September 22, 2011 - Perry Leads GOP Pack, Tops Romney 1 On 1 In Florida, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Obama Trails Romney And Ties Perry

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry has a small lead over the Republican presidential pack in Florida with 28 percent, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 22 percent, but Perry tops Romney 31 - 22 percent if Sarah Palin doesn't run and leads Romney 46 - 38 percent in a two- man face-off, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Romney has barely moved since he led the Florida GOP pack with 23 percent in an August 4 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, while Perry has surged from 13 percent in that survey conducted before he formally announced his candidacy.

All Florida voters disapprove 57 - 39 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing, his worst score in any Quinnipiac University poll in any state.

In possible 2012 presidential matchups, Romney tops the president 47 - 40 percent while Perry gets 42 percent to Obama's 44 percent, a dead heat. In the August 4 Florida poll, Romney and Obama were deadlocked 44 - 44 percent while the president led Perry 44 - 39 percent.

Obama does not deserve a second term, Florida voters say 53 - 41 percent.

"Gov. Rick Perry has the lead - and the momentum - among Florida Republicans, while former Gov. Mitt Romney can point to a better general election showing," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Adding to Perry's strength is support among Sarah Palin backers, who shift more to the Texas governor if the former Alaska governor stays out of the race.

"And when voters are asked to choose just between the two front-runners, Perry's lead is eight points."

Perry leads Romney 55 - 35 percent among Republican voters who describe themselves as part of the Tea Party movement. Perry leads 50 - 36 percent among GOP men and wins 42 percent of women to Romney's 41 percent.

Most of the difference between how Romney and Perry run against President Obama is among independent voters. The president leads Perry 42 - 36 percent among Florida independents, while Romney tops the president 44 - 35 percent among the same group.

"This finding is consistent with Quinnipiac University polls in other states and re-enforces Perry's need to improve his standing with independent voters," said Brown.

Voters in Florida, with the nation's highest concentration of senior citizens, say 58 - 33 percent that it is "unfair" to describe Social Security as a "Ponzi scheme," as Perry has done. But among Republicans, the only ones allowed to vote in the state's crucial primary, 52 percent say that is a fair way to describe the nation's retirement system.

Perry's position on Social Security leads 35 percent of Florida voters to think he wants to fix it, while 37 percent feel he wants to end it. Republicans, however, say 60 - 14 percent that Perry wants to fix Social Security.

Florida voters, like voters nationwide, are opposed to virtually all proposals to reduce Social Security, with the exception of 65 - 28 percent support for raising the cap from the current $106,800 in salary subject to taxation. Raising the Social Security salary cap will not lead employers to do less hiring, voters say 61 - 32 percent.

By 38 - 20 percent voters say they are less likely, rather than more likely, to support a presidential candidate who called for reducing the benefits for younger workers when they retire, while not touching those of current retirees.

In Florida's U.S. Senate race, incumbent Bill Nelson deserves a second term, voters say 44 - 33 percent and Nelson leads an unnamed GOP candidate 43 - 34 percent. In the Republican primary to challenge Nelson, 58 percent are undecided, with former Sen. George LeMieux at 17 percent, followed by businessman Mike McCalister with 11 percent.

From September 14 - 19, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,007 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones. The Republican primary includes 374 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 5.1 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

1. (If Registered Republican)If the 2012 Republican primary for President were being held today, and the candidates were - Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, Herman Cain and Thaddeus McCotter for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS..............
                                          PrtOf  WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Men    Wom    TeaPty Evnglcl
 
Perry                28%    34%    22%    36%    26%
Palin                 8      7      8     11      7
Gingrich              7      5     10      7      6
Romney               22     19     24     17     18
Bachmann              5      3      7      8      7
Santorum              2      1      3      3      2
Paul                  6      9      2      3      9
Huntsman              2      3      1      1      1
Cain                  7      7      6      6      7
McCotter              -      -      -      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      -      -      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      1      -      -      -
DK/NA                12      8     17      8     14
 
TREND: (If registered Republican) If the 2012 Republican primary for President were being held today, and the candidates were - Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, Herman Cain and Thaddeus McCotter for whom would you vote? (*na=not asked in survey reported)
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS
                     Sep 22  Aug 04
                     2011    2011
 
Perry                28      13
Palin                 8       9
Gingrich              7       4
Romney               22      23
Bachmann              5       6
Santorum              2       1
Paul                  6       9
Huntsman              2       1
Cain                  7       8
McCotter              -       -
Pawlenty             na       3
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       3
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1       3
DK/NA                12      17 
 
 
1a. (If voting for Palin q1) Who is your second choice? (Recalculated without Palin using second choice question)
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS..............
                     Q1 WITHOUT PALIN....................
                                          PrtOf  WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Men    Wom    TeaPty Evnglcl
 
Perry                31%    35%    26%    39%    30%
Gingrich              8      5     10      7      6
Romney               22     19     25     19     18
Bachmann              7      6      8     12      9
Santorum              2      1      3      4      3
Paul                  6      9      2      3      9
Huntsman              2      3      1      1      1
Cain                  8      9      7      8      7
McCotter              -      -      -      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      -      -      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      1      -      -      -
DK/NA                13      9     17      8     14
 
TREND: (if voting for Palin) Who is your second choice? (Recalculated without Palin using second choice question)
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS
                     WITHOUT PALIN..
                     Sep 22  Aug 04
                     2011    2011
 
Perry                31      14
Gingrich              8       5
Romney               22      24
Bachmann              7       7
Santorum              2       1
Paul                  6      10
Huntsman              2       1
Cain                  8       9
McCotter              -       -
Pawlenty             na       3
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       3
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1       3
DK/NA                13      19
 
 
2. (If Registered Republican)Suppose the primary came down to a choice between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS..............
                                          PrtOf  WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Men    Wom    TeaPty Evnglcl
 
Perry                46%    50%    42%    55%    52%
Romney               38     36     41     35     34
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      3      -      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      2      1      3      2
DK/NA                12      8     16      6     13
 
 
3. (If Registered Republican)If the 2012 Republican primary for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Adam Hasner, George LeMieux, Craig Miller and Mike McCalister for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS..............
                                          PrtOf  WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Men    Wom    TeaPty Evnglcl
 
Hasner                5%     7%     2%     9%     4%
LeMieux              17     22     10     28     14
Miller                5      8      3      4      5
McCalister           11     11     12      8     10
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      2      3      -      3
DK/NA                58     49     69     49     64
 
TREND: (If registered Republican)If the 2012 Republican primary for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Adam Hasner, George LeMieux, Craig Miller and Mike McCalister for whom would you vote? (*na=not asked in survey reported)
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS
                     Sep 22  Aug 04  May 26
                     2011    2011    2011
 
Hasner                5       6       4
LeMieux              17      12      14
Miller                5       8      na
McCalister           11      15      na
Haridopolos          na      na      13
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       3       2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3       4       4
DK/NA                58      53      64
 
 
4. If the 2012 election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and Rick Perry the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Obama                44%     5%    86%    42%    44%    45%    16%
Perry                42     92      4     36     44     41     71
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      2      1      2      2      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      1      2      8      4      4      4
DK/NA                 8      2      7     13      7      9      8
 
TREND: If the 2012 election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and Rick Perry the Republican for whom would you vote?
                             DEBT DEAL.....
                             Post    Pre
                     Sep 22  Aug 04  Aug 04
                     2011    2011    2011
 
Obama                44      44      49
Perry                42      39      36
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4       4       3
DK/NA                 8      12      11
 
 
5. If the 2012 election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and Mitt Romney the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Obama                40%     4%    83%    35%    38%    42%    13%
Romney               47     93      7     44     50     44     75
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      -      -      3      2      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      1      2      6      3      4      2
DK/NA                 8      2      8     12      7     10      8
 
TREND: If the 2012 election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and Mitt Romney the Republican for whom would you vote?
                             DEBT DEAL.....
                             Post    Pre
                     Sep 22  Aug 04  Aug 04
                     2011    2011    2011
 
Obama                40      44      46
Romney               47      44      41
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2       2       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4       3       2
DK/NA                 8       8       9
 
 
6. Compared to past presidential elections, how would you describe your level of enthusiasm about voting in the 2012 presidential election next year - are you more enthusiastic than usual, less enthusiastic, or about the same as usual?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
More                 40%    63%    28%    31%    41%    38%    48%
Less                 22     10     24     29     18     26     21
About the same       37     26     47     40     41     34     29
DK/NA                 1      2      1      -      1      1      2
 
 
9. 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              45%    36%    58%    43%    46%    44%    41%
Disapprove           32     47     20     29     36     28     36
DK/NA                23     17     22     28     17     28     23
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Nelson is handling his job as United States Senator? (*Low also 42% Aug 2004)
                             DEBT DEAL.....                  APPROVE.......
                             Post    Pre                     High    Low
                     Sep 22  Aug 04  Aug 04  May 26  Apr 07  Feb 06  Aug 04
                     2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2007    2011*
 
Approve              45      42      45      51      47      54      42
Disapprove           32      35      33      24      26      18      35
DK/NA                23      23      22      25      27      28      23
 
 
10. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              39%     6%    75%    37%    37%    40%    20%
Disapprove           57     92     20     57     60     53     78
DK/NA                 5      3      4      6      3      7      2
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                             DEBT DEAL.....                  APPROVE.......
                             Post    Pre                     High    Low
                     Sep 22  Aug 04  Aug 04  May 26  Apr 07  Feb 19  Sep 22
                     2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2009    2011
 
Approve              39      44      44      51      44      64      39
Disapprove           57      51      50      43      52      23      57
DK/NA                 5       5       5       6       4      13       5
 
 
11. Do you consider yourself part of the Tea Party movement or not?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Yes                  14%    30%     3%     9%    16%    12%    20%
No                   81     65     91     87     81     81     72
DK/NA                 5      5      5      4      3      7      7
 
 
12. 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%     -      5%     5%     3%     5%
Smwht satisfied      31     51     16     29     36     27     42
Smwht dissatisfied   29     22     36     31     25     32     25
Very dissatisfied    34     19     46     34     33     36     27
DK/NA                 2      2      1      -      2      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? (*combined High also 63% Sep 2004)
                                                             VERY+SMWHT....
                                                             High    Low
                     Sep 22  Aug 05  May 25  Apr 06  Feb 02  Feb 24  Sep 22  
                     2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2005*   2011    
                                                                             
Very satisfied        4       4       3       3       3      15       4      
Smwht satisfied      31      33      36      36      44      48      31      
Smwht dissatisfied   29      28      32      34      34      22      29      
Very dissatisfied    34      33      29      26      19      15      34      
DK/NA                 2       1       1       1       1       1       2      
 
 
13. Do you feel that Barack Obama 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         41%     5%    80%    39%    39%    42%    15%
No/Does not          53     94     14     51     55     51     79
DK/NA                 6      2      6     10      6      7      6
 
TREND: Do you feel that Barack Obama deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                             DEBT DEAL.....
                             Post    Pre
                     Sep 22  Aug 04  Aug 04  May 26  Apr 07  Feb 03
                     2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2011
 
Yes/Deserves         41      42      47      50      42      45
No/Does not          53      50      46      44      51      48
DK/NA                 6       8       7       6       8       8
 
 
14. If the 2012 election for United States Senator were being held today, do you think you would vote for Bill Nelson the Democratic candidate, or for the Republican candidate?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Nelson               43%     9%    85%    38%    43%    43%    27%
Republican           34     78      1     30     37     32     53
DEPENDS ON CAND(VOL)  8      8      4     12      7     10      9
DK/NA                14      5     10     21     13     15     11
 
TREND: If the 2012 election for United States Senator were being held today, do you think you would vote for Bill Nelson the Democratic candidate, or for the Republican candidate?
                             DEBT DEAL.....
                             Post    Pre
                     Sep 22  Aug 04  Aug 04  Apr 07  Feb 03
                     2011    2011    2011    2011    2011
 
Nelson               43      46      45      43      41
Republican           34      35      33      39      36
DEPENDS ON CAND(VOL)  8       7       8       8      10
DK/NA                14      12      14      10      13
 
 
15. Do you feel that Bill Nelson 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         44%    19%    77%    39%    43%    45%    33%
No/Does not          33     59      8     34     39     28     36
DK/NA                23     22     14     27     19     27     30
 
TREND: Do you feel that Bill Nelson deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                             DEBT DEAL.....
                             Post    Pre
                     Sep 22  Aug 04  Aug 04  May 26  Apr 07  Feb 03
                     2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2011
 
Yes/Deserves         44      44      45      48      43      43
No/Does not          33      38      36      30      35      33
DK/NA                23      18      19      22      21      25
 
 
22. Is your opinion of Social Security favorable, unfavorable, or haven't you heard enough about it?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            51%    46%    57%    54%    54%    49%    46%
Unfavorable          25     35     15     27     27     24     33
Hvn't hrd enough     20     15     25     17     16     24     19
REFUSED               3      3      3      2      3      3      2
 
 
23. Do you think: The Social Security program should continue to be run by the federal government, or do you think The Social Security program should be turned over to the states?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Federal gov          65%    49%    81%    66%    66%    64%    55%
States               24     38     10     23     25     22     31
DK/NA                11     12      9     11      9     14     15
 
 
24. (INTRO TO QUES 24-27)The Social Security system mainly provides retirement income for senior citizens. The government board that runs Social Security projects that it will run out of money to pay full benefits in the next 25 years. Do you support or oppose - raising Social Security taxes to help bring more money into the Social Security system?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Support              42%    24%    56%    46%    45%    39%    34%
Oppose               51     68     35     50     49     52     61
DK/NA                 7      8      9      4      6      9      5
 
 
25. Do you support or oppose - increasing the age to qualify for Social Security benefits to help bring more money into the Social Security system?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Support              42%    53%    36%    39%    44%    41%    43%
Oppose               52     43     61     55     54     51     53
DK/NA                 5      4      4      6      3      8      4
 
 
26. Do you support or oppose - reducing Social Security benefits for current retirees to help bring more money into the Social Security system?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Support              12%    13%    13%    12%    12%    13%    12%
Oppose               85     84     84     85     86     83     85
DK/NA                 3      2      4      3      2      4      3
 
 
27. Do you support or oppose - reducing Social Security benefits for future retirees to help bring more money into the Social Security system?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Support              27%    36%    27%    21%    30%    25%    21%
Oppose               66     55     69     73     65     68     71
DK/NA                 6      9      4      6      5      8      8
 
 
28. Under the current system employers and employees pay Social Security taxes on workers incomes only up to the first $106,800 they earn. Do you support or oppose raising this $106,800 income cap to help bring more money into the Social Security system?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Support              65%    60%    66%    69%    71%    58%    59%
Oppose               28     34     25     24     25     31     33
DK/NA                 7      6      8      7      4     11      7
 
 
29. Some people say that raising the amount of income subject to Social Security taxes will lead employers to do less hiring. Do you agree or disagree?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Agree                32%    45%    21%    31%    32%    31%    40%
Disagree             61     49     74     64     63     60     49
DK/NA                 7      6      6      6      5      9     11
 
 
30. Benefits for today's retirees come from taxes paid by today's workers. When today's workers retire, their benefits will be paid by people working at the time. Some have said this system is a "Ponzi scheme." Do you think that it is fair or unfair to describe the Social Security system as a Ponzi scheme?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Fair                 33%    52%    10%    35%    37%    28%    34%
Unfair               58     39     81     57     57     59     52
DK/NA                 9      9     10      8      6     13     14
 
 
31. Based on what you've heard or read, do you think Rick Perry wants to fix Social Security or end Social Security?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Fix                  35%    60%    12%    34%    42%    28%    43%
End                  37     14     60     38     36     38     30
DK/NA                28     27     28     28     22     35     27
 
 
32. If a presidential candidate said that in order to preserve the Social Security system they would not touch benefits for current retirees or workers soon to retire, but would reduce benefits for younger workers when they retire, would you be more likely to vote for that candidate, less likely to vote for that candidate, or wouldn't it make a difference?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
More likely          20%    32%    13%    18%    23%    17%    23%
Less likely          38     24     50     39     38     38     33
No difference        36     38     29     38     34     37     37
DK/NA                 7      7      8      5      5      8      7
 
 

Demographic Summary