August 31, 2005 - Nelson Leads Harris 57 - 33 % In Florida Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; President Bush Approval Falls To New Low In State
Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson has widened his lead over U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris, the leading Republican challenger in the 2006 Florida U.S. Senate race, to 57 - 33 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 50 - 38 percent Nelson lead in a June 29 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University.

Democrats back Sen. Nelson 87 - 9 percent, while Republicans back Rep. Harris 66 -24 percent and independent voters go with Nelson 58 - 29 percent.

"It's easy to see why Republicans in the White House and in the State House are skeptical about running U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris as their candidate for Senate next year. Many Florida voters say she is divisive and too partisan and even Republicans say 41 - 38 percent that Nelson will win re-election if Harris is their candidate," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Nelson's numbers are getting stronger, but about a third of the voters still say they don't know enough about him to form an opinion."

Florida voters approve 49 - 20 percent of the job Nelson is doing, but say only 38 - 35 percent that they would like to see him reelected, instead of someone else. Voters give Nelson a 35 - 8 percent favorability, with 24 percent mixed and 31 percent who say they don't know enough to form an opinion.

Harris gets a negative 22 - 30 percent favorability, with 15 percent mixed and 32 percent who say they don't know enough to form an opinion.

Looking at Nelson, Florida voters say:
  • 57 - 14 percent that he has strong leadership qualities;
  • 53 - 21 percent that he cares about their needs and problems;
  • 39 - 27 percent that he is not too partisan and divisive.
Looking at Harris, voters say:
  • 41 - 35 percent that she has strong leadership qualities;
  • 36 - 40 percent that she cares about their needs and problems;
  • 40 - 31 percent that she is too partisan and divisive.
Fifty percent of Democrats are undecided about who should be nominated to run for Governor next year. U.S. Rep. Jim Davis gets 19 percent, followed by 16 percent for state Democratic Party Chair Scott Maddox and 11 percent for State Sen. Rod Smith.

Republicans are more focused, with 36 percent backing Attorney General Charlie Crist and 39 percent for State Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher. This compares to a 43 - 31 percent Crist lead June 29.

"In the race for Governor, 'don't know' is the favorite of 50 percent of Democrats, while the Republican race continues as a close battle between Attorney General Crist and Chief Financial Officer Gallagher," Richards said.

Florida voters disapprove 54 - 42 percent of the job President George W. Bush is doing, his lowest approval rating in the state. Voters disapprove 55 - 39 percent of his handling of the war in Iraq and say 53 - 41 percent that going to war in Iraq was the wrong thing to do.

From August 23 - 29, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,187 Florida registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points. The survey includes 379 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 5 percentage points, and 430 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.7 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

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


Approve 53% 83% 30% 51% 58% 49% Disapprove 39 14 62 38 34 42 DK/NA 8 4 8 11 8 8

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Approve 57% 55% 57% 69% 42% Disapprove 32 35 36 25 52 DK/NA 12 9 7 5 7

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

                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Aug 31  Jun 30  Apr 13  Feb 24  Dec 7   Sep 23  Aug 12
                        2005    2005    2005    2005    2004    2004    2004


Approve 53 49 51 52 55 62 45 Disapprove 39 40 39 39 34 30 44 DK/NA 8 10 9 9 10 8 11



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


Approve 44% 63% 29% 45% 48% 41% Disapprove 38 20 55 37 38 39 DK/NA 18 17 16 18 15 20

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

                                                        Highest Lowest
                                                        Approve Approve
                        Aug 31  Jun 30  Apr 13  Feb 24  Sep 23  Jun 29
                        2005    2005    2005    2005    2004    2004


Approve 44 42 44 46 51 39 Disapprove 38 40 40 38 34 42 DK/NA 18 19 16 16 15 18



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 49% 47% 54% 49% 50% 49% Disapprove 20 24 17 19 24 17 DK/NA 30 28 29 31 26 34

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
                        Aug 31  Jun 29  Apr 14  Feb 25  Apr 14  Aug 12
                        2005    2005    2005    2005    2005*   2004


Approve 49 46 50 50 50 42 Disapprove 20 23 17 17 17 18 DK/NA 30 31 33 33 33 40



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 45% 67% 29% 39% 49% 41% Disapprove 29 13 45 31 29 29 DK/NA 26 21 26 30 22 30

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mel Martinez is handling his job as United States Senator? (* = also hit 45% on 6/29/05)

                                                        Highest Lowest      
                                                        Approve Approve     
                        Aug 31  Jun 29  Apr 14  Feb 25  Aug 31  Apr 14      
                        2005    2005    2005    2005    2005 *  2005        
                                                                            
Approve                 45      45      43      44      45      43          
Disapprove              29      29      29      23      29      29          
DK/NA                   26      26      28      33      26      28          




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 42% 79% 15% 35% 45% 40% Disapprove 54 19 81 61 51 56 DK/NA 4 2 4 4 4 4

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Approve 52% 45% 44% 54% 28% Disapprove 44 50 53 46 67 DK/NA 4 5 2 1 5

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                                                                           
                                                        Highest Lowest     
                                                        Approve Approve    
                        Aug 31  Jun 30  Apr 13  Feb 24  Sep 23  Aug 31     
                        2005    2005    2005    2005    2004    2005       
                                                                           
Approve                 42      45      46      44      50      42         
Disapprove              54      51      51      52      47      54         
DK/NA                    4       4       3       4       3       4         




6. If Governor Jeb Bush were to run for President in 2008, how likely is it that you would vote for him? Do you think you would definitely vote for him, probably vote for him, probably not vote for him, or definitely not vote for him?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Definitely 13% 28% 4% 8% 14% 12% Probably 23 38 11 21 26 21 Probably not 15 13 14 21 15 16 Definitely not 43 14 69 43 39 46 DK/NA 6 6 2 7 5 6



7. If New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton were to run for President in 2008, how likely is it that you would vote for her? Do you think you would definitely vote for her, probably vote for her, probably not vote for her, or definitely not vote for her?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Definitely 22% 4% 42% 20% 19% 25% Probably 23 8 34 27 20 26 Probably not 11 11 9 12 12 9 Definitely not 39 76 9 34 44 35 DK/NA 5 1 6 7 6 5



8. 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% 32% 47% 39% 41% 36% No/Someone else 35 41 31 34 40 31 DK/NA 27 27 22 27 20 33

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Yes/Re-elected 29% 40% 37% 47% 41% No/Someone else 37 30 38 31 36 DK/NA 33 30 25 22 23

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? (* = Also hit 38% on 6/29/05)

                                                        Highest Lowest     
                        Aug 31  Jun 29  Apr 14  Feb 25  Aug 31  Apr 14     
                        2005    2005    2005    2005    2005 *  2005       
                                                                           
Re-elected              38      38      35      37      38      35         
Smone Else              35      37      37      37      35      37         
DK/NA                   27      25      28      26      27      28         




9. 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                   18%     19%
Smith                    9      11
Maddox                  12      16
SMONE ELSE(VOL)          3       3       
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)         3       2
DK/NA                   55      50


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.....................
                        Aug 31  Jun 29  Apr 14  Feb 25
                        2005    2005    2005    2005


Davis 19 24 26 10 Smith 11 7 16 5 Maddox 16 16 22 5 Campbell na na na 2 Chiles na na na 29 Castor na na na 36 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 3 4 1 - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 1 - - DK/NA 50 48 35 12



10. 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 31% 36% Gallagher 33 39 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 4 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 1 DK/NA 30 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...................
                        Aug 31  Jun 29  Apr 14  Feb 25
                        2005    2005    2005    2005 


Crist 36 43 35 35 Jennings na na 13 16 Gallagher 39 31 33 32 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 2 1 - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 2 1 1 DK/NA 22 22 17 16



11. Would you like to see the Republicans nominate Congresswoman Katherine Harris for United States Senator in 2006 or would you rather see the Republicans nominate someone else?

                        Tot     Rep


Yes/Nominate Harris 30% 47% No/Someone else 56 41 DK/NA 14 12



12. 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 57% 24% 87% 58% 54% 59% Harris 33 66 9 29 35 32 SMONE ELSE(VOL) - - - 1 1 - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 1 1 1 1 1 DK/NA 9 9 4 11 10 8

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Nelson 54% 57% 51% 40% 68% Harris 33 34 40 47 23 SMONE ELSE(VOL) - - 1 1 - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - 1 1 - 2 DK/NA 13 8 7 12 8

TREND: 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?

                        Aug 31  Jun 29
                        2005    2005


Nelson 57 50 Harris 33 38 SMONE ELSE - 1 WLDN'T VOTE 1 1 DK/NA 9 10



13. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would win the senate election Bill Nelson or Katherine Harris?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Nelson 56% 41% 68% 59% 56% 56% Harris 24 38 15 21 27 23 DK/NA 20 21 16 19 18 22

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Nelson 55% 52% 57% 48% 61% Harris 21 28 25 33 21 DK/NA 24 21 19 19 18



14. Is your opinion of Katherine Harris favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about her?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 22% 41% 8% 21% 27% 18% Unfavorable 30 8 50 31 26 33 Mixed 15 19 9 17 16 14 Hvn't hrd enough 32 31 31 31 30 34 REFUSED 1 - 1 1 1 1



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

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 35% 22% 51% 35% 37% 34% Unfavorable 8 16 4 6 12 5 Mixed 24 30 15 29 25 23 Hvn't hrd enough 31 32 28 29 25 36 REFUSED 1 - 1 1 1 1



16. Would you say that Bill Nelson - has strong leadership qualities or not?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 57% 50% 66% 60% 58% 56% No 14 20 8 13 20 9 DK/NA 29 30 26 27 22 35



17. Would you say that Bill Nelson - cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 53% 44% 64% 56% 55% 52% No 21 30 13 20 25 18 DK/NA 25 26 23 24 20 30



18. Would you say that Bill Nelson - is honest and trustworthy or not?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 58% 53% 67% 57% 64% 53% No 14 18 9 15 17 12 DK/NA 28 29 25 28 20 35



19. Would you say that Bill Nelson - is too partisan and too divisive or not?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 27% 37% 18% 29% 34% 21% No 39 30 46 42 41 37 DK/NA 34 33 36 29 25 42



20. Do you think Bill Nelson - is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Too liberal 17% 33% 5% 14% 24% 12% Too conservative 7 7 7 5 6 8 About right 50 32 66 55 51 50 DK/NA 25 27 22 25 20 30



21. Would you say that Katherine Harris - has strong leadership qualities or not?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 41% 60% 25% 38% 44% 38% No 35 17 51 37 31 38 DK/NA 25 23 24 24 25 24



22. Would you say that Katherine Harris - cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 36% 59% 18% 33% 40% 32% No 40 17 61 43 38 42 DK/NA 24 24 21 23 22 27



23. Would you say that Katherine Harris - is honest and trustworthy or not?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 41% 64% 21% 39% 47% 34% No 33 10 54 36 31 35 DK/NA 26 26 25 25 21 31



24. Would you say that Katherine Harris - is too partisan and too divisive or not?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 40% 25% 52% 47% 42% 39% No 31 47 19 29 34 29 DK/NA 29 28 29 24 24 32



25. Do you think Katherine Harris has the right kind of experience to be a United States Senator or not?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 39% 59% 24% 39% 44% 35% No 40 23 57 39 38 42 DK/NA 20 19 19 22 19 22



26. Do you think Katherine Harris is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Too liberal 6% 6% 9% 3% 6% 6% Too conservative 25 10 39 28 28 23 About right 38 58 19 41 41 36 DK/NA 30 25 33 28 25 35



27. 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 11% 16% 7% 12% 14% 9% Less likely 36 14 58 35 34 37 No difference 46 61 31 46 47 46 DK/NA 7 9 3 7 5 8



28. 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% 25% 6% 15% 18% 12% Smwht satisfied 42 54 33 40 42 41 Smwht dissatisfied 25 13 36 28 24 26 Very dissatisfied 17 7 25 17 14 19 DK/NA 1 1 - 1 1 1

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Very satisfied 19% 16% 15% 20% 9% Smwht satisfied 43 45 41 55 34 Smwht dissatisfied 23 18 27 16 35 Very dissatisfied 15 19 16 8 21 DK/NA 1 2 1 1 1

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?

                        Aug 31  Jun 30  Apr 13  Feb 24  Dec 7   Sep 23
                        2005    2005    2005    2005    2004    2004


Very satisfied 15 14 12 15 16 18 Smwht satisfied 42 43 47 48 43 45 Smwht dissatisfied 25 27 24 22 23 23 Very dissatisfied 17 15 15 15 16 12 DK/NA 1 2 2 1 2 2



29. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation with Iraq?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 39% 73% 15% 33% 44% 35% Disapprove 55 23 81 61 52 58 DK/NA 6 4 5 7 4 7



30. 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


Right thing 41% 76% 13% 35% 45% 37% Wrong thing 53 20 80 59 51 55 DK/NA 6 5 7 5 4 8

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Right thing 49% 44% 44% 53% 26% Wrong thing 44 51 50 42 67 DK/NA 7 4 6 6 7

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

                        Aug 31  Oct 28  Oct 21  Oct 7   Sep 23  Aug 12
                        2005    2004    2004    2004    2004    2004


Right 41 48 48 46 46 45 Wrong 53 44 45 49 49 49 DK/NA 6 8 7 5 5 6