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New Florida Chamber poll finds jobs remain top concern for Florida voters

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The No. 1 issue facing Florida continues to be jobs, according to a new Florida Chamber of Commerce survey.

The Florida Chamber Political Institute released a new statewide survey Monday aimed at “checking the political pulse of Floridians on how they feel about elected officials as well as the issue impacting them.”

Jobs and the economy remain a big issue for Floridians, with 19 percent of respondents saying it was a top concern. The survey found 10 percent of Floridians said healthcare and the Affordable Care Act were a top concern, while 9 percent said education was a big issue facing Florida.

About 20 percent of men said jobs and the economy were the most important issue, compared to 17 percent of women polled. Ten percent of men said education was important, compared to 9 percent of women. About 11 percent of women said healthcare was a top issue, compared to 8 percent of men.

Floridians continue to be concerned about global warming and immigration, with 8 percent choosing global warming. Seven percent picked immigration, according to an analysis by Marian Johnson, the executive director of the Florida Chamber Political Institute.

More than half (52 percent) of Floridians said they believe the state is heading in the right direction, while 27 percent believe things are heading in the wrong direction.

“Voters are more optimistic than they have been,” wrote Johnson. “In fact, for the first time since the Great Recession began in 2007, the Florida Chamber Political Institute poll shows more than 50 percent of Floridians are more optimistic about Florida’s direction.”

And that appears to bode well for Gov. Rick Scott. According to the Chamber analysis, Scott’s favorability ratings “are more positive than negative as voters have a positive outlook on the state.” The survey found 44 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Scott, compared to 42 percent that have an unfavorable opinion.

“Governor Scott, throughout his term as Governor, has mostly been seen as doing a good job even if voters sometimes do not have a favorable opinion of him,” wrote Johnson. “In the Florida Chamber’s eighth statewide poll of 2016, Governor Scott’s job approval numbers continue to grow.”

The survey showed 53 percent of Florida voters approve of the job Scott is doing as governor, compared to 40 percent who disapprove.

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