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Florida Divided on What to Do With Confederate Monuments, Health-Care, Immigration, Poll Finds

October 24, 2017 - 9:00am

The University of North Florida (UNF) released a poll on Tuesday taking the pulse of Florida voters on issues ranging from what to do with monuments honoring the Confederacy and its leaders to health-care and immigration.

Asked about what to do with Confederate monuments and statues, 47 percent of Florida voters want them moved to museums while 40 percent want them to stay where they are. Only 9 percent of those surveyed want to remove them completely. 

There is a major partisan divide on the issue as 67 percent of Florida Republicans want to keep the monuments and statues where they are while 60 percent of Democrats in the Sunshine State want to move them to museums. More than half of voters outside the major parties--54 percent--want to move the monuments and statues to museums while 34 percent want them to remain where they are. 

Michael Binder, the faculty director of the Public Opinion Research Lab at UNF, said on Tuesday that this partisan divide could impact how the Legislature proceeds on the matter. 

“As Tallahassee contends with newly introduced House Bill 235 dealing with Confederate statues, Floridians should take note of the partisan divisions on this issue,” Binder said. “Republicans dominate the Legislature, and the Republican voters don’t want the statues moved; this presents a real dilemma for legislators facing public pressure to do something about this issue.” 

Asked about the role of government in health-care, 28 percent of those surveyed say it should insure everyone while 13 percent think it should insure most people. Almost a third of those surveyed--31 percent--think the government and private insurers should have equal roles in providing insurance while 13 percent think private insurance should cover most people and 11 percent think private insurers should insure everyone. 

“In the wake of Bernie Sanders’ presidential run and the struggles with Obamacare, there appears to be support for government to take on a larger role in providing health insurance to Floridians,” Binder insisted. 

Asked about immigration, 42 percent think the current level of level immigration should be kept while 30 percent want to increase it. While 7 percent are not sure, 20 percent of those surveyed want to decrease the number of legal immigrants. 

“For all of the debate about illegal immigration and undocumented immigrants, Florida is very supportive of legal immigration,” Binder said. 

Turning to taxes, 67 percent of those surveyed prefer a progressive tax while 29 percent back a flat tax. 

 The poll of 838 registered voters in Florida was taken from Oct. 11 through Oct. 17 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.39 percent. 

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