A new poll shows a proposed amendment to the state constitution on solar energy regulations is losing steam.
St. Leo University released a poll of likely voters on Monday which shows Amendment 1 stands at 60 percent support, the minimum needed to pass on the ballot next week, while 28 percent are opposed to it and 13 percent are not sure. But that is a far cry from where it stood earlier in the election cycle. A St. Leo poll from September showed Amendment 1 with 84 percent while one back in August had it with 81 percent support.
Frank Orlando, the director of the Saint Leo University Polling Institute and a political science professor at that university, insisted increased criticism of the proposal was taking its toll, including a social media campaign against the amendment.
"This movement away from support for Amendment 1 is a sign that the social media campaign is working,” Orlando said on Monday. “Opponents of Amendment 1 clearly don't have the financial power that the utility companies do, but they've been very effective at getting their message out via forums like Facebook. In addition, the fact that almost every major newspaper has come out against the amendment has made this a much tighter race.”
When St. Leo provided more information on Amendment 1 including “the amendment may restrict my ability to lease solar equipment from third-party vendors,” “it may restrict the practice of sending back excess energy produced for an offset to my costs” and “Amendment 1 is supported by Florida utility companies,” support for the proposal dropped.
“When the results above were factored into the institution’s calculations, support for Amendment 1 was actually only 35.4 percent,” the Saint Leo University Polling Institute noted in its release accompanying the poll.
“Our data shows that the more the public knows about the possible consequences of Amendment 1, the less they like it,” Orlando insisted.
The poll of 1,028 likely Florida voters was taken from Oct. 22 through Oct. 26 and had a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.