Political Insiders Look to the Florida Chamber Political Institute

“The political institute is to politics what a telescope is to an astronomer- it is a tool to help us provide in-depth, non-partisan research and analysis so that we can find the best candidates to help the business community.”

When it comes to securing Florida’s future, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Fighting for free enterprise and focusing on policies that support jobs and strong families is the Florida Chamber’s mission. Beyond the legislative battles in Tallahassee or Washington, pro-jobs policies need champions, and that is why we engage in elections.

Our engagement efforts begin by electing pro-biz, pro-jobs candidates chosen by the Florida Chamber Political Institute’s (FCPI) rigorous candidate interview sessions — one of Florida’s most thorough and well-respected pro-business candidate review processes.

But why exactly are candidate interviews so important to Florida’s legislative process?

“It’s really all about the dialogue,” said Bjorklund. “When we get in the interview process, we are able to talk with these candidates and find out what their plans are to change Florida and how they are going to help Florida and we give them the opportunity to show us how business can play a role in that.”

And to FCPI Chair Bjorklund, being a member of FCPI is all about being informed.

“To me, it’s all about access and it’s all about information,” said Bjorklund. “As a member of the Political Institute, you have access to these candidates, which you otherwise may not be able to go see. This year is going to be a very, very populated election season…trying to manage logistically meeting these people and finding out who are going to be the best ones to serves Florida, just simply is impossible. Through the institute, we allow folks the chance to meet these folks and find the ones that are best suited to serve in office.”


Did You Know Only 20 Percent of Millennials Voted in the Last National Election?

Millennial voters are described as racially diverse and politically independent, and they are changing the course of the electoral process. Although the millennial generation accounts for the largest segment of the population and 46 million eligible voters, only 20 percent cast a ballot in the 2014 midterm election – the lowest youth turnout rate ever recorded in a federal election. In addition, the proportion of young people registered to vote is at an all-time low of 46.7 percent.

Some experts speculate that the lack of interest in civic engagement stems from an aversion to partisan politics and that millennials don’t readily see themselves represented by the current pool of candidates. One way to combat this perception is through social media and apps that help millennials identify the candidates whose platforms most align with their core beliefs. Millennials are the biggest contributors to our workforce and the future of our country. If they’re disengaged, who will shape future policies?

Get Involved

Join us at the 2016 Florida Chamber Board of Governors Capitol Days  and learn more about The Political Factor and 2016 Elections with Marian Johnson, Senior Vice President of Political Strategy at the Florida Chamber, Andrew Wiggins, Senior Director of Campaigns and Elections at the Florida Chamber, and Matt Dixon, political reporter with POLITICO.

Newest Florida Chamber Poll Shows Likely November Voters Continue to Support Governor Scott’s Reelection

CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231 or 850-251-6261


TALLAHASSEE, FL. (September 29, 2014) – According to the latest Florida Chamber Political Institute (FCPI) poll released today at the Future of Florida Forum in Orlando, likely voters continue to have a more positive view of the future and favor Governor Rick Scott in the state’s top leadership race. Jobs and the economy (29 percent) continue to be the number one issue among voters, followed by education (19 percent) and healthcare (6 percent).

“Florida voters are smart. They continue recognizing Governor Scott is doing what he said he would do,” said Marian Johnson, Senior Vice President of the Florida Chamber Political Institute. “More than 640,000 private-sector jobs have been created since December 2010, our education initiatives are working, and Florida families and small businesses continue to see opportunities for growth. The fact that a majority of polls throughout the last six to eight weeks show voters continuing to prefer Rick Scott over other candidates is a sign that his numbers are solid.”

Governor Rick Scott’s job approval rating continues to remain positive, with 49 percent of likely voters approving of the job he’s doing. At the same time, gubernatorial candidate and trial lawyer Charlie Crist’s favorability continues to drop – 39 percent favorable and 50 percent unfavorable.

“I believe a major reason Charlie Crist is visibly losing support is because voters are beginning to realize that Rick Scott’s focus on jobs is working and that Florida continues to move in the right direction,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

In head-to-head matchups:

  • Governor’s Race, Rick Scott vs. Charlie Crist vs. Adrian Wyllie: Scott earns 43 percent, Crist gets 39 percent and Libertarian Adrain Wyllie earns 4 percent. Five percent say they will vote for one of the other candidates and 7 percent are firmly undecided.
  • Attorney General Race, Pam Bondi vs. George Sheldon: Bondi earns 48 percent to Sheldon 31 percent.
  • CFO Race, Jeff Atwater vs. William Rankin: Atwater leads with 43 percent to Rankin’s 27 percent.
  • Agriculture Commissioner Race, Adam Putnam vs. Thaddeus Hamilton: Putnam earns 41 percent to Hamilton at 29 percent.


Of the 813 Florida likely voters polled, 29 percent rank job creation and the economy as their top issues. Additional polling data shows:

  • For six straight months, a plurality of voters continue to believe the Sunshine State is headed in the right direction – 43 percent based on Florida Chamber polling conducted in February, June and August 2014.
  • Amendment 1 continues to show strong support: 75 percent support while 14 percent oppose.
  • Amendment 2 has fallen below the 60 percent threshold again; this amendment is losing support. Fifty-nine percent support and 35 percent oppose.
  • Amendment 3 has 27 percent support and 21 percent opposition. 53 percent of voters are undecided.

On the national level, President Obama’s job approval rating remains upside down as 41 percent approved and 54 percent disapprove.

The poll, conducted on September 18-21, 2014 during live telephone interviews of likely voters, has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent.

Please note: The samples for the polls conducted by the Florida Chamber Political Institute are consistently drawn from likely 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 this November.






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 Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.