November 15, 2005 - Nelson Tops Harris By 24 Points In Florida Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; State Better Prepared For Hurricanes, Residents Say
Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson begins his reelection year with a 55 - 31 percent lead over U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris, the only announced Republican challenger in the 2006 Florida U.S. Senate race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 57 - 33 percent Nelson lead in an August 31 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University.

Democrats back Sen. Nelson 83 - 7 percent, while Republicans back Rep. Harris 63 -22 percent and independent voters go with Nelson 59 - 25 percent.

Florida voters have mixed opinions about Nelson, with 37 percent who say he should be reelected, 33 percent who say he shouldn't be and 29 percent undecided. He gets a 49 - 18 percent approval rating, with 33 percent undecided.

"Even though Florida voters are not enthusiastic about sending Bill Nelson back to the Senate, he will do fine as long as Katherine Harris is his opponent. Congressman Mark Foley would be almost as strong a Republican candidate for the Senate seat even though he is relatively unknown statewide compared to Harris," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Florida Republicans say 46 - 29 percent that they would prefer Rep. Harris over U.S. Rep. Mark Foley as their Senate candidate. Nelson leads Foley 55 - 27 percent.

Looking at the 2006 Governor's race, 56 percent of Florida Democrats are undecided on who should get their party's nomination, with 25 percent backing U.S. Rep. Jim Davis and 15 percent backing State Sen. Rod Smith.

Among Republicans, 38 percent pick Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, while 36 percent pick State Attorney General Charlie Crist, a tie, with 24 percent undecided.

In possible general election matchups:
  • Davis gets 40 percent to 39 percent for Crist, a statistical tie;
  • Davis gets 41 percent to 38 percent for Gallagher;
  • Crist beats Smith 41 - 36 percent;
  • Gallagher beats Smith 41 - 36 percent.
"Tom Gallagher and Charlie Crist are tied in the battle for the Republican nomination for Governor, but either would be equally effective in the general election against a Democrat. 'Don't know' is still leading the Democratic race for Governor with U.S. Rep. Jim Davis a distant second, ahead of State Sen. Rod Smith," Richards said.

By a 69 - 27 percent margin, Florida residents approve of the way state government responded to hurricanes this year. Voters approve 54 - 39 percent of the federal response.

Residents say 55 - 13 percent that Florida was better prepared for hurricanes this year than last year, with 30 percent who say the level of preparation was the same.

A total of 54 percent of Florida residents say they suffered some home/property damage from hurricanes this year or last, with 16 percent who had damage in both years.

"Floridians think the state was better prepared for hurricanes this year. About a third suffered damage in this year's storms compared with almost half a year ago. More than 20 percent were without power for more than a week and in populous Southeast Florida there were critical gas shortages," Richards said.

From November 8 - 13, Quinnipiac University surveyed 855 Florida registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points. The survey includes 281 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 5.9 percentage points, and 305 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 5.6 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

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

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 41% 61% 27% 41% 44% 38% Disapprove 41 24 56 37 37 43 DK/NA 18 16 17 22 18 18

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

                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Nov 15  Aug 31  Jun 30  Apr 13  Feb 24  Sep 23  Jun 29
                        2005    2005    2005    2005    2005    2004    2004


Approve 41 44 42 44 46 51 39 Disapprove 41 38 40 40 38 34 42 DK/NA 18 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% 46% 53% 48% 53% 45% Disapprove 18 19 17 16 17 19 DK/NA 33 35 30 36 30 36

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Approve 55% 56% 41% 36% 49% Disapprove 17 20 18 24 16 DK/NA 29 24 40 39 35

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
                        Nov 15  Aug 31  Jun 29  Apr 14  Feb 25  Apr 14  Aug 12
                        2005    2005    2005    2005    2005    2005*   2004


Approve 49 49 46 50 50 50 42 Disapprove 18 20 23 17 17 17 18 DK/NA 33 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 41% 59% 28% 39% 44% 38% Disapprove 29 14 42 28 28 31 DK/NA 29 27 30 33 28 31

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
                        Nov 15  Aug 31  Jun 29  Apr 14  Feb 25  Aug 31  Apr 14
                        2005    2005    2005    2005    2005    2005 *  2005


Approve 41 45 45 43 44 45 43 Disapprove 29 29 29 29 23 29 29 DK/NA 29 26 26 28 33 26 28



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 37% 33% 43% 36% 42% 34% No/Someone else 33 35 32 32 31 35 DK/NA 29 31 25 32 27 31

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Yes/Re-elected 40% 39% 36% 26% 39% No/Someone else 36 37 30 39 30 DK/NA 24 24 34 35 31

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
                        Nov 15  Aug 31  Jun 29  Apr 14  Feb 25  Aug 31  Apr 14
                        2005    2005    2005    2005    2005    2005 *  2005


Re-elected 37 38 38 35 37 38 35 Smone Else 33 35 37 37 37 35 37 DK/NA 29 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 and State Senator Rod Smith?

                        Dem     
Davis                   25%     
Smith                   15      
SMONE ELSE(VOL)          3
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)         1
DK/NA                   56


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

                        DEMOCRATS.............................
                        Nov 15  Aug 31  Jun 29  Apr 14  Feb 25
                        2005    2005    2005    2005    2005


Davis 25 19 24 26 10 Smith 15 11 7 16 5 Maddox na 16 16 22 5 Campbell na na na na 2 Chiles na na na na 29 Castor na na na na 36 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 3 3 4 1 - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 2 1 - - DK/NA 56 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?

                        Rep


Crist 36% Gallagher 38 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - DK/NA 24

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...........................
                        Nov 15  Aug 31  Jun 29  Apr 14  Feb 25
                        2005    2005    2005    2005    2005 


Crist 36 36 43 35 35 Jennings na na na 13 16 Gallagher 38 39 31 33 32 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 2 2 1 - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - 1 2 1 1 DK/NA 24 22 22 17 16



11. If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Jim Davis the Democrat and Charlie Crist the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Davis 40% 10% 73% 32% 39% 41% Crist 39 73 14 33 40 38 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 - 2 2 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 1 - 2 1 1 DK/NA 19 15 12 31 18 20

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Davis 32% 42% 31% 44% 51% Crist 49 46 38 39 28 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 3 2 - - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - - 1 2 2 DK/NA 19 9 28 16 19



12. If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Jim Davis the Democrat and Tom Gallagher the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Davis 41% 8% 74% 37% 37% 45% Gallagher 38 73 13 32 42 34 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 - 2 1 1 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 1 1 2 2 1 DK/NA 18 17 11 29 18 19

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Davis 34% 41% 33% 48% 51% Gallagher 47 45 38 36 27 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 2 1 - 3 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - - 2 2 2 DK/NA 19 12 26 14 18



13. If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Rod Smith the Democrat and Charlie Crist the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Smith 36% 9% 65% 27% 34% 37% Crist 41 73 17 37 43 39 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 1 1 3 3 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 2 - 2 1 1 DK/NA 20 16 16 31 18 22

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Smith 33% 32% 28% 31% 48% Crist 48 51 41 46 28 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 5 4 - 0 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - 1 1 2 2 DK/NA 18 12 26 22 21



14. If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Rod Smith the Democrat and Tom Gallagher the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Smith 36% 7% 67% 29% 33% 38% Gallagher 41 75 16 38 44 39 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 1 1 2 3 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 2 2 2 3 1 DK/NA 19 16 14 29 18 20

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Smith 33% 32% 28% 36% 46% Gallagher 45 51 40 40 33 SMONE ELSE(VOL) - 2 4 1 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 1 4 1 1 DK/NA 19 14 24 22 18



15. Who would you most like to see the Republicans nominate for United States Senator in 2006 if the candidates were Congressman Mark Foley and Congresswoman Katherine Harris?

                        Rep


Foley 29% Harris 46 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - DK/NA 24



16. 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 55% 22% 83% 59% 59% 52% Harris 31 63 7 25 30 32 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 - - 1 1 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 - 1 1 1 - DK/NA 12 14 9 14 10 14

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Nelson 47% 56% 49% 47% 68% Harris 39 33 35 34 20 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 1 - - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - 1 - 1 - DK/NA 13 9 15 17 11



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?

                        Nov 15  Aug 31  Jun 29
                        2005    2005    2005


Nelson 55 57 50 Harris 31 33 38 SMONE ELSE 1 - 1 WLDN'T VOTE 1 1 1 DK/NA 12 9 10



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

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Nelson 55% 21% 85% 55% 54% 56% Foley 27 60 3 22 31 24 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 - - 2 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 - 1 1 - 1 DK/NA 16 18 10 22 13 19

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Nelson 46% 60% 47% 46% 65% Foley 33 28 29 31 21 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 2 3 - - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - - - 3 - DK/NA 20 11 20 19 14



22. 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% 12% 17% 13% Smwht satisfied 43 48 33 50 49 39 Smwht dissatisfied 20 13 25 23 16 23 Very dissatisfied 21 8 36 15 17 24 DK/NA 1 2 - - 1 -

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Very satisfied 19% 16% 13% 17% 12% Smwht satisfied 51 44 44 43 39 Smwht dissatisfied 15 18 22 19 23 Very dissatisfied 14 21 19 22 26 DK/NA - 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?

                        Nov 15  Aug 31  Jun 30  Apr 13  Feb 24  Dec 7   Sep 23
                        2005    2005    2005    2005    2005    2004    2004


Very satisfied 15 15 14 12 15 16 18 Smwht satisfied 43 42 43 47 48 43 45 Smwht dissatisfied 20 25 27 24 22 23 23 Very dissatisfied 21 17 15 15 15 16 12 DK/NA 1 1 2 2 1 2 2



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

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Education Total 16% 16% 14% 17% 14% 17% Education general 12 13 11 12 9 14 Teachers 1 2 1 1 2 1 Funding education 3 1 2 4 3 2

Economy Total 9% 8% 11% 9% 11% 8% Economy general 2 3 3 2 3 2 Unemployment/jobs 3 1 4 4 5 2 Minimum wage too low 2 3 3 - 1 3 Cost of living 2 1 1 3 2 1

Energy Total 5% 8% 2% 4% 8% 3% Energy costs general 1 1 1 1 2 1 Gas prices 3 7 1 1 5 1 Oil prices 1 - - 2 1 1

Immigration 6% 10% 4% 6% 7% 5% Hurricanes 5% 4% 4% 5% 4% 5%

Crime Total 3% 1% 3% 4% 3% 3% Crime/Violence general 1 1 1 2 1 2 Drugs 1 - 1 2 1 1 Crime other 1 - 1 - 1 -

Taxes Total 2% 3% 1% 2% 2% 2% Taxes general 1 2 - 1 2 1 Property tax 1 1 1 1 - 1

Healthcare Total 5% 3% 6% 6% 4% 6% Healthcare/Costs/ Insurance/HMO's 4 2 4 5 3 4 Medicare 1 1 2 1 1 2

Open space/Urban sprawl/Overdevelopment 5% 4% 3% 7% 6% 3% Overcrowding/Over population 4% 4% 4% 3% 3% 5% Environment/Pollution 4% 4% 4% 4% 3% 5% Politicians Total 3% - 4% 3% 3% 2% Politicians/ Campaigns general 1 - 2 - 1 1 Political corruption 1 - - 2 1 - Governor/State leadership 1 - 2 1 1 1

Children's issues 2 3 - 2 2 1 Senior issues 2 2 1 1 1 2 Poverty/Homeless 1 - 3 - - 2 Housing Costs/ Availability 1 3 - 2 1 2 Social security 1 - 1 1 - 1 Lack of ethics/Morality 1 1 - - 1 - Poor condition of roads/highways 1 - 1 1 1 - War (Iraq) 1 - 2 1 1 1 Other 12 12 13 9 14 10 DK/NA 9 6 13 7 8 9



31. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state government responded to the hurricanes in Florida this year?

                        ALL ADULTS.........
                        Tot     Men     Wom


Approve 69% 74% 64% Disapprove 27 23 30 DK/NA 4 3 5

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Approve 77% 64% 70% 75% 65% Disapprove 18 29 27 18 33 DK/NA 5 7 3 7 2

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state government responded to the hurricanes in Florida this year?

                        ALL ADULTS...
                        Nov 15  Dec 7
                        2005    2004
                        
Approve                 69      80
Disapprove              27      13 
DK/NA                    4       7




32. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the federal government responded to the hurricanes in Florida this year?

                        ALL ADULTS.........
                        Tot     Men     Wom


Approve 54% 57% 52% Disapprove 39 36 41 DK/NA 7 6 7

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Approve 56% 54% 58% 52% 51% Disapprove 34 39 34 41 44 DK/NA 9 7 7 7 5

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the federal government responded to the hurricanes in Florida this year?

                        ALL ADULTS...
                        Nov 15  Dec 7
                        2005    2004
                        
Approve                 54      76
Disapprove              39      16 
DK/NA                    7       8




33. Do you think Florida was more prepared for this year's hurricanes than last year's hurricanes, less prepared, or about as prepared?

                        ALL ADULTS.........
                        Tot     Men     Wom


More prepared 55% 59% 51% Less prepared 13 9 16 As prepared 30 30 31 DK/NA 2 2 2

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

More prepared 52% 57% 65% 68% 44% Less prepared 10 11 9 7 21 As prepared 36 30 25 20 34 DK/NA 2 2 1 5 1



34. Was your home or property damaged by a hurricane in Florida this year?

                        ALL ADULTS.........
                        Tot     Men     Wom


Yes 32% 32% 31% No 68 68 69 DK/NA - - -

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Yes 12% 5% 20% 43% 66% No 88 94 80 57 34 DK/NA - 1 - - -



35. Was your home or property damaged by a hurricane in Florida last year?

                        ALL ADULTS.........
                        Tot     Men     Wom


Yes 38% 41% 35% No 61 58 64 DK/NA 1 - 1

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Yes 31% 32% 53% 48% 31% No 68 66 45 52 68 DK/NA - 2 1 - 1



34/35 Summary table. Was your home or property damaged by a hurricane in Florida this/last year? *Summary table reports those whose home or property was damaged either year.

                        ALL ADULTS.........
                        Tot     Men     Wom


Yes this and last 16% 19% 13% Yes this or last 38 36 40 Neither 46 45 46 DK/NA 1 - 1

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Yes this and last 6% 4% 16% 25% 27% Yes this or last 31 30 41 40 43 Neither 62 65 42 34 29 DK/NA - 2 1 - -



36. Do you think the state government's response to the hurricanes this year was better than last year, worse, or about the same?

                        ALL ADULTS.........
                        Tot     Men     Wom


Better 42% 44% 40% Worse 11 7 14 The same 41 42 40 DK/NA 7 7 6

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Better 36% 39% 44% 52% 42% Worse 13 12 6 6 12 The same 47 43 39 30 42 DK/NA 4 6 10 12 4



37. Did you lose power in the hurricanes this year?

                        ALL ADULTS.........
                        Tot     Men     Wom


Yes 58% 58% 58% No 42 42 42 DK/NA - - -

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Yes 44% 27% 39% 64% 99% No 56 73 61 36 1 DK/NA - - - - -



38. (If 'yes' q37)How long was your power out?

                        ALL ADULTS responding 'Yes' q37
                        Tot     Men     Wom


One day 24% 26% 22% Two days 7 8 6 (3-4) days 15 13 17 (5-6) days 9 9 10 One week + 24 23 24 Two weeks + 15 14 15 Three weeks + 3 3 3 One month + - - - DK/NA 3 4 2

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

One day 46% 48% 49% 32% 5% Two days 8 8 7 11 6 (3-4) days 19 17 16 21 13 (5-6) days 4 - 7 16 11 One week + 10 3 10 14 36 Two weeks + 2 6 5 3 25 Three weeks + 6 4 - - 4 One month + - - - - - DK/NA 4 14 6 3 -



39. How easy or difficult was it for you to get gasoline for your car after this year's hurricanes? Was it very easy, somewhat easy, somewhat difficult, or very difficult?

                        ALL ADULTS.........
                        Tot     Men     Wom


Very easy 37% 38% 37% Smwht easy 17 18 17 Smwht difficult 17 19 15 Very difficult 20 18 22 DK/NA 9 8 10

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Very easy 42% 51% 51% 45% 12% Smwht easy 19 18 25 23 8 Smwht difficult 18 18 12 16 19 Very difficult 19 4 6 5 47 DK/NA 3 8 6 12 14