October 26, 2017

Mason-Dixon poll: Scott moves up, ties Nelson at 44%

Scott and nelson

Yet another Florida poll shows a tied 2018 U.S. Senate race between Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Scott has not announced his candidacy. But pollsters are treating him as the de facto GOP nominee — and he’s tied with Nelson at 44 percent, according to a survey released Thursday by the Jacksonville-based Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy. Twelve percent of respondents were undecided.

The results represent a post-Hurricane Irma bump for Scott, who in February trailed Nelson by 45-41 percent. A Wednesday poll by Mason-Dixon found a majority of Floridians thought Scott handled Irma well.

“The swing has come primarily among unaffiliated voters, with Scott taking a 44-40 percent lead,” pollster Brad Coker wrote in a memo summarizing the results. “In February, nelson was ahead of Scott 46-37 percent among these Independents.”

More here.

October 25, 2017

Poll: Floridians might not heed future hurricane evacuation orders

068 Hurricane Irma Gov Scott 091117

Gov. Rick Scott did well handling Hurricane Irma, according to a new statewide poll, but Floridians are not necessarily more likely to heed evacuation orders in future storms.

In the survey, conducted by Jacksonville-based Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, 35 percent gave Scott a rating of “excellent” rating, 31 percent “good,” 25 percent “fair,” and 4 percent “poor.” Five percent weren’t sure.

Republicans thought most highly of Scott’s hurricane job performance: 89 percent of Republicans rated it “excellent” or “good,” compared to 62 percent of independents and 49 percent of Democrats.

Irma, a massive Category 4 storm when it made landfall in the Florida Keys on Sept. 10, threatened to roll up the spine of the state, forcing widespread local evacuation orders. Nearly 32 percent of Floridians left their homes, Mason-Dixon found, but 43 percent of people under evacuation orders stayed put. Thirteen percent of people evacuated without having to do so.

“Next time round could be a different story, as many Floridians indicate that they will rethink their actions,” the polling firm wrote in a memo summarizing the poll results.

More here.

Photo credit: Al Diaz, Miami Herald staff

February 22, 2017

Trump, Scott remain GOP superstars in Florida, AIF poll shows

Trump (10)
via @adamsmithtimes

A newly released poll of Republican primary voters in Florida provides a healthy reminder to politicos inside the Tallahassee bubble that perceptions in the real world are very different from those in and around the Capitol. And to the legislative leaders mulling a run for governor, the Associated Industries of Florida poll should be humbling: You're a nobody outside Tally. 

What's it show? That among Republican primary voters, Rick Scott and Donald Trump are rock stars, with 81 percent of Republicans approving of both the president's and the governor's  job performance.

"Even with an endless, round the clock bombardment of negative coverage in the main stream media, the base remains unfazed in their approval of the President, giving him an 81% approval rating, with 56% strongly approving of the job he is doing as President. These numbers shouldn’t come as a surprise because A) these are primary voting Republicans and B) the President is only doing what he told the voters he would do," AIF's Ryan Tyson wrote of Trump, who enjoys a net 67 percent approval rating among Florida Republicans (81 percent approve and 14 percent disapprove).

"Similarly, the Governor is enjoying an identical sky high approval rating as the President but with 41% of those surveyed strongly approving of the job he is doing as Governor. In essence the Governor enters his second to last session with the highest marks from Republicans that we have tracked during his term."

Shocker. It seems flying from media market to TV market after market talking up your passion for creating jobs, is more effective than mocking the governor's conservative bona fides to a gaggle of reporters in Tallahassee every day.

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who is looking at running for governor in 2018, may be dominating the Tallahassee press corps coverage and taking shots at Scott day after day, but a mere 16 percent of Florida Republicans have a positive view of the Land O'Lakes Republican, and 24 percent have no opinion.

Continue reading "Trump, Scott remain GOP superstars in Florida, AIF poll shows" »

November 07, 2016

Quinnipiac poll: Florida too close to call in presidential race; Rubio leads Murphy

via @learyreports

Hillary Clinton has the slimmest of leads in Florida over Donald Trump heading into Election Day, taking 46 percent of the vote to Trump's 45 percent, according to a Qunnipiac University poll released this morning.

In the Senate race,  Marco Rubio leads Patrick Murphy 50 – 43 percent.

“U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy is not getting the support a Democrat needs among women and non-white voters to overcome Sen. Marco Rubio’s lead among men and white voters,” assistant poll director Peter A. Brown said.

Clinton has 47 percent of Florida voters who already have cast ballots, with 43 percent for Trump.

Independent likely voters are split with 45 percent for Clinton and 44 percent for Trump.

Trump leads 86 – 7 percent among Republicans, while Clinton takes Democrats 85 – 10 percent.

White voters back Trump 57 – 34 percent while non-white voters back Clinton 68 – 23


Women go to Clinton 50 – 42 percent, while Trump leads among men 48 – 40 percent.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

November 04, 2016

Outside money floods Rubio-Murphy race thanks to high court's Citizens United ruling

  Senate 2016 Rubio_Ordo (1)-082516

Individuals, corporations, advocacy groups and super-PACs from outside Florida are pumping money into the close Senate contest between incumbent Marco Rubio and challenger Patrick Murphy.

More than $48 million in independent expenditures, most of it from outside the Sunshine State, has been spent on the Rubio-Murphy race in which the Miami Republican has held about a 3 point lead in recent days, according to the polling average on realclearpolitics.com.

Only five other U.S. Senate campaigns -- in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio -- have received more money from outside their campaigns.

Every state except Nevada features incumbent GOP senators who, like Rubio, are trying to fend off Democratic challengers. Nevada's race is for an open Senate seat vacated by the retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

Those six races will likely decide whether the Republican Party retains the Senate majority it gained in the November 2014 elections.

In addition to money contributed by outside groups, Rubio's campaign had raised $12.48 million through Oct. 19 while Murphy's campaign had raised $13.72 million, for a total of $26.2 million, according to the Federal Election Commission.

That figure combined with the independent expenditures puts an overall price tag of almost $75 million on the Rubio-Murphy Senate race.

In Florida's Senate race, outside groups have made 14 TV, media and digital ad buys totaling at least $1 million, all but one of them targeting Murphy.

The biggest buy was made by the Senate Leadership Fund on Oct. 27 for $3.16 million.

The Senate Leadership Fund, a spinoff of the American Crossroads super PAC started by former President George W. Bush senior adviser Karl Rove, has spent $81.7 million in the current election cycle.

Among all super PACs in the country, only the liberal Priorities USA Action and the conservative Right to Rise USA have spent more.

Other groups based outside Florida that have spent big against Murphy are the American Future Fund, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Republican Senate Committee and the National Rifle Association.

The only Florida-centric organization with significant expenditures opposing Murphy is the Florida First Project, a super PAC created in June on the day Rubio did an about-switch and announced he was running for Senate re-election after having declined during his earlier presidential bid.

So-called "super" political action committees are free to collect unlimited amounts of money as long as the donors' identities and the amounts of their contributions.

The flood of independent expenditures by super PACs has followed a landmark 2010 Supreme Court ruling, in a case brought by the conservative watchdog group Citizens United, that described such spending as expressions of free speech protected by the First Amendment.

However, direct contributions to political campaigns remain limited by campaign-finance law.

Photo credit: Wilfredo Lee, Associated Press










October 27, 2016

UNF poll: Clinton leads Trump in Florida, 43-39 percent

via @learyreports

Hillary Clinton has a four point lead over Donald Trump in Florida, according to a new poll from University of North Florida.

In a four-way race, Clinton takes 43 percent of the vote vs. 39 percent for Trump, 6 percent for Gary Johnson and 3 percent for Jill Stein. Nine percent of voters are undecided.

Head-to-head, Clinton’s lead shrinks to two percentage points – 46 to 44.

“There is almost no change from our poll in early October in which Clinton led Trump by three percentage points, 41 – 38, in the four-way contest, but the head-to-head results have tightened considerably,” said Michael Binder, director of the Public Opinion Research Laboratory.

“This poll has an even distribution of Democrats and Republicans, however in this election Democrats are outperforming their historical norms in absentee and early voting. If this trend continues through Election Day, Clinton could expand this margin and easily win Florida.”

The Real Clear Politics average has Clinton up only 1.6 percentage points in a four-way race. That average does not include the UNF poll.

In the Senate race, Marco Rubio leads Patrick Murphy, 49 percent to 43 percent.

“Rubio is maintaining his six percentage point lead from our poll earlier in the month. Rubio can attribute his lead to support from NPAs and more Democrats willing to cast a ballot for him than Republicans are for Murphy,” Binder said in a release.

The majority of Florida likely voters, 73 percent, will vote “yes” on Amendment 2, which allows for the medical use of marijuana.

“This is down four percentage points from our last poll, but still well above the 60 percent threshold needed for passage. Interestingly, and just like in our last poll, all age groups and parties support Amendment 2,” Binder noted.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

October 23, 2016

October 17, 2016

Quinnipiac poll: Independents shift to Clinton in Florida


The second presidential debate and a string of accusations of sexual misconduct have taken a toll on Donald Trump in Florida, according to a new poll that shows crucial independent voters swinging to Hillary Clinton.

Clinton bests Trump by 48-44 percent in the Quinnipiac University released Monday, with Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein drawing 4 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

The Democrat’s gains have come from independents, Quinnipiac found. They now favor Clinton by 46-38 percent — a clear shift from Quinnipiac’s Oct. 3 poll, when Trump led among independents by 42-39 percent.

“Hillary Clinton is holding a thin lead in Florida because she is winning the battle for independent voters and holding her lead among women, non-white voters and her Democratic base,” the poll’s assistant, Peter A. Brown, said in a statement. “Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, considered the alternative to Clinton or Trump, is not catching fire in the Sunshine State.”

Clinton is winning a larger share of Democrats — 91 percent — than Trump is winning Republicans — 85 percent. She also holds a 15-point lead over Trump among women (54-39 percent) than Trump’s 9-point lead over Clinton among men (49-40 percent). White voters prefer Trump by 57-34 percent, while non-white voters favor Clinton by 73-19 percent.

The poll of 660 likely voters was conducted Oct. 10-16. It has an error margin of plus-or-minus 3.8 percentage points.

More here.

October 07, 2016

Univision poll: Clinton grows lead among Florida Hispanics

Campaign 2016 Debate

Hillary Clinton has grown her lead among Florida Hispanics in the past month, according to a new poll that for the first time shows the Democrat tied with Donald Trump among Republican-leaning Cuban Americans.

Latinos prefer Clinton by 58-28 percent, according to the new Univision poll, up from 52-29 percent in September. Libertarian Gary Johnson drew 4 percent, down 2 percentage points from last month, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein remained at 2 percent.

Clinton is now approaching the 60-percent threshold President Barack Obama hit with Florida Hispanics against Mitt Romney in 2012. Romney won 39 percent of them; Obama ended up winning the state by a single percentage point.

Part of the reason why: Clinton and Trump are dead even among Cuban Americans, with 41 percent support each. Exit polls in 2012 showed Obama and Romney essentially split that vote.

That’s a “tremendous disadvantage” for Republicans who have historically relied on older Cuban Americans in Florida, said Anthony Williams, special projects director at the Coconut Grove-based Bendixen & Amandi International, which helped conduct the poll.

“As the historic exiles are unfortunately dying off, they’re being replaced by Cuban Americans who were born in the United States — who are much more progressive in their politics,” he said.

Last week, Newsweek reported Trump’s hotel and casino company broke the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba in 1998 — a potentially serious problem for exile hardliners who fiercely back the embargo. Clinton has already hit Trump over the revelation in Florida radio ads in English and Spanish.

Trump visited Miami's Little Havana neighborhood two weeks ago to meet with a small group of Cuban Americans. But they were invited guests who had already been persuaded to vote for him, not undecided voters typically courted by presidential nominees ahead of a general election. Trump has yet to run a single political ad in Spanish.

Bendixen & Amandi and The Tarrance Group surveyed 400 registered voters in English and Spanish from Sept. 26-Oct. 4. The poll’s error margin is plus-or-minus 4.9 percentage points.

The survey also found Patrick Murphy and Marco Rubio essentially tied among Hispanics in the U.S. Senate race, with Murphy edging Rubio by 46-45 percent. Last month, Rubio led by 46-39 percent. Murphy would likely still need a bigger margin among Hispanics — who outside of Cuban Americans tend to vote Democratic — to defeat the Republican incumbent.

More here.

Photo credit: David Goldman, Associated Press

October 06, 2016

University of North Florida poll: Clinton leads Trump in Florida


Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump in Florida since the first presidential debate was held last week, according to a new poll.

Clinton bests Trump by 47-40 percent in the survey by the University of North Florida's Public Opinion Research Lab. In a four-way race with third-party candidates, Clinton is ahead with 41 percent, compared to Trump's 38 percent, Libertarian Gary Johnson's 6 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein's 3 percent. Ten percent remain undecided.

"The size of Clinton's lead drops when the additional candidates (Johnson and Stein) are listed in the question. This suggests that the Clinton campaign should perhaps perceive Johnson as a threat, who is taking more votes from her than Trump," said Michael Binder, the Public Opinion Research Lab's faculty director. "While neither candidate has high favorability for the majority of likely voters in Florida, Clinton's net negative 9 percent is better than Trump's net negative 23 percent."

According to Binder's poll memo, 46 percent of respondents who said they plan to vote for Trump said it was a vote against Clinton, compared to 43 percent of those voting for Clinton who said their vote would be against Trump. Binder called that almost even split between voters saying they're voting for a candidate versus voting against another one is "unusual in a presidential election."

Only 10 percent of respondents said immigrants in the country illegally should be made felons and sent back to their home countries. A plurality -- 49 percent -- favored letting them stay in the U.S. and eventually qualify for citizenship, a position supported in the poll by Democrats, Republicans and independents.

UNF polled 696 likely voters, identified from the Florida voter file, from Sept. 27-Oct. 4. The poll's error margin is 3.8 percentage points. It's the university's first general election poll, so there is no earlier baseline with which to compare it.