Favorite Christmas Movies, TV Shows Spotlighted in New Saint Leo University Poll

SAINT LEO, FL ­– Choosing a favorite Christmas movie or TV show can be a challenge. There is a movie about a department store Santa Claus who claims to be the real Santa. Or how about a holiday movie plot with a suicidal man who sacrificed his dreams for the good of his small town and is guided by a guardian angel to see that he made a difference. Then there is a classic cartoon featuring beloved characters who take a stand against the commercialization of Christmas and find the real meaning of the holiday.

A new survey released by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute ( shows Miracle on 34th Street claimed the top spot as a Christmas favorite among 18 choices. It garnered 39.8.percent. The online poll surveyed 1,001 adults in the United States from November 27 through November 30, 2016.

The majority of poll respondents, 90.1 percent, said they celebrate Christmas. Those who celebrate the holiday were asked to name their favorite Christmas movies and TV shows. Multiple responses were accepted.

In a poll of 501 Florida residents, Miracle on 34th Street also was the No. 1 pick with 43.3 percent. Perhaps those who flocked from the North to the South fondly remember Christmas shopping at Macy’s in New York City, where the movie is set.

Second place went to the classic movie It’s a Wonderful Life, which starred Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey. The USA network will air the movie on Friday, December 16, and it will air at 8 p.m., EST, Christmas Eve, on NBC. The movie, celebrating its 70th anniversary, earned second place in the national poll with 36.8 percent, while Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a 1964 stop motion animated television special, placed […]

By |December 12th, 2016|Institute|0 Comments

Favorite Christmas Tunes Ranked by Saint Leo University Poll Respondents

SAINT LEO, FL – Do you run screaming into the street when you hear the first note of Alvin and the Chipmunks’ Christmas Don’t Be Late? Does the sound of dogs barking Jingle Bells give you a nervous twitch?

Rest assured that most folks select an old classic—a very old classic dating back to 1818—when naming their favorite Christmas song.

A new survey released by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute ( shows Silent Night comes in first among 47 choices for the top Christmas song pick. The online poll surveyed 1,001 adults in the United States from November 27 through November 30, 2016, as many radio stations began playing holiday tunes.

The majority of poll respondents, 90.1 percent, said they do celebrate Christmas. Those people were asked to name their favorite Christmas carols. Multiple responses were accepted.

Three religious songs, focusing on the birth of Christ, and five secular songs make up the Top 8 in Saint Leo’s poll. Silent Night earned the top spot with 50.4 percent listing it as a favorite. Next, is the classic White Christmas. The song written by Irving Berlin garnered 48 percent. Coming in third was Jingle Bells with 44.4 percent.

Rounding out the top spots are O, Come, All Ye Faithful; Joy to the World; I’ll Be Home for Christmas; Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas; and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Saint Leo’s poll of 501 adults in Florida, shows even those in the sunny south are pining for the frozen stuff with White Christmas coming in third with 48.4 percent while Jingle Bells was No. 1 with 49.7 percent. Silent Night came in a close second with 49 percent.

When Dr. Cynthia Selph was involved in planning music for contemporary services, she said […]

By |December 12th, 2016|Institute|0 Comments

Saint Leo University Poll Shows Early Base of GOP Support for U.S. Senate Candidacy Favoring Governor Rick Scott

SAINT LEO – Florida Republicans asked to think about the next major election in their lives— coming in 2018—favor current Governor Rick Scott above others named as possible GOP nominees to run for U.S. Senate, a new Saint Leo University Polling Institute  ( survey shows.

The poll of 501 Florida residents was completed November 27 through November 30, 2016.

Republicans in the sample were asked whom they could support in a primary for the six-year term for U.S. Senate. The seat is currently held by three-term Democratic incumbent Senator Bill Nelson.

If Florida Governor Scott wanted to be the GOP candidate, 41 percent of the Republicans surveyed said they could support him. Scott is prevented by term limits from seeking the office of governor again. He has been elected twice, consecutively.

After Scott, the next most common answer was “unsure or don’t know,” selected by 33.1 percent. Another 11.2 percent said they wanted “someone else” instead of the names presented. The choices shown were solely names, without current political offices or occupations attached.

Outgoing Republican Congressman David Jolly of St. Petersburg, who lost his bid to return to the U.S. House of Representatives, was supported by 6.2 percent. The other names presented were current officeholders, all even at less than 3 percent: U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis of Ponte Vedra Beach on Florida’s east coast; Carlos Lopez-Cantera, lieutenant governor under Scott; and U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney of Okeechobee.

“Clearly Rick Scott is benefitting from the fact that he is the most well-known of the Republicans seeking to unseat Bill Nelson,” said Saint Leo University Polling Institute Director Frank Orlando. “When facing off against the candidates who sought the GOP nomination before Marco Rubio decided to run for re-election, he’s dominating against candidates […]

By |December 8th, 2016|Institute|0 Comments

Not All Election Wounds Healed, New Saint Leo University Poll Shows

But More Say They Are Mending Fences With Family, Friends

SAINT LEO, FL – A combative election season has left some strife among friends and families, a new survey by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute ( shows.

Respondents were asked if the contentious election cycle put them at odds with family or friends. Almost one-quarter, 23.8 percent, suggest they did find themselves in conflict with family/friends.

The national online poll of 1,001 adults was conducted from November 27 through November 30, 2016, and has a plus or minus 3.0 percent margin of error. A poll of 501 adults in Florida was taken at the same time and has a plus or minus 4.5 percent margin of error.

The political cycle overlapped this year with another set of topics that Saint Leo regularly explores. As a Catholic institution, Saint Leo University regularly polls on the impact of Pope Francis and his personal popularity. In the November poll, the pope continues to have a high favorability rating of 62.6 percent.

The post-election survey also asked about the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which was opened by Pope Francis in 2015, and which officially ended on November 20. Pope Francis called for continuing the year’s essence as a time of forgiveness and reconciliation. But those surveyed may not be ready to forgive.

Of those poll respondents who said they were estranged from friends and family because of the election, 40.6 percent say they have not forgiven those they are at odds with, 35.5 percent say they are working on forgiveness, 15.8 percent say they have forgiven some family and friends, and another 8.1 percent say they are unsure.

In Florida, more respondents say they have forgiven some folks—23.8 percent—and more say they are working on […]

By |December 7th, 2016|Institute|0 Comments

New Saint Leo University Poll Shows Opinion of Pope Remains High

SAINT LEO, FL – Pope Francis continues to post a high favorability rating, according to a new Saint Leo University Polling Institute ( survey. Poll respondents were asked if their opinion of the pope is strongly favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or not at all favorable.

While his popularity dipped slightly to 62.6 percent overall, the poll shows among Catholics, 85.8 percent favorability, which is up slightly from 84.2 in September 2016, but down from 87.5 percent in the June 2016 poll.

In the time between polls, Pope Francis ended the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which began on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 2015. “The attention given to its closing at the end of November may have drawn more attention to Pope Francis and positively affected his favorability rating among Catholics,” said Dr. Marc Pugliese, Saint Leo University assistant professor of theology and religion.

According to Saint Leo’s most recent poll, among 1,001 respondents, 62.6 percent hold a very or somewhat favorable opinion of Pope Francis. The September poll showed his favorability at 65.4 percent. In June 2016, it was 68.9 percent. The highest percentage 75.8 percent, which Pope Francis received in Saint Leo’s poll conducted in September 2015 after his visit to the United States.

“The pope has not been as ‘publicly active’ since September 2016 as he had been the year before in September,” Pugliese said, and this could account for a slight decline in Pope Francis’ favorability rating among the general population.

On September 4, 2016, he canonized Mother Teresa of Calcutta. “Many people—not just Catholics and religious people in general, but even those who are not religious—had great respect and admiration for Mother Teresa.”

The second factor contributing to the slight dip could be […]

By |December 7th, 2016|Institute|0 Comments

Division Persists Among American Public, Post-Election Survey from Saint Leo University Polling Institute Shows

SAINT LEO, FL – A new national survey from the Saint Leo University Polling Institute ( shows the political mood of the country is still divided and ambivalent  following the election of Donald J. Trump as president. In a nonpartisan survey conducted with 1,001 adults nationally from November 27 through November 30, 2016, less than half reported some level of satisfaction with the outcome.

“Even though the Trump campaign has claimed this election as a landslide and a mandate, the public is clearly not buying it,” said Frank Orlando, director of the Saint Leo University Polling Institute, and political scientist at the university. The survey specifically asked its online respondents:

Please think about the final outcome of the presidential election. Regardless of your voting preference, please indicate how satisfied you are with the final outcome – the election of Donald Trump as our 45th president.  Would you say you are…


Very satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Combined percent of satisfied responses


Somewhat dissatisfied

Not at all satisfied

Combined percent of dissatisfied responses




The respondents included roughly even percentage levels of Republicans (27.6 percent) and Democrats (26.6 percent), and 39.2 percent who consider themselves independent.

In response to another question, more than half the respondents, 54.3 percent, strongly or somewhat agreed that the election itself was “generally fair and honest”—something Trump had publicly questioned during the campaign, before he won. Those strongly or somewhat disagreeing that the election was fair and honest amounted to 36.6 percent.

“It’s interesting to see the change in opinions about the fairness of the electoral process before and after the election,” Orlando said. “Before the election, Republicans were much more likely to fret about voter fraud, while Democrats largely dismissed these concerns.  After the election, this relationship was flipped.”

What Mattered in Voting

Survey respondents were […]

By |December 7th, 2016|Institute|0 Comments

Proposed Florida Constitutional Amendment on Solar Power Facing a Changed Landscape Among Voters, New Saint Leo Poll Finds

Likely Voters Continue to Support Medical Marijuana and Property-Tax Ballot Measures

SAINT LEO, FL – A new Florida survey from the Saint Leo University Polling Institute (  found continued strong support for all the proposed amendments to the Florida state constitution, with the notable erosion of popularity for the measure concerning consumers and solar energy. Controversy erupted over this measure on social media, and as the election has drawn closer, major newspaper editorial boards across the state have opposed the measure and termed it misleading.

In Florida, at least 60 percent of the voters have to approve a ballot measure for it to pass. During this election, Florida voters will be presented with four measures. The polling institute has been tracked public sentiment on all four measures during the summer. And in general, voters have favored the other measures to make medical marijuana available for a range of conditions under a physician’s care, and for certain property tax breaks for first responders and senior citizens.

The solar issue is the only one where the direction of public sentiment has changed course by more than 20 points. The most recent survey was conducted online from October 22 through October 26 among 1,028 likely voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

“This movement away from support for Amendment 1 is a sign that the social media campaign is working,” said Frank Orlando, political scientist and director of the Saint Leo University Polling Institute.

“Opponents of Amendment 1 clearly don’t have the financial power that the utility companies do, but they’ve been very effective at getting their message out via forums like Facebook.  In addition, the fact that almost every major newspaper has come out against the […]

By |October 31st, 2016|Institute|0 Comments

Clinton Lead Growing in Florida and Across the U.S. in New Saint Leo Poll, and Most Expect Her to Win the Presidency

GOP’s Rubio Holding a Firm Lead in Quest to Return to Senate from Florida

SAINT LEO, FL – Surveys fielded earlier this week by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute ( show Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton with double-digit leads nationally and in the important state of Florida­­­ over her Republican opponent Donald Trump. The pattern was consistent with likely voters who have decided their choice and with voters who had not committed but could say which candidate they were leaning toward.

The Saint Leo Florida survey also showed U.S. Senator Marco Rubio leading the Democratic challenger U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter (Palm Beach County), by 5 percentage points—43.8 percent vs. 38.8 percent—in the contest for the incumbent’s U.S. Senate seat. The race is being watched intensely nationally as its outcome will help determine whether Republicans or Democrats control the Senate during the next presidential term.

“This has become one of the seats that Republicans are relying on to hang on to control in the Senate,” noted Frank Orlando, director of the Saint Leo University Polling Institute. “Marco Rubio has held a consistent lead in all three of our fall polls, and he’s running almost 20 points ahead of Trump in the state. Democrats seem to be more interested in pursuing gains elsewhere, though they’d still relish the opportunity to take away Rubio’s Senate platform leading into 2020,” Orlando said, referring to the former Republican presidential candidate, and his possible future ambitions.

All the survey results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Nationally, 1,050 likely voters completed the online survey between October 22 and October 26. In Florida, 1,028 likely voters responded during the same time period.

The percentage of likely voters […]

By |October 28th, 2016|Institute|0 Comments

Proposed Amendments Retain the Favor of Florida Voters in Latest Saint Leo Survey

Medical Marijuana Provision Among the Suggested Measures

SAINT LEO, FL – Four measures that will appear on the ballot for Florida voters on November 8 appear poised for approval, including a measure to allow the use of medical marijuana when prescribed by a doctor, according to a September survey by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute (

For a ballot measure to pass, at least 60 percent of voters must support it. In these cases, support has grown over the course of multiple Saint Leo polls. The most recent survey was conducted online from September 10 to 16, 2016, with 502 respondents, including 475 who said they are likely voters. The margin of error for responses reported here is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

All measures that appear on voter ballots in Florida do so through one of two possible mechanisms: enough citizens sign a petition, or the Florida Legislature refers a matter to the broad electorate.

Amendments 1 and 2, concerning solar power and medical marijuana, respectively, came about through petitions. The amendment dealing with about property tax treatment for disabled first responders, Amendment 3, and Amendment 5, the tax relief measure for some senior citizens, were referred by the state Legislature.

All the measures seems to have gained support or at least held steady among likely voters in recent months, as the table illustrates. (The survey results from a broader base of Florida respondents, including those who won’t vote, were statistically the same as those from the likely voters.)


Florida Ballot Measures
June 2016 support – likely voters
August 2016 support – likely voters
September 2016 support – likely voters

Grants Florida residents the right to own or lease equipment that produces solar energy for personal use – Amendment 1

Grants the […]

By |September 28th, 2016|Institute|0 Comments

Social Protests, Race, and Black Lives Matter

By |September 23rd, 2016|Institute|0 Comments