June 29, 2005 - Nelson Tops Harris In Florida Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Disapprove Of Her Role In 2000 Vote Count
U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris, still carrying baggage from her controversial role in the 2000 Presidential vote count, trails Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson 50 - 38 percent in an early look at the 2006 Florida Senate race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Republicans back Harris 72 - 15 percent, while Democrats back Nelson 80 - 11 percent and independent voters go with the Democrat 61 - 27 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Gender is not an issue, as women back the Democrat 52 - 37 percent, and men go with Nelson 48 - 39 percent.

Sen. Nelson has a 46 - 23 percent approval rating, and 38 percent of Florida voters want to see him reelected next year, with 37 percent who want a new Senator.

But voters disapprove 43 - 33 percent of the role Harris played in the 2000 Presidential vote count and 37 percent say they are less likely to vote for her because of it.

"Sen. Nelson looks vulnerable in his re-election bid, except when you match him against U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris or other possible Republican challengers. He gets a lukewarm approval rating and even 36 percent of Democrats would rather see someone else elected to the Senate. Those wavering Democrats come scurrying home, however, when Harris is Nelson's opponent. Independent voters also favor his re-election," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Nelson also tops State Senate President Tom Lee 53 - 30 percent and beats State House Speaker Allan Bense 55 - 26 percent.

When asked who they would like to see run for U.S. Senate in 2006, 54 percent of Florida Republican voters pick Harris, followed by 10 percent for Lee and 6 percent for Bense.

"Because she is better known, Rep. Katherine Harris may be the strongest Republican candidate right now to face Sen. Bill Nelson next year, but she comes to the race with strong baggage that could hurt her in the general election," Richards said.

"This poll shows Florida voters have long memories and even before the campaign has started, 37 percent say they are less likely to vote for her because she halted the recount in the 2000 Presidential election when she was Florida's Secretary of State." Governor's Race

Looking at the 2006 Florida Governor's race, 24 percent of Democrats would like to see U.S. Rep. Jim Davis as their candidate, followed by 16 percent for state Democratic Party Chair Scott Maddox and 7 percent for State Sen. Rod Smith.

Among Republican voters, Attorney General Charlie Crist leads with 43 percent, followed by State Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher with 31 percent.

From June 22 - 26, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,248 Florida registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points. The survey includes 423 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 4.8 percentage points, and 477 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.5 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

3. 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 45% 65% 31% 39% 45% 45% Disapprove 29 14 40 32 32 27 DK/NA 26 21 29 29 23 28



4. 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 46% 43% 47% 51% 46% 46% Disapprove 23 27 21 18 26 21 DK/NA 31 30 32 31 27 34

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Approve 42% 48% 47% 44% 46% Disapprove 25 21 25 25 21 DK/NA 33 31 28 31 32

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Nelson is handling his job as United States Senator? (*Also hit 50% on Feb 25, 2005)

                                                        Highest Lowest
                                                        Approve Approve
                        Jun 29  Apr 14  Feb 25  Dec 7   Apr 14  Aug 12
                        2005    2005    2005    2004    2005*   2004


Approve 46 50 50 46 50 42 Disapprove 23 17 17 17 17 18 DK/NA 31 33 33 37 33 40



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 38% 33% 43% 42% 41% 35% No/Someone else 37 40 36 34 40 35 DK/NA 25 27 22 24 18 30

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?

                                                        Highest Lowest
                        Jun 29  Apr 14  Feb 25  Dec 7   Jun 29  Apr 14
                        2005    2005    2005    2004    2005    2005


Yes/Re-elected 38 35 37 36 38 35 No/Someone Else 37 37 37 40 37 37 DK/NA 25 28 26 24 25 28



8. Who would you most like to see the Democrats nominate for Governor in 2006 if the candidates were Congressman Jim Davis, State Senator Rod Smith and former state Democratic Party Chairman Scott Maddox?

                        Tot     Dem


Davis 20% 24% Smith 8 7 Maddox 11 16 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 5 4 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 1 DK/NA 53 48

TREND: Who would you most like to see the Democrats nominate for Governor in 2006 if the candidates were Congressman Jim Davis, State Senator Rod Smith, and former State Democratic Party Chairman Scott Maddox? (na = not asked)

                        DEMOCRATS.............
                        Jun 29  Apr 14  Feb 25
                        2005    2005    2005


Davis 24 26 10 Smith 7 16 5 Maddox 16 22 5 Campbell na na 2 Chiles na na 29 Castor na na 36 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 4 1 - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 - - DK/NA 48 35 12



9. Who would you most like to see the Republicans nominate for Governor in 2006 if the candidates were Attorney General Charlie Crist and state Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher?

                        Tot     Rep


Crist 32% 43% Gallagher 33 31 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 5 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 2 DK/NA 27 22

TREND: Who would you most like to see the Republicans nominate for Governor in 2006 if the candidates were Attorney General Charlie Crist and State Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher?

                        REPUBLICANS...........
                        Jun 29  Apr 14  Feb 25
                        2005    2005    2005 


Crist 43 35 35 Jennings na 13 16 Gallagher 31 33 32 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 1 - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 1 1 DK/NA 22 17 16



10. Who would you most like to see the Republicans nominate for United States Senator in 2006 if the candidates were State House Speaker Allan Bense, State Senate President Tom Lee, and Congresswoman Katherine Harris?

                        Tot     Rep


Bense 9% 6% Lee 14 10 Harris 40 54 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 4 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 2 DK/NA 31 26



11. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Bill Nelson the Democrat and Katherine Harris the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Nelson 50% 15% 80% 61% 48% 52% Harris 38 72 11 27 39 37 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 - - - - 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 2 - 1 1 1 DK/NA 10 11 8 11 11 10

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Nelson 46% 48% 48% 39% 59% Harris 45 41 34 50 31 SMONE ELSE(VOL) - 1 1 1 - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - 2 2 - 1 DK/NA 9 9 15 10 9



12. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Bill Nelson the Democrat and Allan Bense the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Nelson 55% 24% 84% 63% 51% 59% Bense 26 56 5 13 28 25 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 1 2 1 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 1 1 1 2 1 DK/NA 16 19 9 22 18 15

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Nelson 49% 60% 51% 49% 62% Bense 34 21 27 31 23 SMONE ELSE(VOL) - 1 1 1 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 2 1 1 1 DK/NA 16 17 19 17 14



13. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Bill Nelson the Democrat and Tom Lee the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Nelson 53% 19% 83% 62% 50% 56% Lee 30 65 5 19 33 28 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 - 1 1 1 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 1 1 2 2 1 DK/NA 14 14 10 16 15 13

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Nelson 49% 55% 52% 43% 58% Lee 36 28 30 36 28 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 1 1 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 2 2 1 1 DK/NA 12 15 16 18 12



14. Do you approve or disapprove of the role former Secretary of State Katherine Harris played in the recount of the 2000 presidential election in Florida, or don't you happen to recall?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 33% 55% 11% 33% 39% 28% Disapprove 43 17 67 47 42 44 Don't recall 20 22 20 15 13 25 REFUSED 4 6 2 6 5 4

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Approve 38% 35% 34% 34% 27% Disapprove 37 41 45 40 47 Don't recall 19 17 19 24 21 REFUSED 5 6 3 3 5



15. Does Katherine Harris' role in the disputed 2000 presidential election make you more likely to vote for her for Senator, less likely to vote for her for Senator, doesn't it make a difference?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


More likely 12% 21% 5% 9% 11% 12% Less likely 37 15 58 39 36 38 No difference 44 59 29 44 48 41 DK/NA 7 5 9 7 6 8

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

More likely 14% 9% 9% 14% 13% Less likely 30 35 40 39 40 No difference 49 49 46 43 37 DK/NA 7 6 5 4 10