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UNF Poll: Florida Voters Most Concerned About Housing Costs, Economy

Florida - Thursday November 30, 2023: A new poll from the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab (PORL) asked registered voters across Florida their opinions about state and national policy issues, as well as favorability of several public officials.

Respondents were asked what they think is the most important problem facing Florida today, to which the top response was housing costs with 26%. In a very close second place is the economy, jobs, and inflation with 25%. Education and immigration are tied for third most important problem, with 9%
each. See the cross tabulations below for the full list of answer choices.

In a separate question, respondents were asked who or what they think is most responsible for the state of property insurance in Florida. Thirty percent said they believe insurance companies bear the greatest responsibility, followed by individuals and lawyers defrauding or exploiting insurance companies in a distant second place with 15%. Governor Ron DeSantis and an increase in natural disasters each garnered 13%. Twelve percent indicated the Florida Legislature is to blame.

“In the last year, housing costs, and now property insurance, have emerged as pressing issues to Floridians,” said PORL faculty director and professor of political science Dr. Michael Binder. “Insurance companies are most responsible in the minds of these Florida voters, but there seems to be plenty of blame to go around.”

Survey respondents were also asked if they would vote yes or no on a proposed amendment to the Florida State Constitution which prohibits any law banning abortion before viability or to protect the life of the patient. For the full text of the proposed ballot summary, see the survey cross tabulations. In response, 62% said they would vote yes on the measure, should it appear on the 2024 ballot. Twenty-nine percent said they would vote no, and 9% said they don’t know or refused to answer.

“If this amendment does make it on the ballot, initiatives like this one need a super majority of 60% in order to pass, and it looks like the proposed abortion amendment is right at that threshold among these respondents,” commented Binder. “Even among registered Republicans, 53% would vote to protect abortion rights in Florida, with just 39% voting no.”

Respondents were also asked if they would vote yes or no on another proposed state constitutional amendment to that would allow adults in Florida to purchase and possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use. Sixty-seven percent of respondents said they would vote yes, with 28% indicating a vote of no. In Spring of 2023, 70% of respondents said they would support recreational marijuana in Florida, either strongly or somewhat, and 76% said they supported it in Spring of 2022.

“Unlike previous surveys when we simply asked if folks support or oppose legalization of recreational marijuana, this time we gave respondents the specifics of this proposed amendment,” said Binder. “Yet again, it looks like it has a good chance of passing, if the measure makes it through the courts, and that is a very big ‘if’.”

In another series of questions, respondents were asked if they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of several different public officials. Just 34% reported a favorable opinion of President Joe Biden (either very favorable or somewhat favorable), with 62% reporting an unfavorable opinion. Forty-eight percent of respondents said they have a favorable opinion of Governor Ron DeSantis, and another 48% said unfavorable. Former President Donald Trump received similar responses, with 48% favorable and 49% unfavorable. When asked about Senator Rick Scott, 39% reported a favorable opinion and 49% unfavorable. Respondents were also asked about former U.S. Representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who will be running for Democratic nominee against Rick Scott for U.S. Senate in 2024. Twenty-two percent said they have a favorable opinion, with 30% saying unfavorable, and a whopping 48% said they don’t know of refused to answer.

“No one fared particularly well in favorability, DeSantis being the only one treading water with equal favorable and unfavorable, while Biden is well under water with a majority of respondents and the lowest favorability among the bunch,” Binder stated. “A lot of folks aren’t familiar with Mucarsel-Powell this early in the campaign, but we can expect that to change as we get closer to election day.”


The UNF PORL Florida Statewide Poll was conducted from November 6 through November 26, 2023, by the Public Opinion Research Lab (PORL) at the University of North Florida. This poll utilized a dual-frame, multi-mode design, incorporating both telephone and web surveys. The sampling frames, consisting of phone numbers, were sourced from the Florida voter file. Of the 716 registered voters who completed surveys, 277 were completed via telephone and 439 online. To ensure a representative sample, the 10 Florida designated media market areas (DMAs) were stratified into 18 different strata, according to geography and urbanicity.

For the phone portion, respondents were contacted by live callers via telephone between 4:30 to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 12:30 to 5:00 p.m. on the weekend, with up to four callbacks attempted. Data collection took place at the PORL facility with its 27-station Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) system. A single interviewer, through hand dialing, upon reaching an individual by phone, asked for the listed respondent by name. If the respondent was not available, the call was terminated. The web survey was administered through Qualtrics, an online survey platform, and distributed via text message. Response rates for the phone and web portions of this study were 3.5% and the web 2.2%, respectively, using the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Response Rate 3 (RR3) calculation.

All data were weighted by educational attainment, partisan registration, age, race and ethnicity, sex and geographic strata to match the population of registered voters in Florida. Geography, partisan registration, sex, race and ethnicity, and age weights were created from the Florida Voter File. Education weights were calculated using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) 2021 5-year estimates for individuals 25 and over. All weighted demographic variables were applied using the SPSS version 27 rake weighting function and are assigned a weight if one of the demographics being weighted on is missing. The overall margin of sampling error is +/- 4.37 percentage points, including estimated design effect.