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Three of Four Floridians Like Gov. Scott’s Policies; Approval Rating Improving

August 22, 2011

TALLAHASSEE – According to poll results released today by Associated Industries of Florida (AIF), three out of every four Floridians are supportive of Gov. Rick Scott’s policies, such as property tax relief, public employee pension reform, drug testing for welfare applicants and the elimination of teacher tenure.

The Governor’s job approval rating was split down the middle with 45 percent of Floridians approving of the job he is doing and 46 percent disapproving. Overall, 37 percent of those polled have a favorable opinion of Gov. Scott.

“Certainly, the Governor’s approval ratings have been low; however, these numbers are higher than other, recent polls and I think they will only continue to improve,” said Ryan Tyson, AIF Vice President of Political Operations. “When you look at the numbers regarding his policies, you can see that people really like what Gov. Scott is doing and what he has accomplished. What’s equally significant is that Floridians on all sides of the political aisle are generally in favor of the policies he has been advancing.”

Property Tax Relief
A majority of those polled – 79 percent – favor the passage of $200 million in property tax relief and tax cuts for small businesses in order to create jobs. Support spans across political affiliations with 85 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of Independents, 74 percent of Democrats and 72 percent of Ticketsplitters in favor of property tax relief.  

Pension Reform
More than three-quarters (76 percent) of respondents supported the effort to reform the state’s pension system by requiring state workers to contribute to their own retirement savings accounts, including 76 percent of Independents, 76 percent of Ticketsplitters and 73 percent of Democrats.

Drug Testing Welfare Applicants
When asked if they favor or oppose requiring drug testing for people applying for welfare, 74 percent of respondents were in favor, including 58 percent who strongly favored this policy. While Republicans’ support of this policy was the highest at 86 percent, Ticketsplitters and Independents followed closely at 79 and 78 percent respectively. Almost two-thirds (62 percent) of Democrats polled supported drug testing of welfare applicants.

Eliminating Teacher Tenure
Poll results also indicate that 73 percent of Floridians are in favor of ending the practice of granting teachers tenure – a subject that has stirred controversy in the last two legislative sessions. Among the groups responding 82 percent of Republicans, 75 percent of Ticketsplitters, 73 percent of Independents and 66 percent of Democrats all support the elimination of teacher tenure.

Conducted by McLaughlin & Associates on August 8 and 9, 2011, the poll surveyed 600 randomly-selected, likely general election voters in Florida. All interviews were conducted via telephone by professional interviewers. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent and a 95 percent confidence interval.

For more detail on these and previously released poll results, please visit www.aif.com

View full poll results.