Florida Poll - Open Primaries
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Florida Poll

Open Primaries & Florida Fair and Open Primaries 2019 Poll Results

conducted January 11-13, 2019

Methodology:

Open Primaries and Florida Fair and Open Primaries surveyed 615 registered Florida voters-Republicans, Democrats and independents -- from January 11-13. The survey was conducted by Public Policy Polling.

Key findings:

  • 93% of Florida voters want their elected officials to put the interests of Florida voters ahead of the interests of their own political party.
  • 91% of Florida voters want their elected leaders to bring opposing interests together to create good policies for the state.
  • 83% of Floridians want their elected officials to champion reforms that give more power to the voters.
  • 69% of Floridians believe the state’s current closed primary system is unfair to the growing number of the state’s independent voters—now 27% of the Florida electorate.
  • 70% of Floridians—including supermajorities of Republican, Democrat and independent voters—want the Republican and Democratic parties to open their 2020 presidential primaries to independent voters.
  • 64% of Floridians support a move to Top Two Open Primaries for state and federal office. In a Top Two Open Primary, all candidates appear on the same ballot, regardless of party affiliation, and all voters are able to vote for any candidate, with the top two candidates moving on to the general election.

Additional findings include:

  • 71% of Florida voters believe that if the political parties want closed primaries, than they should pay for them; otherwise taxpayer funded elections should be open to all voters.
  • 72% of Florida voters believe the Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) should have put an open primaries ballot initiative before the voters in 2018.
  • 70% of Florida’s Latino community, and 74% of Florida’s African American community support a move to open primaries in the state of Florida.  

READ THE FULL REPORT

READ THE PRESS RELEASE

Results:

Q1 Many people are concerned about the qualities their elected officials need in order to govern well.  I’m going to read you some statements about political leadership.  Please tell me if you think the following characteristics are very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all when it comes to political leadership in Florida. Here’s the first one: Someone who consistently puts the people of Florida ahead of the interests and goals of their own political party. Do you think this is a very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all characteristic when it comes to political leadership in Florida?

  • Very important: 77%
  • Somewhat important: 16%
  • Not too important: 2%
  • Not important at all: 2%
  • Not sure: 3%

Q2 Here’s the next one: Someone who supports improving the democratic process even if it means that the outcomes might not benefit them personally. Do you think this is a very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all characteristic when it comes to political leadership in Florida?

  • Very important: 72%
  • Somewhat important: 19%
  • Not too important: 4%
  • Not important: 2%
  • Not sure: 3%

Q3 Here’s the next one: Someone who never wavers from their positions and represents only those voters who voted for them. Do you think this is a very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all characteristic when it comes to political leadership in Florida?

  • Very important: 23%
  • Somewhat important: 25%
  • Not too important: 20%
  • Not important: 26%
  • Not sure: 6%

Q4 Here’s the next one: Someone who brings diverse and even opposing interests together to create good policy on behalf of Florida. Do you think this is a very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all characteristic when it comes to political leadership in Florida?

  • Very important: 70%
  • Somewhat important: 21%
  • Not too important: 4%
  • Not important: 2%
  • Not sure: 2%

Q5 Here’s the next one: Someone who uses their office to ensure their political party has influence and control of government. Do you think this is a very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all characteristic when it comes to political leadership in Florida?

  • Very important: 19%
  • Somewhat important: 21%
  • Not too important: 21%
  • Not important: 31%
  • Not sure: 8%

Q6 Here’s the next one: Someone who doesn’t just focus on issues and outcomes but who champions reforms that give more power to the voters. Do you think this is a very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all characteristic when it comes to political leadership in Florida?

  • Very important: 59%
  • Somewhat important: 24%
  • Not too important: 10%
  • Not important: 5%
  • Not sure: 2%

Q7 Florida has closed primaries, meaning that registered Republicans and Democrats are allowed to vote in primary elections but independent voters are not.  There are 3.5 million independents in Florida, 27% of the electorate. Do you think our current primary voting system is very unfair, somewhat unfair, somewhat fair, or very fair to independent voters?

  • Very Unfair: 40%
  • Somewhat Unfair: 29%
  • Somewhat Fair: 13%
  • Very Fair: 14%
  • Not sure: 4%

Q8 There are two ideas being discussed for reforming the primary system.  For Presidential Primaries, the parties themselves could allow independents to vote in either the Democratic or Republican Presidential primary simply by changing their party rules. Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose this idea?

  • Strongly support: 44%
  • Somewhat support: 26%
  • Somewhat oppose: 12%
  • Strongly oppose: 12%
  • Not sure: 6%

Q9 For State and Federal Primaries, there is a proposal to move from a closed partisan primary to an open top two primary.  All the candidates running for an office would appear on the same primary ballot, regardless of their political party. All voters would be able to vote and choose any candidate, regardless of their political party. The two candidates that receive the most votes move on to the general election. Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose this idea?

  • Strongly support: 42%
  • Somewhat support: 22%
  • Somewhat oppose: 12%
  • Strongly oppose: 19%
  • Not sure: 5%

Q10 Now I’d like to read you some statements from people who support or oppose open primaries.  Please tell me if you find each argument very convincing, somewhat convincing, not too convincing, or not convincing at all. Here’s the first one: Supporters say that 3.5 million Florida voters are registered as independents and are locked out of the primary elections.  Voters should not be forced to join a political party in order to cast a vote. Do you find this very convincing, somewhat convincing, not too convincing or not convincing at all?

  • Very convincing: 40%
  • Somewhat convincing: 24%
  • Not too convincing: 14%
  • Not convincing at all: 19%
  • Not sure: 4%

Q11 Here’s the next one: Opponents of open primaries say primaries are the mechanism through which each party chooses the nominee it wants to field in the general election. People who want a say in the primary are free to join the party of their choice. Changing the rules for primaries is unnecessary – voters who want to participate should simply join one party or the other. Do you find this very convincing, somewhat convincing, not too convincing or not convincing at all?

  • Very convincing: 28%
  • Somewhat convincing: 21%
  • Not too convincing: 22%
  • Not convincing at all: 24%
  • Not sure: 5%

Q12 Here’s the next one: Supporters say that if the political parties want closed primaries, they should pay for them, not the taxpayers. Primary elections are administered in public buildings and run by government workers on publicly owned voting machines.  If the taxpayers are paying, they should be open to all voters. Do you find this very convincing, somewhat convincing, not too convincing or not convincing at all?

  • Very convincing: 49%
  • Somewhat convincing: 22%
  • Not too convincing: 10%
  • Not convincing at all: 16%
  • Not sure: 4%

Q13 Here’s the next one: The people who want to change the system are the losers, those who cannot win under the current rules.  We shouldn’t change the system to accommodate candidates and organizations just because they cannot win.  The system in Florida works fine.  Let’s not change it because of sore losers. Do you find this very convincing, somewhat convincing, not too convincing or not convincing at all?

  • Very convincing: 26%
  • Somewhat convincing: 19%
  • Not too convincing: 15%
  • Not convincing at all: 35%
  • Not sure: 5%

Q14 Here’s the next one: Supporters of open primaries say that both Congress and the Florida Legislature are mired in partisan mudslinging because our closed primary system rewards partisan behavior.  Creating an open primary would encourage elected officials to solve problems instead of fighting each other. Do you find this very convincing, somewhat convincing, not too convincing or not convincing at all?

  • Very convincing: 37%
  • Somewhat convincing: 27%
  • Not too convincing: 14%
  • Not convincing at all: 16%
  • Not sure: 6%

Q15 Here’s the next one: Opponents say if you change to an open primary system, you reduce voter choice because only the top two candidates make it out of the primary round and appear on the November ballot.  This would be bad for Florida because the November election is the most important and limiting the ballot to the “top two” would reduce voter choice.  Plus, in some races, the top two candidates might be two Democrats or two Republicans. Do you find this very convincing, somewhat convincing, not too convincing or not convincing at all?

  • Very convincing: 26%
  • Somewhat convincing: 27%
  • Not too convincing: 23%
  • Not convincing at all: 17%
  • Not sure: 7%

Q16 Here’s the next one: Supporters say that most politicians run unopposed or against token opposition in November.  50% of Florida legislators faced no opposition on the ballot in 2016.  The primaries are the only meaningful election in many races, and they should be open to all voters.  Do you find this very convincing, somewhat convincing, not too convincing or not convincing at all?

  • Very convincing: 38%
  • Somewhat convincing: 29%
  • Not too convincing: 18%
  • Not convincing at all: 11%
  • Not sure: 4%

Q17 Here’s the next one: Opponents say reforming the primaries is a waste of time.  What’s most important is getting big money out of politics. Do you find this very convincing, somewhat convincing, not too convincing or not convincing at all?

  • Very convincing: 26%
  • Somewhat convincing: 23%
  • Not too convincing: 18%
  • Not convincing at all: 27%
  • Not sure: 6%

Q18 After hearing the arguments from supporters and opponents of opening the primaries to include all registered voters, would you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose efforts to enact open primaries in Florida?

  • Strongly support: 43%
  • Somewhat support: 25%
  • Somewhat oppose: 10%
  • Strongly oppose: 16%
  • Not sure: 6%

Q19 Open primaries was the second most popular issue brought before the Florida Constitution Revision Commission at nine public hearings held across the state last year, with dozens of Floridians flocking to speak and thousands more signing an online petition in support.  A proposal to open the primaries was introduced by Commissioner Schifino but rejected by the Commission. Were you aware of this decision by the Constitution Revision Commission, or not?

  • Aware of the decision: 15%
  • Not aware of the decision: 79%
  • Not sure: 6%

Q20 Do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree with the following statement: the Florida Constitution Revision Commission should have placed an open primary measure before Florida voters?

  • Strongly support: 55%
  • Somewhat support: 17%
  • Somewhat oppose: 10%
  • Strongly oppose: 11%
  • Not sure: 7%

Q21 Have you seen local newspaper, television or radio reports about efforts to reform the primary system in the last 12 months?

  • Yes: 17%
  • No: 72%
  • Not sure: 11%

Q22 In the election for President, did you vote for Republican Donald Trump, Democrat Hillary Clinton, someone else, or did you not vote in the election?

  • Donald Trump: 47%
  • Hillary Clinton: 45%
  • Someone else/did not vote: 8%

Q23 If you are a woman, press 1. If a man, press 2.

  • Woman: 53%
  • Man: 47%

Q24 If you are a Democrat, press 1. If a Republican, press 2. If independent or a member of another party, press 3.

  • Democrat: 40%
  • Republican: 41%
  • Independent/Other: 19%

Q25 If you are Hispanic, press 1. If white, press 2. If African American, press 3. If Asian, press 4.  If native American, press 5.  If other, press 6.

  • Hispanic: 14%
  • White: 68%
  • African American: 14%
  • Asian: 1%
  • Native American: 1%
  • Other: 2%

Q26 If you are 18-29 years old, press 1. If 30-45, press 2. If 46-65, press 3. If you are older than 65, press 4.

  • 18-29: 12%
  • 30-45: 18%
  • 46-65: 40%
  • Older than 65: 30%

Q27 Mode

  • Phone: 73%
  • Internet: 27%

 



 

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