Florida voters overwhelmingly do not want to foot the bill to defend against allegations that Gov. Rick Scott has violated the state's Sunshine Laws according to a new robo-poll from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling.
The poll of 814 voters from Sept. 11 to 14 covers a grab bag of issues from Donald Trump to the popularity of Florida sports teams. It found that 70 percent of those surveyed don't want taxpayers to cover Scott's legal bills, while only 20 percent support that use of taxpayer money. The results are pretty complete across party lines with 79 percent of Democrats agreeing, 67 percent of independents, and 62 percent of Republicans.
According to a Herald/Times analysis of the invoices and budget requests submitted to date, the governor's legal bills have topped $1.2 million as he has agreed to settle lawsuits with St. Petersburg attorney Matthew Weidner, and a group of public records watchdogs that included the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times, and a lawsuit with Tallahassee attorney Steven R. Andrews.
The poll found that Floridians are supportive of a handful of issues that are likely to get zero traction with the governor or the Republican-controlled Legislature this upcoming session. From the PPP press release:
* Medicaid Expansion- 63% of voters in the state favor it to only 31% who are opposed. Democrats (87/11) are almost universally for it, a majority of independents (52/35) are, and even Republicans (41/52) are relatively split on it.
* Minimum wage: 73% of voters in the state support increasing the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour, with only 13% thinking it should be kept where it is and another 13% who think it should be eliminated altogether. 95% of Democrats, 69% of independents, and 52% of Republicans support an increase to a minimum of $10. This is an issue where the Republican base is a lot further along than the Republican Presidential candidates.
* Guns: We continue to find that background checks on all gun purchases are universally popular across party lines everywhere we poll. In Florida there's 88% support to only 7% opposition, and backing for them comes from 92% of Democrats, 88% of Republicans, and 82% of independents.
* Clean power: Marco Rubio may not want to do anything about global warming, but 63% of his constituents support the EPA Clean Power Plan to only 29% who are opposed to it. 84% of Democrats, 63% of independents, and 39% of Republicans express support for it.
* Gay marriage: The reaction to gay marriage being legal in Florida is mostly 'no big deal.' 76% of voters in the state either say that it's had no impact on their lives or a positive one, with just 24% claiming it's been a negative. Even among Republican voters 71% say it hasn't been a big deal.
* College sports: Florida continues to hold a narrow edge over Florida State for college sports loyalties in the state, 23% to 18%. Miami at 11% and Central Florida at 10% also have pretty decent levels of support with Florida Atlantic and South Florida at 5%, and Florida International at 2% rounding out the field among FBS schools in the state.
* Baseball: Floridians' favorite major league baseball teams are...mostly in other states. Only 25% pick the Rays or Marlins as their team of choice with 47% picking teams from elsewhere. The Braves and Rays tie for top team in the state at 14%, with the Yankees and Marlins also in double digits at 11%. The Red Sox get 9%, the Cubs and Mets 5%, and the Phillies 3%.
* NFL: Things go a little better for the in state teams when it comes to NFL loyalties- the Dolphins lead at 19%, followed by the Bucs at 15%, and the Jaguars at 9%. The Giants at 8%, Cowboys at 7%, and Packers and Patriots at 6% all get decent levels of support as well.
* Trump: Finally we've all been dying to know whether the public thinks Donald Trump's hair is real. At least in the critical swing state of Florida just 23% of voters think Trump wears a toupee to 51% who think he does not, and 26% who aren't sure. As you might expect opinions about the legitimacy of Trump's hair vary greatly across party lines.