Institute

More Than 70 Percent of U.S. Adults Concerned About Global Climate Change

Survey Touches on Leadership, Household Choices, Pope Francis
A first-of-its-kind survey from the Saint Leo University Polling Institute shows that 73 percent of adult Americans responding are concerned about global climate change. Thirty percent reported being very concerned, and 43 percent said they were somewhat concerned.

The survey base included 1,016 respondents nationally, including voters and non-voters. The margin of error for the survey is plus or minus 3 percent, meaning the percentage answers could be off by that amount in either direction. This is the first time the Saint Leo University Polling Institute has asked members of the public questions about their attitudes about global climate change, their thoughts on public policy ramifications, their sources of information on the topic, their own ecological practices, and their reactions to Pope Francis’ ecological views.

“It is encouraging news that more than half show some level of concern,” said Dr. Leo Ondrovic, a Saint Leo University science faculty member who tracks global climate change research. Dr. Ondrovic also developed an undergraduate course for non-science majors called Evaluating the Predictions of Global Warming, which helps students understand the topic, and gives them an appreciation of the scientific method to help increase their overall scientific literacy.

Survey respondents who feel relatively little or no concern about global climate change are still a sizable population, though in the minority. Fifteen percent said they are somewhat unconcerned about global climate change, and 11 percent said they are not at all concerned, leading to a combined base of 26 percent. Only 1 percent said they don’t know or are unsure about the issue.

Dr. Ondrovic said the answers to another question on the source of global climate change

indicate a possible misperception among the general public, though. The […]

By |April 2nd, 2015|Institute|0 Comments

Poll Finds More than Half of Floridians Oppose Guns at Campuses of State Universities

New Legislation Would Allow Concealed Firearms at Campuses for Permit Holders
In a recent Saint Leo University Polling Institute survey of 522 Florida adults, 56 percent were opposed to allowing individuals with concealed firearms licenses to carry guns at state campuses. Thirty-two percent supported proposed new legislation that would reverse a current firearms ban, and allow individuals who are 21 and older and who hold concealed firearms licenses, to bring the weapons onto state campuses. Florida has both state colleges and state universities.

Twelve percent said they don’t know what the correct position is or are not sure.

Democrats surveyed were more likely to oppose the measure than Republicans. The margin of error for the results showing political party affiliation (which are drawn from the 433 likely voters who took the survey) was plus or minus 5 percent, while the margin of error for the overall base of 522 people, and for the results according to gender, is plus or minus 4 percentage points. The full question and results are as follows:

A bill being considered by the Florida Legislature would reverse a ban on firearms and allow students 21 and over to carry concealed weapons on all 12 of Florida’s public universities. Do you support or oppose this legislation?

All

Republicans
Independents
Democrats

Male
Female

32%
Support

48%
27%
20%

34%
26%

56%
Oppose

40%
58%
69%

54%
60%

12%
Don’t know / not sure

12%
15%
11%

12%
15%

 

The State House and Senate measures currently under discussion have been heard in initial committees. The proposal received backing in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee in January and narrowly­­­ passed the Senate Criminal Justice Committee in February.

The proposed legislation stems from an incident in November 2014 when a gunman opened fire at Florida State University’s library. The incident refueled a debate about guns on college campuses. Supporters say the proposal could help prevent tragedies such as […]

By |March 30th, 2015|Institute|0 Comments

Pope Francis’ Popularity Remains High Nationally

Pontiff’s Statement on Care of the Environment Broadly Accepted
Pope Francis continues to enjoy the high regard of the American public, according to the latest national survey from the Saint Leo University Polling Institute.

In an online survey conducted in March with about 1,000 adults, 68 percent of respondents said they have either a strongly favorable (29 percent) or somewhat favorable (39 percent) opinion of the pope. Eight percent said they have a somewhat unfavorable opinion, and 6 percent said their view is not at all favorable. A greater number, 18 percent, said they just don’t know or aren’t sure.

The survey base was 20 percent Catholic, 26 percent non-denominational Christian, 23 percent who identified specific Protestant denominations, and 21 percent with no affiliation or preference. Two percent of respondents identified themselves as Jewish, and 1 percent as Mormon or Latter Day Saints. The remaining balance were scattered among a variety of groups or simply identified themselves as “other.”

Among Catholic respondents, 84 percent reported a strongly favorable (48 percent) or somewhat favorable (36) opinion of Pope Francis. Only 5 percent reported a somewhat unfavorable opinion and none of the Catholics surveyed said they hold an unfavorable opinion. Eleven percent said they don’t know or are not sure.

The findings are very similar to results from the December 2014 quarterly survey by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute.

Pope Francis will visit three cities in the United States in September: New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, where he will speak to a joint session of Congress. In June or July, he is expected to issue a highly anticipated encyclical (letter) on Catholicism and ecology.

The March survey also asked respondents whether they agree with a widely reported statement Pope Francis made during […]

By |March 27th, 2015|Institute|0 Comments

U.S. Senate Race Starting to Generate Interest, Saint Leo Poll Shows

Florida Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy Announces Candidacy
Two-term Democratic U.S. Congressman Patrick Murphy announced on Monday he will run in 2016 for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Marco Rubio.

In a recently conducted statewide survey of 522 adults (433 likely voters) who were asked which potential candidate they would support for the Democratic nomination if they ran for the United States Senate in 2016, they responded with former Governor Charlie Christ (33%), U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (14%), and U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Castor (8%) ranking in the top three. However, Murphy was right on Castor’s heels, drawing 7% support.

It should be noted that according to recent news reports, Charlie Crist and Debbie Wasserman Schultz appear to be final regarding their decision not to run for the U.S. Senate. The Saint Leo poll was conducted while they were still considering running.

The following question has an N of 179 and include only self-identified Democrats who are also “likely voters,” that is, those individuals who said they vote “all of the time” or “most of the time.”

Which of the following potential candidates would you support for the Democratic nomination if they ran for United States Senate in 2016?

 

33 %
Former Governor Charlie Crist

14 %
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz

8 %
Congresswoman Kathy Castor

7 %
Congressman Patrick Murphy

4 %
Congressman Ted Deutch

1 %
Former state legislator Dan Gelber

13 %
Some other candidate

20 %
Don’t know / not sure

 

“While only garnering 7% in our poll, Congressman Murphy is the first one in the race and, based on his past track record, he has the ability to raise considerable cash to support his campaign,” said Frank Orlando, instructor of political science at Saint Leo University.

Murphy, 31, beat Republican Congressman Allen West in 2012 before easily defeating former State […]

By |March 26th, 2015|Institute|0 Comments

Clinton’s Numbers Slip, But She Maintains Frontrunner Position

Rubio in Second Place among Florida Republicans
Hillary Clinton has lost some support in recent months, a new poll from the Saint Leo University Polling Institute has found, but she remains a dominant frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination and leads all potential Republican opponents in head-to-head matchups.

While 50 percent of Democrats nationally name Clinton as their first choice presidential candidate—­­­­Vice President Joe Biden is second with 11 percent—Clinton’s support has fallen 7 points since Saint Leo’s December 2014 poll, when 57 percent of voters named her their first choice.

The precise question and responses are as follows:

We know it’s early, but thinking about the presidential election in 2016…here is a list of potential candidates who may run for the Democratic nomination. If the Democratic primary for president were held today, which one of the following would you support for the Democratic nomination?

50%
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

11%
Vice President Joe Biden

8%
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of MA

6%
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

3%
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper

3%
U.S. Senator Corey Booker of New Jersey

3%
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont

2%
Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley

2%
Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick

2%
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York

1%
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota

1%
Former U.S. Senator Jim Webb of Virginia

<1%
U.S. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia

<1%
Former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer

<1%
Someone else

6%
Don’t know / not sure

 

Clinton has an even wider lead among Florida Democrats, whose responses to the same question were as follows:

 

57%
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

15%
Vice President Joe Biden

4%
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of MA

4%
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

3%
U.S. Senator Corey Booker of New Jersey

2%
Former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer

2%
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York

2%
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota

2 %
Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb

1 %
Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley

<1 %
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper

<1 %
U.S. Senator Mark Warner […]

By |March 26th, 2015|Institute|0 Comments

Bush’s Lead Narrows but Remains Top Choice of National and Florida Republicans with Close Pack Following

Rubio in Second Place among Florida Republicans
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush leads a field of 20 possible Republican presidential candidates, but his margin has narrowed, according to a new national poll released by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute.

Bush is named by 15 percent of likely Republican voters as their top pick for the Republican nomination, and 27 percent say they expect he will end up as the party’s nominee. But a large pack of candidates is close on his heels.

“The good news for Governor Bush is he’s in front, he has twice as much support as anyone else, and none of the other candidates breaks into double digits. The bad news is his share of the vote is lower than most front runners in recent elections at this point in the cycle.  Still, the fact that an even larger percentage of voters believe he will win shows his strength in the primary,” said Frank Orlando, instructor of political science at Saint Leo University.

In a development in the Republican field this week, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas announced his candidacy for president Monday, March 23. He garnered 7 percent interest from likely voters in the Saint Leo poll, while only 2 percent thought he would most likely win the Republican nomination for president in 2016. Note: The fielding of this quarterly poll concluded Thursday, March 19, for the national poll and on Saturday, March 21, for the separate Florida state results.

Questions were posed to likely Republican voters this way, with the following results.

We know it’s early, but thinking about the presidential election in 2016…here is a list of potential candidates who may run for the Republican nomination. If the Republican primary for president were […]

By |March 26th, 2015|Institute|0 Comments

Floridians Split about Bush, Rubio Candidacies

Newly Proposed Presidential Primary Date to Have Significant Impact
Florida Republicans respond favorably to the prospect of either their former Governor Jeb Bush or their current U.S. Senator Marco Rubio running for president, according to a new survey conducted by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute.

According to the poll, 63 percent of Florida Republicans would like to see Bush run for president. Another question asked Sunshine State Republicans if they would like to see Rubio run, and 58 percent responded with a “yes.” But if voters were asked to choose between the two, 54 percent of Florida Republicans said they would support Bush, while 36 percent would choose Rubio.

In the politically mixed response base of Republicans, Democrats and independent voters, the two leading Republicans generated split reactions. When asked about the former governor running for president, 45 percent of Florida voters said they would like to see Bush run and 45 percent said they would not. For Rubio, 40 percent would like him to run but 45 percent would not. The full results are below.

Would you like to see Florida Senator Marco Rubio run for president of the United States in 2016?

Subgroups:

All
Possible responses

Republicans
Independents
Democrats

40%
Yes

58%
32%
28%

45%
No

20%
56%
60%

16%
Don’t know / not sure

23%
12%
12%

 

Would you like to see former Florida Governor Jeb Bush run for president of the United States in 2016?

Subgroups:

All
Possible responses

R
I
D

45%
Yes

63%
50%
29%

45%
No

26%
38%
63%

10%
Don’t know / not sure

11%
12%
8%

 

Let’s say both Florida Senator Marco Rubio and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush run for President in 2016. Which candidate would you support?

Subgroups:

All
Possible responses

R
I
D

30%
Marco Rubio

36%
26%
27%

39%
Jeb Bush

54%
41%
25%

25%
Neither

4%
20%
44%

7%
Don’t know / not sure

7%
12%
4%

 

“Florida Republicans seem to like both Governor Bush and Senator Rubio and they are happy they may run for president,” said Frank Orlando, instructor of political science at Saint Leo University. “General election voters, as one would expect […]

By |March 25th, 2015|Institute|0 Comments

Pope Francis Approval Rating Hits 88 Percent among U.S. Catholics

When Pope Francis makes his first visit to the United States as pontiff next year, he can expect a warm reception. According to the latest national survey from the Saint Leo University Polling Institute, Pope Francis enjoys an approval rating of 88 percent among U.S. Catholics.

The pope’s overall approval rating stands at 67 percent, with just 13 percent viewing him unfavorably. Non-Catholics hold overwhelmingly favorable views toward the Pope, too, giving him a 61 percent approval rating.

“People increasingly seem to be coming to conclusions about Pope Francis, both positively and negatively,” said Michael Anthony Novak, assistant professor of theology and religion at Saint Leo University. “There seems to be enough time for initial impressions of him to yield to prolonged experience of this Pope based on his stance on several issues. ”The shifts in his numbers seem to me to be signs of people getting to know Francis, whether they approve or disapprove of him.”

The pope plans to visit Philadelphia in September 2015, in his first visit to the United States since becoming pope.

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Pope Francis? Would you say your opinion of Pope Francis is…

All respondents
 

Catholics
N=229

Non-Catholics
N=778

34 %

Strongly favorable

63

25

33 %

Somewhat favorable

25

36

7 %

Somewhat unfavorable

4

8

6 %

Not at all favorable

1

7

20 %

Don’t know  unsure

7

24

 

There appears to be some consistent movement in the polling data. Pope Francis’s popularity with self-identified Catholics continues to grow. In four previous quarterly polls the pope’s favorability rating was 83 percent (December 2013), 85 percent in March and October 2014, and 88 percent in the current survey. Likewise, for non-Catholics: 55 percent, 63 percent, 54 percent, and 61 percent.

Rating (%)

Dec. 2013 vs.

Dec. 2014
Catholic

Dec. 2013
Catholic

Dec. 2014
Non-Catholic

Dec.

2013
Non-Catholic

Dec.

2014

Strongly favorable
   48
   63
    18
    […]

By |December 16th, 2014|Institute|0 Comments

Fans Reluctant to Treat College Athletes as Paid Professionals

While many Americans are open to compensating college athletes in some form, more Americans prefer to see colleges continue to treat athletes as amateurs who compete primarily for love of the sport and educational opportunities, not for pay. That’s according to a new national survey by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute.

More than twice as many people say that the focus of college sports should be opportunities to participate (71 percent) than say that the focus should be producing the highest level of play possible (30 percent), the survey found.

Asked whether student-athletes should be compensated beyond scholarships, 50 percent of Americans say they should not be further compensated, while 32 percent say they should be. Of that minority who are open to further compensation for athletes, less than half (48 percent) said athletes should be paid a stipend. Ideas such as benefiting from merchandise sales (43 percent), being allowed to work for pay while on scholarship (42 percent), or licensing (40 percent) also registered support.

The public does not have much sympathy for college athletes who have run-ins with the law. Three-quarters of people (77 percent) say such athletes should be treated the same as everyone else in the eyes of the law, and 13 percent say they should face stricter punishment for infractions.

As the new college football playoff system gets underway, nearly half of Americans – including 59 percent of men and 39 percent of women – say they are very or somewhat interested in the coming college football playoffs.

Changing topics…The college football season is coming to an end with the playoffs coming up.  We have a number of questions for you about college football.

How interested are you in following the playoffs?  Would you say…

All […]

By |December 12th, 2014|Institute|0 Comments

Charitable Giving Set to Rise, Americans Say

Slightly more Americans say they plan to increase giving to charitable causes this year than last year, according to a new national survey conducted by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute.

This year, 67 percent of Americans say they plan to give as much or more to charities as they did last year, according to the survey. A year ago, 59 percent of people planned to give the same or more to charity as they did the previous year.

“This may be another indication of not only an improving economy, but of increasing confidence in people’s own economic security,” said Dr. Susan Kinsella, department chair of human services at Saint Leo University.

Thinking about your charitable giving throughout 2014, which of the following best reflects your giving in all of 2014 compared to 2013. Would you say you are…

Dec. 2014

Dec. 2013

18 %

Giving more to charity in 2014 than last year

15%

49 %

Giving about the same to charity in 2014 as last year

44%

14 %

Giving less to charity in 2014 compared to last year

16%

13 %

Have not / will not be giving to charity in 2014

16%

7 %

Don’t know  unsure

8%

 

Further, the survey was enhanced in 2014 through the addition of two more questions that allowed respondents to identify their motivations for charitable giving. While millions of Americans are motivated to give in part for reasons of faith around the religious holidays at the end of the year, personal ethical beliefs were cited more frequently. And the level of giving correlated strongly to feelings of personal economic security.

Which statement would you say best reflects your feelings when considering charitable giving?

15 %

I am influenced to give by my religious teachings or by my faith leaders’ preaching

49 %

I am influenced to give by my own ethical […]

By |December 11th, 2014|Institute|0 Comments