Despite Hurricane Irma, Voters Feeling Good About Florida’s Direction
By: Edie Ousley
Governor Scott’s Job Approval Increases; Healthcare Becomes Top Concern
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (September 27, 2017) – In the first statewide political poll released by the Florida Chamber Political Institute (FCPI) since Hurricane Irma hit Florida, the storm that forced the largest evacuation in U.S. history hasn’t dampened Florida voters’ belief that Florida is headed in the right direction.
Despite Democrats having an advantage in voter registration in a state led by Republicans, 56 percent of likely voters believe Florida is headed in the right direction, compared to 27 that believe we’re headed in the wrong direction. Republicans are especially optimistic by 78 percent, compared to Democrats and NPA’s at 41 percent each.
Nine out of 10 Floridians believe Governor Rick Scott handled preparation and response to Hurricane Irma favorably. Among all voters, 91 percent approve of the Governor’s Hurricane Irma job approval, with men and women equally approving at 91 percent, Hispanics (84 percent), African Americans (90 percent) and whites (92 percent) also approving. Among party lines, 95 percent of Republicans approved of his performance, followed by 89 percent of Democrats and 86 percent of NPA’s.
“Despite Hurricane Irma’s destruction, Floridians believe securing Florida’s long-term future is more important than short-term politics,” said MARIAN JOHNSON, Senior Vice President, Political Operations for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “It’s heartwarming when voters believe Florida is headed in the right direction immediately after a hurricane.”
Healthcare (16 percent), jobs and economy (13 percent), and education (12 percent) top the list of issues most concerning to Florida voters. Immigration and global warming remain a concern – garnering 6 percentage points each. While issues like guns, terrorism and marijuana barely register among voters at this time.
A majority of Florida voters overwhelmingly support allowing Dreamers, Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals, to remain in the U.S. (82 percent), and 73 percent support a pathway to citizenship. Of likely Florida voters, 85 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of NPA’s and 59 percent of Republicans support Dreamers having a path to citizenship. And 70 percent of whites, 78 percent of African Americans, and 81 percent of Hispanics support Dreamers having a pathway to citizenship.
On constitutional amendments approved for the ballot:
Amendment 1: Increases the homestead exemption.
- 66 percent of voters support increasing the homestead exemption for homeowners, while 21% oppose
- 71 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of NPA’s and 62 percent of Democrats support increasing the homestead exemption for homeowners.
Amendment 2: Creates a 10 percent cap on annual non-homestead property tax increases permanent.
- 57 percent of likely voters support increasing the homestead exemption for homeowners, while 19% oppose.
- 66 percent of Republicans, 54 percent of NPA’s and 50 percent of Democrats support increasing the homestead exemption for homeowners.
ABOUT THIS POLL: The Florida Chamber of Commerce political poll was conducted on September 17-24, 2017 by Cherry Communications during live telephone interviews of likely voters, and has a margin of error of +/-4 percent. The sample size included 263 Democrats, 256 Republicans and 96 Others for a total of 615 respondents statewide. The samples for the polls conducted by the Florida Chamber are consistently drawn from likely voters and newly registered voters, meaning those voters who have the propensity and past performance of voting in elections, rather than simply including registered voters. Voters are again screened for likelihood of voting.
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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.