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Press Release for Monday, October 19, 2015

UNF Poll Reveals Trump Holds Slight Lead in Close Republican Primary Race

 Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2192

A new University of North Florida statewide poll of Republican primary likely voters reveals that if the Republican primary were held today, Donald Trump would garner the most votes with 21.7 percent. The poll shows Ben Carson closing in with 19.3 percent, while Marco Rubio comes in third with 14.9 percent and Jeb Bush at a distant fourth with 9 percent of the vote.

When respondents were asked who their second choice would be, 20.1 percent of respondents selected Rubio. Carson held the second position with 14.9 percent, followed by Carly Fiorina with 11.1 percent and Bush with 10.2 percent. Only 6 percent of voters had Trump as their second choice.

When asked about candidate favorability, 52.5 percent of Republican primary likely voters have a favorable opinion of Trump and 39.9 percent have an unfavorable opinion. Regarding Bush, 64.9 percent have a favorable opinion and 28.8 percent have an unfavorable opinion. Rubio is more popular as 81.1 percent of the respondents view him favorably, while only 13 percent have an unfavorable opinion of him.

Republican primary likely voters think the economy, jobs and unemployment (35.4 percent) are the most important problem facing the United States today, followed by terrorism (18.1 percent) and immigration (13.5 percent).

When asked about what government policy should be toward unauthorized immigrants now living in the U.S., 23.4 percent of Republican primary likely voters think the government should allow them to stay in the U.S. as guest workers for a limited amount of time, while 19 percent think the government should make them all felons and send them back to their home country. About 8 percent think the government should allow them to stay in the U.S. as guest workers for an unlimited amount of time, but not allow them to obtain citizenship.

Another 38.5 percent think the government should allow them to stay in the U.S. and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship after paying back taxes and fines, and 7.1 percent think the government should allow them to stay in the U.S. and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship without penalties.

The Public Opinion Research Laboratory, through the use of a 27-station telephone-polling laboratory at UNF conducted the telephone survey. The PORL is a full-service survey research facility that provides tailored research to fulfill each client's individual needs. Since its opening in 2001, the PORL has conducted more than 120 research projects, which include focus groups, data collection, telephone, online and economic impact surveys. The PORL is a Charter Member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research Transparency Initiative. Approximately 200 UNF students participated in the data collection.

A polling sample of randomly selected adult (18 years of age or older) Republican likely voters was drawn from the Florida Division of Elections’ voter file. Likely voters are classified as voters who cast a ballot in at least 70 percent of recent elections in which they were eligible to vote (since 2008 general and primary elections). Respondents in the sample, when called, were asked for by their first and last name to ensure the interview was taken by the correct individual in the household. For non-completes with a working residential or cell phone line, at least five callbacks were attempted. Calls were made from 5 to 9 p.m. nightly from Thursday, Oct. 8 through Tuesday, Oct. 13, and included 641 adult registered Republican likely voters in Florida, with a margin of sampling error of +/- 3.87 percent. Race, age and gender were weighted to reflect the adult registered Republican likely voter population in Florida.

Below are the full results. For further information or questions about methodology, contact Dr. Michael Binder, PORL faculty director and UNF assistant professor of political science, at (904) 620-1205 or m.binder@unf.edu.

Florida Statewide Survey 2015:  Republican Primary Likely Voters

All choices read to respondent except when specified by “Volunteer” (Vol)
Ask All:

Q1. What do you think is the most important problem facing the U.S. today?   [Answer choices randomized]
Republican Primary Likely Voters
N=641
Economy/ Jobs or Unemployment 35.4%
Terrorism 18.1%
Immigration 13.5%
Education 5.4%
Political Leadership (Vol) 5.4%
Healthcare 4.9%
Social Security 3.7%
Morality/Values (Vol) 2.4%
National Security (Vol) 2.1%
National Debt (Vol) 2%
Environment 1.8%
Something Else (Vol) 3.6%
Don’t Know (Vol) <1%
No Answer (Vol) 1%


Q7a. If the Republican primary for president were being held today, for whom would you vote?  [Answer choices randomized]
Republican Primary Likely Voters
N=627
Donald Trump 21.7%
Ben Carson 19.3%
Marco Rubio 14.9%
Jeb Bush 9%
Ted Cruz 6.8%
Carly Fiorina 6.5%
John Kasich 3.5%
Mike Huckabee 1.4%
Chris Christie 1.3%
Lindsey Graham <1%
Rand Paul <1%
Bobby Jindal <1%
George Pataki <1%
Rick Santorum <1%
Someone Else (Vol) 1.5%
Don’t Know (Vol) 8%
No Answer (Vol) 4.1%




Q7b. Who would be your second choice? [Answer choices not read]
Republican Primary Likely Voters
N= 624
Marco Rubio 20.1%
Ben Carson 14.9%
Carly Fiorina 11.1%
Jeb Bush 10.2%
Ted Cruz 6.2%
Donald Trump 6%
John Kasich 3.3%
Chris Christie 2.1%
Mike Huckabee 1.6%
Rand Paul 1.6%
Bobby Jindal 1.2%
Lindsey Graham <1%
Rick Santorum <1%
George Pataki <1%
Someone Else (Vol) 1.4%
Don’t Know (Vol) 12.9%
No Answer (Vol) 6.3%

Next, we'd like to get your overall opinion of some people in the news. As I read each name, please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of these people or if you have never heard of them.

Q8. Donald Trump
Republican Primary Likely Voters
N=620
Favorable 52.5%
Unfavorable 39.9%
Never Heard of Him <1%
Don’t Know (Vol) 3.5%
No Answer (Vol) 3.6%

Q9. Jeb Bush
Republican Primary Likely Voters
N= 620
Favorable 64.9%
Unfavorable 28.8%
Never Heard of Him <1%
Don’t Know (Vol) 4.6%
No Answer (Vol) 1.3%



Q10. Marco Rubio
Republican Primary Likely Voters
N= 621
Favorable 81.1%
Unfavorable 13%
Never Heard of Him <1%
Don’t Know (Vol) 4.2%
No Answer (Vol) 1%


Q13.  Can you tell me in a word or two, what is the most important quality that you are looking for in the next president? [Answer choices not read]
Republican Primary Likely Voters
N=619
Honest 25.7%
Leadership 10.4%
Integrity 4.1%
Intelligent 2.6%
Strength 2.2%
Christian 1.7%
Conservative 1.7%
*All other responses less than 1.5 percent.

Q14. We hear a lot of talk these days about liberals and conservatives. Here is a five-point scale on which the political views that people might hold are arranged from very liberal to very conservative. Where would you place yourself on this scale?
Republican Primary Likely Voters
N= 617
Very Liberal 1.2%
Slightly Liberal 4.5%
Moderate; middle of the road 18.2%
Slightly Conservative 33.3%
Very Conservative 41.6%
Don’t Know (Vol) 1.1%
No Answer (Vol) <1%

In this next section, we will ask you some questions about immigration.
Q24. Which comes closest to your view about what government policy should be toward unauthorized immigrants now living in the United States? You can just tell me the number of your choice.
Republican Primary Likely Voters
N= 601
Make them all felons and send them back to their home country. 19%
Allow them to stay in the U.S. as guest workers for a limited amount of time. 23.4%
Allow them to stay in the U.S. as guest workers for an unlimited amount of time, but not allow them to obtain citizenship. 8.4%
Allow them to stay in the U.S. and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship after paying back taxes and fines. 38.5%
Allow them to stay in the U.S. and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship without penalties. 7.1%
Don’t Know (Vol) 1.8%
No Answer (Vol) 1.9%


Vote Choice by Race and Ethnicity
Hispanics/Latino
N=122 White/Caucasian
N=491
Jeb Bush 26% 7.8%
Ben Carson 6.7% 20.3%
Chris Christie 1.2% 1.4%
Ted Cruz 5.5% 6.8%
Carly Fiorina 1.8% 7.1%
Lindsey Graham <1% <1%
Mike Huckabee 2.6% 1.4%
Bobby Jindal 0% <1%
John Kasich <1% 3.9%
George Pataki 0% <1%
Rand Paul <1% <1%
Marco Rubio 31.1% 13.4%
Rick Santorum <1% <1%
Donald Trump 15.7% 21.9%
Someone Else 0% 1.7%
Don’t Know (Vol) 6.8% 8.3%
No Answer (Vol) 0% 4%


Vote Choice by Ideology
Liberal to Moderate
Slightly Conservative
Very Conservative

Jeb Bush 11.6% 12% 5.3%
Ben Carson 18% 16.5% 19.8%
Ted Cruz 1.4% 3.3% 12.8%
Carly Fiorina 7.5% 10.2% 3.3%
John Kasich 6.4% 5.1% <1%
Marco Rubio 14.4% 13.3% 16.5%
Donald Trump 15.4% 24.9% 23.7%



Immigration Position by Race/Ethnicity
Hispanic/Latino
White/Caucasian
Make them all felons and send them back to their home country. 12.4% 19.3%
Allow them to stay in the U.S. as guest workers for a limited amount of time. 12% 25%
Allow them to stay in the U.S. as guest workers for an unlimited amount of time, but not allow them to obtain citizenship. 12.4% 8.3%
Allow them to stay in the U.S. and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship after paying back taxes and fines. 48.9% 37.6%
Allow them to stay in the U.S. and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship without penalties. 13.3% 6.1%
Don’t Know (Vol) 1% 1.9%
No Answer (Vol) 0% 2%



Immigration by Ideology
Liberal to Moderate
Slightly Conservative
Very Conservative

Make them all felons and send them back to their home country. 9.3 13.8 28.5
Allow them to stay in the U.S. as guest workers for a limited amount of time. 20 25.3 24
Allow them to stay in the U.S. as guest workers for an unlimited amount of time, but not allow them to obtain citizenship. 4.2 10.4 9.4
Allow them to stay in the U.S. and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship after paying back taxes and fines. 49.2 40.9 30.6
Allow them to stay in the U.S. and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship without penalties. 12.9 5.4 5.1
Don’t Know (Vol) 2.7 1.8 1.3
No Answer (Vol) 1.6 2.6 1.2


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