New University of North Florida Poll Shows Florida Governor Candidates Lack Name Recognition

Article ID: 689343

Released: 12-Feb-2018 9:05 AM EST

Source Newsroom: University of North Florida

  • Dr Michael Binder, faculty director of the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida

 Survey Results  

  Methodology  

  Crosstab (PDF)     

 

 New UNF Poll Shows Florida Governor Candidates Lack Name Recognition  

 Respondents Show High Support for Restoring Felon Voting Rights 

 

Newswise — The Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida has a new poll that reveals an overwhelming lack of name recognition among Democratic candidates and Republican candidates running for Florida governor. The survey also shows that a majority of respondents support restoring the voting rights of individuals with felony convictions.

The poll, comprised of Florida registered voters, asked respondents to give their opinion on Andrew Gillum, Gwen Graham, Phillip Levine, Richard Corcoran, Ron DeSantis and Adam Putnam, all candidates running for Florida governor. Concerning the Democratic candidates, the percentage of respondents who had never heard of them ranges from 73 percent for Levine to 81 percent for Gillum. Graham had the highest favorability of the three Democratic candidates, with 11 percent viewing her favorably and 4 percent unfavorably, while 78 percent had never heard of her.

The Republican candidates didn’t fare any better as 67 percent had never heard of Putnam, 72 percent never heard of DeSantis and 78 percent never heard of Corcoran. Putnam received the highest favorability among Republicans, with 14 percent viewing him favorably and 7 percent unfavorably.

“It’s a little surprising that so few people have heard of the candidates, particularly Adam Putnam who has won two statewide races, and Gwen Graham, who is a former member of Congress and the daughter of former Gov. and Sen. Bob Graham,” said Dr. Michael Binder, faculty director of the Public Opinion Research Lab at UNF. “These results highlight both the opportunities for the candidates to shape the voters’ perception of them and the challenges they face in getting out their message.”       

The poll also shows that respondents show high support for restoring felon voting rights. When asked whether they would vote yes or no on a proposition to restore the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions, 71 percent of registered voters claimed they would vote “yes” on the proposition, with 22 percent who would vote “no.”

“Amendment 4, the voting rights restoration measure, facing voters in the fall is so widely supported, even a majority of Republicans support it. What remains to be seen is whether or not an influx of money opposing this ballot measure will knock off enough support to prevent it from reaching the 60 percent necessary to pass,” Binder said.

When asked whether they support or oppose lifting the bans on offshore oil drilling, 55 percent of registered Florida voters polled either strongly or somewhat oppose, while 37 percent strongly or somewhat support lifting the bans. Regarding DACA, respondents were asked about their views on illegal/undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. A large majority, 82 percent, supported letting them stay in the U.S. to eventually apply for citizenship, while 5 percent stated they could stay but not apply for citizenship. Nine percent claimed they should be required to leave the U.S.

“Even though DACA and offshore oil drilling will likely get sorted out at the national level, Floridians have strong opinions on these issues—very supportive of a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and opposed to opening up offshore oil drilling—and these opinions could very well influence the upcoming senate and gubernatorial elections,” noted Binder.

Regarding some policies facing Florida’s legislature, 59 percent of respondents strongly or somewhat oppose allowing concealed weapons to be carried on university and college campuses, with 35 percent in support. When asked about removing Florida’s home rule, 47 percent strongly or somewhat oppose giving the state government additional power over local government decisions, while 30 percent support it either strongly or somewhat. A majority of respondents, 62 percent, strongly or somewhat support legalizing and regulating recreational marijuana, with 35 percent in opposition.  

“This is the third time over the past year we’ve asked about concealed weapons on college campuses, and the results are remarkably consistent. Voters are opposed to changing the current restrictions, and it will be interesting to see if the legislature listens to their electorate,” Binder said. “There is also opposition, though not nearly as strong, in scaling back Florida’s home rule, something legislators may want to pay attention to before acting to fundamentally alter governance in Florida.”

When asked about the most important problem facing Florida today, the most popular response was education at 20 percent, followed closely by health care, 16 percent, and crime, 15 percent. Out of all respondents, 52 percent either strongly or somewhat approve of the way that the Florida legislature is handling its job, with 33 percent disapproving either strongly or somewhat.   

 Survey Results 

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 that person, or if you’ve never heard of them.

 Democratic Candidates 

 Answer Options 

   

 Andrew Gillum 

 n=619 

 Gwen Graham 

 n=619 

 Phillip Levine 

 n=619 

Favorable

7%

11%

8%

Unfavorable

4%

4%

5%

Never heard of him/her

81%

78%

73%

Don’t Know

8%

6%

12%

Refusal

1%

1%

1%

 

 Democratic Candidates Only Among Democratic Respondents 

 Answer Options 

   

 Andrew Gillum 

 n=232 

 Gwen Graham 

 n=232 

 Phillip Levine 

 n=232 

Favorable

10%

15%

14%

Unfavorable

4%

3%

6%

Never heard of him/her

78%

75%

65%

Don’t Know

8%

7%

15%

Refusal

1%

<1%

<1%

 

 Republican Candidates 

 Answer Options 

   

 Richard Corcoran 

 n=619 

 Ron Desantis 

 n=619 

 Adam Putnam 

 n=619 

Favorable

5%

10%

14%

Unfavorable

6%

5%

7%

Never heard of him/her

78%

72%

67%

Don’t Know

11%

12%

11%

Refusal

<1%

1%

1%

 

 Republicans Candidates Only Among Republican Respondents 

 Answer Options 

   

 Richard Corcoran 

 n=218 

 Ron Desantis 

 n=218 

 Adam Putnam 

 n=218 

Favorable

6%

14%

22%

Unfavorable

5%

3%

2%

Never heard of him/her

78%

71%

66%

Don’t Know

10%

11%

10%

Refusal

1%

1%

1%

 

 

Amendment Four, on the statewide ballot for 2018, is called “Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative.” This Amendment would restore the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation. The amendment would not apply to those convicted of murder or sexual offenses. If the election were held today, would you vote “yes” or “no” for this proposition?

 Answer Options 

   

 February 2018 

 Florida Registered Voters 

 n=619 

Yes

71%

No

22%

Don’t Know

6%

Refusal

<1%


Lifting bans on offshore oil drilling and allowing new offshore oil and gas drilling in the United States coastal waters.  

 Answer Options 

   

 February 2018 

 Florida Registered Voters 

 n=619 

Strongly Support

18%

Somewhat Support

19%

Somewhat Oppose

14%

Strongly Oppose

41%

Don’t Know

7%

Refusal

1%


Which comes closest to your view about undocumented/Illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, aged 16 and under?*

 Answer Options 

   

 February 2018 

 Florida Registered Voters 

 n=619 

They should be allowed to stay in the United States and to eventually apply for U.S. citizenship

82%

They should be allowed to remain in the United States, but not be allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship

5%

They should be required to leave the U.S.

9%

Don’t Know

3%

Refusal

1%

*This question was a split sample with half the sample being read “illegal” and half the sample being read “undocumented”.  There was only one percentage point difference between the two different question wordings.

Allowing licensed individuals to carry concealed handguns into a college or university facility.

 Answer Options 

   

 February 2018 

 Florida Registered Voters 

 n=619 

 October 2017 

 Florida Registered Voters 

 n=611 

 February 2017 

 Florida Registered Voters 

 n=969 

Strongly Support

20%

21%

20%

Somewhat Support

15%

16%

15%

Somewhat Oppose

11%

13%

14%

Strongly Oppose

48%

46%

48%

Don’t Know

5%

4%

3%

Refusal

<1%

3%

-

 

Removal of Florida’s home rule, which grants additional power to the state government over local government decisions?

 Answer Options 

   

 February 2018 

 Florida Registered Voters 

 n=619 

Strongly Support

11%

Somewhat Support

19%

Somewhat Oppose

21%

Strongly Oppose

26%

Don’t Know

21%

Refusal

2%

 

Legalizing and regulating marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol, limiting its sale to residents 21 years of age or older.

 Answer Options 

   

 February 2018 

 Florida Registered Voters 

 n=619 

Strongly Support

45%

Somewhat Support

17%

Somewhat Oppose

8%

Strongly Oppose

27%

Don’t Know

3%

Refusal

<1%

 

What do you think is the most important problem facing Florida today?*

 Answer Options 

   

 February 2018 

 Florida Registered Voters 

 n=619 

 February 2017 

 Florida Registered Voters 

 n=972 

Education

20%

20%

Economy/Jobs/Unemployment

13%

20%

Healthcare

16%

15%

Crime

15%

13%

Environment

10%

11%

Immigration

14%

10%

Terrorism

2%

2%

All of the Above (volunteered)

3%

-

Drugs/Opioids (volunteered)

1%

-

Other (volunteered)

4%

7%

Don’t Know

2%

3%

Refusal

<1%

-

 

 

Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the Florida Legislature is handling its job?

 Answer Options 

   

 February 2018 

 Florida Registered Voters 

 n=619 

 February 2017 

 Florida Registered Voters 

 n=959 

Strongly Approve

9%

7%

Somewhat Approve

43%

32%

Somewhat Disapprove

18%

21%

Strongly Disapprove

15%

19%

Don’t Know

13%

21%

Refusal

2%

-

 

 

Survey Demographics

 Party Registration 

 Florida Registered Voters n=619 

Republican

35%

Democrat

37%

NPA and other

27%

 

 Age 

 Florida Registered Voters n=619 

18 to 24

9%

25 to 34

15%

35 to 44

14%

45 to 55

16%

56 to 64

18%

65 and older

28%

 

 Race 

 Florida Registered Voters n=619 

White (not Hispanic)

64%

Black (not Hispanic)

13%

Hispanic

16%

Other

7%

 

 Sex 

 Florida Registered Voters n=619 

Male

46%

Female

54%

 

 Telephone 

 Florida Registered Voters n=619 

Landline

27%

Cell phone

73%

Don’t Know

<1%

Refusal

<1%

 

What is the highest grade in school or year of college you have completed?

 Education 

 Florida Registered Voters n=619 

Less than high school

3%

High school graduate

20%

Some college

41%

College graduate

21%

Post graduate degree

14%

Don’t Know

<1%

Refusal

1%


What is your annual household income?

 Income 

 Florida Registered Voters n=619 

Less than $25,000

14%

$25,000 to $50,000

16%

$50,000 to $75,000

17%

$75,000 to $100,000

12%

Above $100,000

22%

Don’t Know

7%

Refusal

14%

 

What language was this survey completed in?

 Survey language completed in… 

 Florida Registered Voters n=619 

English

97%

Spanish

3%

 

 Methodology 

 

The University of North Florida (UNF), Florida Statewide Poll was conducted by the Public Opinion Research Lab (PORL) at UNF Monday, January 29, through Sunday, February 4, by live callers via the telephone, and calls were made from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The sample of phone numbers was created through the voter file provided by Florida’s Division of Elections September 2017 update and selected through the use of probability sampling among Florida registered voters in the Florida voter file. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by UNF undergraduate and graduate students. Overall, there were 619 completed surveys of Florida registered voters, 18 years of age or older.

 

The margin of sampling error for the total sample is +/- 3.9 percentage points. 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 actually eligible. The breakdown of completed responses on a landline phone to a cell phone was 27 to 73 percent. A single int


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