January 21, 2009 - Florida Voters Like Gov. Crist As Much As Obama, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; U.S. Senate Race Is Cloudy With Unknown Candidates

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Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has a sky-high 65 - 24 percent approval rating and he is as well liked among Florida voters as President Barack Obama, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Most of the potential U.S. Senate candidates are unknown to most voters.

Had Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink decided to run for the U.S. Senate, she would have had a small early lead in the Democratic field, and run almost even with the best-known GOP potential candidate, Attorney General Bill McCollum, with 35 percent for Sink and 36 percent for McCollum, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

Although McCollum holds a wide lead in name recognition among the GOP candidates, U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV, son of the former senator with the same name, runs closely to him in a trial heat of GOP contenders and also is viewed very positively by the party-rank-in-file.

"No one has surfaced as a likely Democratic opponent for Gov. Charlie Crist and that's not surprising given how well he is thought of by Floridians," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "It's impressive at this time of national Obamamania that Gov. Crist's favorability rating is slightly higher than that of the new President. Of course, it's still more than 21 months until the 2010 election, but Charlie Crist looks like a very strong candidate for re-election."

In today's survey, 67 percent of Floridians view Crist favorably, 21 percent unfavorably. Obama is viewed favorably by 66 percent and unfavorably by 16 percent in the survey completed on the eve of his inauguration. No questions were asked about Obama's job approval because he had not been inaugurated when the survey was taken.

Floridians say 56 - 26 percent that Crist deserves a second term and 47 percent say they would vote for him, with 27 percent voting for an unnamed Democrat and 27 percent undecided.

The decision by CFO Sink to walk away from the Senate race leaves a wide open scramble for the Democrat nomination. Because the survey was in the field when she announced her decision not to run, she was left on the list from which respondents were asked to choose for the rest of the polling. In a trial heat among Democratic candidates, she gets 15 percent, while U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek has 13 percent, followed by U.S. Rep. Ron Klein at 9 percent, U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd with 8 percent and State Sen. Dan Gelber at 1 percent. Even with a ballot that includes Sink, 54 percent of registered Democrats say they do not have a candidate.

In the Republican trial heat, McCollum gets 22 percent to Mack's 21 percent, with 10 percent for U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, 6 percent for former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, 2 percent for former Florida House Speaker Allan Bense, and 40 percent undecided. Republican voters' favorability ratings of the candidates are:
  • McCollum: 40 - 14 percent favorable, with 44 percent who don't know enough to form an opinion;
  • Mack: 37 - 12 percent favorable, with 51 percent no opinion;
  • Buchanan: 18 - 9 percent favorable, with 72 percent no opinion;
  • Rubio: 13 - 17 percent favorable, with 69 percent no opinion.
"Connie Mack does surprisingly well. Whether that's because voters know about him and like him for himself, still confuse him with his father or figure that he'll be like his father if elected is not clear, and frankly probably won't be for some time. But clearly his name is a big benefit," said Brown.

None of the potential GOP aspirants is well-known other than McCollum, but Rubio's unfavorable ratings are surprisingly high for a politician with low statewide name recognition.

From January 14 - 19, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,370 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points. The survey includes 522 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percentage points and 442 Democrats 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 Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research.

1. Is your opinion of -- Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            24%    22%    28%    22%    26%    22%    18%
Unfavorable           5      5      2      8      7      4      5
Hvn't hrd enough     70     71     69     70     66     73     77
REFUSED               1      2      1      -      1      1      -
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable            23%    29%    21%    23%    24%
Unfavorable           4      7      6      4      4
Hvn't hrd enough     72     64     71     71     72
REFUSED               1      1      2      2      -
 
TREND: Is your opinion of -- Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     Jan 21  Nov 18
                     2009    2008
 
Favorable            24      27
Unfavorable           5      13
Hvn't hrd enough     70      59
REFUSED               1       1
 
 
2. Is your opinion of -- Congressman Allen Boyd favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            10%    12%    13%     6%    10%    11%    17%
Unfavorable           4      6      4      4      6      3      4
Hvn't hrd enough     84     81     83     89     84     85     78
REFUSED               1      2      -      1      -      1      -
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable            22%     7%    11%     6%     5%
Unfavorable          11      4      3      1      2
Hvn't hrd enough     66     89     85     91     93
REFUSED               1      1      1      2      -
 
TREND: Is your opinion of -- Congressman Allen Boyd favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Jan 21  Nov 18
                     2009    2008
 
Favorable            10      11
Unfavorable           4       5
Hvn't hrd enough     84      83
REFUSED               1       2
 
 
3. Is your opinion of -- Congressman Kendrick Meek favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            14%     4%    22%    12%    13%    14%     6%
Unfavorable           6      6      2      8      9      3      5
Hvn't hrd enough     79     87     75     79     77     81     88
REFUSED               1      2      -      1      -      2      1
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable            13%     6%    10%     5%    28%
Unfavorable           4      5      6      5      8
Hvn't hrd enough     81     87     84     88     64
REFUSED               2      1      1      2      -
 
TREND: Is your opinion of -- Congressman Kendrick Meek favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Jan 21  Nov 18
                     2009    2008
 
Favorable            14      14
Unfavorable           6       8
Hvn't hrd enough     79      76
REFUSED               1       2
 
 
4. Is your opinion of -- Congressman Ron Klein favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            11%     7%    15%    10%    11%    11%     8%
Unfavorable           6      5      3     11      8      4      5
Hvn't hrd enough     82     87     81     78     79     84     86
REFUSED               1      1      1      1      1      1      1
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable             4%     4%     7%     3%    28%
Unfavorable           2      2      6      4     12
Hvn't hrd enough     93     92     86     93     58
REFUSED               -      2      -      1      2
 
 
5. Is your opinion of -- Attorney General Bill McCollum favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            40%    51%    33%    40%    42%    39%    48%
Unfavorable          14     10     17     13     19     10     11
Hvn't hrd enough     44     37     49     46     38     50     40
REFUSED               1      2      1      -      1      2      1
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable            43%    42%    44%    38%    35%
Unfavorable          15     12     16     12     14
Hvn't hrd enough     41     45     39     47     50
REFUSED               1      1      1      4      -
 
 
6. Is your opinion of -- former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            13%    12%    12%    14%    15%    11%    12%
Unfavorable          17     10     22     17     22     14     13
Hvn't hrd enough     69     77     65     68     63     74     75
REFUSED               -      1      -      -      -      -      -
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable            11%    15%    10%     9%    17%
Unfavorable          18     17     14     14     21
Hvn't hrd enough     70     67     75     76     61
REFUSED               -      -      1      1      -
 
 
7. Is your opinion of -- Congressman Vern Buchanan, favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            18%    21%    15%    21%    18%    19%    23%
Unfavorable           9      5     11     10     11      8      6
Hvn't hrd enough     72     72     74     69     71     72     70
REFUSED               1      2      1      -      1      1      1
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable            13%    38%    13%    31%     7%
Unfavorable           4     21      6     11      6
Hvn't hrd enough     83     40     79     56     86
REFUSED               1      1      2      2      -
 
 
8. Is your opinion of -- Congressman Connie Mack IV, son of former United States Senator Connie Mack, favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            37%    41%    33%    39%    39%    35%    42%
Unfavorable          12      8     12     13     16      8     10
Hvn't hrd enough     51     50     54     48     44     56     48
REFUSED               1      1      1      -      2      1      1
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable            32%    38%    33%    50%    38%
Unfavorable          12     11     10     25      9
Hvn't hrd enough     56     50     56     22     52
REFUSED               1      2      1      3      -
 
 
9. (If registered Democrat) If the 2010 Democratic primary for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were - Alex Sink, Allen Boyd, Kendrick Meek, Ron Klein and Dan Gelber, for whom would you vote?
                     Dem
 
Sink                 15%
Boyd                  8
Meek                 13
Klein                 9
Gelber                1
DK/NA                54
 
 
10. (If registered Republican) If the 2010 Republican primary for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were - Bill McCollum, Marco Rubio, Allan Bense, Vern Buchanan and Connie Mack IV, for whom would you vote?
                     Rep
 
McCollum             22%
Rubio                 6
Bense                 2
Buchanan             10
Mack                 21
DK/NA                40 
 
 
11. If the 2010 election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were - Alex Sink the Democrat and Bill McCollum the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Sink                 35%     6%    66%    25%    33%    36%    19%
McCollum             36     70     12     36     37     35     58
DK/NA                29     23     23     39     30     29     23
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Sink                 27%    41%    30%    32%    42%
McCollum             40     34     40     38     29
DK/NA                33     25     30     30     28
 
 
12. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Charlie Crist is handling his job as Governor?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              65%    72%    58%    68%    66%    64%    69%
Disapprove           24     19     31     22     24     24     22
DK/NA                11      9     11     10     10     12      9
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              58%    62%    63%    75%    71%
Disapprove           29     25     26     17     21
DK/NA                13     13     11      8      8
 
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Charlie Crist is handling his job as Governor? (*also 73% on 3/29/07)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 21  Nov 18  Sep 8   Jun 3   Apr 10  Jul 19  Apr 10
                     2009    2008    2008    2008    2008    2007*   2008
 
Approve              65      68      61      61      59      73      59
Disapprove           24      18      25      23      25      11      25
DK/NA                11      13      14      16      15      16      15
 
 
13. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              40%    47%    36%    42%    40%    41%    45%
Disapprove           42     35     46     41     48     37     37
DK/NA                18     18     19     17     13     22     18
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              46%    34%    41%    48%    38%
Disapprove           39     44     40     33     46
DK/NA                15     22     19     19     16
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 21  Nov 18  Sep 8   Jun 3   Apr 10  Sep 23  Apr 10
                     2009    2008    2008    2008    2008    2004    2008
 
Approve              40      46      40      38      32      51      32
Disapprove           42      35      41      46      48      34      48
DK/NA                18      19      19      17      20      15      20
 
 
14. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Nelson is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              53%    47%    59%    53%    54%    51%    52%
Disapprove           19     26     12     18     23     16     23
DK/NA                29     27     29     29     23     33     25
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              50%    51%    55%    50%    55%
Disapprove           20     24     17     21     15
DK/NA                30     26     28     29     30
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Nelson is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 21  Nov 18  Sep 8   Jun 3   Apr 10  Feb 6   Aug 12
                     2009    2008    2008    2008    2008    2007    2004
 
Approve              53      51      49      51      49      54      42
Disapprove           19      22      23      26      25      18      18
DK/NA                29      27      28      24      26      28      40
 
 
15. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mel Martinez is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              42%    53%    36%    43%    46%    39%    51%
Disapprove           30     21     32     31     32     27     25
DK/NA                28     26     32     26     22     33     24
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              48%    35%    45%    49%    38%
Disapprove           23     35     28     26     34
DK/NA                30     30     27     25     28
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mel Martinez is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 21  Nov 18, Sep 8   Jun 3   Apr 10  Feb 6   Oct 24
                     2009    2008    2008    2008    2008    2007    2007
 
Approve              42      42      37      40      36      48      35
Disapprove           30      33      32      35      37      22      34
DK/NA                28      25      31      25      27      29      31
 
 
16. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill McCollum is handling his job as Florida Attorney General?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              51%    63%    46%    49%    53%    50%    60%
Disapprove           16      9     19     16     18     14     12
DK/NA                33     28     35     36     29     37     28
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              53%    56%    55%    51%    44%
Disapprove           19     18     13     14     14
DK/NA                27     26     32     35     43
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill McCollum is handling his job as Florida Attorney General?
                     Jan 21  Nov 18  Jun 3   Oct 24
                     2009    2008    2008    2007
 
Approve              51      51      52      44
Disapprove           16      17      20      17
DK/NA                33      32      28      39
 
 
17. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Alex Sink is handling her job as Florida's chief financial officer?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              39%    32%    49%    36%    41%    38%    39%
Disapprove           18     21     14     19     22     15     16
DK/NA                42     47     37     46     38     46     46
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              42%    41%    35%    43%    39%
Disapprove           22     22     18     14     14
DK/NA                36     37     48     43     47
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Alex Sink is handling her job as Florida's chief financial officer?
                     Jan 21  Nov 18  Jun 3   Oct 24
                     2009    2008    2008    2007
 
Approve              39      35      33      38
Disapprove           18      21      25      15
DK/NA                42      44      42      47
 
 
18. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              34%    70%    10%    30%    34%    33%    59%
Disapprove           62     24     88     66     61     62     36
DK/NA                 4      6      2      4      4      4      5
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              41%    36%    36%    41%    22%
Disapprove           56     60     59     54     73
DK/NA                 3      4      5      5      5
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 21  Nov 18  May 22  May 1   Apr 2   Sep 23  May 1
                     2009    2008    2008    2008    2008    2004    2008
 
Approve              34      30      28      24      29      50      24
Disapprove           62      66      68      71      67      47      71
DK/NA                 4       4       5       5       5       3       5
 
 
19. Is your opinion of -- Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            66%    36%    87%    72%    62%    70%    45%
Unfavorable          16     38      4      9     19     14     35
Hvn't hrd enough     12     18      7     12     13     11     18
REFUSED               5      7      1      8      6      5      3
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable            57%    61%    64%    62%    83%
Unfavorable          23     20     18     17      8
Hvn't hrd enough     16     14     13     12      7
REFUSED               5      5      5     10      3
 
 
TREND: Is your opinion of -- Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                             FAVORABLE.....
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 21  May 22  May 1   Apr 2   Dec 5   Jan 21  Feb 07
                     2009    2008    2008    2008    2007    2009    2007
 
Favorable            66      44      47      42      43      66      37
Unfavorable          16      40      36      38      31      16      18
Hvn't hrd enough     12      14      14      16      22      12      44
REFUSED               5       2       3       4       4       5       1
 
 
20. Is your opinion of -- Charlie Crist favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            67%    75%    60%    71%    67%    67%    73%
Unfavorable          21     16     27     18     22     21     19
Hvn't hrd enough     10      7     11      9     10      9      8
REFUSED               2      1      2      3      1      3      1
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable            63%    66%    67%    73%    71%
Unfavorable          23     21     23     17     18
Hvn't hrd enough     13     10      7      8      9
REFUSED               1      2      3      2      2
 
 
TREND: Is your opinion of -- Charlie Crist favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Jan 21  Nov 18
                     2009    2008
 
Favorable            67      65
Unfavorable          21      22
Hvn't hrd enough     10      10
REFUSED               2       2
 
 
21. Looking ahead to the 2010 election for Governor, do you feel that Charlie Crist deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Yes/Deserves         56%    67%    44%    60%    58%    54%    63%
No/Does not          26     18     34     23     26     25     21
DK/NA                19     15     22     17     16     21     16
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Yes/Deserves         49%    59%    53%    62%    58%
No/Does not          29     24     26     21     26
DK/NA                21     17     21     17     16
 
TREND: Looking ahead to the 2010 election for Governor, do you feel that Charlie Crist deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                     Jan 21  Nov 18
                     2009    2008
 
Yes/Deserves         56      58
No/Does NOT          26      27
DK/NA                19      15
 
 
22. If the 2010 election for Governor were being held today, do you think you would vote for Charlie Crist the Republican candidate or for the Democratic candidate?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Crist                47%    76%    23%    49%    50%    44%    67%
Democrat             27      6     53     15     23     30     16
DK/NA                27     17     25     35     27     26     17
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Crist                51%    48%    45%    58%    40%
Democrat             28     24     29     14     30
DK/NA                21     28     26     28     30
 
TREND: If the 2010 election for Governor were being held today, do you think you would vote for Charlie Crist the Republican candidate or for the Democratic candidate?
                     Jan 21  Nov 18
                     2009    2008
 
Crist                47      50
Democrat             27      28
DK/NA                27      23
 
 
23. 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?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Very satisfied        4%     7%     3%     3%     5%     3%     6%
Smwht satisfied      42     53     34     39     44     40     48
Smwht dissatisfied   34     25     40     37     34     34     28
Very dissatisfied    20     14     23     20     17     22     17
DK/NA                 1      1      -      1      -      1      1
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Very satisfied        7%     2%     5%     5%     2%
Smwht satisfied      43     41     46     50     34
Smwht dissatisfied   35     35     29     26     41
Very dissatisfied    15     22     19     17     23
DK/NA                 1      -      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? (*combined satisfied also 63% on 9/23/04)
                                                             VERY+SMWHT....
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 21  Nov 19  Sep 8   Jun 3   Apr 10  Feb 24  Apr 10
                     2009    2008    2008    2008    2008    2005*   2008
 
Very satisfied        4       7       7       4       5      15       5
Smwht satisfied      42      40      39      35      32      48      32
Smwht dissatisfied   34      33      29      34      34      22      34
Very dissatisfied    20      20       2      24      26      15      28
DK/NA                 1       1       -       1       1       1       1