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Who would be better?

The St. Petersburg Times and Bay News 9 teamed up with the Miami Herald for a telephone survey of 800 registered voters, which was conducted Sept. 14-17 by SEA Polling and Strategic Design, whose clients are primarily Democrats, and the Polling Co., which works mainly with Republicans. The margin of error is 3.5 percent.

1. As things stand now, how likely are you to vote in the general election for President of the United States — are you almost certain to vote, will you probably vote, are the chances fifty-fifty that you will vote, or are you not that likely to vote?

Almost certain to vote 96
Probably vote 4

2. Thinking about the Presidential campaigns, how closely are you following news about the candidates currently running for president – would you say that you're following it very closely, somewhat closely, not too closely or not closely at all?

Very closely 64
Somewhat closely 30
Not too closely 5
Not closely at all 1

3. Generally speaking, do you feel that things in the United State are headed in the right direction these days, or do you feel that things are headed in the wrong direction?

Right direction 19
Mixed 13
Wrong direction 62
Don't know/Refused 6

4. Generally speaking, do you feel that things here in Florida are headed in the right direction these days, or do you feel that things are headed in the wrong direction?

Right direction 32
Mixed 10
Wrong direction 51
Don't know/Refused 7

5. How would you rate the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president — excellent, good, fair, or poor?

Excellent 9
Good 20
Fair 20
Poor 50
Don't know/Refused 1

6. How would you rate the way Charlie Crist is handling his job as Governor of Florida — excellent, good, fair, or poor?

Excellent 13
Good 40
Fair 34
Poor 11
Don't know/Refused 3

7. What is the first thing that springs to mind when I say the name "Sarah Palin"? Please tell me the first thing you think of or associate with Sarah Palin. And what is the second thing you think of?

Attribute 1st 2nd
Positive attribute 16 15
Negative attribute 12 10
Experience/qualifications 9 10
Family 3 4
Politics/ideology 5 3
Gender 4 4
Veep 10 3
Fresh face 5 6
General positive 6 1
Misc. 6 4
Media * 1
Inexperience 9 12
Never heard of 1 *
"Nothing" * -
Other 7 11
No response 8 16

8. What is the first thing that springs to mind when I say the name "Joe Biden"? Please tell me the first thing you think of or associate with Joe Biden. And what is the second thing you think of?

Attribute 1st 2nd
Positive attribute 7 14
Negative attribute 6 6
Experience/Qualification 21 18
General positives 4 2
Veep 9 4
Politics/Issues 5 7
Miscellaneous 2 2
Not qualified 1 3
General negative 7 5
Insider 6 5
Never heard of 1 1
"Nothing" 2 *
Other 14 19
No response 13 16

9. What do you think should be the most important issue for the next president and Congress to deal with right away?

Strengthening the economy 43
Managing the war in Iraq 14
Protecting us from terrorism 12
Stabilizing our mortgage and financial institutions 4
Lowering energy prices 4
Increasing access to quality health care 4
Controlling illegal immigration 3
Managing Social Security and Medicare 3
Lowering our taxes 3
Improving our public schools 2
Reducing greenhouse gases that cause global warming 1
Other. 5
Don't know/Refused 3

10. If the election for President were today and the candidates were John McCain and Sarah Palin, the Republican Party ticket, Barack Obama and Joe Biden, the Democratic Party ticket, which one do you think you would vote for?

Ticket 10/08 11/07
McCain/Palin 47 47
Obama/Biden 45 45
Barr/Root * *
Other 1 *
Undecided 7 9

11. How certain are you about your level of support for: Would you say that you are very certain, somewhat certain, or might you still change your mind about voting for?


Very certain 42
Somewhat certain 6
Might still change mind 3
Don't know/Refused *


Very certain 41
Somewhat certain 5
Might still change mind. 2
Don't know/Refused *

12. Does John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate make you more likely or less likely to vote for John McCain for president?

More likely. 40
Less likely 34
No effect 23
Don't know/Refused 3

13. Does Barack Obama's selection of Joe Biden as his vice-presidential running mate make you more likely or less likely to vote for Barack Obama for president?

More likely 36
Less likely 28
No effect. 32
Don't know/Refused 3


14. In the Democratic primary for President, did you support Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, or Barack Obama - if you voted for another candidate please just say so?

Clinton 43
Edwards. 8
Obama 40
Other 5
Don't know/Refused 5

I am now going to read you a short list of challenges for the next President. For each one, please tell me which major party candidate you trust most in this area – John McCain or Barac k Obama.

Issue McCain Obama Both equal Neither Don't know
Be an effective commander-in-chief 55 38 2 3 1
Improve the economy 40 49 2 5 3
Manage the wars in Iran and Afghanistan 54 40 2 4
Make health care more affordable 29 56 3 6 5
Change the way Washington works 35 48 2 10 4
Make America more competitive 41 46 2 5 6
Lower energy prices 40 44 2 9 5
Appointing new Supreme Court justices 43 44 3 3 7

23. Over the past two years, would you say your personal economic situation has gotten better, gotten worse, or stayed about the same?

Better 13
Worse 43
Stayed about the same 43
Don't know/Refused 1

24. Over the next year, do you expect your personal economic situation to get better, worse, or stay about the same?

Better 35
Worse 14
Stayed about the same 46
Don't know/Refused 6

25. Do you support or oppose allowing oil drilling closer than 125-miles from the Florida coast?

Strongly support 39
Somewhat support 20
Somewhat oppose 10
Strongly oppose 23
Don't know/Refused 8

26. There have been numerous proposals for how to lower energy prices and reduce our dependency on foreign oil. I will now read a list of those proposals. After I have finished please tell me which solution you believe would have the most positive effect?

Proposal 1st 2nd
Investing more in bio-fuel research 12 13
Removing restrictions on off-shore drilling 20 13
Providing tax incentives to promote conservation 4 7
Building more nuclear power plants 15 16
Promoting the increased use of wind and solar power 28 19
Increasing fuel mileage standards on cars and trucks 7 11
Suspending the federal gas tax during peak months 2 5
Rebating windfall taxes on oil companies to taxpayers 6 7
Other 2 2
Don't know/Refused 4 8

27. Looking back, do you feel America is safer today than it was on Sept 10, 2001?

Yes 59
No 36
Don't know/Refused 5

28. Looking back, did the United States make the right decision to invade Iraq?

Yes 36
No 57
Don't know/Refused 7

29. In addition to the election for President and other offices, there will also be a series of amendments to the Florida constitution. Amendment 2 amends the state constitution to define marriage as "the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized." If the election were held today, would you vote "Yes" to approve the amendment or "No" to reject the amendment?

Yes 58
No 37
Undecided 5

Who would be better? 09/22/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 1:04pm]
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