Floridians Support Dreamers and are Split on Building a Wall

While 58 percent of Florida voters support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, only 26 percent oppose. Voters by a margin of 47 to 32 percent also support extending the Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, Salvadorans, Nicaraguans and Hondurans who were granted temporary rights to live and work in the U.S. after a series of calamities occurred in their countries.

While 58 percent of Florida voters support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, only 26 percent oppose. Voters by a margin of 47 to 32 percent also support extending the Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, Salvadorans, Nicaraguans and Hondurans who were granted temporary rights to live and work in the U.S. after a series of calamities occurred in their countries.


By james-hellegaard | 2/7/2018

A majority of Floridians support permanent legal status for children who were brought illegally to the United States, often described as Dreamers, but Florida voters are split on whether a wall should be built on the U.S. border with Mexico, according to a statewide survey by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI). 

While 58 percent of Florida voters support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, only 26 percent oppose. Voters by a margin of 47 to 32 percent also support extending the Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, Salvadorans, Nicaraguans and Hondurans who were granted temporary rights to live and work in the U.S. after a series of calamities occurred in their countries.

On the issue of building a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, 43 percent support the wall, while 45 percent oppose. Voters are also split on compromising on building a wall in exchange for permanent legal status for Dreamers, with 37 percent supporting and 39 percent opposing.

On the political front, Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s prospects for being elected to the U.S. Senate continue to improve. Although Scott has not officially declared his candidacy for the seat currently held by Sen. Bill Nelson, the latest poll shows Scott with a 10-point lead over the incumbent, a 12-point swing from an August 2017 poll that showed him trailing Nelson 42 to 40 percent.

Scott’s favorable rating jumped to 52 percent, up three points since November 2017, while his unfavorable rating has dropped five percentage points to 34 percent. Nelson has seen his numbers go in the opposite direction, with his favorable rating dipping from 45 to 40 percent, while his unfavorable number jumped from 22 to 27 percent.

“Scott’s increasing favorability rating is reflected in the double-digit lead he has opened up in our hypothetical matchup,” said Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of the BEPI. “However, with 22 percent of voters saying they’re undecided, there’s still plenty of opportunity for Nelson to turn things around.”

No clear favorite has emerged in the Florida governor’s race. Trial attorney John Morgan leads with just 13 percent of the vote, followed by Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam at 10 percent, and former U.S. congresswoman Gwen Graham at 9 percent.

“The Governor’s race continues to be wide-open,” said Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow of the Initiative. “Many Floridians have not focused on this race, and as a result the numbers are likely to shift as voters begin to learn more about the candidates.”

U.S. President Donald Trump’s approval rating among Florida voters remained at 41 percent, the same level as the November 2017 poll, while his disapproval rating dipped slightly at 44 percent. When asked if they thought Trump should be impeached, 39 percent said he should be, while 45 percent said he should not.

Voters by a margin of 44 to 31 percent support Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, with 26 percent undecided. Voters overwhelmingly oppose drilling off the coast of Florida, 52 to 26 percent.

The survey, which polled 750 Florida registered voters Feb. 1-4, was conducted using an online sample supplied by Survey Sampling International using online questionnaires and via an automated telephone platform (IVR) using registered voter lists supplied by Aristotle, Inc. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percentage points. Responses for the entire sample were weighted to reflect the statewide distribution of the Florida population. The polling results and full cross-tabulations are available at www.business.fau.edu/bepi

-FAU-

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