Florida Odds and Ends

| Tom Jensen

-Even after being narrowly reelected in November, Rick Scott continues to have a negative approval rating. 42% of voters think he’s doing a good job to 46% who disapprove. Those numbers speak to Scott’s victory having more to do with driving Charlie Crist’s favorability numbers into the ground than to doing much to become popular in his own right. There’s been some talk of a 2018 dream Senate contest between Scott and Bill Nelson- at this point Nelson leads such a hypothetical contest 47/43. Nelson has a 43/31 approval rating which makes him the state’s most anonymous key politician despite having been on the scene far longer than Scott or Marco Rubio. 

-A second try at a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana in Florida would start out within striking distance of the 60% needed for passage. 58% of voters say they would support it to 35% who are opposed. With a younger and more progressive Presidential year electorate it seems like it would have a pretty good chance at hitting 60% support on the second go around.

-Another initiative that could go on next year’s ballot also starts out with a good chance at passage- 49% of voters say they would support moving Gubernatorial elections in the state to Presidential election years, compared to only 27% opposed to that concept. Democrats (57/21), independents (51/28), and Republicans (41/33) all say they’d favor such a shift in when elections are held.

-Gay marriage becoming legal in Florida doesn’t seem to be doing anyone much harm. 81% of voters in the state say it’s either had a positive impact on their lives or no impact at all, with just 20% claiming that it’s affected them negatively.

-Medicaid expansion remains very popular in Florida. 58% of voters support it to only 26% who are opposed, including 57/29 support from independents. There is overwhelming support for it from Democrats (82/6) while Republicans are considerably more divided in their opposition (33/45).

-Florida’s MLB teams continue to lag in popularity even in their own home state. The 2 most popular baseball teams in Florida are the Braves (17%) and the Yankees (14%). They are then followed by the Marlins (12%) and the Rays (11%), The Red Sox at 8% and Cubs at 6% fill out the list of teams with substantial levels of fandom. The tables have turned, and Marlins fans are now more optimistic about the upcoming season than Rays fans are. 77% of Marlins fans think the team will make the playoffs, 40% think they’ll make it to the World Series, and 24% even think they’ll win the World Series. That compares to 60% of Rays fans who think the team will make the playoffs, 28% who think they’ll make the World Series, and just 14% who think they’ll win it all.

-College sports loyalties in Florida continues to be extremely closely divided between the Gators (23%) and Seminoles (22%), Central Florida and Miami tie for 3rd at 10%, followed by South Florida at 8%, Florida Atlantic at 4%, and Florida International at 1%.

The jury is still out for Gator fans when it comes to new football hire Jim McElwain. 66% say they have no opinion about him. Reviews among those who do have one are pretty favorable- 29% rate him positively to just 6% with an unfavorable opinion. Al Golden’s approval ratings with Miami fans have dropped a good bit over the last year and a half. In September 2013 he was at a 58/13 spread with them, but that’s now declined to 38/12. Jimbo Fisher remains mostly popular with his fan base at a 55/6 approval, although that’s an awful lot with no opinion given how successful the program has been in recent years.

-Finally we find that Florida Man has a 19/4 favorability rating. Most Floridians either aren’t on Twitter or just don’t know what to think. This is a rare thing we polled where younger respondents were much more likely to have an opinion than older respondents.

Full results here

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