Friday, May 25, 2012 at 8:55 a.m.
Quinnipiac University has been ringing Florida phones off their hooks the past week or two -- a poll yesterday showed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney pulling ahead of Barack Obama in the state, and there's a poll about Florida baseball that came out this morning that's of pretty much no consequence.
Yesterday, however, they released one that covered a bunch of other issues important to Floridians: the GOP Senate primary, gun rights, and "Stand Your Ground."
The biggest revelation is that Connie Mack is ahead of George LeMieux for the Republican Senate race nomination 40 percent to 7 percent. But there's a lot of other cool stuff in here, so, in the format that's become the standard "here's a poll" post, here's a list of other things we can learn from it.
1. Even though Mack is way ahead of LeMieux, both are close to Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson.
Mack trounced LeMieux in this poll, no doubt. And he's pretty much tied with Nelson, ahead 42 percent to 41 with a 2.4-point margin of error. But LeMieux, even though he's way behind Mack, is still down only 43 to 36 percent against Nelson.
2. Neither GOP candidate has any appeal at all with African-Americans.
If it's Nelson versus Mack, blacks said they preferred Nelson 79 percent to 5 percent. If it's Nelson versus LeMieux, the gap is even bigger: 84 percent to 3.
3. Republicans who know of Mack and LeMieux like them. But most don't know of them.
Mack, being a congressman and all, has pretty good name recognition 'round these parts, and that illegal mailer
he sent out probably helped a bit. But 50 percent of Floridians reported that they hadn't heard enough about him to know whether they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of him. When it came to LeMieux, the "I dunno" number went up to 75 percent.
The numbers get better among Republicans polled, however -- Mack has a 56 percent favorable rating, with only 6 percent disapproving. Thirty-five percent said they weren't sure.
As for LeMieux, 68 percent of Republicans said they didn't know enough to make a decision. Twenty-six percent said they had a favorable opinion, and only 5 percent reported an unfavorable opinion.
4. Rick Scott is way more popular in the Panhandle than in South Florida.
Maybe not a total surprise, demographically speaking, but there is an interesting number in there: Scott's overall job approval rating jumped up 41 percent from this time last year, going from 29 percent to 41 percent in the state.
His approval rating in the Panhandle is 50 percent -- in southeastern Florida, it's 29 percent. He's most popular in southwestern Florida, with a 51 percent job approval rating.
5. Percentage of Floridians reporting they are "very satisfied" with "the way things are going in Florida today": 4 percent.
Another 39 percent said they were "somewhat satisfied," and 55 percent said they were either somewhat or very dissatisfied. Two percent said they didn't know, which is a weird answer.
6. Floridians don't mind the "Stand Your Ground" law.
Fifty-six percent of those surveyed said they supported the law, while 35 percent were opposed.
Every demographic recorded was in support of the law except for Democrats (59 percent opposed) and blacks (56 percent opposed). Seventy-eight percent of Florida Republicans said they supported it.