Most Floridians Pleased with Hurricane Irma Response
When asked to rate the state’s preparedness, 68 percent of Floridians said it was good to excellent. Debris cleanup efforts got slightly lower ratings, with 56 percent of respondents saying it was good to excellent and 17 percent calling it poor.
A majority of Floridians are pleased with the state’s preparedness for and response to Hurricane Irma and believe it will boost Gov. Rick Scott’s expected 2018 run for the U.S. Senate, according to a statewide survey by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI).
When asked to rate the state’s preparedness, 68 percent of Floridians said it was good to excellent. Debris cleanup efforts got slightly lower ratings, with 56 percent of respondents saying it was good to excellent and 17 percent calling it poor. Scott’s response to Hurricane Irma was rated good to excellent by 72 percent of voters, with more than 56 percent saying it will help him if he decides to run for the U.S. Senate.
“Floridians are satisfied with the state’s preparedness and response to Hurricane Irma,” said Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of the BEPI. “Although he hasn’t formally declared his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, Gov. Scott maintained a very high profile during that time, which has helped how voters view him going into what most people expect is a likely run for U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s seat in 2018.”
Overall, 49 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Scott, while 39 percent have an unfavorable opinion of the two-term governor. Nelson had a 45 percent favorability rating, while 22 percent view him unfavorably.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s approval rating among Florida voters rose slightly to 41 percent from 37 percent in August, while his disapproval rating remained at 47 percent.
A majority of Floridians (56 percent) think global climate change is contributing to the strength and frequency of hurricanes, while 30 percent said it is not. Voters were split when asked if the state of Florida is doing enough to prepare for sea-level rise and protect coastal areas that could be flooded, with 37 percent saying yes and 39 percent saying no.
Three out of four respondents (76 percent) said they are somewhat to very concerned about the state of the environment in the country. Overall, 41 percent think environmental issues should be a high to very high priority for the president and Congress, while 13 percent think it should be a low priority.
The survey, which polled 500 Florida registered voters Nov. 2-5, 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 +/- 4.5 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 .