Jacksonville, FL - It’s a lead, but not a big one.
A new poll out of the University of North Florida shows if the Governor’s race were held today, Charlie Crist would get 34% of the vote to Rick Scott’s 33%. But on the road to the real election in November, there’s a lot that can still change.
“If you add up those ‘Don’t know’ and ‘Somebody else’ answers, they’re at 34% too,” says UNF Assistant Professor of Political Science Michael Binder.
Part of the reason for the results could be waning support for Scott’s job performance. 45% of those surveyed approved of Scott’s handling of the role of Governor, down from 49% in October.
The polling sample was weighted for age, gender, race, education and party registration, and the sample included cell phones to increase representation. The data includes 507 registered voters. The margin of error is +/- 4.35%
The survey tackled other big issues in Florida, including a ballot initiative dealing with medical marijuana that is up for a vote in November. The results show a large 74% of those polled support marijuana use for certain medical conditions.
“They don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be examining all options,” Binder says.
That’s stark contrast to the 57% of those polled who oppose recreational marijuana. Binder believes there is still too much uncertainty about the long term effects of marijuana for people to be willing to break down all barriers around the drug.
Another big topic was Florida’s self-defense and ‘Stand Your Ground’ law. The survey stated “Current Florida law states that a person ‘has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force to prevent death or great bodily harm to themselves or someone else.’ Do you support or oppose requiring people to take reasonable steps to retreat before using force to defend themselves?”
“62% of the folks that are registered said yeah,” Binder says.
Binder believes some of the responses could be motivated by the recent attention SYG has received because of some high profile trials, even if SYG protection was never sought.
It remains unlikely there will be any substantial change to the law at the state level.