February 24, 2005 - Florida Voters Give Gov. Bush A 'C' Grade, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Schools Need Work, Voters Say, So Spend More
Florida voters give Gov. Jeb Bush a 52 - 39 percent approval rating, with mixed grades on his handling of education and good scores for his handling of the economy and the environment, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Gov. Bush had a 62 - 30 percent approval in a September 23, 2004, poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University, as he moved through the state with President George W. Bush, promising to restore hurricane damage. That approval dropped to 55 - 34 percent by December 7, 2004.

Florida voters say 67 - 25 percent they do not want Gov. Bush to run for President in 2008.

When asked whether the governor has made progress in key areas, voters say:
  • 62 - 35 percent that progress had been made in the economy;
  • 54 - 41 percent that progress had been made creating jobs;
  • 52 - 40 percent that progress had been made protecting the environment;
  • 47 - 47 percent split on whether progress had been made in education.
  • 51 - 41 percent say he failed to make progress cutting taxes.
"Gov. Bush's approval rating continues to slide from his post hurricane high of 62 percent in September, but has not hit the low of 45 scored in August," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"After six years in office, Gov. Bush gets passing grades from the voters for jobs and the economy and the environment. But considering the emphasis Bush has put on improving public schools, his education grade is not very impressive," Richards added.

Since Bush became Governor, things in Florida have gotten better, 31 percent of voters say, with 26 percent who say they got worse and 37 percent who say they are the same.

In an open-ended question, where respondents can give any answer, 31 percent of Florida voters list education as the most important problem in the state, followed by 9 percent who say the economy and 7 percent who list the environment.

Schools statewide are "excellent," 6 percent of voters say, with 34 percent who say "good," 33 percent who say "not so good," and 22 percent who say "poor." Looking at schools in their own community, 57 percent of voters say "good" or "excellent," with 37 percent who say "not so good" or "poor."

State spending on public schools should be increased, according to 75 percent of Florida voters, including 85 percent of voters with children in public schools. Another 19 percent say spending should be kept the same, and 2 percent say it should be cut.

"The education problem is seen as most bleak in the southeast part of the state where two thirds of voters say the schools in the state are not so good or poor and only 27 percent rank them excellent or fair. Voters in Florida say loud and clear: one answer is spending more on public schools in Florida," Richards said.

From February 18 - 22, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,007 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 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


Feb 24, 2005 52 39 9 Dec 7, 2004 55 34 10 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
                        
Feb 24, 2005            46      38      16
Dec 7, 2004             45      37      18
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 George W. Bush is handling his job as President?

                        App     Dis     DK/NA


Feb 24, 2005 44 52 4 Dec 7, 2004 49 48 3 Sep 23, 2004 50 47 3 Aug 12, 2004 44 54 3 Jun 29, 2004 46 52 2



TREND: Would you like Jeb Bush to run for President in 2008 or not? (*Dec, 2004: What about Jeb Bush? Would you like him to run for president in 2008, or not?)

                        Yes     No      DK/NA


Feb 24, 2005 25 67 8 Dec 7, 2004* 31 67 3



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?

                        Very    Smwht   Smwht   Very
                        Sat     Sat     DisSat  DisSat  DK/NA


Feb 24, 2005 15 48 22 15 1 Dec 7, 2004 16 43 23 16 2 Sep 23, 2004 18 45 23 12 2 Jun 29, 2004 14 46 23 16 1



1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jeb Bush is handling his job as Governor?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 52% 87% 25% 46% 58% 47% Disapprove 39 9 64 42 34 44 DK/NA 9 4 11 12 8 9

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Approve 58% 49% 62% 59% 39% Disapprove 35 42 30 30 51 DK/NA 7 9 7 11 10



2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 46% 75% 26% 39% 51% 42% Disapprove 38 13 56 43 35 40 DK/NA 16 12 19 18 14 18

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Approve 49% 46% 52% 51% 37% Disapprove 34 35 30 39 48 DK/NA 17 19 18 10 15



5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 44% 87% 12% 35% 45% 43% Disapprove 52 11 81 61 51 53 DK/NA 4 2 6 3 3 5



6. Would you like Jeb Bush to run for President in 2008 or not?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 25% 48% 9% 19% 27% 24% No 67 42 86 72 65 68 DK/NA 8 10 5 9 8 8



11. 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 


Very satisfied 15% 29% 5% 11% 17% 14% Smwht satisfied 48 54 39 50 50 46 Smwht dissatisfied 22 11 30 26 17 26 Very dissatisfied 15 5 25 12 16 13 DK/NA 1 1 - - - 1



12. What do you think is the most important problem facing Florida today?

                        Tot 


Education total 31 Education general 21 Teachers 2 Funding education 7 School choice/Vouchers 1

Economy total 9 Economy general 2 Unemployment/jobs 4 Minimum wage too low 1 Cost of living 1 Businesses leaving/ Outsourcing 1

Environment total 7 Environment/Pollution 5 Open space/Urbansprawl/ Overdevelopment 2

Overcrowding/Over population 6 Crime total 5 Crime/Violence general 2 Gangs/Youth crime 1 Drugs 1 Criminal justice system 1

Healthcare total 5 Healthcare/Costs/ Insurance/HMO's 4 Medicare 1

Highways total 4 Highway traffic/ congestion 3 Poor condition of roads/highways 1

Immigration 4

Politicians total 2 Politicians/ Campaigns general 1 Governor/State leaders 1

Children's issues 2 Taxes general 1 Poverty/Homeless 1 Housing Costs/ Availability 1 Senior issues 1 Social security 1 War (Iraq) 1

Other 8 DK/NA 7



13. Since Jeb Bush became Governor, do you think things in Florida have gotten better, gotten worse, or stayed about the same?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Gotten Better 31% 63% 11% 19% 33% 29% Gotten Worse 26 5 43 31 23 29 Stayed the same 37 28 41 41 39 35 DK/NA 6 5 5 8 5 6

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Gotten Better 32% 28% 35% 50% 22% Gotten Worse 22 27 23 14 35 Stayed the same 41 37 33 28 39 DK/NA 4 7 9 8 3



14. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Governor Bush is handling the state budget?
                                                                   
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 45% 78% 23% 36% 53% 39% Disapprove 42 13 65 48 36 48 DK/NA 12 9 12 16 11 13



15. How would you rate the quality of Florida's public schools - excellent, good, not so good, or poor?

                                                                        Have
                                                                        Kids in
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     PubSch


Excellent 6% 11% 3% 2% 7% 4% 10% Good 34 40 29 32 34 33 41 Not so good 33 32 36 30 31 35 29 Poor 22 11 25 30 22 22 19 DK/NA 6 7 6 5 7 6 1

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Excellent 9% 5% 5% 11% 3% Good 40 37 36 34 24 Not so good 33 34 35 27 31 Poor 13 18 20 14 35 DK/NA 5 7 4 13 7



16. How would you rate the quality of the public schools in your community - excellent, good, not so good, or poor?

                                                                        Have
                                                                        Kids in
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     PubSch


Excellent 14% 23% 7% 10% 15% 13% 27% Good 43 43 44 45 44 43 40 Not so good 24 20 28 27 25 24 19 Poor 13 9 18 13 11 15 12 DK/NA 5 6 3 6 5 5 1

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Excellent 22% 11% 17% 14% 7% Good 38 45 45 55 41 Not so good 27 27 22 15 25 Poor 9 11 12 10 21 DK/NA 4 5 4 5 7



17. Do you think state spending on the public schools in Florida should be increased, decreased, or kept about the same?

                                                                        Have
                                                                        Kids in
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     PubSch


Increased 75% 61% 86% 78% 71% 78% 85% Decreased 2 2 2 3 4 1 - Kept the same 19 31 11 15 22 17 15 DK/NA 4 6 1 4 4 3 -

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Increased 73% 75% 74% 72% 76% Decreased 2 1 3 3 2 Kept the same 23 19 19 18 18 DK/NA 2 4 4 6 3



18. How much progress do you think Jeb Bush has made in -- improving public schools? Would you say he has made a lot of progress, some progress, not much progress, or no progress at all?

                                                                        Have
                                                                        Kids in
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     PubSch


A lot 10% 21% 4% 4% 10% 9% 11% Some 37 48 31 35 40 35 38 Not much 26 16 33 27 22 29 26 None at all 21 8 29 27 22 21 20 DK/NA 6 7 3 8 6 5 5



19. How much progress do you think Jeb Bush has made in -- protecting the environment? Would you say he has made a lot of progress, some progress, not much progress, or no progress at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom 


A lot 12% 19% 8% 8% 14% 10% Some 40 48 33 39 37 43 Not much 22 15 27 23 21 23 None at all 18 8 26 20 19 17 DK/NA 8 10 5 10 9 7



20. How much progress do you think Jeb Bush has made in -- improving the economy of Florida? Would you say he has made a lot of progress,some progress, not much progress, or no progress at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom 


A lot 17% 35% 7% 8% 19% 14% Some 45 50 35 51 46 44 Not much 21 6 31 24 19 22 None at all 14 4 23 12 11 16 DK/NA 4 4 4 5 4 4



21. How much progress do you think Jeb Bush has made in -- reducing Florida's taxes? Would you say he has made a lot of progress, some progress, not much progress, or no progress at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom 


A lot 10% 17% 4% 7% 12% 8% Some 31 41 26 29 32 31 Not much 30 23 32 35 28 31 None at all 21 10 30 19 21 22 DK/NA 8 8 8 10 8 8



22. How much progress do you think Jeb Bush has made in -- creating jobs in Florida? Would you say he has made a lot of progress, some progress, not much progress, or no progress at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom 


A lot 13% 28% 2% 10% 15% 11% Some 41 50 35 38 41 41 Not much 25 13 33 27 20 29 None at all 16 3 25 17 17 14 DK/NA 6 6 6 8 7 5