September 23, 2004 - Hurricanes Blow Bush Into Lead In Florida, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Senate Race Is Too Close To Call
President George W. Bush leads Democratic challenger John Kerry 49 - 41 percent, with 5 percent for independent candidate Ralph Nader, among Florida voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This reverses Kerry's 47 - 41 percent lead among registered voters in an August 12 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University.

With Nader out of the race, Bush has a 48 - 43 percent lead over Kerry.

Florida voters give Bush a 50 - 47 percent approval rating, reversing a 54 - 44 percent disapproval August 12. Voters approve 78 - 14 percent of the way President Bush has responded to recent hurricanes.

Voters also approve 87 - 9 percent of the way Gov. Jeb Bush has responded to the hurricanes, pushing Gov. Bush's overall approval to 62 - 30 percent, up from a 45 - 44 percent split August 12.

"The ill winds of the hurricane season have blown a lot of political good for President Bush in Florida pushing him ahead of Sen. John Kerry who led in the Sunshine State in August," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"When a chief executive shows up in a time of crisis acting like a strong leader, his support rises dramatically. That's what the hurricanes have done for President Bush - and his brother, Gov. Jeb Bush in Florida," Richards added.

Florida voters give President Bush a 45 - 36 percent favorability rating, with 14 percent mixed. This reverses a negative 38 - 43 percent favorability August 12.

Kerry gets a negative 34 - 41 percent favorability rating, with 19 percent mixed, down from a 39 - 31 percent favorability August 12.

Looking at presidential qualities, Florida voters say:
  • 57 - 37 percent that Bush is more of a leader than Kerry;
  • 54 - 37 percent that Bush does a better job explaining what he will do as President.
"The hurricanes were indeed ill winds for Kerry who loses badly to Bush when voters are asked which candidate acts more like a leader and which one gives a clearer view of what he would do as President," Richards said.

Florida voters say 46 - 49 percent that going to war in Iraq was the wrong thing to do. Only 40 percent say the U.S. economy is 'excellent' or 'good,' while 59 percent say it is 'not so good' or 'poor.' Senate Race

In the U.S. Senate race, Democrat Betty Castor gets 43 percent, while Republican Mel Martinez gets 42 percent, a statistical tie.

"The Senate race is a dead heat right now as Florida voters struggle to learn about two candidates who have been competing with hurricanes and presidential candidates for the political spotlight. Both Martinez and Castor are unknown factors to about four in 10 Florida voters," Richards said.

From September 18 - 21, Quinnipiac University surveyed 819 Florida registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the nation as a public service and for research. For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu and quicklinks

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jeb Bush is handling his job as Governor?

                        App     Dis     DK/NA


Sep 23, 2004 62 30 8 Aug 12, 2004 45 44 11 Jun 29, 2004 47 42 12



TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?

                        App     Dis     DK/NA


Sep 23, 2004 51 34 15 Aug 12, 2004 41 42 18 Jun 29, 2004 39 42 18



TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Nelson is handling his job as United States Senator?

                        App     Dis     DK/NA


Sep 23, 2004 47 19 34 Aug 12, 2004 42 18 40 Jun 29, 2004 48 16 36



TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bob Graham is handling his job as United States Senator?

                        App     Dis     DK/NA


Sep 23, 2004 59 23 18 Aug 12, 2004 56 21 23 Jun 29, 2004 58 21 21



TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?

                        App     Dis     DK/NA


Sep 23, 2004 50 47 3 Aug 12, 2004 44 54 3 Jun 29, 2004 46 52 2



TREND: If the election for president were being held today, and the candidates were John Kerry the Democrat and George W. Bush the Republican for whom would you vote?

                        JK      GWB     SmnEls  Wld'tVt DK/NA


Sep 23, 2004 43 48 2 1 6 Aug 12, 2004 49 42 1 1 7 Jun 29, 2004 46 44 1 1 8



TREND: If the election for president were being held today, and the candidates were John Kerry the Democrat, George W. Bush the Republican, and Ralph Nader the Independent for whom would you vote?

                        JK      GWB     RN      SmnEls  Wld'tVt DK/NA 


Sep 23, 2004 41 49 5 - - 5 Aug 12, 2004 47 41 4 - 1 6 Jun 29, 2004 43 43 5 1 1 8



TREND: Is your opinion of George W. Bush favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                                                 Hvn't
                        Fav     Unfav   Mixed    Heard   REFUSED


Sep 23, 2004 45 36 14 4 1 Aug 12, 2004 38 43 17 2 1 Jun 29, 2004 41 42 15 2 1



TREND: Is your opinion of John Kerry favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                                                 Hvn't
                        Fav     Unfav   Mixed    Heard   REFUSED


Sep 23, 2004 34 41 19 4 1 Aug 12, 2004 39 31 21 8 1 Jun 29, 2004 30 33 23 14 1



TREND: Is your opinion of Ralph Nader favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                                                 Hvn't
                        Fav     Unfav   Mixed    Heard   REFUSED


Sep 23, 2004 16 28 19 35 2 Aug 12, 2004 12 25 17 43 3 Jun 29, 2004 14 28 19 38 1



TREND: Do you think going to war with Iraq was the right thing for the United States to do or the wrong thing?

                        Right   Wrong   DK/NA


Sep 23, 2004 46 49 5 Aug 12, 2004 45 49 6 Jun 29, 2004 42 49 9



1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jeb Bush is handling his job as Governor?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Approve 62% 89% 33% 61% 68% 57% 69% Disapprove 30 8 55 29 24 35 20 DK/NA 8 3 12 10 9 8 11



2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Approve 51% 70% 37% 45% 54% 49% 57% Disapprove 34 16 49 37 35 32 30 DK/NA 15 14 14 18 11 19 13



3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Nelson is handling his job as United States Senator?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Approve 47% 45% 49% 49% 46% 48% 43% Disapprove 19 20 18 16 23 16 27 DK/NA 34 36 33 35 31 36 30



4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bob Graham is handling his job as United States Senator?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Approve 59% 51% 72% 53% 56% 61% 56% Disapprove 23 31 11 25 28 19 33 DK/NA 18 18 17 21 16 20 11



5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Approve 50% 85% 16% 48% 53% 48% 57% Disapprove 47 13 82 48 44 49 42 DK/NA 3 2 2 4 3 3 1



6. How much attention have you been paying to the election campaign for President -- a lot, some, only a little, or none at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


A lot 55% 58% 56% 50% 61% 50% 65% Some 29 28 28 34 25 33 22 Only a little 12 11 11 14 10 13 9 None at all 3 3 4 1 4 3 4 DK/NA - - - 1 - - -



7. If the election for president were being held today, and the candidates were John Kerry the Democrat and George W. Bush the Republican for whom would you vote?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Kerry 43% 12% 79% 40% 40% 46% 37% Bush 48 85 13 45 52 45 53 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 - 1 4 1 2 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 - 1 1 1 1 - DK/NA 6 2 6 10 6 7 8



8. If the election for president were being held today, and the candidates were John Kerry the Democrat, George W. Bush the Republican, and Ralph Nader the Independent for whom would you vote?

(* NOTE: Number of respondents is 75 or less in the SouthWest subgroup. Additional caution should be taken when interpreting the findings of this subgroup because of the larger margin of error.)

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Kerry 41% 11% 79% 32% 38% 43% 37% Bush 49 85 13 45 52 46 51 Nader 5 1 4 14 6 5 4 SMONE ELSE(VOL) - - - 1 - - 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - - 1 - - 1 - DK/NA 5 3 3 9 4 6 7

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW* SthE

Kerry 38% 39% 43% 28% 45% Bush 54 45 47 66 43 Nader 6 8 2 2 6 SMONE ELSE(VOL) - - 1 - - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - 1 1 - - DK/NA 2 6 6 4 6

No Coll Coll PRES VOTE 2000 Degree Degree Lib Mod Con Gore Bush

Kerry 40% 43% 58% 47% 24% 84% 8% Bush 48 50 28 44 69 7 84 Nader 6 3 7 4 5 4 4 SMONE ELSE(VOL) - - - - - 1 - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - - - 1 - - - DK/NA 5 4 7 5 2 4 5

Age in years............... Annual hshold income......... 18-34 35-49 50-64 65+ <30 30-50 50-100 >100K Kerry 48% 37% 42% 40% 43% 43% 33% 42% Bush 40 55 48 46 42 44 62 54 Nader 9 4 6 2 8 7 3 1 SMONE ELSE(VOL) - - - 2 - - - - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - - - 1 - - - 1 DK/NA 3 4 3 9 7 5 2 2

Issue most important to vote Q19 Iraq Econ Ter HlthCr Kerry 57% 58% 12% 44% Bush 36 30 84 35 Nader 4 5 2 11 SMONE ELSE(VOL) - 1 - - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - 1 - - DK/NA 2 6 2 9



9. (If candidate choice q8) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?

                                Kerry   Bush   
                        Tot     Vtr q8  Vtr q8


Made up 87% 88% 90% Might change 12 11 10 DK/NA 1 1 -



10a. (If Kerry q8) Is your vote more for Kerry or more against Bush?

                        Kerry 
                        Vtr q8


For Kerry 47% Against Bush 49 DK/NA 3



10b. (If Bush q8) Is your vote more for Bush or more against Kerry?

                        Bush  
                        Vtr q8


For Bush 79% Against Kerry 19 DK/NA 2



11. How much attention have you been paying to the election campaign for United States Senator from Florida - a lot, some, only a little, or none at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


A lot 16% 16% 17% 14% 18% 14% 20% Some 35 34 37 32 35 34 31 Only a little 31 34 29 28 30 32 28 None at all 18 16 16 25 16 19 18 DK/NA - - - 1 1 - 2



12. If the election for senator were being held today, and the candidates were Betty Castor the Democrat and Mel Martinez the Republican for whom would you vote?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Castor 43% 15% 80% 36% 39% 47% 41% Martinez 42 74 9 41 47 39 43 SMONE ELSE(VOL) - - - - - - - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 1 1 3 2 1 2 DK/NA 13 10 11 20 13 13 13



13. Is your opinion of George W. Bush favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Favorable 45% 80% 12% 38% 49% 41% 49% Unfavorable 36 7 66 35 34 37 38 Mixed 14 11 16 17 13 15 11 Hvn't hrd enough 4 1 5 7 3 5 - REFUSED 1 1 1 2 1 2 2



14. Is your opinion of John Kerry favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Favorable 34% 10% 66% 27% 34% 35% 23% Unfavorable 41 71 12 39 43 39 43 Mixed 19 14 18 28 19 20 29 Hvn't hrd enough 4 3 4 6 4 5 4 REFUSED 1 2 - - - 2 -



15. Is your opinion of Ralph Nader favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Favorable 16% 17% 12% 22% 21% 13% 20% Unfavorable 28 27 33 21 31 27 34 Mixed 19 21 15 21 22 16 21 Hvn't hrd enough 35 32 39 35 26 43 23 REFUSED 2 3 1 1 1 2 2



16. Is your opinion of Betty Castor favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about her?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Favorable 32% 14% 52% 32% 28% 34% 32% Unfavorable 11 19 4 8 14 8 13 Mixed 15 16 11 20 14 16 17 Hvn't hrd enough 41 51 31 39 42 40 37 REFUSED 1 - 1 1 1 1 1



17. Is your opinion of Mel Martinez favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Favorable 29% 46% 10% 30% 33% 26% 29% Unfavorable 13 6 24 11 17 10 16 Mixed 17 13 16 21 16 17 16 Hvn't hrd enough 40 33 48 37 34 45 38 REFUSED 1 1 1 - - 2 1



18. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in the nation today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Very satisfied 10% 19% 2% 8% 13% 8% 9% Smwht satisfied 39 59 19 37 43 35 43 Smwht dissatisfied 23 11 34 26 18 26 20 Very dissatisfied 27 8 44 29 24 29 27 DK/NA 1 3 - - 1 1 2



19. If you had to choose, which of the following issues will be most important to your vote for president -- the situation in Iraq, the economy, terrorism or health care?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Iraq 21% 16% 25% 25% 22% 21% 26% Economy 25 18 34 25 29 22 28 Terrorism 29 47 11 29 30 29 31 Health care 20 16 24 16 15 23 8 DK/NA 5 3 6 5 4 5 7



20. Regardless of how you intend to vote, which candidate would you say acts more like a leader - John Kerry or George W. Bush?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Kerry 37% 8% 69% 36% 31% 41% 31% Bush 57 89 23 58 63 52 62 DK/NA 6 3 8 6 5 6 7



21. Regardless of how you intend to vote, which candidate would you say has done a better job making it clear what he would do if he were elected president - John Kerry or George W. Bush?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Kerry 37% 11% 66% 37% 32% 41% 27% Bush 54 85 22 54 60 49 63 DK/NA 9 4 12 9 8 10 10



22. Would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as: Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Excellent 4% 8% 1% 2% 6% 2% 7% Good 36 58 13 39 41 32 36 Not so good 38 27 50 39 33 43 38 Poor 21 5 35 21 19 22 19 DK/NA 1 1 1 - 1 1 1



23. Do you think going to war with Iraq was the right thing for the United States to do or the wrong thing?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Right thing 46% 76% 14% 43% 50% 42% 47% Wrong thing 49 17 82 53 47 51 49 DK/NA 5 6 4 5 3 7 4



24. 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?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Very satisfied 18% 27% 9% 14% 23% 13% 24% Smwht satisfied 45 54 37 46 45 45 49 Smwht dissatisfied 23 13 33 23 19 26 14 Very dissatisfied 12 3 20 14 11 13 10 DK/NA 2 2 2 2 2 3 3



25. Do you approve or disapprove of the way President George W. Bush responded to the recent hurricanes in Florida?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Approve 78% 90% 66% 76% 80% 76% 79% Disapprove 14 5 25 12 13 14 11 DK/NA 8 5 9 12 7 10 10



26. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Governor Jeb Bush responded to the recent hurricanes in Florida?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Approve 87% 95% 79% 84% 88% 85% 88% Disapprove 10 5 16 10 9 11 8 DK/NA 3 - 4 5 2 4 4



27. Do you intend to vote by absentee ballot in the 2004 presidential election?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Yes 18% 16% 21% 18% 14% 21% 20% No 80 82 77 80 84 77 79 DK/NA 2 2 2 2 1 3 1



28. (If voting absentee q27) Are you casting an absentee ballot because you are unable to get to the polls on election day or because you don't trust the voting system?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Can't get to polls 49% 53% 51% 40% 42% 54% 47% Don't trust system 34 23 37 46 34 34 37 DK/NA 16 23 12 13 24 12 16