September 22, 2014

Anzalone/United For Care poll: 69% of FL voters back medical marijuana

@MarcACaputo

From a press release:

A recently commissioned poll by United for Care shows strong and stable support for Florida Amendment 2, a measure that would allow for the medical use of marijuana in the state. According to the survey conducted on behalf of United for Care, the main organization advocating for passage of the amendment, 69% of likely voters in Florida support this measure with only 28% opposed. 60% voter approval is needed to pass a Constitutional Amendment in the State of Florida. The findings are significant because they show voter backing of the amendment has remained virtually unchanged since the beginning of 2013.

United for Care has conducted four internal polls since January 2013, employing 3 different pollsters. The first survey by Hamilton Campaigns showed 70% support in January 2013. The second, carried out in March of 2013 by the Kitchens Group, revealed 71% intended to vote “Yes.” A June 2014 poll by Anzalone Liszt Research and Public Opinion Strategies reported 70% voter support for the amendment.

“If you look at the poll numbers since the beginning of last year they are virtually unchanged, and they reassert what we’ve consistently said: Floridians overwhelmingly support medical marijuana,” said Ben Pollara, Campaign Manager at United for Care. “Keeping medical decisions in the hands of doctors - not politicians - is simply not a controversial position for the vast majority of Floridians, and that has not changed over the last twenty-one months.”

“The latest poll speaks very highly of the basic compassion of Florida voters,” said Pollara. “Opponents of Amendment 2 have been relentlessly pushing disingenuous talking points, and insulting the intelligence of the voters - but Floridians have seen through their deception and they are ready to vote for this amendment because it is the right thing to do for the ill and the suffering.”

The Anzalone Liszt Grove Research poll of 1,004 likely Florida voters was conducted from September 12-18, 2014 and has a margin of error of +/-3.1%.

SurveyUSA/WFLA: Scott 44%, Crist 39%, Wyllie %7 percent

@MarcACaputo

From SurveyUSA's Sept. 16* poll for WFLA TV:

In an election for Governor of Florida today, 09/16/14, a month until ballots are mailed to voters, incumbent Republican Rick Scott is now 5 points atop Democratic challenger Charlie Crist, according to the latest WFLA-TV tracking poll conducted by SurveyUSA. Today's results --- Scott 44%, Crist 39% --- are the first time that Crist has polled below 40% in the 6 months since WFLA-TV began tracking the contest...

Compared to a WFLA-TV tracking poll one week ago, Crist is down 5 points, Scott is down 1 point. Libertarian Adrian Wyllie --- today at 7% -- is up 4 percentage points. Crist has lost ground among men, where he is today polling at 35%, 12 points behind Scott. Immediately before the 08/26/14 Democratic primary, Crist led among Independent voters, but today Crist is down among this critically important constituency by 13 points. In Southeast Florida, a Democratic stronghold which includes Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Crist is down 9 points week-on-week, and today leads in that part of the state by just 3. Without Southeast Florida solidly in one's back pocket, no Democrat can carry the state....

State constitutional Amendment 2, which would give Floridians the right to use medicinal marijuana if prescribed by a physician, is backed by 25 points today, 56% voting Yes, 31% voting No. The measure is supported by 40 points among the youngest voters, and by 3 points among the oldest voters. Republicans and conservatives oppose. Moderates, liberals, Democrats and Independents support. The measure passes in every region of the state.

A few thoughts: The medical-marijuana polling number is low compared to other major surveys (such as the AIF poll referenced in last week's column). Also, while it's not out of the realm of possibility, the sudden 6-point overall shift in Scott's favor is notable, though SurveyUSA has had some strange fluctuations at times (more here). Driving that is independents, who shifted a net 13 in Scott's favor (3 toward Scott and 10 from Crist) in two weeks. There's a likely tendence for robo-polls to lean a little conservative because they rely on landlines (more likely to be owned by voters who fit a more-conservative profile). Poll averages indicate it's a 2-point race (inside-the-MOE) in Scott's favor. 

Surveyusa

*pardon the late posting

September 21, 2014

Hitting $50m mark, Rick Scott-Charlie Crist ad war is a major marketing campaign

@MarcACaputo

Another week. Another $10.4 million thrown in the fire we call television advertising.

Florida’s governor’s race is now a $50 million-plus commercial spectacle, with more than 71 percent of that spending from Gov. Rick Scott.

During the week that ended Friday, Scott dropped an additional $8 million for current and future ads. That’s about a 23 percent increase for the Republican, dwarfing Democrat Charlie Crist’s ad-buy increase of 17 percent, or almost $2.5 million.

If TV ads decided the governor’s race, Scott would win in a landslide.

There’s more to an election than running commercials, however, just as there’s more to winning a war than just using air power. Like a military campaign, a political campaign needs infantry — the “ground game” or “field operations” of paid staff and volunteers who phone voters and reach out them face to face.:

But the latter depends on the former. And so, therefore, does the election.

Think of the old military adage: Fire without maneuver is inconclusive, maneuver without fire is suicide. A Florida campaign that exists only on air isn’t enough; an off-air campaign goes nowhere.

Column is here.

Last week's post on the ad buys is here with a prior graphic; this graphic charts the increases in ad-buy orders for the week ending Friday.

FL Gov Race major market buys

Below, the trend tells the tale: Scott has spent early and often, especially on TV ad buys, and now his campaign and political committees' once-sizable cash-on-hand advantage is down to less than $1 million against Crist's. Of course, Scott has the GOP and his own millions to rely on.

  Scott's COH vs. Crist

 

September 14, 2014

Unskewing and averaging the FL gov race polls, Pt. 2: Scott leads Crist 43-41%

@MarcACaputo

Labor Day is over and now the real polling work is underway in Florida’s governor’s race. That means it’s time for another unskewing of the polls, in this case seven surveys released since Sept. 1 for which crosstab data were made available.*

Taken individually, each poll shows a close race, with either Gov. Rick Scott or Democrat Charlie Crist leading by an insider-the-error-margin amount. Taken together and aggregated, however, the polls indicate an even tighter contest.

Scott has the slightest of leads: about 43.3 percent to Crist’s 41.3 percent.

The rough 2 percentage-point margin isn’t a commanding lead. It looks even less-impressive considering the April average of the race’s polls: a Crist lead of about 0.4 percentage points.

Viewed one way, the race has moved a mere net 1.6 percentage points in Scott’s favor while he and his allies have outspent Crist’s campaign by nearly 3:1 on TV since March ($27 million to $10 million). A large number of those ads have been negative, attacking Crist more than boosting Scott. Some political consultants have been describing Scott’s campaign position as the result of some tactical genius – but it’s looking more like brute force right now, the equivalent of dropping an atomic bomb of manure. It’s gonna make Crist stink.

Basically, the campaign looks frozen, which the following poll track of SurveyUSA/WFLA-TV shows. Neither candidate is pulling consistently ahead.

SurveyUSA Sept

Continue reading "Unskewing and averaging the FL gov race polls, Pt. 2: Scott leads Crist 43-41%" »

The politics, paradoxes and polling of pot

@MarcACaputo

Tallahassee’s conservative political establishment is about to embark on a multi-million ad campaign to kill a popular, proposed constitutional amendment for medical marijuana.

Paradoxically, more money and more message could mean more problems for the opponents.

That’s because one of the best ways to motivate older and conservative just-say-no voters is to frame the amendment as a “smokescreen” for outright legalization. But that message (questionable though it is) can motivate younger and more liberal voters.

And those younger voters, typically less likely to show in mid-term elections, are probably more enthused about outright marijuana legalization rather than medical cannabis.

Not only could these less-likely voters show, polling and demographic trends indicate that they’d be less likely to vote for Gov. Rick Scott, the standard bearer of the Tallahassee political establishment.

So conservatives could unwittingly fund their own demise by unwittingly ginning up young voters.

“Medical marijuana will probably drive up turnout among lower-propensity voters by a point or two,” said Daniel Smith, a University of Florida political science professor who has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles on ballot initiatives and voter performance.

“It’s not going to be a lot, but in a close election like this, a little is a lot,” Smith said. “Now who medical marijuana helps politically is much less clear.”

The conventional wisdom, therefore, about Democrat Charlie Crist getting a major boost from medical marijuana could be dead wrong. Crist, Democrats and the campaign led by People United for Medical Marijuana face their own conflicts when it comes to cannabis.

Welcome to the tricky politics, paradoxes and polling of pot.

More here

September 09, 2014

PPP: Crist 42%, Scott 39%. Medical marijuana in trouble at 61%

From a press release:

PPP's newest Florida poll continues to find a tight race for Governor, with Charlie Crist holding a slight advantage over Rick Scott. Crist is at 42% to 39% for Scott, and 8% for Libertarian Adrian Wyllie. This election is shaping up as a choice between two candidates voters have decided they don't care for. Only 40% of voters approve of the job Scott is doing to 49% who disapprove. But they don't like Crist either- 40% of voters rate him favorably with 46% holding a negative opinion. The dissatisfaction with both major candidates probably helps to explain Wyllie's 8% standing but since he is drawing pretty equally from both Scott and Crist he's not having a major effect on the race in the way some Libertarians are in other states. When you take him out of the equation Crist's lead remains 3 points at 44/41.

Continue reading "PPP: Crist 42%, Scott 39%. Medical marijuana in trouble at 61%" »

August 07, 2014

WFLA/SurveyUSA: Rick Scott 45%, Charlie Crist 43%

@MarcACaputo

Gov. Rick Scott has marginally retaken a marginal lead over Democrat Charlie Crist in the latest WFLA/SurveyUSA poll that shows the Republican pulling in 45% of the vote to Crist's 43%.

That's well within the error margin for the robopoll of 576 self-described likely voters.

The 45-43% race in this survey is identical to SurveyUSA's results at the beginning of July. In between, another SurveyUSA poll showed Crist pulling ahead 46-40. So this is a net 8 percentage point shift in Scott's favor (Scott gained 5 and Crist lost 3, which is the inverse of what happened between the early July and mid July polls).

So there's fluctuation and the trendline isn't smooth. Most of the up-and-down noise is with self-identified independents, who shift this way and that. But, generally speaking, the race is pretty much a tie. And all signs indicate it will stay that way.

One problem with this and other polls: it doesn't include Libertarian Adrian Wyllie. Quinnipiac University found he pulled a significant 9 percentage points. Not enough to win. But enough to change the toplines in a race (he pulled more from Crist than Scott).

Still, Quinnipiac polls are like SurveyUSA's in this regard: they indicate a close race that's getting closer.

Surveytrack

July 28, 2014

Will Joe 6-pack become Joe Dime Bag? Q-Poll finds pot legalization backed 55-41 in FL

@MarcACaputo

A clear majority of Floridians, 55 percent, favor outright legalization of marijuana for personal recreational use, according to a new poll that indicates a medical cannabis initiative headed for the November ballot still looks as if it will easily pass.

Support for medical-marijuana use among adults is even more outsized: 88-10 percent, Quinnipiac University’s survey of 1,251 voters shows.

But that poll question, about marijuana use among adults, doesn’t directly relate to the proposed constitutional amendment voters will decide because that initiative allows prescription cannabis use by any qualifying patient, including children.

More here

July 27, 2014

YouGov FL poll (internet): Rick Scott leads Charie Crist 48%-43%

@MarcACaputo

A new New York Times/CBS YouGov poll of Florida voters shows Gov. Rick Scott edges Democrat Charlie Crist by about 5 percentage points -- a spread that mirrors the Republican's internal polling but conflicts with two recent public polls showing the challenger leading or tied.

There's one big difference between YouGov's and the other surveys -- it's an internet poll, a method of gauging public opinion that's relatively new. 

The other polls from Quinnipiac University (Crist up by 5; but 2 when Libertarian Adrian Wyllie is in the race), SurveyUSA (Crist by 6) and Fabrizio, Lee (Scott up by 5, or 4 with Wyllie in) were all conducted by telephone. Of them, SurveyUSA was the only pollster to use so-called 'robo-polling' (also known as IVR) instead of live callers. To supplement the loss of cellphone voters (essentially un-pollable by IVR), SurveyUSA uses a smart-phone-based internet questionairre.

The crosstabs of the YouGov survey are below

Yougov

100 days out, Rick Scott's campaign says data already show a win

@MarcACaputo

Another gauntlet thrown --- the Rick Scott 100 Days Out campaign memo:

DATE: July 27, 2014
TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Melissa Sellers, Campaign Manager and Tim Saler, Deputy Campaign Manager
SUBJECT: 100 Days Out, Gov. Scott Campaign is Poised to Win

Today marks 100 days until Election Day on November 4. Though we have worked hard from the beginning, today kicks off the final stretch of our campaign to re-elect Governor Scott. As we enter the sprint to the finish line, the Scott campaign has outpaced, outworked, and outmatched Charlie Crist in every measurable way. Make no mistake – no one works harder than Rick Scott, and that is exactly why he is poised to win a second term in office and keep Florida growing.

Fundraising: Since January 1, 2013, the combined efforts of our campaign, Let’s Get to Work, and the Republican Party of Florida have raised an astonishing $84 million. In the 2nd quarter of 2014 alone, our joint efforts raised $14.7 million. The outpouring of support for the Governor’s re-election is encouraging, but we will continue to arm ourselves with the funding necessary to fight against the continued smear campaign of personal attacks from Charlie Crist. After all, the Governor is not just running against Charlie Crist – he is running against the Obama machine, the trial lawyers, and every other liberal special interest that wants to take control of our state.

Field Program: Our commitment to a robust field program is unmatched. We have opened 49 offices and have thousands of volunteers working across Florida every day – talking to their neighbors, organizing their communities, and getting Governor Rick Scott re-elected this November. In fact, our volunteers have already knocked on over 350,000 targeted doors, an accomplishment that was not reached until after Labor Day in the 2012 presidential campaign. With our early focus on face-to-face, door-to-door, targeted voter contact, we believe we are on the path to execute the most sophisticated and successful direct voter engagement campaign in Florida history. With new technology in place, we collect data from each voter interaction in real time and adjust our voter contact programs based on constant feedback. The Crist field program thus far is amusingly small.

Advertising: Let’s Get to Work and the Republican Party of Florida have joined together to invest more than $18 million in early advertising – including $1.4 million on Spanish-language ads. This early advertising has been well received by the public – as voters remember how badly Charlie Crist mismanaged Florida’s economy and budget. Crist’s strategy of attempting to coast into office based only on his charm is being dismantled as Floridians realize that he is devoid of any plan or vision for Florida’s future. Crist’s attempts to have no discussion of his record as governor have been thwarted.
Florida voters now have a net unfavorable opinion of Crist, something not seen in polling even when Crist was soundly defeated and received only 30% of the vote in his race for the U.S. Senate in 2010. In contrast, voters are well aware of Governor Scott’s record and accomplishments, and they like what they see. They know that the choice is clear: Rick Scott is the better Governor.

Download 100 days memo