Exclusive Florida Decides Poll: Many still not sure about Amendment 1

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 26, 2016, 4:45 PM EDT

Florida Amendment 1 has a long way to go before it will be successful among voters, a Bay News 9/News 13 Florida Decides Exclusive Statewide poll has found.

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Of likely voters surveyed, 40 percent said they would vote for Amendment 1, 33 percent said they would not.

Opponents and critics of the controversial solar energy amendment still have plenty of people to try to convince though. About 26 percent said they still were not certain.

Amendment 1 needs 60 percent voter approval to become part of the Florida Constitution.

Amendment 1 is about the future of solar energy in Florida. The amendment does put the right of Floridians to have solar energy, something already allowed in Florida.

However, Amendment 1 has drawn fire because critics and solar energy experts say it places barriers to popular ways to sell solar energy systems.  

They also say the amendment could allow utility companies to impose fees on solar energy users to help pay for energy infrastructure.

Supporters say the amendment is meant to make sure government can continue to regulate solar energy. They also say it protects non-solar users from bearing the burden of costs for the power grid and other energy infrastructure.

However, studies show solar energy reduces the demand on the power grid and does not shift the burden to non-solar users.

The amendment is backed by Consumers for Smart Solar, a group heavily funded by utility companies like Duke Energy and Florida Power and Light.

We break down Amendment 1 on each point in our Making Sense of Amendment 1 story.

Amendment 1 finds its biggest support from the youngest voters and the least affluent voters, by a 2 to 1 margin.

Wealthy voters narrowly oppose the amendment.

The people who back Amendment 1 and oppose Amendment 1 cut across the political spectrum.


Q: On the ballot in November is Amendment 1, which would make current Florida solar energy law part of the state constitution. It establishes that consumers may use solar equipment to generate electricity for their own use.

It does not require power companies to buy back excess power produced by consumer solar systems.

It restricts any costs for subsidies for the production of solar power from being imposed on non-solar energy producers.

Certain to vote yes? Certain to vote no? Or not certain?

  All Gender
Age
Male
Female
18-34
35-49
50-64
65+
Yes
40%
42%
39%
51%
40%
37%
37%
No
33%
34%
33%
25%
28%
37%
41%
Not certain 26% 25% 27% 23% 32% 26%

23%

Composition of likely November voters
100%
49%
51%
19%
26%
29%
27%
  Race
White
Black
Asian/
Other
Cuban Non-
Cuban Hispanic
Composition of likely November voters
80%
14%
7%
5% 7%
Yes
38%
53%
41%
33% 59%
No
37%
18%
28%
35% 27%
Not certain 25% 29% 31% 31% 14%
  Party Affiliation
Strong
Rep.
Republican Ind. lean
Rep.
Independent Ind. lean
Dem.
Democrat
Strong
Dem.
Composition of likely November voters 16% 16% 13% 12% 9% 18% 15%
Yes
43%
40%
35%
39%
37%
41%
47%
No
34%
30%
38%
28%
39%
34%
35%
Not certain 23% 31% 28% 34% 24% 24% 18%
  Ideology
Very Conserv. Somewhat Moderate Somewhat Very Lib.
Composition of likely November voters 19% 23% 30% 14% 12%
Yes
44%
44%
39%
30%
40%
No
33%
28%
34%
40%
43%
Not certain 24% 28% 27% 30% 17%
  Evangelical Gun owner
Yes
No
Yes No
Composition of likely November voters 26% 67% 39% 56%
Yes
47%
37%
41%
42%
No
29%
37%
32%
33%
Not certain 25% 25% 27% 25%
  Education Income
High School Some College 4-yr College < $40K $40K - $80K > $80K
Composition of likely November voters 15% 34% 50% 25% 35% 39%
Yes
47%
43%
37%
50%
41%
35%
No
22%
32%
38%
25%
36%
38%
Not certain 31% 25% 25% 25% 24% 27%

Surveyed: 1,251 likely November voters
Margin of sampling error: ± 2.8%

 

This Bay News 9/News 13 Exclusive statewide Florida Decides poll was conducted by SurveyUSA from Oct. 20-24. SurveyUSA interviewed 1,400 state of Florida adults, 1,314 of whom were registered to vote. Of those registered, 1,251 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the Nov. 8 general election. Just 1 percent of voters interviewed for this survey said they "almost always" vote in presidential elections but will not vote in 2016 because they do not like any of the candidates on the ballot. Five percent of voters said they "almost never" vote in presidential elections but will vote in 2016 because they were drawn to one of this year's candidates. Importantly: These "new" voters are spread across the political spectrum; they are not disproportionately Trump supporters. All of the interviews for this survey were conducted after the third presidential debate and at a time when Trump described himself as "unshackled." This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on their home telephones (65 percent of likely voters) were interviewed on their home telephones in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (35 percent of likely voters) were shown a questionnaire on the display of their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device.