
DK/NA                17      18      14      17      18      15      17
 
 
10. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Florida today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Very satisfied        3%     6%     1%     2%     3%     2%     4%
Smwht satisfied      36     46     32     32     36     36     46
Smwht dissatisfied   32     30     30     35     33     30     29
Very dissatisfied    29     16     36     30     27     30     20
DK/NA                 1      2      1      1      1      1      1
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Very satisfied        2%     2%     2%     8%     2%
Smwht satisfied      39     35     39     34     31
Smwht dissatisfied   31     30     28     39     35
Very dissatisfied    27     30     31     17     31
DK/NA                 -      2      1      2      1
 
TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Florida today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied or very dissatisfied? (*combined High also 63% Sep 2004)
                                                             VERY+SMWHT....
                                                             High    Low
                     May 25  Apr 6   Feb 02  Jun 09  Apr 15  Feb 24  Apr 10
                     2011    2011    2011    2009    2009    2005*   2008
 
Very satisfied        3       3       3       6       3      15       5
Smwht satisfied      36      36      44      45      43      48      32
Smwht dissatisfied   32      34      34      33      34      22      34
Very dissatisfied    29      26      19      15      19      15      28
DK/NA                 1       1       1       2       1       1       1
 
 
16. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Rick Scott is handling the state budget?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              30%    54%    11%    33%    36%    25%    53%
Disapprove           59     38     77     56     56     61     39
DK/NA                11      8     12     11      7     14      7
 
                     North/                             STATE BUDGET Q20
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE   Fair   Unfair
 
Approve              39%    35%    31%    34%    19%    74%     7%
Disapprove           55     58     60     54     63     22     86
DK/NA                 7      7      9     11     18      4      7
 
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Rick Scott is handling the state budget?
                     May 25  Apr 06
                     2011    2011
 
Approve              30      36
Disapprove           59      55
DK/NA                11       9
 
 
17. How much have you heard or read about the new state budget agreed to by Governor Scott and the state legislature? A lot, some, not much, or nothing at all?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
A lot                24%    24%    26%    20%    22%    25%    26%
Some                 44     44     43     45     45     44     53
Not much             22     23     22     22     23     21     17
Nothing at all       10      8      8     12      9     10      2
DK/NA                 1      1      -      1      1      -      1
 
                     North/                             STATE BUDGET Q20
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE   Fair   Unfair
 
A lot                25%    26%    21%    28%    22%    22%    30%
Some                 46     45     43     44     44     55     45
Not much             17     24     25     22     19     20     16
Nothing at all       11      5     10      5     14      2      8
DK/NA                 -      -      1      1      1      1      -
 
 
18. Do you approve or disapprove of the state budget agreed to by Governor Scott and the state legislature?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              24%    45%    11%    25%    29%    20%    39%
Disapprove           53     33     68     53     51     56     43
DK/NA                23     22     21     22     20     24     18
 
                     North/                             STATE BUDGET Q20
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE   Fair   Unfair
 
Approve              28%    27%    26%    29%    16%    63%     6%
Disapprove           51     56     50     53     57     23     79
DK/NA                21     17     24     18     27     14     15
 
 
19. Who do you think is most responsible for the new state budget - Governor Scott, or the state legislature, or are they equally responsible?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Scott                16%    23%    14%    14%    16%    17%    16%
State legislature    11     12      9     14     16      8     13
Equally responsible  68     63     73     67     64     72     69
DK/NA                 4      2      3      5      4      3      2
 
                     North/                             STATE BUDGET Q20
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE   Fair   Unfair
 
Scott                18%    18%    18%    13%    14%    17%    19%
State legislature    14     10     14     12      7     16      9
Equally responsible  64     69     65     74     73     66     70
DK/NA                 3      3      3      2      6      1      3
 
 
20. Do you think the new state budget is fair or unfair to people like you?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Fair                 29%    47%    18%    30%    38%    22%    41%
Unfair               54     38     68     52     48     60     44
DK/NA                16     15     14     18     14     18     14
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Fair                 36%    30%    33%    37%    19%
Unfair               52     57     50     48     61
DK/NA                12     13     18     15     20
 
 
21. What do you think about the cuts in state spending in the new budget? Do you think the cuts in state spending go too far, not far enough or are they about right?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Too far              47%    29%    65%    42%    40%    53%    34%
Not far enough       18     20     11     23     23     14     21
About right          22     37     12     22     28     17     35
DK/NA                13     13     12     13      9     16     10
 
                     North/                             STATE BUDGET Q20
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE   Fair   Unfair
 
Too far              42%    49%    46%    45%    52%    17%    70%
Not far enough       21     22     16     24     13     25     15
About right          23     22     26     25     17     53      7
DK/NA                15      7     12      7     19      5      8
 
 
22. Do you think that the new spending cuts will help Florida's economy, hurt Florida's economy, or not make a difference?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Help                 23%    46%     5%    25%    29%    18%    44%
Hurt                 38     24     53     34     34     42     27
No difference        31     23     34     34     30     31     20
DK/NA                 8      8      8      7      7      9      9
 
                     North/                             STATE BUDGET Q20
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE   Fair   Unfair
 
Help                 29%    23%    24%    29%    16%    55%     6%
Hurt                 36     48     38     31     34     12     59
No difference        29     21     32     33     37     30     31
DK/NA                 6      8      6      7     13      3      4
 
 
23. Governor Rick Scott has pledged that in trying to balance the state's budget deficit that he would not raise taxes or fees. Do you think Rick Scott should have made this pledge or not?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Yes                  38%    59%    22%    37%    41%    35%    50%
No                   54     34     67     57     54     54     42
DK/NA                 8      7     11      7      5     11      8
 
                    North/                             STATE BUDGET Q20
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE   Fair   Unfair
 
Yes                  39%    36%    40%    34%    37%    55%    25%
No                   53     57     53     56     53     39     67
DK/NA                 8      7      7     10     10      6      8
 
TREND: Governor Rick Scott has pledged that in trying to balance the state's budget deficit that he would not raise taxes or fees. Do you think Rick Scott should have made this pledge or not?
                     May 25  Apr 6   Feb 2
                     2011    2011    2011
 
Yes                  38     41      44
No                   54     52      48
DK/NA                 8      6       9
 
 
24. Do you think Rick Scott kept this pledge or not?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Yes                  42%    56%    32%    41%    48%    36%    51%
No                   40     27     50     41     35     45     34
DK/NA                18     17     18     18     17     20     16
 
                     North/                             STATE BUDGET Q20
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE   Fair   Unfair
 
Yes                  49%    48%    35%    43%    38%    70%    30%
No                   33     39     47     37     39     16     55
DK/NA                18     13     18     20     23     14     14
 
 
25. Do you think the new state budget will help to create jobs in Florida or not?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Yes                  26%    40%    18%    24%    31%    21%    42%
No                   61     46     69     64     58     64     45
DK/NA                13     14     13     12     11     15     13
 
                     North/                             STATE BUDGET Q20
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE   Fair   Unfair
 
Yes                  34%    24%    26%    30%    19%    57%     9%
No                   54     65     66     60     58     32     83
DK/NA                13     11      8     10     22     11      8
 
 
27. Do you think getting property insurance in Florida is getting easier, getting more difficult, or staying about the same?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Easier                3%     4%     3%     3%     2%     4%     4%
More difficult       63     60     64     63     60     65     58
About the same       26     28     26     25     29     24     34
DK/NA                 8      8      8      8      9      7      5
 
 
                     North/                             PROPERTY OWNERS
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE   Yes    No
 
Easier                5%     2%     5%     3%     2%     2%     7%
More difficult       60     65     60     72     63     67     50
About the same       29     24     30     19     24     27     26
DK/NA                 6      9      5      7     11      4     17
 
 
28. Do you think the cost of property insurance in Florida is getting more expensive, getting less expensive, or staying about the same?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
More expensive       74%    74%    74%    74%    71%    77%    78%
Less expensive        3      4      2      5      5      2      2
About the same       16     18     17     14     16     16     18
DK/NA                 6      4      7      7      8      5      2
 
                     North/                             PROPERTY OWNERS
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE   Yes    No
 
More expensive       77%    74%    74%    80%    71%    78%    65%
Less expensive        1      3      5      1      4      3      3
About the same       18     15     17     16     15     16     17
DK/NA                 4      9      5      3     10      3     15
 
 
29. Do you think the government should do more to regulate property insurance in Florida or is it doing enough?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Should do more       59%    42%    71%    61%    54%    64%    46%
Doing enough         29     45     18     26     34     24     42
DK/NA                12     13     10     13     12     12     12
 
                     North/                             PROPERTY OWNERS
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE   Yes    No
 
Should do more       50%    64%    55%    60%    67%    59%    63%
Doing enough         38     25     34     30     20     31     20
DK/NA                12     11     11     10     13     10     17