April 14, 2005 - Harris Slips In GOP Support For Florida Senate Seat, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Nelson Approval Hovers At Mediocre
U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris has lost ground among Florida Republican voters looking for a Republican challenger to Sen. Bill Nelson, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Rep. Harris leads State Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher 31 - 23 percent among Republicans.

This compares to a 37 - 20 percent Harris lead over Gallagher in a February 25 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University.

Sen. Nelson has a 50 - 17 percent approval rating, identical to the approval rating in the February 25 poll. Only 35 percent of Florida voters want to see Nelson reelected next year, with 37 percent who say someone else.

"Sen. Bill Nelson's approval ratings remain a little soft for an incumbent seeking re-election, but many voters are not focusing on the 2006 election at this point," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Rep. Katherine Harris is his top potential challenger, getting almost a third of the votes in a Republican primary matchup. Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher trails with 23 percent, but he has gained some ground on Harris in the last two months."

Looking at next year's Florida Governor's race, 26 percent of Democrats would like to see U.S. Rep. Jim Davis in the chase, followed by 22 percent for state Democratic Party Chair Scott Maddox and 16 percent for State Sen. Rod Smith. Among Republican voters, Attorney General Charlie Crist leads the pack with 35 percent, followed by CFO Gallagher with 33 percent and Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings with 13 percent.

"'Don't know' is the leading Democratic candidate for Governor in 2006, with 35 percent. Among the known Republican contenders, it's a battle between Attorney General Charlie Crist and Tom Gallagher," Richards said.

From April 4 - 11, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,044 Florida registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. The survey includes 358 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 5.2 percentage points, and 381 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 5 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 Bill Nelson is handling his job as United States Senator?

                        App     Dis     DK/NA


Apr 14, 2005 50 17 33 Feb 25, 2005 50 17 33 Dec 7, 2004 46 17 37 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 Mel Martinez is handling his job as United States Senator?

                        App     Dis     DK/NA


Apr 14, 2005 43 29 28 Feb 25, 2005 44 23 33



TREND: Bill Nelson will be up for re-election in 2006. Would you like to see Bill Nelson re-elected Senator, or would you rather see someone else elected Senator?

                        Re-     Smone
                        Elected Else    DK/NA
 
Apr 14, 2005            35      37      28
Feb 25, 2005            37      37      26
Dec 7, 2004             36      40      24




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


Approve 50% 51% 55% 44% 49% 51% Disapprove 17 19 14 19 22 13 DK/NA 33 31 31 37 29 36



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

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 43% 68% 28% 33% 43% 44% Disapprove 29 10 45 34 33 26 DK/NA 28 21 27 33 25 30



7. Bill Nelson will be up for re-election in 2006. Would you like to see Bill Nelson re-elected Senator, or would you rather see someone else elected Senator?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes/Re-elected 35% 35% 39% 31% 34% 35% No/Someone else 37 36 37 39 42 34 DK/NA 28 29 24 31 24 31



8. Now I'm going to name three Democrats who might run for Governor in 2006. After I read the three names, tell me which one you would most like to see the Democrats nominate for Governor in 2006. Here are the choices; Congressman Jim Davis, State Senator Rod Smith, and State Democratic Party Chairman Scott Maddox.

                        Tot     Dem


Davis 24% 26% Smith 13 16 Maddox 15 22 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 3 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 - DK/NA 43 35



9. Now I'm going to name three Republicans who might run for Governor in 2006. After I read the three names, tell me which one you would most like to see the Republicans nominate for Governor in 2006. Here are the choices; Attorney General Charlie Crist, Lieutenant Governor Toni Jennings, and State Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher.

                        Tot     Rep


Crist 26% 35% Jennings 13 13 Gallagher 28 33 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 3 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 1 DK/NA 28 17



10. Now I'm going to name five Republicans who might run for Senator in 2006. After I read the five names, tell me which one you would most like to see the Republicans nominate for Senator in 2006. Here are the choices; Attorney General Charlie Crist, Lieutenant Governor Toni Jennings, State Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, Former House Speaker Daniel Webster and Congresswoman Katherine Harris.

                        Tot     Rep


Crist 16% 17% Jennings 6 8 Gallagher 20 23 Webster 7 6 Harris 23 31 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 - DK/NA 24 15