Sen. Steve Geller took it upon himself to commission a poll this week of 600 registered Democrats who voted on Jan. 29 to assess their thoughts on the debate over the primary re-vote. The poll concluded: 59 percent support a re-do; 35 percent don't, and 7 percent don't know.
Conducted March 10 and 11 by the Kitchens Group from Maitland, Fla., voters were asked if 1.) they thought state leaders should maintain their position of insisting that the votes cast should count or 2.) hold a new Democratic primary election at no cost to taxpayers through the use of pre-paid mail in ballots sent to all registered Democrats.
Geller said the poll will be paid for by his political CCE or the Florida Democratic Party. "The only people with the moral authority to tell people we can ignore the votes of the 1.7 million are the 1.7 million,'' he said. "They told us they consider it critical Floridians have a voice at the convention.''
Geller repudiated the national party and its credentialling committee "and what they've done to Florida.'' He said Florida party leaders will announce plans tomorrow for the mail-in revote, although he stills prefers it to be the last option.
The poll also asked what impact the failure to count votes would have on the November elections, and Gelber warned that the results should send a message to national political leaders, and Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Voters said that if the controversy is not resolved and Florida Democratic voters do not have a voice in choosing the Democratic nominee, only 63 percent will still vote with Democrats.
"We need that in the 80s or 90s,'' Geller said. Among the other voters: 14 percent said they would send a protest vote and consider voting for a Republican, 12 percent said they were unsure, 6 percent said they wouldn't vote for the Democrat for president but would for state and local races and 5 percent said they wouldn't vote at all.
"Unless our votes are counted,'' Geller said, "You might as well stay out of the state because a Democratic nominee will not win and it will cause tremendous danger to our congressional candidates.''