October 7, 2004 - Bush Holds 7-Point Lead In Florida, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Kerry Gets Lift From First Debate
President George W. Bush leads Democratic challenger John Kerry 51 - 44 percent among Florida likely voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Independent candidate Ralph Nader received less than 1 percent in this tally, which includes undecided voters leaning toward a candidate.

Among registered voters, President Bush gets 46 percent to Sen. Kerry's 42 percent, with 1 percent for Nader, compared to a 49 - 41 percent Bush lead among registered voters in a September 23 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University.

Among Bush supporters, 78 percent say they are voting mainly for the President. Kerry supporters split with 48 percent voting mainly for the Democrat and 47 percent voting mainly against Bush.

"President Bush enjoys a 7-point lead among likely voters in Florida because he is viewed as a strong leader and more capable of handling terrorism and the war in Iraq. Sen. Kerry has gained some ground on Bush in the areas of leadership and his vision of what he would do as President," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Offered four choices, 27 percent of Florida voters name terrorism as the most important issue in the presidential campaign, with 26 percent naming the economy, as 22 percent say the situation in Iraq and 19 percent list health care.

Asked who would do a better job on these issues, voters say:
  • 51 - 39 percent that Bush would do a better job on terrorism;
  • 48 - 42 percent that Kerry would do a better job on the economy;
  • 48 - 43 percent that Bush would do a better job on the situation in Iraq;
  • 53 - 35 percent that Kerry would do a better job on health care.
Florida voters give President Bush a 44 - 37 percent favorability rating, with 17 percent mixed. This compares to a 45 - 36 percent favorability September 23.

Kerry gets a split 36 - 35 percent favorability rating, with 22 percent mixed, compared to a negative 34 - 41 percent favorability September 23.

Looking at presidential qualities, Florida voters say:
  • 51 - 41 percent that Bush is more of a leader than Kerry;
  • 48 - 41 percent that Bush does a better job explaining what he will do as President.
In both these categories, Kerry has closed the gap with Bush since September 23.

Voters say 49 - 46 percent that going to war in Iraq was the wrong thing to do. Senate Race

In the U.S. Senate race, Republican Mel Martinez gets 48 percent of likely voters to Democrat Betty Castor's 47 percent, a statistical tie.

"The Senate race is still neck and neck, especially since a large number of voters still don't know enough about either candidate to form an opinion," Richards said.

From October 1 - 5, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,083 Florida registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. The survey includes 717 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.7 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

TREND: If the election for president were being held today, and the candidates were John Kerry the Democrat, George W. Bush the Republican, and Ralph Nader the Independent for whom would you vote?

                        JK      GWB     RN      SmnEls  Wld'tVt DK/NA 


Oct 7, 2004 42 46 1 - - 10 Sep 23, 2004 41 49 5 - - 5 Aug 12, 2004 47 41 4 - 1 6 Jun 29, 2004 43 43 5 1 1 8



TREND: If the election for senator were being held today, and the candidates were Betty Castor the Democrat and Mel Martinez the Republican for whom would you vote?

                        BC      MM      SmnEls  Wld'tVt DK/NA


Oct 7, 2004 44 40 1 1 14 Sep 23, 2004 43 42 - 1 13



TREND: Is your opinion of George W. Bush favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                                                 Hvn't
                        Fav     Unfav   Mixed    Heard   REFUSED


Oct 7, 2004 44 37 17 1 1 Sep 23, 2004 45 36 14 4 1 Aug 12, 2004 38 43 17 2 1 Jun 29, 2004 41 42 15 2 1



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

                                                 Hvn't
                        Fav     Unfav   Mixed    Heard   REFUSED


Oct 7, 2004 36 35 22 6 1 Sep 23, 2004 34 41 19 4 1 Aug 12, 2004 39 31 21 8 1 Jun 29, 2004 30 33 23 14 1



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

                        Right   Wrong   DK/NA


Oct 7, 2004 46 49 5 Sep 23, 2004 46 49 5 Aug 12, 2004 45 49 6 Jun 29, 2004 42 49 9



1. If the election for president were being held today, and the candidates were John Kerry the Democrat, George W. Bush the Republican, and Ralph Nader the Independent for whom would you vote?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Kerry 42% 7% 78% 44% 37% 46% 30% Bush 46 87 11 39 53 40 61 Nader 1 1 - 2 2 1 1 SMONE ELSE(VOL) - - 1 - 1 - - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - - - - 1 - - DK/NA 10 5 9 15 7 13 8

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Kerry 35% 34% 33% 42% 59% Bush 51 56 51 49 31 Nader 3 - 2 - - SMONE ELSE(VOL) - - 2 - - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 - - - 1 DK/NA 10 10 13 9 9

No Coll Coll PRES VOTE 2000 Degree Degree Lib Mod Con Gore Bush

Kerry 41% 45% 67% 52% 16% 83% 8% Bush 46 45 25 33 74 10 83 Nader 1 1 2 1 1 - - SMONE ELSE(VOL) - - - 1 - - 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - 1 1 - - - - DK/NA 11 8 5 13 9 7 8

Age in years.............. 18-34 35-49 50-64 65+ Kerry 49% 40% 36% 47% Bush 37 49 57 40 Nader 2 1 1 - SMONE ELSE(VOL) - 1 - - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 1 - - DK/NA 11 8 6 13

Annual HsHold Income...... <30 30-50 50-100 >100K Kerry 46% 42% 43% 36% Bush 36 47 51 53 Nader 2 - 1 1 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 - - - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - 1 - 1 DK/NA 14 11 4 9

1. If the election for president were being held today, and the candidates were John Kerry the Democrat, George W. Bush the Republican, and Ralph Nader the Independent for whom would you vote? (If undecided q1) As of today, do you lean more to Kerry, Bush, or Nader? This table includes 'Leaners'.

                        Likely
                        Voters
                        
Kerry                   44% 
Bush                    51
Nader                    -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)          -  
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)         -  
DK/NA                    5




1a. (If "Nader" q1 or lean Nader) What if Ralph Nader were not running? If the election for president were being held today, and the candidates were John Kerry the Democrat and George W. Bush the Republican for whom would you vote? This table includes 'Leaners'.

Recalculated Bush vs Kerry matchup without Nader among likely voters.

                        Likely
                        Voters
                        
Kerry                   44%  
Bush                    51
SMONE ELSE(VOL)          -   
WLDN'T VOTE              -   
DK/NA                    5




2. (If candidate choice q1) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?

                        Kerry   Bush
                        Vtr q1  Vtr q1


Made up 92% 91% Might change 8 9 DK/NA - -



3a. (If 'Kerry' q1) Is your vote more for Kerry or more against Bush?

                        Kerry  
                        Vtr q1 


For Kerry 48% Against Bush 47 DK/NA 5



3b. (If 'Bush' q1) Is your vote more for Bush or more against Kerry?

                        Bush
                        Vtr q1


For Bush 78% Against Kerry 19 DK/NA 3



4. If the election for senator were being held today, and the candidates were Betty Castor the Democrat and Mel Martinez the Republican for whom would you vote?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Castor 44% 11% 77% 47% 40% 48% 33% Martinez 40 79 9 30 46 34 52 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 - 1 1 1 - - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 2 - 1 1 1 - K/NA 14 8 13 20 12 16 14

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Castor 46% 41% 34% 39% 55% Martinez 36 44 50 44 30 SMONE ELSE(VOL) - - 2 - 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 1 - 3 1 DK/NA 16 14 14 15 14

No Coll Coll PRES VOTE 2000 Degree Degree Lib Mod Con Gore Bush

Castor 44% 47% 61% 57% 20% 81% 14% Martinez 39 42 23 28 66 8 72 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 - 1 1 - - 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 - 1 1 - 1 1 DK/NA 15 11 13 13 13 10 12

Age in years............... 18-34 35-49 50-64 65+ Castor 45% 45% 41% 49% Martinez 38 38 50 34 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 - - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 2 - 1 DK/NA 14 14 9 16

Annual HsHold income......... <30 30-50 50-100 >100K Castor 54% 40% 43% 42% Martinez 29 42 45 50 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 - 1 - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 1 1 1 DK/NA 15 17 10 7



4. If the election for senator were being held today, and the candidates were Betty Castor the Democrat and Mel Martinez the Republican for whom would you vote? (If undecided q4) As of today, do you lean more to Castor or Martinez? Includes "Leaners".

                        Likely
                        Voters
                        
Castor                  47% 
Martinez                48
SMONE ELSE(VOL)          -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)         -
DK/NA                    5




5. Is your opinion of George W. Bush favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Favorable 44% 81% 14% 35% 49% 38% 58% Unfavorable 37 7 66 41 32 42 28 Mixed 17 12 19 20 16 17 13 Hvn't hrd enough 1 - 1 3 2 1 - REFUSED 1 - 1 2 1 2 1



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

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Favorable 36% 7% 66% 38% 30% 42% 27% Unfavorable 35 67 6 30 40 31 49 Mixed 22 18 24 27 21 22 18 Hvn't hrd enough 6 8 3 5 7 4 3 REFUSED 1 - 1 - 2 1 3



7. Is your opinion of Betty Castor favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about her?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Favorable 29% 13% 45% 31% 24% 33% 25% Unfavorable 13 27 3 8 19 8 23 Mixed 15 16 15 14 12 16 16 Hvn't hrd enough 41 43 35 46 42 40 33 REFUSED 2 2 1 1 2 2 3



8. Is your opinion of Mel Martinez favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Favorable 29% 55% 10% 22% 34% 24% 39% Unfavorable 16 3 27 17 17 15 19 Mixed 17 16 16 23 16 19 14 Hvn't hrd enough 36 25 46 38 32 40 27 REFUSED 2 1 1 1 1 3 1



9. If you had to choose, which of the following issues will be most important to your vote for president; the situation in Iraq, the economy, terrorism, or health care?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Iraq 22% 18% 25% 23% 21% 23% 21% Economy 26 15 35 29 26 27 20 Terrorism 27 47 10 26 34 22 41 Health care 19 14 24 19 14 22 13 DK/NA 6 6 5 3 5 6 5



10. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job on health care, -- George W. Bush or John Kerry?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Bush 35% 69% 9% 26% 37% 33% 45% Kerry 53 21 83 59 50 56 38 DK/NA 12 11 8 15 13 11 17



11. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job on the economy, -- George W. Bush or John Kerry?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Bush 42% 80% 12% 33% 47% 38% 55% Kerry 48 13 82 55 44 52 34 DK/NA 9 7 7 11 8 10 11



12. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job on the situation in Iraq, -- George W. Bush or John Kerry?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Bush 48% 87% 16% 41% 56% 42% 66% Kerry 43 9 74 48 35 50 26 DK/NA 9 4 10 10 9 8 8



13. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job on terrorism, -- George W. Bush or John Kerry?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Bush 51% 90% 18% 46% 58% 45% 65% Kerry 39 7 70 43 32 45 25 DK/NA 10 4 12 11 10 10 10



14. Regardless of how you intend to vote, which candidate would you say acts more like a leader -- John Kerry or George W. Bush?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Kerry 41% 11% 71% 43% 34% 48% 30% Bush 51 87 20 47 59 44 65 DK/NA 8 2 9 10 7 8 4



15. Regardless of how you intend to vote, which candidate would you say has done a better job making it clear what he would do if he were elected president -- John Kerry or George W. Bush?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Kerry 41% 14% 69% 42% 36% 46% 30% Bush 48 80 19 45 54 43 59 DK/NA 11 6 12 13 10 11 12



16. 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     Veteran


Right thing 46% 82% 17% 35% 52% 40% 58% Wrong thing 49 15 79 58 42 55 35 DK/NA 5 3 4 7 6 5 7



17. Did you happen to watch the nationally televised presidential debate Thursday evening, September 30th?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Yes 77% 81% 73% 78% 79% 74% 79% No 23 19 25 22 21 25 20 DK/NA - - 1 - - - 1



18. (If "Yes" q17) How has your opinion of John Kerry been affected by the debate? Is your opinion of John Kerry more favorable, less favorable, or has it not changed much?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


More favorable 47% 17% 74% 55% 43% 51% 37% Less favorable 10 17 3 10 10 11 12 Not changed 43 67 22 35 47 38 51 DK/NA - - - - - - -



19. (If "Yes" q17) How has your opinion of George Bush been affected by the debate? Is your opinion of George Bush more favorable, less favorable, or has it not changed much?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


More favorable 12% 23% 6% 4% 15% 9% 18% Less favorable 29 10 44 34 25 32 19 Not changed 59 66 50 61 59 58 61 DK/NA 1 1 - 2 1 1 2



20. How likely is it that you will watch the 2nd presidential debate on Friday evening, October 8th? Very likely, somewhat likely, or not likely?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Veteran


Very likely 68% 68% 71% 69% 67% 69% 70% Smwht likely 20 21 21 19 20 21 19 Not likely 11 11 8 12 12 10 11 DK/NA - - - - - - -