Embargo for March 4, 2019 - 5 a.m. EST

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director

Department of Public Relations

(904) 620-2102

 

Methodology Results Contact: Dr. Michael Binder

Public Opinion Research Lab Director

(904) 620-2784

 

Crosstabs

 

New UNF Poll Shows Majority Approve DeSantis' Job Performance Sen. Rubio Garners Higher Approval Over Sen. Scott

The Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida has a new poll of Florida registered voters that reveals a majority approve of the job Ron DeSantis is doing as governor. The survey also shows job approval for Sen. Marco Rubio is higher than job approval for newly elected Sen. Rick Scott.

 

The poll, comprised of registered voters in the state of Florida, shows approval for Gov. DeSantis at 60 percent overall, with a net positive of 41 points. Not surprisingly, the strongest support comes from registered Republicans at 81 percent approval and only 45 percent approval among registered Democrats. Overall, 21 percent don't know.

 

Additionally, 51 percent of respondents approve either strongly or somewhat of how Rubio is handling his job, a net positive of 21 points. Seventy-one percent of Republicans approve and 36 percent of Democrats approve of the job that he's doing. These figures are lower for Scott, with 43 percent overall approving, but only a net positive of 10 points.

 

Republican voters have 64 percent approval for Scott, and Democratic voters have 23 percent. Concerning Nikki Fried, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, 32 percent approve strongly or somewhat of the job she's doing, with a net positive of 21 points. Among Democrats, Fried has 33 percent approval, and among Republicans she has 29 percent approval. Fifty-eight percent don't know how she's performing.

 

Gov. DeSantis is enjoying the honeymoon period of recently being elected. The question that will play out over the next two months is whether or not he can translate his popularity into policy during the legislative session in Tallahassee," said Dr. Michael Binder, faculty director of the Public Opinion Research Lab at UNF. "Having unified Republican government should make things easier for the governor, but as we have seen in the past, personal relationships can make or break the budgeting process."

 

When asked what they believe is the most important problem facing Florida, education topped the list with 19 percent, followed closely by the environment and health care with 18 and 17 percent, respectively. Immigration leads the way for Republican voters with 22 percent, and Democrats believe health care is the most important problem, also at 22 percent.

 

Regarding the United States Space Command, 76 percent of registered voters support the Space Command being headquartered in Florida, 9 percent oppose, and 15 percent don't know. Among Democrats, support is at 67 percent, while Republicans have 85 percent support. When asked about allowing concealed carry on college campuses, 38 percent of registered voters support it, with 58 percent opposing. Democrats report 20 percent support of concealed carry on college campuses, while Republicans report 57 percent support. On a different note, only 46 percent of voters' support allowing teachers and school officials to conceal carry in K-12 schools, with 27 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of Republicans supporting it.

 

"DeSantis' recent appeals to bring the Space Command headquarters to Florida has tremendous support within the state," Binder noted. "In a much more controversial policy discussion, guns on college campuses and armed teachers in K-12 schools have more opposition than support."

 

Concerning smokable medical marijuana, 87 percent support legalization in Florida, while 12 percent oppose. Democratic voters have 89 percent support, while Republicans have 83 percent support. Similarly, when asked about recreational marijuana use, 62 percent of voters support legalizing it. Sixty-five percent of Democrats and 51 percent of Republicans support the legalization of recreational marijuana.

 

"Medical marijuana, in all of its forms, has overwhelming support among Florida's registered voters, Binder commented. "Even recreational marijuana, which has been proposed in the Florida legislature, has majority support among both Democrats and Republicans."

 

For details about the methodology of the survey and additional crosstabs by partisanship, sex, education, race, and age go to: http://www.unf.edu/coas/porl/2019FLSP.aspx

Survey Results

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Ron DeSantis is handling his job as Governor of Florida?
Answer Options Florida Voters n=853

Strongly Approve

32%

Somewhat Approve

28%

Somewhat Disapprove

10%

Strongly Disapprove

9%

Don't Know

21%

 

By Party
Answer Options Democratic Voters n=319 Republican Voters n=300

Strongly Approve

17%

53%

Somewhat Approve

28%

28%

Somewhat Disapprove

16%

3%

Strongly Disapprove

13%

4%

Don't Know

26%

12%

 

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Marco Rubio is handling his job as United States Senator?
Answer Options Florida Voters n=853

Strongly Approve

17%

Somewhat Approve

34%

Somewhat Disapprove

14%

Strongly Disapprove

16%

Don't Know

19%

 

By Party
Answer Options Democratic Voters n=314 Republican Voters n=301
Strongly Approve 11% 29%
Somewhat Approve 25% 42%
Somewhat Disapprove 19% 9%
Strongly Disapprove 24% 6%
Don't Know 22% 15%

 

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Rick Scott is handling his job as United States Senator?
Answer Options Florida Voters n=848

Strongly Approve

19%

Somewhat Approve

24%

Somewhat Disapprove

12%

Strongly Disapprove

21%

Don't Know

24%

 

By Party
Answer Options Democratic Voters n=316 Republican Voters n=296

Strongly Approve

8%

36%

Somewhat Approve

15%

28%

Somewhat Disapprove

17%

5%

Strongly Disapprove

36%

8%

Don't Know

25%

23%

 

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Nikki Fried is handling her job as Florida Commissioner of Agriculture?
Answer Options Florida Voters n=842

Strongly Approve

10%

Somewhat Approve

22%

Somewhat Disapprove

7%

Strongly Disapprove

4%

Don't Know

58%

 

By Party
Answer Options Democratic Voters n=309 Republican Voters n=298

Strongly Approve

13%

8%

Somewhat Approve

20%

21%

Somewhat Disapprove

8%

6%

Strongly Disapprove

5%

3%

Don't Know

54%

63%

 

What do you think is the most important problem facing Florida today? (Choices Rotated)
Answer Options Florida Voters n=869

Economy/Jobs/Unemployment

9%

Education

19%

Healthcare

17%

Immigration

13%

Environment

18%

Crime

13%

Terrorism

1%

Gun Policy

1%

Race Relations

<1%

Something Else

6%

Don't Know

3%

 

By Party
Answer Options Democratic Voters n=324 Republican Voters n=304

Economy/Jobs/Unemployment

10%

8%

Education

19%

16%

Healthcare

22%

13%

Immigration

7%

22%

Environment

20%

15%

Crime

13%

14%

Terrorism

1%

1%

Gun Policy

1%

<1%

Race Relations

<1%

-

Something Else

4%

9%

Don't Know

1%

3%

 

Changing topics, do you support or oppose the United States Space Command being headquartered in Florida?
Answer Options Florida Voters n=867

Strongly Support

52%

Somewhat Support

24%

Somewhat Oppose

4%

Strongly Oppose

5%

Don't Know

15%

 

By Party
Answer Options Democratic Voters n=321 Republican Voters n=303

Strongly Support

41%

66%

Somewhat Support

26%

19%

Somewhat Oppose

5%

3%

Strongly Oppose

8%

1%

Don't Know

20%

12%

Early next month, Florida's legislative session will begin. Please tell me whether you support or oppose the following policy changes in Florida:

 

Allowing licensed individuals to carry concealed handguns into a college or university facility.
Answer Options Florida Voters n=867

Strongly Support

19%

Somewhat Support

19%

Somewhat Oppose

14%

Strongly Oppose

44%

Don't Know

3%

 

By Party
Answer Options Democratic Voters n=320 Republican Voters n=304

Strongly Support

8%

32%

Somewhat Support

12%

25%

Somewhat Oppose

10%

17%

Strongly Oppose

67%

22%

Don't Know

3%

4%

 

Allowing teachers and school officials to carry guns in K-12 schools.
Answer Options Florida Voters n=868

Strongly Support

26%

Somewhat Support

20%

Somewhat Oppose

10%

Strongly Oppose

44%

Don't Know

2%

 

By Party
Answer Options Democratic Voters n=322 Republican Voters n=303

Strongly Support

12%

44%

Somewhat Support

15%

24%

Somewhat Oppose

8%

9%

Strongly Oppose

65%

21%

Don't Know

1%

3%

 

Allowing adults in Florida to legally use smokable marijuana for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it.
Answer Options Florida Voters n=870

Strongly Support

69%

Somewhat Support

18%

Somewhat Oppose

4%

Strongly Oppose

8%

Don't Know

1%

 

By Party
Answer Options Democratic Voters n=323 Republican Voters n=304

Strongly Support

72%

61%

Somewhat Support

17%

22%

Somewhat Oppose

3%

5%

Strongly Oppose

6%

12%

Don't Know

2%

1%

 

Allowing adults in Florida to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for recreational use.
Answer Options Florida Voters n=866

Strongly Support

38%

Somewhat Support

24%

Somewhat Oppose

11%

Strongly Oppose

25%

Don't Know

3%

 

By Party
Answer Options Democratic Voters n=321 Republican Voters n=303

Strongly Support

43%

26%

Somewhat Support

22%

25%

Somewhat Oppose

10%

12%

Strongly Oppose

23%

35%

Don't Know

3%

2%

Survey Demographics

Party
Party Registration Florida Voters n=870

Republican

35%

Democrat

37%

NPA and other

28%

 

Age
Age Florida Voters n=870

18 to 24

9%

25 to 34

16%

35 to 44

14%

45 to 55

16%

56 to 64

17%

65 and older

28%

 

Race
Race Florida Voters n=870

White (not Hispanic)

63%

Black (not Hispanic)

13%

Hispanic

17%

Other

7%

 

Sex
Sex Florida Voters n=870

Male

46%

Female

54%

 

Phone Type
Telephone Florida Voters n=870

Landline

21%

Cell phone

78%

Refusal

1%

 

What is the highest grade in school or year of college you have completed?
Education Florida Voters n=870

Less than high school

5%

High school graduate

16%

Some college

49%

College graduate

18%

Post graduate degree

12%

Refusal

1%

 

What language was this survey completed in?
Survey language completed in… Florida Voters n=870

English

98%

Spanish

2%

Methodology

The UNF Florida statewide poll was conducted and sponsored by the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida, from Wednesday, Feb. 20, through Wednesday, Feb. 27, by live callers via the telephone from 5 to 9 p.m. with a maximum of five callbacks attempted. UNF undergraduate students and employees conducted interviews in English and Spanish. Data collection took place at the PORL facility with its 27-station Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) system. The phone numbers used for this survey were sourced from the January 9, 2019, update of the Florida Voter File. The sample frame was comprised of Florida voters. Overall, there were 870 completed surveys of Florida registered voters, 18 years of age or older.

 

The margin of sampling error for the total sample is +/- 3.3 percentage points. The breakdown of completed responses on a landline phone to a cell phone was 21 percent to 78 percent, with 1 percent unidentified. Through hand dialing, an interviewer upon reaching the individual as specified in the voter file asked that respondent to participate, regardless of landline telephone or cell phone. Data were then weighted by partisan registration, sex, race, age, and education. Education weights were created from the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). Partisan registration, sex, race, and age weights were created from the January 9, 2019, update of the Florida Voter File to match the active registered voters in Florida. These demographic characteristics were pulled from the voter file list.

 

All weighted demographic variables were applied using the SPSS version 23 rake weighting function, which will not assign a weight if one of the demographics being weighted on is missing. In this case, individuals without a weight were manually given a weight of one. There were no statistical adjustments made due to design effects. This study had a 25 percent response rate. The American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Response Rate 3 (RR3) calculation was used which consists of an estimate of what proportion of cases of unknown eligibility are truly eligible. This survey was sponsored by the UNF PORL and directed by Dr. Michael Binder, UNF associate professor of political science.

 

The PORL is a full-service survey research facility that provides tailored research to fulfill each client's individual needs from political, economic, social and cultural projects. The PORL opened in 2001 and is an independent, non-partisan center, a charter member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research Transparency Initiative and a member of the Association of Academic Survey Research Organization. As members of AAPOR, the PORL's goal is to support sound and ethical practices in the conduct of survey and public opinion research. For more information about methodology, contact Binder at porl@unf.edu or at (904) 620-2784.

 

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.