Poll: Floridians Frustrated, Growing Even More Pessimistic

By: Leadership Florida Release
By: Leadership Florida Release

Tallahassee, Fla. – February 14, 2011–

Deep concerns about prolonged economic hard times have Floridians in a lingering funk, as revealed in Leadership Florida’s annual Sunshine State Survey-- a poll released Feb. 14 in which a majority of residents believe the state is worse off than it was five years ago. An even greater margin believe things will stay the same or might actually get worse in the next five years.

The poll of 1,220 Floridians across the state was conducted January 3-16, 2011 for Leadership Florida by The Nielsen Company, leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers watch and buy.The Nielsen Company has conducted the tracking survey for Leadership Florida since 2010.

In all, 45% of respondents say the state is worse off than five years ago while 65% say things will stay the same or get worse.

“The public is very wearisome of the slow economic recovery and the high frustration level of Floridians is impacting their opinion of government at every level,” said Dr. Susan A. MacManus, Distinguished Professor of Public Administration and Political Science at the University of South Florida. “At the same time, people have an expectation of what they want the governor and the legislature to do: to create jobs and remove major barriers to doing business in the state of Florida. They also see education, especially good teachers, as vital to Florida’s economic future.”

More than half of all Floridians, 52%, identify jobs and the economy as the most important issue facing the state. Meanwhile 55% say the state is doing poorly at creating new jobs, the highest number since Leadership Florida began its tracking poll in 2008.

“Because Governor Rick Scott has identified job creation as his top priority and Floridians say it is their top priority as well, these survey results would seem to indicate an opportunity for him,” said John Streitmatter, Chair of Leadership Florida. “At the same time, Floridians have told us they are also very impatient with all levels of government right now, which means that today’s challenge could very quickly turn into tomorrow’s disappointment for the governor and the people.”

The survey also highlighted other trends in Florida, including:

· 52% of Floridians say to get rid of ineffective teachers.

· 21% of Floridians now say they are seriously considering moving out of the state,up from 17% just one year ago.

Floridians are disenchanted with the performance of government.

• 73% of Floridians rate the performance of the federal government as “fair” or “poor.”

• 75% of Floridians rate the performance of their state government as “fair” or “poor.”

• 65% of Floridians rate the performance of the county government as “fair” or “poor.”

· 65% of Floridians say their state government spends tax revenue in a relatively wasteful manner, up from 54% in 2010 and 45% in 2008.

· 69% of Floridians believe community business leaders do what is right for the state only “some of the time” or “never.”

· 71%, 77% and 77% say the same thing about their local, state and federal government leaders respectively.

· Despite all of the media attention on the issues, just 3% of Floridians believe tax relief should be the top priority of Governor Rick Scott. Only 1% of Floridians say the same thing about immigration reform.

"The Nielsen Company is proud to again support the Sunshine State Survey,” says Bob McCann, Executive Vice President of The Nielsen Company. “With more than 3,000 persons on staff in Central Florida and numerous open employment positions, Nielsen is confident about Florida's future and we look forward to our continued commitment to the region.”

About Leadership Florida

Leadership Florida has developed a reputation for almost three decades as a builder of a stronger, diverse statewide sense of community. A respected non-partisan convener, Leadership Florida has taken the lead in training and developing leaders with a statewide, rather than parochial, view of our state’s needs. For additional survey results, including questions, crosstabs, and a calendar of local Sunshine State Survey presentations, please visit leadershipflorida.org.

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  • by tom Location: madison on Feb 16, 2011 at 03:32 AM
    Teachers are overpaid underworked and are failing at educating our children, I have no problem in getting rid of them Ken
  • by Ken Albin Location: St. Augustine, FL on Feb 15, 2011 at 09:39 AM
    Did you all really expect Scott to care about people who need health insurance, teachers, firefighters, police, state parks, the environment, and retirees on a pension? Look at his past. He is doing the same thing he has always done, stealing money from lower income people and giving it to himself and his wealthy corporate buddies. Some old thing.
  • by @ Bolillo & BOB Location: Local on Feb 15, 2011 at 06:22 AM
    @ bolillo I do believe you are on to something.. Bob on the other hand you sound ridiculous unfortunately some seems to agree with your misery.. Why not off yourself so you do not have to worry about anyone else.. Seems only fair.. I do agree with Bolillo that politicians and state officials need to be held more accoutable.. People lets take a stand.. It has to start somewhere. Even in Egypt the people were able to come together under one accord and say enough is enough.. American power forgets that they need us not them.. We create their salaries,vote them in office, fight their wars, build their offices,, pay their taxes.. We are the People and they need to know that now more then ever.. If we can come together we can shut them out.. Don't care about being rich anymore I just want to survive and leave some earth for my children and my childrens children..People need to stop being so greedy.. Those materials will parrish and I promise BOB when ur day has come u will have agreed.
  • by Chief Location: Seattle on Feb 14, 2011 at 07:46 PM
    For some of us it may get worse but look at the bright side you could be one of those brainwashed political party cult members. If one isn't a brainwashed party member they will understand this post .The infected will change the subject by blaming the other party.
  • by tom Location: madison on Feb 14, 2011 at 05:15 PM
    The dems blame the reps and the reps blames the dems and in reality it is the FEDERAL RESERVE that has caused us to go broke as a country and when the country is broke there is not a lot anyone in Tallahassee can do.......keep fighting amongst yourselves and swap and a few out every two years and nothing will ever change
  • by Rose Location: Tallahassee on Feb 14, 2011 at 03:14 PM
    Bob wrote "Execute the criminals..." So, Bob, where are we going to find a new pool from which to choose our politicians in Florida?
  • by Anonymous on Feb 14, 2011 at 03:03 PM
    BOB Location: HAVANA, you are beating a dead horse. You are comparing apples to oranges. The demographics are vary different, and the tax revenue schemes are also very different. How much tax is paid by Ga compared to Fl.
  • by Bolillo Location: Wakulla on Feb 14, 2011 at 02:43 PM
    Florida eats itself. The worse case of "I've got mine, you can't have yours" than any other state in the union. Florida's strength's are her weaknesses. No build. No cut. Not in my neighborhood. Not near water. Not near here. blah blah blah. There are areas in Fl. that are recession proof. Ft. Myers, Cape Coral and other exclusive areas where money and old money lives. AKA, "Yankees." I was at a car lot in Ft. Myers in Nov. and they cannot keep the new Camaros's on the lot. Florida doesn't "suck" but it "sinks" a little more every year. By not building, no new businesses (water plant pollution) say that out loud. We need new taxes, but only from new businesses. Wakulla only has a property\salary tax. Tax the property so they can pay the counties salaries. No new roads, 16,000 antiquated septic systems (Wakulla River pollution! SHOCK.) We are all drinking each others sewer down here. But, no new businesses, no new pollution, no new jobs, no new county revenue, no new.. ah, you get it
  • by go bob go Location: t on Feb 14, 2011 at 02:11 PM
    bob has the right idea, bob for gov
  • by Anonymous on Feb 14, 2011 at 02:06 PM
    BOB, There are a lot of things that go into a budget. Population is one of them, but it is not the only thing. While we can certainly do away with some things, much of our tax revenues are paid by visitors to Florida, not residents. We (and our visitors) expect some level of service out of our government. Did you know that Florida takes in 4 times as much in sales tax than Ga.
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