Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida 2004 vs. Florida 2008

Every four years voters in Florida assess the state of the state in casting their ballots. That time is again nigh. In two weeks and two days, we will vote for president. With that in mind, how different is the Florida of now from the Florida of four years ago?

— Jim Verhulst, Perspective editor, and Times senior news researcher John Martin collected and compiled this information.

There are more of us.

2004: 17,516,732

2008: 19,051,540

There are more voters.

2004 Total Registered Voters: 9,753,819

2004 No Party Affiliation: 1,731,254

2004 Republican: 3,705,081

2004 Democrat: 4,066,068

2008 Total Registered Voters: 10,618,519

2008 No Party Affiliation: 1,960,073

2008 Republican: 3,924,081

2008 Democrat: 4,389,698

Note: As of August 2004 and 2008 primaries.

October 2004

48 percent of Florida voters think going to war in Iraq was the right thing to do.

September 2008

36 percent of Florida voters think going to war in Iraq was the right thing to do.

Method of voting:

2004: Touch screen (Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties were 3 of 15 counties using them; others used optical scan.)

2008: Fill-in-the-bubble optical scan

October 2004

50 percent of Floridians had a favorable opinion of President Bush.

47 percent of Floridians did not.

October 2008

29 percent of Floridians approve of the way President Bush is handling his job as president.

70 percent do not.

October 2008,

36 percent of likely Florida voters supported the $700-billion bailout plan.

42 percent opposed it.

Florida loans starting foreclosure process

Second quarter 2004: 28,452 (0.30 percent)

Second quarter 2008: 250,806 (2.21 percent)

Housing units authorized by building permits in Florida

January to July 2004: 148,873

January to July 2008: 41,158

Bankruptcy filings, Tampa division of Florida Middle District Bankruptcy Court

January to August 2004: 24,875

January to August 2008: 13,556 *

* In 2005, Congress overhauled the bankruptcy law, which made it more difficult for consumers to avoid repaying debts by filing for bankruptcy protection.

September 2008

Gov. Charlie Crist retains his lofty 61 percent job approval rating; Crist's support includes 50 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of independent voters.

In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Florida today?

September 2004

18 percent very satisfied

45 percent somewhat satisfied

23 percent somewhat dissatisfied

12 percent very dissatisfied

September 2008

7 percent very satisfied

39 percent somewhat satisfied

29 percent somewhat dissatisfied

24 percent very dissatisfied

Broken down by party (December 2004)

Tot Rep Dem Ind

Very satisfied 16% 30% 5% 13%

Somewhat satisfied 43 56 29 44

Somewhat dissatisfied 23 10 35 27

Very dissatisfied 16 4 28 15

September 2008

38 percent of Florida Republicans are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied" with the way things are going in the state.

63 percent of Florida Democrats are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied" with the way things are going in the state.

In the Tampa Bay area in September 2008

6 percent were very satisfied

42 percent were somewhat satisfied

25 percent were somewhat dissatisfied

26 percent were very dissatisfied

Floridians who died in the Iraq war:

January - Oct. 1, 2004: 34

January - Oct. 1, 2008: 17

Total deaths from beginning of war to Oct. 1, 2004: 52

Total deaths from beginning of war to Oct. 1, 2008: 195

High school graduation rates in Florida

2003-04: 71.6 percent

2006-07: 72.4 percent

Number of Tampa Bay workers whose commute was between 45 minutes and an hour:

2003: 90,533

2007: 109,824

Bus ridership

Pinellas (PSTA)

2004: 9.75 million

2008 (through August): 12.85-million

Hillsborough (HART)

2004: 8.88-million

2008: 12-million

Florida's inmate population

June 2004: 81,974

June 2008: 98,192

Space shuttle missions flown

2004: None (Shuttles were grounded in 2004 to comply with new flight standards after Columbia broke apart during re-entry in 2003, killing its crew.)

2008: Three

Number of hurricanes

2004: A total of 15 named Atlantic tropical storms

2004: Nine hurricanes total (Alex, Charley, Danielle, Frances, Gaston, Ivan, Jeanne, Karl, Lisa)

2004: Four hurricanes struck Florida (Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne)

2008: As of Oct. 17, 15 named Atlantic tropical storms

2008: As of Oct. 17, 5 hurricanes (Bertha, Dolly, Gustav, Hanna, Ike)

2008: As of Oct. 17, no hurricanes had struck Florida

Median sale price, existing, single-family homes, Florida

July 2004: $186,700

July 2008: $193,600

Median sale price, existing, single-family homes, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater

July 2004: $167,500

July 2008: $176,500 (down from $215,600 in July 2007)

Homeless population in Pinellas County

January 2004: 4,074

January 2007: 5,195 *

* Numbers for January 2008 survey of homeless residents in Pinellas have not been released

Price of an adult, single-day ticket to Disney World

2004 Disney World single-day adult admission: $54.75

2008 Disney World single-day adult admission: $75

2004: Busch Gardens' single-day adult admission: $53.95

2008 Busch Gardens' single-day adult admission: $67.95

Sales of Toyota Prius hybrid (nationally, through September)

2004: 35,715

2008: 130,561

2004 Tampa Bay Devil Rays record: 70-91, Finished 4th in AL Eastern Division

Manager: Lou Piniella

2004 Attendance: 1,274,911 (14th of 14 in American League)

2004 Payroll: $23-million

2008 Tampa Bay Rays record: 97-65, Finished 1st in AL Eastern Division, playing for the pennant

Manager: Joe Maddon

2008 Attendance: 1,811,986 (12th of 14 in American League)

2008 Payroll: $44-million

Tampa Bay Lightning

2004: Stanley Cup champions

2008: Missed the playoffs, finished last in the division with a record of 31-42-9.

Poll rankings of college football teams in state

AP Top 25 for Oct. 10, 2004:

Miami #3

Florida State #7

Florida #22

AP Top 25 for Oct. 12, 2008

Florida #5

USF #19

Percentage of Floridians without health insurance

2004-2005: 19.8 percent

2006-2007: 20.7 percent

5. Daily average price for regular unleaded in Tampa Bay Area

10/13/2004: $1.9412/gallon

10/13/2008: $3.2652/gallon

Peak 7/16/2008: $4.009/gallon

Daily average price for regular unleaded in Florida

10/13/2004: $1.9927/gallon

10/13/2008: $3.301/gallon

Peak 7/16/2008: $4.079/gallon

Biggest bank in Florida

2004: Bank of America

2008: Wells Fargo

Nuclear reactors

2004: Five

2008: Five (Four more are planned.)

Source: Energy Information Administration, Times files

Percentage of Floridians approving of governor

September 2004 approval rating for Jeb Bush: 62 percent

September 2008 approval rating for Charlie Crist: 61 percent

Estimated Floridians 80 or older

2004: 894,775

2007: 971,686

Median household income in Florida

2003: $39,871

2007: $47,804

Floridians below the poverty level

2003: 12.7 percent

2007: 12.5 percent

Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at

10/6/2004: 10,239.92

10/6/2008: 9,955.50

Minimum wage in Florida

2004: $5.15 an hour.

2008: $6.79 an hour.

December 2004

The most important problem facing Florida today:

18 percent education

11 percent economy

8 percent health care

7 percent immigration

7 percent recovering from hurricanes

October 2008

60 percent of Floridians say the economy is the most important issue in the presidential election.

8 percent say the war in Iraq.

7 percent say terrorism.

7 percent say energy policy.

7 percent say health care.

December 2004

How would you describe the state of Florida's economy?

Among all Floridians :

8 percent excellent

52 percent good

27 percent not so good

10 percent poor

Among Republicans :

14 percent excellent

69 percent good

14 percent not so good

2 percent poor

Among Democrats :

4 percent excellent

39 percent good

38 percent not so good

17 percent poor

Among independents :

6 percent excellent

50 percent good

32 percent not so good

9 percent poor

Are you better off or worse off financially that you were a year ago?

All Floridians :

Better off 42

Worse off 34

Same 22

Republicans :

Better off 64

Worse off 18

Same 18

Democrats :

Better off 27

Worse off 49

Same 23

Independents :

Better off 37

Worse off 36

Same 25

Number of people insured by Citizens

September 2004: 800,000

September 2008: 1.2-million

Number of Florida tourists

January through June 2004: 40.9-million

January through June 2008: 46.1-million

Florida citrus acreage

2004: 748,555

2008: 576,577

Sources: Bureau of Economic and Business Research, University of Florida; Office of Economic and Demographic Research, the Florida Legislature; Florida Division of Elections; Realty Trac; Mortgage Bankers Association National Delinquency Survey; Census Bureau; Florida Department of Corrections; NASA;; National Hurricane Center; : Florida Association of Realtors; University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies;; AAA Auto Club South; Bureau of Economic and Business Research, University of Florida; : U.S. Department of Agriculture; St. Petersburg Times polls; Quinnipiac University polls.

Florida 2004 vs. Florida 2008 10/20/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 4:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. What to expect: Howl-O-Scream is crawling with monsters this year


    Those darn scare actors at Howl--O-Scream. They get me.
    Every. Stinking. Time.

    The scare zones like this one, Wasteland, can look as scary and elaborate as the haunted houses at Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens.
  2. Rick Baker debuts new campaign ad to woo younger voters


    Former mayor Rick Baker's campaign unveiled a reboot of sorts Tuesday with the debut of a new TV ad.

    Delores Green and mayoral candidate Rick Baker smile as they look at a selfie that Green took at a food truck food giveaway at Rick Baker's disaster assistance registration center on Central Ave. in St. Petersburg on Sept. 15.
  3. Editorial: DOT listens, adjusts on I-275 plans in Tampa


    Florida continues to improve its plan for modernizing the interstate system in Tampa Bay. The Florida Department of Transportation has unveiled four new options for rebuilding I-275 near downtown Tampa, and some of them would ditch previous plans for toll lanes downtown while keeping express lanes for faster, …

    State officials are re-evaluating parts of I-4 and I-275 in Tampa as part of a supplemental environmental impact study, or SEIS. 
  4. College basketball scandal dips into Tampa Bay


    Tuesday's national college basketball scandal has recruiting ties to Tampa Bay.

    In this March 15, 2012, file photo, San Diego State assistant coach Tony Bland, left, talks during NCAA college basketball practice in Columbus, Ohio. Bland was identified in court papers, and is among 10 people facing federal charges in Manhattan federal court, Tuesday in a wide probe of fraud and corruption in the NCAA, authorities said. [AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File]
  5. Datz to open in St. Petersburg, join the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art

    Food & Dining

    Now Datz news.

    Get it? Tuesday, Datz, the longtime line-out-the-door, oft-Instagrammed and -Yelped Tampa stalwart known for shock-and-awe sandwiches and oh-so-much bacon, announced it is coming to St. Petersburg.

    Lunch guest eat at Datz Deli at 2616 South MacDill Ave. in Tampa. Times files.