A new poll released by Quinnipiac University today shows that social issues are low on the list of priorities for Florida voters for the upcoming presidential election, even though issues like reproductive rights have been a big focus in campaigns.
Researchers released polling data of three swing states in the upcoming presidential election, of which Florida is one. Quinnipac found that “despite the focus on social issues such as same-sex marriage and women’s reproductive health, these issues are lower priorities for the voters.”
The economy, unemployment and the health care law are currently polling as the most important issues to voters in Florida. Ninety percent of Floridians polled said the economy was either ”extremely important” or “very important.”
Social issues such as abortion and gay marriage, however, were considered important to only 39 percent of those polled. Women’s reproductive health issues were considered an important issue to 48 percent of the people polled.
But the issue of access to birth control has loomed large in public policy decisions during the current Republican presidential primary — particularly the Obama administration’s decision to require health insurers to cover birth control as a preventive service. A group of conservative Republicans and religious leaders have taken part in a very vocal campaign against the decision and claim it is an infringement on religious liberties. The public, however, remains largely unconvinced that expanding access to birth control is about religious freedom and not women’s health.
A few weeks ago, seven states, including Florida, filed a lawsuit against the federal government over the birth control mandate, claiming it violates citizens’ First Amendment rights.
The poll also found that Obama has currently has an edge in Florida for the upcoming election. The president tops presidential candidates Mitt Romney 49-42 percent and Rick Santorum 50-37 percent.
Women, in particular, “back the president over Romney or Santorum by 6 to 19 percentage points in the three states,” Quinnipiac found.