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Press Release for Monday, October 15, 2012

New University of North Florida Poll Reveals Nelson Leads Florida

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Associate Director 

Department of Public Relations 

(904) 620-2102 



A new University of North Florida poll reveals Sen. Bill Nelson has a 10-percentage point lead over Connie Mack IV (50 percent to 40 percent) among likely voters. The key to the Nelson lead is support from African-American voters (83 percent to 8 percent). The poll also finds that Gov. Rick Scott’s job-approval rating among likely voters sits at 46 percent. 


Additionally, the poll shows three propositions on the ballot that propose to cut property tax-rates for selected groups (Propositions 2, 9 and 11) all have a support of more than 75 percent. Also of interest, 38 percent of likely voters are planning to either vote absentee or at an early-voting site. Sixty-four percent of likely Florida voters also favor allowing felons to automatically regain their voting rights at a point after their sentence has been completed. Finally, Floridians believe the best governor over the past 42 years was Jeb Bush (35 percent).  


The survey was conducted through the use of a 27-station telephone-polling laboratory at UNF. A sample of the polling universe was selected through the use of Random-Digit-Dialing methodology. An additional cell phone sample was used to increase representation. To ensure geographic diversity, the state was pre-weighted into seven strata. The survey was conducted in Spanish for those respondents who wished to complete the survey in Spanish. Gender, age, education and party registration are weighted to statistics from the census and Florida Division of Elections for the state of Florida. 


The survey was conducted between Oct. 1 and Oct. 9 and includes 790 residents (+/- 3.49 percent) and 683 likely voters (+/- 3.75) in the state of Florida. Approximately 180 UNF political science students participated in the data collection. 


Among the statewide findings: 


-- Sen. Bill Nelson leads Connie Mack IV among likely voters 50 percent to 40 percent. Nelson is heavily supported by African-Americans (83 percent to 8 percent). 


--Gov. Rick Scott has a 46 percent job-approval rating among likely voters in Florida. 


--Thirty-eight percent of Florida voters plan to vote either by absentee or at an early voting site. 


--Jeb Bush (35 percent) is the consensus choice over Bob Graham (14 percent), Charlie Crist (13 percent), Lawton Chiles (10 percent) and Rick Scott (5 percent) for Florida’s best governor during the past 42 years. 



--Sixty-four percent of likely voters support felons getting their voting rights back automatically at the point after their sentence has been completed.   


--Proposition 2 is favored by 75 percent of likely voters. 


--Proposition 9 is favored by 84 percent of likely voters. 


--Proposition 11 is favored by 80 percent of likely voters. 


For further information or questions about methodology, contact Dr. Michael Binder, UNF assistant professor of political science, at (904) 620-1205 or .