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JU Prof. Stephen Baker discusses gun control, Florida governor poll results on WJCT

JU political science professor Stephen Baker analyzed the latest Quinnipiac University poll results for Florida Wednesday, March 28, on the popular “First Coast Connect” call-in show on WJCT public radio.

Jacksonville University professor Dr. Stephen Baker

Among other things, the poll found:

  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a double-digit lead in hypothetical matchups with Florida’s former Gov. Jeb Bush or U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in an early look at the 2016 presidential election.
  • Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, running as a Democrat, tops Florida Gov. Rick Scott 50 – 34 percent among registered voters if the 2014 gubernatorial election were today, and Scott leads State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam 47 – 24 percent in a GOP primary. Meanwhile, Alex Sink, the Democrat who lost to Scott in 2010, leads him 45 – 34 percent today.
  • By a 91 – 8 percent margin, Florida voters support universal background checks for gun purchases.
  • Florida voters support 51 – 44 percent stricter statewide gun-control laws, with gun owners opposed 61 – 33 percent.
  • 56 – 41 percent support a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons, with gun-owners opposed 57 – 41 percent.

On the gun background checks, Baker said, “That’s one issue in which people seem to come together on this very contentious gun control issue, and it’s probably the area in which legislators will act first, because there is such a strong level of support.”

Meanwhile, he noted Clinton’s strong standing in the presidential results, and said 2016 may bode well for her or another female.

“I would be very surprised if a woman does not play a major role in the 2016 presidential election, whether it be Hillary Clinton or someone else … Americans seem to be ready for that.” 

Regarding Crist’s strong showing, Baker said younger voters seem to be helping. They seem to see Crist as being able to “bridge that gap” in ongoing battles between Republicans and Democrats, he said, and even though Crist has switched parties and has vulnerabilities, the polling results in general are positive for him.

 To hear the full radio interview, click here