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Floridians Mostly Feeling Optimistic Heading into the Age of Trump

December 20, 2016 - 6:00am
Florida Chamber of Commerce Building
Florida Chamber of Commerce Building

For the first time since the Great Recession began in 2007, more than 50 percent of Floridians are more optimistic than pessimistic about the state's direction, according to a Florida Chamber poll just completed.

Not only do Floridians have a positive feeling about the path their state is taking (52 percent to 27 percent), but they approve of the job Gov. Rick Scott is doing (53 percent to 40 percent).

In this, the Florida Chamber Political Institute's first statewide poll since Election 2016 ended and eighth for the year, Floridians were surveyed on a number of issues as the nation enters a Donald Trump presidency.

The approval of Scott's job performance has widened, but it doesn't mark any significant change, the Chamber notes. Throughout his term as governor, "Scott has mostly been seen as doing a good job, even if voters sometimes don't have a favorable opinion of him." This poll shows 44 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Scott, 42 percent an unfavorable opinion.

Jobs and the economy remain the No. 1 concern among Florida voters at 19 percent, followed by healthcare/Affordable Care Act at 10 percent and education at 9 percent.

Global warming and immigration are issues that have risen during the last year and still concern Florida voters with 8 percent choosing global warming and 7 percent immigration.

Looking at gender differences in issue preferences, though they aren't as great in Florida as in some states: Men say jobs and the economy are most important at 20 percent, followed by education at 10 percent, healthcare at 8 percent, global warming at 8 percent and immigration at 7 percent. Women also believe jobs and the economy are most important at 17 percent, followed by healthcare at 11 percent, education at 9 percent, global warming at 8 percent and immigration at 6 percent.

At present -- since the election ended -- there are 12.9 million registered voters in Florida, with 4.9 million Democrats, 4.6 million Republicans, and 3.1 million No Party Affiliates (NPAs).

Republicans and NPAs are especially optimistic, with 72 percent of Republicans and 50 percent of NPAs saying things are heading in the right direction. Only 35 percent of Democrats are optimistic.

Florida voters for the first time have a more positive than negative view of President-Elect Donald Trump (46 percent to 44 percent).

Party breakdown on Trump: 76 percent of Republicans and 44 percent of NPAs/others have a favorable opinion of Trump; 64 percent of Democrats have a more unfavorable opinion.

Looking ahead to the 2018 governor’s race, Democratic voters are mostly undecided.

If the Democratic primary were held today, it would be a tight race between former Congresswoman Gwen Graham and trial lawyer John Morgan. In the Democratic primary for governor the Chamber poll finds 45 percent undecided; 16 percent for Graham; 15 percent for Morgan; 8 percent for Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum; 5 percent for Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn; 5 percent for Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine; 4 percent for "someone else".

Looking to the 2016 Republican primary for governor, Republicans put Adam Putnam at the top, though an overwhelming majority remains undecided:

In the Republican primary for governor, 64 percent are undecided and 22 percent are for Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. 

The poll gives the hypothetical head-to-head matchup for governor to Adam Putnam, with a small lead over the top two Democrats: Putnam leads Graham, 39 percent to 36 percent; Putnam leads Morgan, 40 percent to 37 percent.

Florida voters overwhelmingly say they would rather see a business person as governor than a personal injury trial lawyer (67 percent to 9 percent).

"It may seem that we have a long time before we need to address the election for governor and cabinet," says Marian Anderson, executive director of the Florida Chamber Political Institute. "But time will fly by and before we know it, we will be in the midst of campaigns that will affect Florida’s future. We will be polling continuously to see what the early perceptions of voters are and provide analysis on trends in an effort to help guide the business community as we march onward to secure Florida’s future." 

DID YOU KNOW? Only two Florida Senate seats are term-limited in 2018 -- the two belonging to Rene Garcia and Jack Latvala. Also in 2018, 20 Senate seats will be on the ballot, as well as 120 House seats -- Marian Johnson.

Reach Nancy Smith at or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith




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You better believe we're happy with the "age of Trump"!... Haven't been this happy since I first heard the name of " Half-Lite - He who shall not be named" associated with the "Peoples' WHITE House": (He left NO 'legacy' THERE Folks !)

This news feed is basically the mouthpiece for the Republican Party in Florida. The only reason that I keep it is that it lets me know what is being discussed by this group in Florida. End of conversation. Some of the things that are said are so slanted that it makes me furious but we do need to be informed about what is being discussed and said. But: Facts and truth does count. If you actually want to know what is going on you will need to dig much deeper than this source.

Another disappointed, whining, illiterate, mal-educated, Democrat Lockstep-Lemming heard from....Boo-Hoo!

I'm not a bit surprised about the optimism across the USA. After all Michelle Obama lamented to Oprah, about there is no more hope now that Trump's been elected:))))) What she failed to mention is there is no more hope for their attempt to change our country into a dictatorial government so corrupt that Castro was ashamed before he died. As for Jerry and Robbe we'll remind you of your comments and will be eating your lunch as we drain the liberal and corrupt republican swamp in DC!!!

Mark - the won/lost issue is mute. Trump won. History tells us that the GOP will in time tank the economy again. Your GO TRUMP motto is getting old. Trump I believe will give a new definition to what is a corrupt politician. He has not appointed not one person that seems to fit the "Drain the Swamp" motto. He has only appointed his kind of alligators to kill off the others a make Donald Look good. The American public just won't learn - the Right Slanted "Liberal Media" did a good job at getting them to forget the Mess GWB left this country in. For the sake of us all - I do hope Trump does come through in making this country great again. I seriously that will happen. The Left can't gain no traction not because their plan isn't better - but because the Right Slanted "Liberal Media" always seems to keep them on their heels. Only a depression will remind the American Public of how stupid they have been - Sadly, it seems we're headed that way. Hope it doesn't happen but if it does - Folks like you will finally learn that a society like ours needs to be managed - not controlled. Why is the Right so Scared of Equality?

Hurry down and get your "marijuana med-prescription" "Robbe"!

Give Trump 4 yrs if he can make it that long as the mentally ill criminal he is, and see what they think then............ He was just convicted of fraud in Trump U, admitted felony tax evasion/fraud in Trump Foundation and has multiple trials coming up................... The day he becomes President he breaks the law owning the Post office lease among 100+ other violations. because he thinks laws don't apply to him, will do him in.

Go with "Robbe" "jerry" (formerly "jerryd"); you boys are sorely in need of "med-marijuana"!

Jerry, as a mentally ill person yourself, I can understand your concern and criticism. Of course, we won't mention the actual fact that more elected Democrats have been run out of office, tried & convicted, than any other party. Having studied the Clintons and their shenanigans, while in and out of office, I know that you consider yourself an expert in the field of crooked politics. Not only will PRESIDENT Trump complete his 4 years, he may even complete his time at 8 years. Disappointing news to you and all the other crybabies! The only thing you can do now is to accept the fact that your guy/girl lost, and it's about time to move on. STOP the crying! GO TRUMP!!

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