Florida voters split on governor, support medical pot


Scott Powers
Central Florida Political Pulse

11:29 p.m. EDT, September 1, 2014

The race for the governor’s office is dead even and voters now are ready to support Amendment 2 approving medical marijuana use in Florida, a new poll finds.

Gravis Marketing, which has found voters hovering at or just below the 60 percent level needed to approve Amendment 2 in past surveys, found Floridians have passed that level now and 64 percent said they would “vote for the current amendment use of marijuana for certain medical conditions.” Just 26 percent were opposed and 10 percent said they were unsure.

Other polls have shown much greater support for medical marijuana in Florida — notably the Quinnipiac University poll, which found support as high as 88 percent. But the Quinnipiac Florida Poll did not ask specifically about Florida’s Amendment 2, but rather generically about medical marijuana.

The Gravis poll’s finding of a solid approval level strikes at Amendment 2 opponents argument that voters could overwhelmingly favor medical marijuana in principal without agreeing to the specific proposal on the Nov. 4 ballot.
The poll also put Republican incumbent Gov. Rick Scott and former Republican-turned-Democratic challenger Charlie Crist in a dead  heat with 37 percent each, with 26 percent undecided.

It found Floridians unhappy with President Barack Obama, giving him an approval rating of just 38 percent, and a disapproval rating of 53 percent.

For the 2016 presidential campaign, Gravis found former secretary of state Hillary Clinton ahead of Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida 44 percent to 36 percent, and ahead of former governor Jeb Bush 39 percent to 37 percent.

The random survey of 859 registered voters in Florida was conducted August 14 through 24, and Gravis reports it has a 4 percent margin of error. Gravis Marketing is based in Winter Springs.

“We see a high amount of undecided voters. Money will me critical. The question is: will young people and minorities turn out? Based on the primary and 1 percent turnout at UCF [in last week’s primary,] the answer is no, and Scott gets re-elected,” said Gravis president Doug Kaplan. “Medical marijuana most likely passes. Will be closer then some people think. Hillary performs better against Rubio then bush. I think either will be formidable.”

The poll was conducted using internet panels (20%) and automated calls (80%). On internet responses, only respondents that indicated they “mostly” or “only” use their cell phones as their primary voice communication were included.

Gravis Marketing is non-partisan, though the poll skewed toward a slightly-larger Republican sample than the Florida electorate.

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