April 13, 2005 - Supreme Court Only Winner In Schiavo Case, Florida Voters Tell Quinnipiac University Poll; Most Have Living Will, Health Care Proxy
Florida voters disapprove of the way President George W. Bush, Gov. Jeb Bush, the Florida Legislature, the U.S. Congress, state and federal courts and the media handled the Terri Schiavo case, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Only the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to consider the matter, gets a 50 - 44 percent approval, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Looking at how others handled the case, Florida voters disapprove:
  • 59 - 35 percent of President Bush's involvement;
  • 59 - 35 percent of Gov. Bush's role;
  • 71 - 23 percent of the media's handling of the matter;
  • 64 - 27 percent of the U.S. Congress' role;
  • 62 - 26 percent of the Florida Legislature's actions;
  • 48 - 45 percent of the Florida courts;
  • 49 - 43 percent of the federal courts.
"Most Florida voters disapprove of the action President Bush and his brother, Gov. Jeb Bush, took to prolong the life of Terri Schiavo. Congress and the Florida legislature, both of which passed legislation aimed at keeping Schiavo alive, also got bad marks from the voters. Only the Supreme Court, which resolutely refused to get involved in the case, won a bare majority support in Florida," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"The worst rating went to the news media, with less than a quarter of voters approving the sensational coverage, while 71 percent said they disapproved of how the media handled the story," Richards added.

Looking at the brothers Bush, Florida voters disapprove 51 - 46 percent of the job President Bush is doing, but give Gov. Bush a positive 51 - 39 percent approval rating.

"While both Bush brothers got negative marks for their handling of the Schiavo case, it does not appear to have impacted their overall job approval ratings in Florida, which changed only slightly from the February 24 Quinnipiac University poll, taken before the case had gained much attention," Richards said.

Looking at their own end-of-life situation:
  • 81 percent of Florida voters say they have made it clear to their family what they want done if they can't make medical decisions for themselves;
  • 55 percent say they have a living will;
  • 58 percent say they have designated a health care proxy.
"The Schiavo case appears to have heightened public awareness of the larger problem involved, with most Florida voters making arrangements for their own last days," Richards said.

From April 4 - 11, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,044 Florida registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 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


Apr 13, 2005 51 39 9 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


Apr 13, 2005 44 40 16 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


Apr 13, 2005 46 51 3 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


Apr 13, 2005 21 69 9 Feb 24, 2005 25 67 8 Dec 7, 2004* 31 67 3



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

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 51% 87% 26% 42% 50% 52% Disapprove 39 9 65 46 41 38 DK/NA 9 4 9 12 9 9

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Approve 52% 54% 59% 59% 40% Disapprove 37 41 33 26 48 DK/NA 10 4 7 15 12



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

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 44% 67% 29% 38% 45% 43% Disapprove 40 17 56 47 40 40 DK/NA 16 16 15 16 15 17



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 46% 89% 12% 36% 47% 46% Disapprove 51 9 84 62 50 52 DK/NA 3 2 4 2 3 3



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

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 21% 38% 9% 18% 21% 22% No 69 48 88 72 70 68 DK/NA 9 14 3 10 8 10



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 12% 22% 6% 8% 14% 10% Smwht satisfied 47 63 33 46 48 46 Smwht dissatisfied 24 10 35 29 21 27 Very dissatisfied 15 4 25 16 16 15 DK/NA 2 2 1 2 1 2

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Very satisfied 15% 7% 20% 12% 7% Smwht satisfied 40 56 47 53 44 Smwht dissatisfied 28 21 22 23 26 Very dissatisfied 16 14 10 6 22 DK/NA - 2 1 6 1



12. Do you agree or disagree with the decision to remove Terri Schiavo's feeding tube? IF agree/disagree: Do you agree/disagree stronly or somewhat?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Agree strongly 38% 30% 43% 44% 38% 38% Agree somewhat 12 13 10 14 14 10 Disagree somewhat 9 10 10 6 8 9 Disagree strongly 28 36 25 22 27 29 DK/NA 13 9 13 15 13 14

GenX BbyBmrs Seniors 18-40 41-59 60+

Agree strongly 33% 34% 47% Agree somewhat 16% 13% 8% Disagree somewhat 15% 7% 5% Disagree strongly 25% 32% 26% DK/NA 10% 14% 14%



13. Do you approve or disapprove of the way -- the media handled the case involving Terri Schiavo?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 23% 25% 23% 21% 22% 24% Disapprove 71 70 70 75 73 69 DK/NA 6 5 7 4 6 7



14. Do you approve or disapprove of the way -- President George W. Bush handled the case involving Terri Schiavo?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 35% 57% 17% 33% 33% 38% Disapprove 59 37 79 61 62 56 DK/NA 6 6 4 6 5 6



15. Do you approve or disapprove of the way -- the United States Congress handled the case involving Terri Schiavo?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 27% 36% 19% 27% 25% 29% Disapprove 64 54 73 65 67 61 DK/NA 9 11 7 8 8 10



16. Do you approve or disapprove of the way -- Governor Jeb Bush handled the case involving Terri Schiavo?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 35% 55% 22% 29% 36% 35% Disapprove 59 40 75 63 58 60 DK/NA 6 5 3 8 5 6



17. Do you approve or disapprove of the way -- the Florida legislature handled the case involving Terri Schiavo?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 26% 34% 20% 26% 26% 26% Disapprove 62 53 67 65 64 60 DK/NA 12 13 13 9 10 14



18. Do you approve or disapprove of the way -- the Florida Courts handled the case involving Terri Schiavo?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 45% 40% 47% 49% 48% 42% Disapprove 48 54 48 42 46 51 DK/NA 7 6 5 10 6 8



19. Do you approve or disapprove of the way -- the Federal Courts handled the case involving Terri Schiavo?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 43% 39% 47% 45% 46% 42% Disapprove 49 57 45 46 48 50 DK/NA 7 5 8 9 7 8



20. Do you approve or disapprove of the way United States Supreme Court handled the case involving Terri Schiavo?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 50% 47% 52% 52% 54% 46% Disapprove 44 48 44 40 41 47 DK/NA 6 5 5 7 5 7



21. Have you made it clear to your family what you would want done if you became unable to make decisions about your medical treatment?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 81% 84% 78% 83% 80% 83% No 18 15 22 15 18 17 DK/NA 1 1 - 1 2 -

GenX BbyBmrs Seniors 18-40 41-59 60+

Yes 73% 83% 89% No 26 16 11 DK/NA 1 1 -



22. Do you have a living will, that is a document that details what you would want done if you became unable to make decisions about your medical treatment?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 55% 61% 52% 53% 56% 55% No 44 38 47 47 43 45 DK/NA - 1 - - 1 -

GenX BbyBmrs Seniors 18-40 41-59 60+

Yes 36% 52% 75% No 64 48 24 DK/NA 1 - 1



23. Do you have a health care proxy, that is a document designating a specific person or persons to make decisions for you if you became unable to make decisions about your medical treatment?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 58% 62% 57% 51% 59% 58% No 41 37 42 48 40 41 DK/NA 1 1 1 1 1 1

GenX BbyBmrs Seniors 18-40 41-59 60+

Yes 44% 57% 72% No 55 43 26 DK/NA 2 - 1