Associated Industries poll: 84% of Floridians believe county is on the wrong track

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Poll results released today by Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) demonstrate Floridians’ increasing dissatisfaction with President Obama’s policies and may signal a tough reelection for the President in the Sunshine State. More than half (54 percent) of those polled believe President Obama’s policies have hurt Florida’s economy. A majority of Independents and Ticketsplitters (54 percent and 51 percent respectively) felt these policies have harmed the state, as did nearly a third of all Democrats.

When asked specifically if “…President Obama and other politicians should stop attacking the job creators such as corporations, Wall Street and oil companies and, instead, they should be looking to work with and compromise with business leaders to create jobs and improve the economy,” 71 percent of respondents agreed. A surprising 60 percent of Democrats, 73 percent of Independents and 74 percent of Ticketsplitters agreed with this statement.

“I’m particularly struck by the response to this question, which included words like ‘corporations, Wall Street and oil companies’ – words that typically carry a negative connotation for most Democrats. Despite that, we still saw nearly two-thirds of Democrats answer this question by saying the President should stop attacking these job creators and start working toward solutions,” said Ryan Tyson, AIF Vice President of Political Operations. “President Obama campaigned on a platform of hope and change. Obviously, this is not the kind of change Floridians were after and we’re seeing that reflected in the President’s decreasing popularity. Instead of driving forward policies that will lead to economic growth and job creation, this administration seems to have thrown our economy in reverse. When even three out of 10 Democrats fault the President that is significant.”

Fewer Floridians had a favorable opinion of President Obama (44 percent) down two percentage points from this time last year. Exactly half of those polled had an unfavorable opinion of the President, including 50 percent of Independents and 46 percent of Ticketsplitters.

Respondents’ job approval numbers mirrored the opinion rating with 51 percent of respondents disapproving of the job the President is doing. Among the groups responding, 85 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of Independents, 49 percent of Ticketsplitters and 21 percent of Democrats disapprove of the way in which President Obama is handling his time in office.

“One of the most revealing results of this poll is the high numbers of Independents and Ticketsplitters who are unhappy with the President and the way he has approached the challenges our nation is facing,” said Tyson. “These results cannot be dismissed as partisan, but rather show that the chord of discontent runs deep and across all political leanings in Florida. In what is arguably one of the most important states in presidential campaigning, this certainly spells trouble for the President’s reelection unless jobs and the economy turn around.”

An overwhelming majority of respondents – 84 percent – believe our country is on the wrong track, including 89 percent of Independents and 85 percent of Ticketsplitters.

“AIF has been gauging Floridians’ attitudes toward the direction of this country and state for years and these are the worst numbers we’ve ever seen. This sends an important message not just to the President, but to all politicians who represent the citizens of Florida. It is time to change course and get this country back on the right path,” added Tyson.

Conducted by McLaughlin & Associates on August 8 and 9, 2011, the poll surveyed 600 randomly-selected, likely general election voters in Florida. All interviews were conducted via telephone by professional interviewers. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent and a 95 percent confidence interval.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.