April 19, 2006 - Florida Governor's Race Is All Tied Up, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Split On FCAT Educational Testing Program
The Florida Governor's race heads into the first turn with the candidates neck and neck in three of the four possible matchups between two Republican and two Democratic contenders, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

A look at possible general election matchups today shows:
  • Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Davis with 39 percent v. Republican State Attorney General Charlie Crist with 37 percent;
  • Davis and Republican State Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher tied at 38 percent each;
  • Crist at 39 percent v. Democratic State Sen. Rod Smith with 37 percent;
  • Gallagher ahead of Smith 41 - 35 percent.
In a Democratic primary, Davis leads State Sen. Rod Smith 27 - 17 percent with 50 percent undecided. Among Republicans, Crist leads Gallagher 34 - 30 percent, with 33 percent undecided, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

Florida voters are deeply split about whether or not to continue the current system under which public school students must pass the FCAT to graduate from high school and be promoted from third grade.

"Although the changes from our last survey two months ago are small, U.S. Rep. Jim Davis, and to a lesser degree State Sen. Rod Smith, the Democrat, have improved their standing versus the Republicans," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Obviously this remains a very close race."

"It is still quite early. Smith and Davis are especially unknown to most voters. In fact, 75 percent say they don't know enough about Davis, and 82 percent say they don't know enough about Smith to rate them either favorably or unfavorably. Almost half of the voters say the same thing about the Republican candidates," said Brown.

"It may be that the slight up tick for Davis and Smith reflects the general national negative tone for Republicans."

By a 47 - 45 percent margin overall, Florida voters support keeping the current graduation and promotion requirements based on passing the FCAT. Republicans favor keeping it 60 - 33 percent, while Democrats want to eliminate it 60 - 32 percent and independent voters want to keep the FCAT requirement 49 - 42 percent.

"The future of the FCAT remains a major issue in the gubernatorial race and a matter of partisan dispute among voters," Brown said.

On another FCAT question, by a 63 - 31 percent margin, voters think the system of grading schools based on how their students score on the exam should be eliminated.

Despite the slight movement of Florida voters toward the Democrats, Republican Gov. Jeb Bush's job approval rating ticked up a point to 55 percent.

"This is a very healthy reading for a governor in the eighth year in office," Brown said.

From April 11 - 17, Quinnipiac University surveyed 951 Florida registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percentage points. The survey includes 383 Democratic voters with a margin of error of +/- 5 percentage points and 385 Republican voters 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

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

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 55% 84% 32% 49% 60% 51% Disapprove 36 12 57 39 32 40 DK/NA 9 4 11 12 9 9

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Approve 64% 52% 64% 78% 39% Disapprove 27 35 29 21 51 DK/NA 9 13 7 1 10

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

                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Apr 19  Feb 22  Nov 23  Aug 31  Jun 30  Sep 23  Aug 12
                        2006    2006    2005    2005    2005    2004    2004


Approve 55 54 53 53 49 62 45 Disapprove 36 35 37 39 40 30 44 DK/NA 9 11 9 8 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 43% 62% 28% 36% 48% 38% Disapprove 40 21 56 44 37 43 DK/NA 17 17 16 19 15 19

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Approve 53% 40% 49% 52% 32% Disapprove 35 42 33 37 47 DK/NA 12 18 18 11 21

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

                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Apr 19  Feb 22  Nov 15  Aug 31  Jun 30  Sep 23  Jun 29
                        2006    2006    2005    2005    2005    2004    2004


Approve 43 44 41 44 42 51 39 Disapprove 40 36 41 38 40 34 42 DK/NA 17 21 18 18 19 15 18



6. Is your opinion of Congressman Jim Davis favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 10% 10% 11% 7% 10% 10% Unfavorable 4 3 4 6 6 3 Mixed 9 11 8 10 8 10 Hvn't hrd enough 75 74 77 76 73 77 REFUSED 1 3 1 - 2 1

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Favorable 8% 23% 5% 13% 5% Unfavorable 4 4 5 4 4 Mixed 7 14 7 6 10 Hvn't hrd enough 80 57 80 78 80 REFUSED 2 1 3 - -

TREND: Is your opinion of Congressman Jim Davis favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                        Apr 19  Feb 22
                        2006    2006


Favorable 10 11 Unfavorable 4 3 Mixed 9 7 Hvn't hrd enough 75 77 REFUSED 1 1



7. Is your opinion of State Senator Rod Smith favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 8% 6% 9% 8% 8% 7% Unfavorable 3 3 3 2 4 2 Mixed 7 5 5 10 6 7 Hvn't hrd enough 82 83 83 79 80 84 REFUSED 1 2 - - 1 -

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Favorable 16% 5% 4% 2% 7% Unfavorable 1 3 3 3 3 Mixed 10 7 7 8 4 Hvn't hrd enough 71 84 85 87 85 REFUSED 1 2 1 - -



TREND: Is your opinion of State Senator Rod Smith favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                        Apr 19  Feb 22
                        2006    2006


Favorable 8 7 Unfavorable 3 4 Mixed 7 6 Hvn't hrd enough 82 82 REFUSED 1 1



8. Is your opinion of Attorney General Charlie Crist favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 33% 44% 22% 32% 37% 29% Unfavorable 8 5 11 8 8 9 Mixed 13 9 13 19 10 17 Hvn't hrd enough 45 40 54 40 44 46 REFUSED 1 1 - 1 1 -

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Favorable 31% 43% 32% 46% 25% Unfavorable 11 7 9 2 9 Mixed 10 18 14 15 12 Hvn't hrd enough 49 31 43 37 54 REFUSED - 1 2 - -

TREND: Is your opinion of Attorney General Charlie Crist favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                        Apr 19  Feb 22
                        2006    2006


Favorable 33 31 Unfavorable 8 8 Mixed 13 13 Hvn't hrd enough 45 47 REFUSED 1 2



9. Is your opinion of State Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 29% 33% 23% 29% 33% 25% Unfavorable 9 7 10 8 9 8 Mixed 13 14 13 13 11 16 Hvn't hrd enough 49 45 53 48 46 51 REFUSED - - - 1 1 -

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Favorable 28% 31% 25% 28% 30% Unfavorable 8 7 8 6 11 Mixed 11 12 17 19 12 Hvn't hrd enough 53 50 49 46 46 REFUSED - 1 1 1 -

TREND: Is your opinion of Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                        Apr 19  Feb 22
                        2006    2006


Favorable 29 27 Unfavorable 9 9 Mixed 13 14 Hvn't hrd enough 49 49 REFUSED - 1



10. If the 2006 election for governor were being held today and the candidates were Jim Davis the Democrat and Charlie Crist the Republican, or whom would you vote?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Davis 39% 8% 72% 35% 40% 39% Crist 37 75 9 30 38 36 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 1 2 1 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 2 1 3 3 1 DK/NA 20 14 17 30 18 22

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Davis 32% 36% 32% 25% 53% Crist 43 45 40 47 24 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 1 1 4 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 4 3 1 1 1 DK/NA 19 15 25 23 21



TREND: If the 2006 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?
                        Apr 19  Feb 22  Nov 15
                        2006    2006    2005


Davis 39 36 40 Crist 37 40 39 SMONE ELSE 1 2 1 WLDN'T VOTE 2 1 1 DK/NA 20 22 19



11. If the 2006 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 38% 5% 73% 36% 36% 40% Gallagher 38 73 13 29 42 34 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 1 2 2 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 1 1 1 1 1 DK/NA 22 20 13 32 19 25

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Davis 30% 38% 33% 20% 51% Gallagher 45 35 38 54 31 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 2 - 3 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 2 1 - - DK/NA 22 22 28 24 17

TREND: If the 2006 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?

                        Apr 19  Feb 22  Nov 15
                        2006    2006    2005


Davis 38 36 41 Gallagher 38 37 38 SMONE ELSE 1 1 2 WLDN'T VOTE 1 1 1 DK/NA 22 25 18



12. If the 2006 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 37% 9% 70% 32% 37% 37% Crist 39 75 10 32 41 36 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 - 1 2 1 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 1 1 4 3 1 DK/NA 21 15 17 31 17 24

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Smith 34% 28% 31% 30% 52% Crist 46 50 40 44 24 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 - 1 3 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 4 3 3 1 - DK/NA 14 19 26 23 23

TREND: If the 2006 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?

                        Apr 19  Feb 22  Nov 15
                        2006    2006    2005


Smith 37 32 36 Crist 39 42 41 SMONE ELSE 1 2 2 WLDN'T VOTE 2 1 1 DK/NA 21 23 20



13. If the 2006 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 35% 6% 69% 30% 34% 37% Gallagher 41 75 17 33 45 37 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 1 2 2 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 2 1 2 3 1 DK/NA 21 16 13 33 17 24

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Smith 31% 29% 32% 19% 48% Gallagher 46 44 38 53 35 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 1 1 3 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 3 1 - 1 DK/NA 17 22 29 25 16



TREND: If the 2006 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?

                        Apr 19  Feb 22  Nov 15
                        2006    2006    2005


Smith 35 34 36 Gallagher 41 38 41 SMONE ELSE 1 2 2 WLDN'T VOTE 2 2 2 DK/NA 21 25 19



24. 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 14% 27% 3% 13% 18% 10% Smwht satisfied 45 55 39 41 48 42 Smwht dissatisfied 24 13 33 27 20 28 Very dissatisfied 15 4 22 19 12 18 DK/NA 2 2 3 - 2 2

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Very satisfied 19% 15% 18% 11% 8% Smwht satisfied 47 45 46 59 40 Smwht dissatisfied 24 23 18 19 30 Very dissatisfied 8 15 17 11 21 DK/NA 3 1 2 - 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?

                        Apr 19  Feb 22  Nov 15  Aug 31  Jun 30  Apr 13  Feb 24
                        2006    2006    2005    2005    2005    2005    2005


Very satisfied 14 15 15 15 14 12 15 Smwht satisfied 45 43 43 42 43 47 48 Smwht dissatisfied 24 26 20 25 27 24 22 Very dissatisfied 15 14 21 17 15 15 15 DK/NA 2 2 1 1 2 2 1



26. For public school students to be promoted from third to fourth grade and to graduate high school, they must pass the FCAT. Some candidates for governor want to eliminate those requirements. Do you support the present FCAT requirement or do you want to eliminate it?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support requirement 47% 60% 32% 49% 54% 42% Eliminate it 45 33 60 42 37 52 DK/NA 8 7 8 9 9 7

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Support requirement 48% 39% 53% 59% 46% Eliminate it 47 53 38 35 44 DK/NA 5 8 9 6 9



27. If a candidate for governor wants to eliminate the requirement that students pass the FCAT test to be promoted from the third grade and graduate from high school, would you be more likely to vote for that candidate, less likely, or wouldn't it make a difference?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


More likely 27% 20% 35% 27% 24% 30% Less likely 29 39 19 30 34 26 No difference 35 33 38 35 34 36 DK/NA 8 8 9 7 8 8

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

More likely 24% 28% 24% 24% 32% Less likely 31 24 34 38 27 No difference 39 44 31 31 32 DK/NA 6 5 11 7 9



28. Public schools in Florida are graded based on the scores their students achieve on the FCAT. The grade that a school gets affects how much money the school gets. Do you think the system of grading schools based on the FCAT should be continued or not?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 31% 47% 22% 22% 37% 25% No 63 46 72 71 54 70 DK/NA 7 7 6 8 9 5

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Yes 32% 24% 36% 31% 30% No 61 72 54 58 64 DK/NA 6 4 9 11 6



36. (If registered Republican) If the 2006 Republican primary for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Charlie Crist and Tom Gallagher, for whom would you vote?

                       Registered
                       Republicans


Crist 34% Gallagher 30 SMONE ELSE(VOL) - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 DK/NA 33

TREND: (If registered Republican) If the 2006 Republican primary for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Charlie Crist and Tom Gallagher for whom would you vote?

                        REGISTERED REPUBLICANS
                        Apr 19  Feb 22
                        2006    2006


Crist 34 40 Gallagher 30 31 SMONE ELSE - 2 WLDN'T VOTE 3 1 DK/NA 33 27



37. (If registered Democrat) If the 2006 Democratic primary for governor were being held today and the candidates were Jim Davis and Rod Smith, for whom would you vote?
                       Registered
                       Democrats


Davis 27% Smith 17 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 4 DK/NA 50

TREND: (If registered Democrat) If the 2006 Democratic primary for governor were being held today and the candidates were Jim Davis and Rod Smith, for whom would you vote?

                        REGISTERED DEMOCRATS
                        Apr 19  Feb 22
                        2006    2006


Davis 27 29 Smith 17 13 SMONE ELSE 2 1 WLDN'T VOTE 4 3 DK/NA 50 53