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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.