• Poll Shows Florida Staggering under Recession

11/2/2011

Florida voters favor stopping foreign aid in light of the U.S. deficit, and many believe that the Republican Party is stalling efforts to jumpstart the economy for political reasons, according to a Suffolk University/7NEWS (WSVN-Miami) poll of registered voters in the Sunshine State.

Voters have not wavered in their views on the recession since an April poll by Suffolk University: 88 percent said that the recession is not over in Florida in both polls, while 4 percent said it is over in the most recent poll.

"When the margin of error is only 3.5 percent, you can't get much lower than 4 percent,” said David Paleologos, director of the Political Research Center at Boston’s Suffolk University. “Voters continue to feel the pinch in Florida, and that results in some strong opinions on how the country and the state spend revenue.”

Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of those polled said that monetary assistance to other countries should be discontinued until the United States can pay its own bills. The overwhelming sentiment came from every major demographic including gender, age, area, race and political party.

“Charity begins at home,” said Paleologos. “Voters are saying they don’t want money going overseas until the United States takes care of itself first.”

With 51 percent of voters saying that jobs and the economy are the most pressing issues in the nation today, 49 percent said they believe that the Republicans are intentionally hindering efforts to boost the economy so that President Barack Obama will not be reelected. Thirty-nine percent disagreed. As expected, most registered Democrats (70 percent) agreed that Republicans are intentionally hindering the economy and hurting Obama, but independents (52 percent) and even some Republicans (24 percent) also agreed.

The idea of replacing the current federal tax system with a flat tax was favored by 50 percent of voters, compared to 27 percent who were opposed.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s performance continued to be rated “negative and damaging” by 37 percent of voters, compared to 26 percent who said it was “positive and productive” and 26 percent who said it had little impact. His performance fares slightly better than in Suffolk University’s April poll, when 41 percent put it in the negative category.

However, were the gubernatorial election to be held now, 37 percent of voters would choose former opponent Democrat Alex Sink instead of Scott (36 percent).

Voters expressed their opinion over the tempest that has developed over Sen. Marco Rubio’s narration of his family history related to Castro and Cuba, with 41 percent saying they believe that Rubio exaggerated his parents’ immigration story and 26 percent saying that he told the truth.

Polling results released yesterday showed that a Republican presidential nominee running with U.S. Rubio in the vice president spot would secure 46 percent of the vote to President Barack Obama’s 41 percent. However, with Hillary Clinton joining Obama on the Democratic ticket, 50 percent chose Obama-Clinton and 41 percent would vote Republican. The poll also showed Mitt Romney (25 percent) running neck-and-neck with Herman Cain (24 percent) among registered Republicans in Florida.

Methodology

The statewide survey of 800 Florida registered voters was conducted October 26-30, 2011, through live telephone interviews. The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence. Marginals and cross-tabulation data added since the intial Nov. 1 poll release will be posted Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011, on the Suffolk University Political Research Center Web site. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310, dpaleologos@suffolk.edu.

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