Exclusive Poll: Good News For Charlie!

BY JIM KANE Pollster

In recent polls in Broward County, I’ve found an increasing number of Democratic voters who have decided Charlie Crist isn’t such a bad guy after all. I’m not talking about your average Democratic voter who is capable to defect to the other side given the right candidate and issue. I’m talking about hard-core Democrats who would sooner vote for Osama Bin Laden than a Republican.

No better example of this can be seen in the latest BrowardBeat.Com survey of  Broward District 6 Democratic Primary voters. Only the most dedicated Democrats were surveyed — 403 registered Democrats who had voted in at least one of the last two county primaries.

The first survey question is what pollsters call an engagement question. It’s meant to be an easy and interesting question on a well-known politician that allows the voter to give a “top of the head answer. Once they give a response to this question, there is high probability the voter will continue with the rest of the survey. We often use a presidential or gubernatorial job approval question for this purpose.

In this District 6 survey of likely Democratic primary voters, we used the gubernatorial job rating of Charlie Crist as our lead question. 

We used the same question in our survey conducted two years ago, so we have a good comparison of how hard-core Democratic voters felt about his performance in two different time periods.

One poll conducted while he was a Republican Governor and the other as an independent candidate running for the U.S. Senate. In Table 1, we can see how his popularity has grown among Democratic Primary voters.

                                                Table 1                                              

Do you strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove or strongly    
disapprove of the way Charlie Crist is handling his job as Governor? 2010 2008
  % %
1=Strongly Approve 29 11
2=Somewhat Approve 38 39
3=Somewhat Disapprove 7 20
4=Strongly Disapprove 8 18
5=Don’t Know/Can’t Rate 18 12
Total 100 100


Amazingly, his strong approval numbers have increased from 11% to a whopping 29% — an 18 point difference.

In this highly Democratic district Crist has a 67% job approval rating (combining both Strongly and Somewhat Approve)!

Compare that rating with Mason-Dixon’s (August 13, 2010) latest statewide survey of all voters showing Crist with a job approval rating of only 44%.

So what’s going on here? Why are so many hard-core Democrats seeing Charlie in a new light?

First of all, he has dropped his Republican moniker and is running for the U.S. Senate as an NPA. Democrats see this move as sticking it to the Republican Party and they like it.

Secondly, his vetoes of the legislature’s school reform bill and the controversial abortion bill was regarded as widely popular with Democrats in South Florida. All of a sudden Crist has become the champion of progressive politics.

And how will all this play out in November?

Clearly, Crist’s new found popularity is a death-knell for Kendrick Meek, if he wins the Democratic Primary on Tuesday. To win in Florida as a Democrat you need to carry most of the Democratic voters and hope for a majority of Independents. Republican’s rarely defect from their party’s nominee and I don’t see that changing in this election cycle.

If Jeff Greene wins, it will increase Crist’s chances for victory because most of the Democratic establishment will abandon Greene and probably cut a backroom deal with Crist to entice him into the Democratic caucus.



Hidden in an earlier Jim Kane poll of  heavily Democratic Sunrise is more good news for Charlie Crist.

Of the 402 answering the telephone survey, 67.41 percent had a favorable opinion of Crist and 53.23 percent throught he was doing a good job.

His unfavorable rating was low for a governor in these turbulent times 24.13 percent.  Kane said the majority of  the unfavorable votes were cast by Republicans.

The poll was taken July 30-Aug. 1 and surveyed only likely voters with a strong history of voting in Sunrise elections.

The Sunrise results are significant because it is the heart of Democratic Broward. 

Just over 67 percent of those polled self-identified themselves as Democrats.  Republicans comprised 17.91 percent of those surveyed and independents 10.95 percent.

About half of Sunrise’s likely voters live in condominiums.  Just under one third are Jewish and a fourth are Catholic.  Whites comprise 77.36 percent of them, while Hispanics are only 7.46 percent of the likely voters and blacks 6.72 percent.

Democrats like Charlie Crist.  That’s no surprise given the poor quality of the Democratic field for U. S. Senate.

I was at a party of largely liberal, Democrats over the weekend.   Because of my history as a political columnist, the upcoming election became a topic of conversation several times.  Every single one of these liberal Democrats said they were voting for Crist in November, with several saying they had never voted for him before.

This is, of course, anecdotal.

Given the Sunrise results, it looks like Crist is moving in the right direction 






Jim Kane is one of South Florida’s premier pollsters and political strategists, appearing regularly on national television and in the national print media. He currently teaches graduate seminars at the University of Florida in survey research, political behavior, political campaigning and political parties and interest groups. He has written numerous papers on politics for publications such as Political Research Quarterly and won an American Political Science Association Award in 2004 for the best paper in the state and local elections section. Kane was the first Democratic pollster to work for the Republican Party of Florida.


9 Responses to “ Exclusive Poll: Good News For Charlie!”

  1. Local Lawyer says:

    re: the “Jim Kane” disclaimer. So he’s legit? not like Dan Lewis?

    Yes, he is legit.
    His polls are expensive telephone surveys with people asking the questions, not an automated machine. He has been doing them since the 1970s. He teaches survey research at the University of Florida, Gainesville. For more information on Kane, click on “Who We Are” on’s Home Page.

  2. GOPapa says:

    Charlie Crist is our new Senator. He represents the middle, while Marco and the Democrats are on the fringes.

  3. Prolife Dem Majority says:

    Every democrat in South Florida did not like or agree with Crist vetoing the ultrasound bill. However, I do agree the majority of us like his stance overall.

  4. District 6? says:

    What is District 6?

    FROM BUDDY: Good question.
    District 6 is Sue Gunzburger’s current county commission district, which comprises Hollywood, Hallandale Beach and parts of Pembroke Pines, including Century Village.

  5. Reverse racism in Broward says:

    Hey Buddy: You like to point out the failings of white judges. Why arn’t you willing to point out the failings of black judges?

    Case in point, why haven’t you told people about Judge Gillespie.

    Gillespie’s campaign treasurer is David Bogenschutz, who practices in front of Gillespie and who has raised Gillespie over $85,000.00 for his reelection campaign.

    Gillespie has twice made truely bizarre rulings favoring Bogenschutz’ clients. Both involved vehicular homicide cases where the clients, if convicted, were looking at 15 years in prison.

    In the first case, Gillespie, at Bogenschutz’request restored the passport of a foreign national who’s passport was taken as a condition for bail and gave the client written permission to travel to Thailand for six weeks upon Bogenschutz’ assurance that the client would timely return to the United Statates for trial. Of course, the individual did not return and is now a fugitive from justice.

    In the second case, a prior judge had denied a sworn motion to dismiss filed by Bogenschutz’ on behalf of his client. When Gillespie replaced the prior judge, Bogenschutz’ refiled the sworn motion to dismiss as an amended motion. But the amended motion was word for word identical with the original motion that had been denied. Even though the earlier motion had been denied and the amended motion alleged no new facts and advanced no new argumentys, Gillespie overruled the prior judge and granted the motion, thereby freeing Bogenschutz’ client.

    Have you ever heard of a judge in Broward County doing either of these things? Is it not reasonable to think that the vast amounts of money that Bogenschutz raised for Gillespie’s reelection campaign might have influenced these two decisions? Does this not create at least the appearance of impropriety?

    Yet you have been silent about Gillespie’s obvious conflict of interest in these two cases. But you don’t mind harping on even minor peccadilloes by white judges or white candidates. What is going on? Why the double standard? True, your not alone. The Herald and the Sentinel also refuse to report Gillespie’s ethical failings while loudly criticizing white judges and candidates for comparatively minor lapses in judgment or behavior.

    Isn’t about time every judge and candidate was held to the same standard, regardless of race.

    What do you say? I dare you to print this and respond.

  6. boonis says:

    Former Judge Elijah Williams stuck his foot in his mouth again. The Black Cacaus left his name off their door hangers after he pissed them off when he gave a speech touting Jeb Bush as the greatest Governor Florida has ever had. The black community is pissed and I say good decision Mr. Lewis.

    I will not carry the white mans water Elijah

  7. Broward Voter says:

    Prolife Dem Majority…. you are totally crazy.

    Every Democrat I know..especially women are THRILLED that Charlie Crist vetoed that ultrasound bill. What an awful law that would be. We knew it and thank Goodness, he knew it too. After that, so many women became new fans of Crists. I really like Meek and voted for him in the primaries but I have a feeling I’ll be voting for Crist in November. He has shown he can work with both Republicans and Democrats.

  8. broward citizen says:

    I am a democrat and a women @ I like Charlie Christ, like when he veoed the teacher thing, that would have been a night mare for Florida

  9. JAQUEBAUER says:

    I am an Anti Communist Freedom Fighter. I believe all liberals are Communists. We shall evict Obama the boy king, and his cabinet of thugs and subversives.

    This column is outdated and useless in its present form.