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Poll: FL gives Obama thumbs down, support protests as American

President Obama's handling of healthcare has earned him a negative rating in Florida, and the protests against his plan are far more popular, according to a new poll by Quinnipiac University.

By a narrow 48-47 percentage-point margin, Floridians disapprove of Obama's job performance. Though the split is clearly within the poll's error margin, the rating makes Florida the first to give him a thumbs down out of the five large states Quinnipiac polls.

A whopping 71 percent say they don't believe Obama's statements that the plan won't increase the size of the deficit. Only 23 percent think he'll keep his promise. Voters believe Obama's health plan will hurt the economy, raise taxes on them, increase healthcare costs and hurt the quality of healthcare they receive. Floridians are more concerned with deficits than they are with having and insurance plan pass Congress.

Still, voters still like Obama personally, support taxing the rich to pay for more healthcare, subsidizing healthcare for the less wealthy, forcing businesses to provide health insurance.

Government-run healthcare isn't anathema, either. About 58 percent support it, while 34 who are opposed. But Obama might be backing off that very option.

About 55 percent of voters say they support the protests against Obama's plan, with only 35 percent opposed to the protests, some of which have been portrayed on television as shoutfests. BY a 79-14 percent margin, voters say the protests are not "un-American."

“Voters approve of the demonstrations and they overwhelmingly disagree with the view expressed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that these protests are un-American,” said Peter A. Brown, Quinnipiac's pollster.

It's not really clear, however, if Pelosi actually called the protests themselves "un-American." Though Republicans have attributed that to the speaker, here's what she wrote in this USA TODAY op-ed Aug. 10: "These disruptions are occurring because opponents are afraid not just of differing views — but of the facts themselves. Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American. Drowning out the facts is how we failed at this task for decades."

The headline on the piece: "'Un-American' attacks can't derail health care debate."

Poll here Download 082009 FL PRES BP