September 21, 2011 - Florida Women Like Scott More, But Job Score Is Bad, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Back Drug Tests For Welfare Recipients 2-1

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Florida voters, especially women, like Gov. Rick Scott more as a person, but all voters still disapprove 50 - 37 percent of the job he's doing, in a Quinnipiac University poll released today, compared to a 52 - 35 percent disapproval August 5 and a 57 - 29 percent disapproval May 25.

Asked if they like the governor as a person, no matter how they feel about his policies, voters split 37 - 37 percent, compared to a 45 - 34 percent dislike in the August 5 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

Women split 36 - 36 percent on liking Scott, compared to a 47 - 30 percent dislike August 5. Men also split, 39 - 38 percent, virtually unchanged from 39 - 42 percent last month.

On job approval, Republicans give a 70 - 18 percent thumbs up, compared to 61 - 23 percent in August, while women disapprove 55 - 31 percent, compared to 58 - 30 percent last month. Democrats disapprove 82 - 8 percent compared to 78 - 14 last month. Independent voters disapprove 54 - 34 percent compared to 50 - 33 in August. Men disapprove 46 - 42 percent compared to 46 - 40 last month.

And, Florida voters now say 48 - 41 percent that Scott's budget is unfair to people like them, an improvement from August when they said "unfair" 51 - 33 percent and May when they said "unfair" 54 - 29 percent.

"Gov. Rick Scott has been trying to put on a charm offensive - both in changing how he deals with the news media and spending more time meeting ordinary Floridians from around the state. It appears to be working, at least a little," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling institute.

"During his first six months in office Gov. Scott alienated the news media and did not make the effort to explain his program to the general public, as he has been doing recently."

"Although Scott's approval ratings remain underwater, voters like him more as a person," Brown added.

"The governor has improved, not surprisingly, among Republicans, but in addition to solidifying his base, the governor is better off among women, who dislike him a little less.

"Gov. Scott certainly has a long way to go till he can see the breakeven point, but his ratings that dropped to awful are now just bad. It is reasonable to assume that his improvement is an endorsement of his new outreach strategy."

While voters split down the middle on Scott's personal rating, they say they don't like his policies by 53 - 35 percent. By 53 - 36 percent they say they do not approve of his handling of the state budget.

"The improvement in Gov. Scott's ratings on the fairness of his budget is a key to his improvement," said Brown. "Voters don't like politicians they see as being unfair, especially when it comes to cutting programs for people. Politicians who can convince voters they are being fair on budget issues gain a leg up with the electorate."

Florida voters support 71 - 27 percent a law requiring welfare recipients to pass drug tests. There are substantial partisan disagreements, but no gender gap.

Republicans back the law 90 - 8 percent, as do independent voters 75 - 24 percent. Democrats split 49 - 50 percent. Men back the drug test requirement 70 - 28 percent, while women support it 73 - 25 percent.

"Voters overwhelmingly like the requirement that welfare recipients must pass drug tests to receive benefits. But the issue is now before the courts where the only opinion that matters is that of the judge," Brown said.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio does better than Scott among Florida voters. He has a 49 - 31 percent approval rating, with positive scores of 81 - 10 percent among Republicans and 52 - 30 percent among independent voters. Democrats disapprove 52 - 19 percent. There is a gender gap as men approve 54 - 30 percent and women approve 44 - 31 percent.

From September 14 - 19, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,007 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 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              37%    70%     8%    34%    42%    31%    50%
Disapprove           50     18     82     54     46     55     38
DK/NA                13     12     10     12     12     14     12
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Rick Scott is handling his job as Governor?
                     Sep 21  Aug 05  May 25  Apr 06  Feb 02
                     2011    2011    2011    2011    2011
 
Approve              37      35      29      35      35
Disapprove           50      52      57      48      22
DK/NA                13      14      14      17      43
 
 
8. 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              49%    81%    19%    52%    54%    44%    65%
Disapprove           31     10     52     30     30     31     19
DK/NA                20      9     29     18     15     25     15
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Marco Rubio is handling his job as United States Senator?
                             DEBT DEAL.....
                             Post    Pre
                     Sep 21  Aug 04  Aug 04  May 26  Apr 07  Feb 03
                     2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2011
 
Approve              49      49      45      49      47      42
Disapprove           31      36      35      26      23      20
DK/NA                20      15      20      24      30      37
 
 
16. 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                 37%    60%    21%    35%    39%    36%    49%
Don't Like           37     19     55     37     38     36     27
DK/NA                26     21     24     28     24     29     24
 
TREND: Regardless of how you feel about Rick Scott's policies, would you say you like or don't like Rick Scott as a person?
                     Sep 21  Aug 05
                     2011    2011
 
Like                 37      34
Don't Like           37      45
DK/NA                26      21
 
 
17. 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                 35%    65%     6%    33%    44%    27%    47%
Don't Like           53     21     85     55     48     58     42
DK/NA                12     13      9     12      9     15     11
 
TREND: 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?
                     Sep 21  Aug 05
                     2011    2011
 
Like                 35      34
Don't Like           53      54
DK/NA                12      12
 
 
18. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Rick Scott is handling the state budget?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              36%    65%     9%    34%    45%    26%    45%
Disapprove           53     24     82     55     49     57     41
DK/NA                11     12      9     11      6     16     14
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Rick Scott is handling the state budget?
                     Sep 21  Aug 05  May 25  Apr 06
                     2011    2011    2011    2011
 
Approve              36      32      30      36
Disapprove           53      57      59      55
DK/NA                11      11      11       9
 
 
19. Do you think the state budget is fair or unfair to people like you?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Fair                 41%    66%    18%    41%    49%    33%    49%
Unfair               48     26     73     47     43     54     38
DK/NA                11      9      9     12      8     13     13
 
TREND: Do you think the state budget is fair or unfair to people like you? (* "new state budget")
                     Sep 21  Aug 05  May 25
                     2011    2011*   2011*
 
Fair                 41      33      29
Unfair               48      51      54
DK/NA                11      16      16
 
 
20. What do you think about the cuts in state spending in the 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              41%    21%    64%    41%    36%    47%    34%
Not far enough       24     31     17     23     29     19     19
About right          25     42     11     25     28     23     34
DK/NA                10      6      8     11      8     11     13
 
TREND: What do you think about the cuts in state spending in the budget? Do you think the cuts in state spending go too far, not far enough or are they about right? (* "new budget")
                     Sep 21  Aug 05  May 25
                     2011    2011*   2011*
 
Too far              41      42      47
Not far enough       24      20      18
About right          25      25      22
DK/NA                10      13      13
 
 
21. A new Florida law requires new welfare recipients to undergo drug testing to be eligible for benefits. Do you approve or disapprove of this new law?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              71%    90%    49%    75%    70%    73%    83%
Disapprove           27      8     50     24     28     25     14
DK/NA                 2      2      2      1      1      2      3
 
 

Demographic Summary