August 5, 2011 - Florida Gov's Approval Goes From Terrible To Bad, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Back Caylee's Law 6-1

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Although Gov. Rick Scott's job approval among Florida voters remains seriously below water, his negative 35 - 52 percent score is an improvement from a negative 29 - 57 percent in May, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Florida voters continue to give Gov. Scott negative ratings on his handling of the state budget, its fairness to average voters and about him personally, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

Only one quarter of Florida voters know that the budget passed by the State Legislature and signed by Scott does not raise taxes.

"Given that voters say 58 - 29 percent they favor a budget approach that only cuts spending, rather than a combination of tax increases and spending cuts, it would seem that Gov. Rick Scott and his aides have failed to get their message out," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Gov. Scott still has a long hike to parity in voter approval, but he has begun the trek. Whether it is the beginning of a serious move or just a blip, time will tell."

Scott gets thumbs up from Republicans 61 - 23 percent, compared to 51 - 37 percent in May. Disapproval is 78 - 14 percent from Democrats, little changed from May, and 50 - 33 percent from independents, compared to 57 - 28 percent in May. Men disapprove 46 - 40 percent, an improvement on May's 53 - 35 percent, and women disapprove 58 - 30 percent, better than May's 60 - 24 percent.

"The improvement in Scott's numbers comes primarily from those who would be expected to support him, Republicans and men. But he still has a long way to go to reach the numbers that historically back Republicans," Brown added.

"Making those voters aware he had kept his no-new-taxes pledge would seem to be the best way to win them back," Brown said. "He also must improve voter opinion of him personally."

Only 24 percent of Florida voters say the new budget signed into law by Scott does not raise taxes, while 19 percent say it does raise taxes and 57 percent don't know.

Florida voters say 45 - 34 percent that they do not like Scott as a person. This is the highest 'dislike' seen in any state surveyed by Quinnipiac University this year. Voters tend to like their governor, even when they disapprove of the job he or she is doing. Florida voters like President Barack Obama as a person 69 - 18 percent, but disapprove 51 - 44 percent of the job he is doing, as reported yesterday.

Scott has other bad grades on his report card:
  • Voters dislike his policies 54 - 34 percent;
  • Voters disapprove 57 - 32 percent of his handling of the state budget;
  • 42 percent say budget cuts went too far, as 20 percent say not far enough and 25 percent say the cuts are about right;
  • Voters say 39 - 26 percent that spending cuts in the budget will hurt, rather than help, the Florida economy;
  • Voters say 51 - 33 percent that the new state budget is unfair to them.
"The governor needs to convince voters that his budget was fair to average folks and make sure they know it didn't raise taxes," said Brown.

Voters support 83 - 14 percent "Caylee's Law," a proposal in the State Legislature to make not reporting a child's disappearance a felony. There is strong support among all groups and in every region of the state.

From July 27 - August 2, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,417 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 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, Virginia 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.

7. 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              35%    61%    14%    33%    40%    30%    49%
Disapprove           52     23     78     50     46     58     37
DK/NA                14     15      8     17     14     13     15
 
                                          AGE IN YEARS.....    COLLEGE DEGREE
                     White  Black  Hisp   18-34  35-54  55+    No    Yes
 
Approve              40%     7%    37%    36%    29%    37%    35%    33%
Disapprove           48     79     44     49     56     51     48     61
DK/NA                12     13     19     15     15     12     16      7
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Rick Scott is handling his job as Governor?
                     Aug 05  May 25  Apr 06  Feb 02
                     2011    2011    2011    2011
 
Approve              35      29      35      35
Disapprove           52      57      48      22
DK/NA                14      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              32%    53%    18%    31%    38%    27%    43%
Disapprove           51     28     67     52     45     56     35
DK/NA                17     20     16     17     17     17     22
 
                                          AGE IN YEARS.....    COLLEGE DEGREE
                     White  Black  Hisp   18-34  35-54  55+    No    Yes
 
Approve              33%    18%    43%    43%    28%    30%    32%    33%
Disapprove           49     68     39     39     58     52     49     56
DK/NA                17     14     18     18     14     18     19     11
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Aug 05  May 25  Apr 06  Aug 19  Jul 30  Sep 23  May 25
                     2011    2011    2011    2010    2010    2004    2011
                                                             
Approve              32      27      35      30      30      51      27
Disapprove           51      56      47      56      54      34      56
DK/NA                17      17      18      14      17      15      17
 
 
14. 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        4%    10%     1%     2%     6%     3%     4%
Smwht satisfied      33     47     24     30     38     29     42
Smwht dissatisfied   28     26     31     30     29     28     31
Very dissatisfied    33     17     42     38     27     39     21
DK/NA                 1      1      1      1      1      1      1
 
                                          AGE IN YEARS.....    COLLEGE DEGREE
                     White  Black  Hisp   18-34  35-54  55+    No    Yes
 
Very satisfied        4%     -      8%     5%     4%     4%     4%    3%
Smwht satisfied      35     22     34     39     27     33     34    31
Smwht dissatisfied   29     28     27     30     32     27     28    29
Very dissatisfied    31     50     31     26     37     35     32    37
DK/NA                 1      1      -      -      1      2      1     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) (**combined Low also 37% Apr 2008)
                                                             VERY+SMWHT....
                                                             High    Low
                     Aug 05  May 25  Apr 06  Feb 02  Jun 09  Feb 24  Aug 05
                     2011    2011    2011    2011    2009    2005*   2011**
                                                                           
Very satisfied        4       3       3       3       6      15       4    
Smwht satisfied      33      36      36      44      45      48      33    
Smwht dissatisfied   28      32      34      34      33      22      28    
Very dissatisfied    33      29      26      19      15      15      33    
DK/NA                 1       1       1       1       2       1       1    
 
 
20. Regardless of how you feel about Rick Scott's policies, would you say you like or don't like Rick Scott as a person?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Like                 34%    48%    23%    33%    39%    30%    43%
Don't Like           45     25     65     43     42     47     32
DK/NA                21     27     12     24     19     23     25
 
                                          AGE IN YEARS.....    COLLEGE DEGREE
                     White  Black  Hisp   18-34  35-54  55+    No    Yes
 
Like                 33%    26%    50%    38%    33%    34%    37%    28%
Don't Like           45     59     35     41     48     45     41     54
DK/NA                23     15     15     21     19     22     22     18
 
 
21. And regardless of how you feel about Rick Scott as a person, would you say you like or don't like most of Rick Scott's policies?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Like                 34%    60%    10%    36%    41%    27%    50%
Don't Like           54     25     81     52     48     60     38
DK/NA                12     15      9     13     10     13     11
 
                                          AGE IN YEARS.....    COLLEGE DEGREE
                     White  Black  Hisp   18-34  35-54  55+    No    Yes
 
Like                 40%    10%    34%    34%    33%    35%    34%    33%
Don't Like           50     80     49     52     57     55     51     62
DK/NA                11      9     17     15     10     11     15      4
 
 
22. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Rick Scott is handling the state budget?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              32%    57%    11%    33%    41%    25%    49%
Disapprove           57     29     82     54     49     63     38
DK/NA                11     13      7     13     10     12     14
 
                                          AGE IN YEARS.....    COLLEGE DEGREE
                     White  Black  Hisp   18-34  35-54  55+    No    Yes
 
Approve              38%    13%    30%    29%    30%    35%    32%    32%
Disapprove           51     80     58     58     59     54     55     61
DK/NA                11      7     12     12     11     11     13      7
 
                     ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Approve              23%    28%    42%    42%
Disapprove           64     59     49     52
DK/NA                14     12      9      6
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Rick Scott is handling the state budget?
                     Aug 05  May 25  Apr 06
                     2011    2011    2011
 
Approve              32      30      36
Disapprove           57      59      55
DK/NA                11      11       9
 
 
23. Do you think the new state budget is fair or unfair to people like you?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Fair                 33%    53%    17%    35%    41%    27%    48%
Unfair               51     29     70     49     44     57     37
DK/NA                16     18     13     16     15     17     15
 
                                          AGE IN YEARS.....    COLLEGE DEGREE
                     White  Black  Hisp   18-34  35-54  55+    No    Yes
 
Fair                 39%    14%    31%    31%    32%    36%    32%    36%
Unfair               45     74     55     52     56     47     51     49
DK/NA                16     13     14     17     12     17     16     15
 
                     ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...
                     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Fair                 23%    28%    41%    54%
Unfair               63     54     46     35
DK/NA                14     18     12     11
 
TREND: Do you think the new state budget is fair or unfair to people like you?
                     Aug 05  May 25
                     2011    2011
 
Fair                 33      29
Unfair               51      54
DK/NA                16      16
 
 
24. 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              42%    22%    61%    42%    35%    48%    26%
Not far enough       20     28     11     21     25     16     26
About right          25     36     19     23     26     23     33
DK/NA                13     14     10     14     14     12     15
 
                                          AGE IN YEARS.....    COLLEGE DEGREE
                     White  Black  Hisp   18-34  35-54  55+    No    Yes
 
Too far              38%    60%    40%    41%    46%    40%    39%    50%
Not far enough       21      8     30     18     24     20     21     19
About right          27     21     20     27     18     27     26     23
DK/NA                13     11     10     15     13     12     15      8
 
TREND: 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?
                     Aug 05  May 25
                     2011    2011
 
Too far              42      47
Not far enough       20      18
About right          25      22
DK/NA                13      13
 
25. 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                 26%    49%    12%    23%    31%    22%    40%
Hurt                 39     20     55     37     33     44     25
No difference        28     26     28     28     28     27     28
DK/NA                 8      6      5     12      8      7      7
 
                                          AGE IN YEARS.....    COLLEGE DEGREE
                     White  Black  Hisp   18-34  35-54  55+    No    Yes
 
Help                 29%    14%    29%    25%    27%    26%    27%    23%
Hurt                 34     56     42     40     37     38     37     42
No difference        29     25     23     28     27     27     28     28
DK/NA                 8      6      6      7      9      8      8      7
 
TREND: Do you think that the new spending cuts will help Florida's economy, hurt Florida's economy, or not make a difference?
                     Aug 05  May 25
                     2011    2011
 
Help                 26      23
Hurt                 39      38
No difference        28      31
DK/NA                 8       8
 
 
26. Do you think the new state budget signed by Governor Scott raises taxes or not, or don't you know?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Raises taxes         19%    14%    26%    16%    15%    22%    13%
Does not raise taxes 24     27     20     26     28     21     26
Don't know           57     59     54     58     56     58     61
REFUSED               -      -      -      1      -      -      -
 
                                          AGE IN YEARS.....    COLLEGE DEGREE
                     White  Black  Hisp   18-34  35-54  55+    No    Yes
 
Raises taxes         15%    33%    18%    19%    22%    16%    19%    18%
Does not raise taxes 27     13     22     13     28     28     18     41
Don't know           57     54     60     67     50     56     63     41
REFUSED               -      -      -      -      -      -      -      1
 
 
27. Which comes closer to your view regarding the Florida budget: A) It is a good thing that taxes were not raised and the budget deficit was closed by just spending cuts OR B) Taxes should have been raised so there would have been fewer spending cuts?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Only cuts            58%    80%    46%    53%    57%    58%    68%
Taxes/Fewer cuts     29     11     41     31     32     26     19
DK/NA                14      9     14     16     11     16     13
 
                                          AGE IN YEARS.....    COLLEGE DEGREE
                     White  Black  Hisp   18-34  35-54  55+    No    Yes
 
Only cuts            58%    61%    56%    64%    59%    54%    61%    48%
Taxes/Fewer cuts     30     23     31     26     28     30     24     40
DK/NA                12     16     13     10     13     16     14     13
 
 
28. As you may know, there is a proposal in the state legislature that would make it a felony offense for a parent who fails to report a missing child in a timely manner. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Good idea            83%    84%    85%    82%    81%    85%    89%
Bad idea             14     13     13     14     16     12      9
DK/NA                 3      3      2      4      3      4      2
 
                                          AGE IN YEARS.....    COLLEGE DEGREE
                     White  Black  Hisp   18-34  35-54  55+    No    Yes
 
Good idea            84%    81%    85%    82%    87%    82%    87%    72%
Bad idea             13     15     15     14     11     15     10     23
DK/NA                 3      4      1      3      2      3      3      5
 
                     HaveChildren
                     Under 18
 
Good idea            87%
Bad idea              9
DK/NA                 4
 

Demographic Summary