Florida Favors Sanctuary Cities, Sen. Nelson vulnerable in 2018

    Toplines Results Press Release



Floridians favor “sanctuary city” policies which “offers safe harbor for undocumented immigrants” according to a new poll released by the Business and Economic Polling Initiative at Florida Atlantic University. All regions of Florida with exception of the Southwest are in favor of sanctuary cities.

The very first sanctuary city, Miami-Dade County announced January 28, that it will abandon the practice of a sanctuary city following the president’s signature on the executive order. This decision will affect many since Miami-Dade is the county with the second highest number of immigrants in the country, with more than 1,330,000, according to the Migration Policy Institute. The majority of respondents wanted Miami-Dade County to keep the sanctuary status (62% to 39%). Similarly, Floridians would like to see Tampa become a sanctuary city (61% to 39%).

A majority of respondents (52% to 36%) don’t want the federal government to cut off funding to Sanctuary Cities and a plurality of respondents (46% to 38%) do not want the U.S. Justice Department to take legal action against “Sanctuary Cities”.

The online survey, which polled 600 Florida residents from February 1-4, 2017, found that respondents currently disapprove of President Trump’s job performance by a 2:1 ratio (66% to 34%) but among Republicans, Trumps approval is at 73%, only 8% of Democrats approve.

While Trump suffers overall dissatisfaction with some of his current policies, this is not the case with Republicans who were the only group that supported the U.S. Justice Department (74% (support) vs. 18% (opposed). Democrats opposed 56% with 22% supporting it and Independents also opposed 49% with 43% supporting it. Residents who were not registered opposed 61% to 16% supporting it. Similarly Republicans were the only group who supported cutting federal funds with 70% in support and 24% opposed.

When asked about the proposed border wall, 44% support and 56% oppose, but when respondents were told it would cost $15 billion dollars that dropped to 34% support. Republicans favor extending the wall at 70% and when told it would cost $15 billion this number drops to 65% in support.

Senator Bill Nelson appears vulnerable in his 2018 re-elect attempt with 28% saying he deserves re-election while 72% said it was time to give someone else a chance. No political group supported Nelson including Democrats, where 66% said it was time to give someone else a chance.

It appears having previous knowledge of “sanctuary cities” will influence a person’s attitude toward the practice. Of the 55% of respondents who were familiar with Sanctuary Cities, 51% wanted the Justice Department to take legal action against these cities.

The poll was conducted using an online sample supplied by Survey Sampling International, using online questionnaires. There were 600 respondents sampled between February 1-4, 2017 and a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of 3.9 percentage points. Responses for the entire sample were weighted to reflect the statewide distribution of the Florida population by gender, race/ethnicity, region, education and age.

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