Posts tagged with "Florida"

A place in the sun: Naples, Florida, metro area tops U.S. in well-being for fourth year straight

April 19, 2019

There’s no place like home, especially if you live in Naples, Florida. For the fourth straight year, the Sunshine State’s Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island metro area has rated tops for “well-being” out of 156 communities nationwide, based on data collected in 2017 and 2018 as part of the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index.

With a total well-being index score of 65.7, Naples is the ne plus ultra; followed by Salinas, California (64.5) ; Boulder, Colorado (64.5); Santa Rosa, California (64.2); and Ann Arbor, Michigan (also at 54.2).

Rounding out the top ten are Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida (63.8), Fort Collins, Colorado (63.8); Lancaster, Pennsylvania (63.7); North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida (63.6); and Ashville, North Carolina (63.6).

The Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 represents the lowest possible well-being and 100 represents the highest. The score for each metro area is based on how it stocks up within each of the five essential elements of wellbeing:

  • Career: Liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals;
  • Social: Having supportive relationships and love in your life;
  • Financial: Managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security;
  • Community: Liking where you live, feeling safe, and having pride in your community; and
  • Physical: Enjoying good health and enough energy to get things done daily.

In most cases, a difference of 1.0 to 2.0 points in the Well-Being Index score of any two areas represents a statistically significant gap and consists of meaningful differences in at least some of the five elements of well-being. Each city reported is represented as the broader metropolitan statistical area, as defined by the federal government.

The Well-Being Index score for the Naples metro area, though remaining the highest nationwide, has slipped from 67.6 for 2016-2017 to 65.7 in 2017-2018, a drop that parallels a significant two-year decline in wellbeing nationally.

Each of the top five cities for 2017-2018 has frequented the list of the top 15 well-being cities numerous times in prior years.

Highlights for top-ranking cities in specific areas of well-being in 2017-2018 include:

  • Boulder, a longtime pacesetter nationally in physical well-being, was the top U.S. city for the second year in a row for this element. The state of California provided the second- and third-ranked metros: Salinas and Santa Rosa.
  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, topped the nation in career well-being, marking the fourth year in a row that the city has been among the highest five nationally.
  • Naples residents have the highest social well-being, edging out Montgomery, Alabama and fellow Floridian city, Ocala.
  • After Naples, the top metro areas in financial well-being are Ann Arbor, Michigan; and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California.
  • Community well-being is highest in the Naples, Asheville, and Fort Collins (Colorado)metros

On the other end of the spectrum, the Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula metro—which garnered the third-lowest ranking in 2016-2017—had the lowest overall well-being nationally for the first time in 2017-2018; supplanting Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma and Canton-Massillon, Ohio, neither of which reached the minimum number of completed surveys required for reporting this period.

Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton, Pennsylvania came in second lowest, its lowest rank ever measured; followed by Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pennsylvania. The South Bend, Indiana-Michigan metro was among the lowest 15 cities for the second straight year.

The Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula metro was among the lowest three areas for career, financial and physical wellbeing, while Tulsa (social and physical) and Rockford (community and physical) were each among the lowest three in two areas of wellbeing. New Orleans-Metairie, Louisiana, and Mobile, Alabama joined Gulfport with the lowest financial wellbeing.

Learn more about where your area fall on the list by consulting the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index .

Research contact: @Gallup

Florida recount: Judge defeats efforts to ‘throw shade’ at 4,000 Sunshine State voters

November 16, 2018

Efforts in The Sunshine State to “throw some shade” on voters who sent their ballots through the mail—many of them, members of the military—or who cast their ballots provisionally, or with questionable signatures, were defeated by Judge Mark Walker of the U.S. District Court of Tallahassee on November 15, the Washington Post reported.

Deprive The decision to provide two more days to count at least 4,000 more ballots came hours ahead of the Thursday afternoon deadline for elections officials to complete a machine recount—against which President Donald Trump and Florida’s Republican candidates already had been chafing.

Indeed, Trump tweeted early on November 12 that the races should be called immediately: “The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott [running against Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson for the U.S. Senate] and Ron DeSantis [running against Tallahassee Democratic Mayor Andrew Gillum for Florida governor] in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged. An honest vote count is no longer possible—ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!”

It was not clear how the judge’s decision would affect the timing of the recount, which was expected to move to a manual canvass today in the too-close-to-call Senate race, in which Scott leads Nelson by fewer than 13,000 votes (0.15 percentage points).

Unofficial results in the gubernatorial race showed Republican former Congressman Ron DeSantis leading Andrew Gillum by nearly 34,000 votes—or roughly 0.4 percentage points.

According to the Post, while the ruling gave Nelson an opportunity to close the numbers gap, it fell short of the more sweeping decision his lawyers sought. In a blow to the campaign, Judge Walker declined Nelson’s request to count all ballots with mismatched signatures, sight unseen.

But, in his ruling, Judge Walker was very clear about the “irreparable injury” that had been inflicted on the constitutional rights of citizens “to cast their ballots and have them counted.”

He noted, “the precise issue in this case is whether Florida’s law that allows county election officials to reject vote-by-mail and provisional ballots for mismatched signatures–with no standards, an illusory process to cure, and no process to challenge the rejection—passes constitutional muster. The answer is simple. It does not.”

Specifically, the Post reported, Judge Walker noted that while the deadline to submit a mail-in ballot was 7 p.m. Election Day, the deadline to “cure” a mismatched signature was 5 p.m. Monday, the day before — meaning those voters not notified, or notified too late, had no recourse.

In his ruling, Walker said the plaintiffs, the Florida Democratic Party and the Nelson campaign, had established “irreparable injury” to the constitutional right of citizens “to cast their ballots and have them counted.” Specifically, Walker noted that while the deadline to submit a mail-in ballot was 7 p.m. Election Day, the deadline to “cure” a mismatched signature was 5 p.m. Monday, the day before — meaning those voters not notified, or notified too late, had no recourse.

State law requires canvassing boards to notify voters “immediately” if they determine that a mail-in ballot contains a signature inconsistent with the one on file.

“Here, potentially thousands of voters have been deprived of the right to cast a legal vote — and have that vote counted — by an untrained canvassing board member based on an arbitrary determination that their respective signatures did not match,” wrote the judge “Such a violation of the right to vote cannot be undone.”

He concluded, “This Court … is NOT ordering county canvassing boards to count every mismatched vote, sight unseen. Rather, the county supervisors are directed to allow those voters who should have had an opportunity to cure their ballots in the first place to cure their votes-by-mail and provisional ballots now,” he wrote.

Marc Elias, Nelson’s lead recount attorney, praised the ruling. “We look forward to ensuring that those voters who cast lawful ballots have them counted,” he said in an email to the DC-based news outlet.

Scott’s campaign said it was appealing the decision. “We are confident we will prevail,” said campaign spokesperson Lauren Schenone in a statement.

As recounts continue, the Post pointed out that the stakes are high: The Florida Senate race will determine the size of the GOP’s majority in 2019 and shape the power structure in the nation’s largest swing state. Together, the two sides have racked up at least 10 lawsuits trying to gain a legal advantage in the recount.

Research contact: @WaPoSean

Pundits shift nine House races toward Democrats

November 6, 2018

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report shifted nine House races toward Democrats in a new forecast published on November 5—the day before the midterm elections—The Hill reported.

The changes predicted by Cook are as follows:

Three races — in Texas’s 6th and 10th Congressional Districts and in West Virginia’s 2nd — moved from solid Republican to likely Republican. Two other races—Florida’s 25th and 6th districts, went from likely Republican to leaning Republican.

The movement is the latest indication that Democrats still have the upper-hand in the House prior to Tuesday’s midterms, when Democrats need to pick up 23 seats to regain control of the lower chamber. 

Research contact: @thehill

Ingraham’s departed sponsors see little blowback, while fallout hits Fox

April 4, 2018

Early data show the Fox News Channel brand sustaining greater financial losses—as well as damage in consumer perception—than any advertiser currently boycotting host Laura Ingraham’s television show, according to findings of a YouGov BrandIndex released on April 2.

Since advertisers began pulling out of The Ingraham Angle following the host’s incendiary tweets on March 28 about Parkland, Florida, shooting survivor David Hogg, nine of them have seen negligible movement in their Buzz Scores. What’s more, several have improved in their ratings—as follows:

  1. Progressive (previous score as of March 29: 10.7/current score as of April 1: 11.7);
  2. Office Depots (8.1/8.9);
  3. TripAdvisor (7.4/8.1);
  4. Johnson & Johnson (6.0/6.4);
  5. Expedia (6.7/7.0);
  6. Liberty Mutual (11.1/11.1);
  7. Ruby Tuesday (5.9/5.6)
  8. Hulu (14.3/13.9)
  9. Jos A Bank (4.6/4.2);
  10. Fox News Channel (-3.4/-6.89)

Hogg had immediately listed the names of Ingraham’s sponsors on his own Twitter account after her tweeted taunts—urging activists to call the advertisers and tell them to stop doing business with the Fox bully.

Of all of the brands, Fox News Channel’s Buzz Score dipped the most during the first days following the advertisers’ exodus, with more consumers hearing negative things than positive—indicating that the network could suffer from the controversy.

What’s more, advertisers continued to decamp, even as the host announced that she would take a one-week vacation and tweeted her apologies to Hogg on March 29, in an effort to stop the bleeding.

A Fox spokesperson stated that Ingraham’s time off had been previously planned.

Research contact: ted.marzilli@yougov.com

Americans don’t want weaponized classrooms

March 12, 2018

A majority of Americans (56%) don’t want guns in the classroom, according to findings of an NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll of 2,857 adults nationwide released on March 8.

In the aftermath of a mass shooting that killed 17 victims at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last month, President Donald Trump proposed that arming some of America’s teachers with concealed weapons and training them to “immediately fire back” at a “sicko” gunman would end school shootings once and for all.

However, students, school administrators, teachers, parents—and even gun violence experts—do not agree, for the most part. Across the board, 44% strongly disagree with the POTUS’s idea; 12% disagree, 17% somewhat agree, and 25% agree. Among Republicans, 50% agree; and among Democrats 75% disagree. Nearly half of self-identified Independent voters (46%) also disagree.

It also is little surprise that Republicans are more enthusiastic about how Trump has handled gun control than with how Congress has handled the issue, with 78% of Republican respondents indicating that they are enthusiastic or satisfied with how Trump has approached gun control so far. Only 43% of Republicans feel the same about Congress.

Majorities of Independents — 72 percent — say they are dissatisfied or angry about the way Trump has handled gun control, and 84 percent feel that way about Congress. A whopping 90% of Democrats are dissatisfied or downright angry at both Congress and Trump when it comes to gun control. Despite increased public pressure since the Parkland shooting, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) has given no indication of when — or if — he would bring up any form of gun-related legislation.

A narrow bipartisan proposal that would attempt to shore up the National Instant Background Check System has at least 50 co-sponsors, but it has not been brought to the floor — and GOP lawmakers have been unable to reach a consensus on what they support.

Still, a majority of Americans ( 61%) believe that  government and society can take action that will be effective in preventing mass shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida. Thirty-six percent think school shootings like Parkland will happen again regardless of what action is taken by government and society.

Research contact: Andrew.Arenge@nbcuni.com

Support builds nationwide for gun control legislation

February 22, 2018

Despite a report yesterday by ABC News/Washington Post that 77% of Americans  are looking at better mental health monitoring to prevent mass shootings—and that only 58%  are advocating for stricter gun laws—new findings have been released indicating that support for gun control is growing.

The independent Quinnipiac University National Poll—also conducted following  the massacre of 17 students and staff members on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida—found that American voters now are supporting stricter gun laws, 66% to 31%.

What’s more, respondents advocated, 67% versus 29% for a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons; and 83% versus 14% for a mandatory waiting period for all gun purchases.

Also released on February 20, according to Quinnipiac, this is “the highest level of support ever measured by the … poll”—with 50% versus 44% support among gun owners; 62% versus 35% advocacy from white voters with no college degree; and 58% versus 38% backing among white men.

Support for universal background checks is, itself, almost universal, with 97% of respondents for it versus 2% against (97% versus 3% among gun owners). Support for gun control on other questions is at its highest level since the Quinnipiac University Poll began focusing on this issue in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre:

It is too easy to buy a gun in the United States  today, respondents told Quinnipiac, 67% versus 3%. If more people carried guns Americans would be less safe, they stressed, 59% versus  33% percent.

Finally, the poll found, Americans think that Congress needs to do more to reduce gun violence, 75% versus 17%t.

“If you think Americans are largely unmoved by the mass shootings, you should think again. Support for stricter gun laws is up 19 points in little more than two years,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Research contact: timothy.malloy@quinnipiac.edu

77% see mental health screening, not gun control, as solution to mass shootings

February 21, 2018

Most Americans believe that the nation could have prevented the massacre of 17 students and staff members on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, based on findings of an ABC News/Washington Post poll released on February 20.

However, when considering the cautionary, legislative steps that could have been taken, gun control takes a backseat to psychiatric services among the respondents: While more than half (58%) of the 808 respondents said stricter gun laws could have prevented the shooting, a larger number (77%) said better mental health monitoring and treatment would have averted it.

Specifically, allowing teachers to carry guns— called an “opportunity and an option” by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos last week—is much lower on the list of preventative steps than mental health care: Just 42% percent believe that armed staff members could have prevented the killings.

Desire for action is evident in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates: 77% of U.S. adults say that Congress is not doing enough to try to stop such shootings, and 62 percent say the same of President Donald Trump.

According to ABC, many people feel “strongly” that action to date has been inadequate: 59% in the case of Congress; 50% as relates to Trump.

The public’s especially broad endorsement of improved mental health screening and treatment is in line with another result: Americans by a 2-to-1 margin blame mass shootings mainly on problems identifying and treating people with mental health problems, rather than on inadequate gun control laws.

Still, compared with a 2015 ABC News/Post survey, somewhat fewer mainly blame mental health screening (down 6 points) and somewhat more blame inadequate gun control laws (up 5 points). Greater concern about mental health screening over gun laws was 63-23 percent then, vs. 57-28 percent now.

Banning assault weapons—the alleged shooter in Parkland wielded a semiautomatic AR-15-style rifle— remains a more divisive issue, with nearly even numbers on both sides (50% in support and 46% percent opposed).

Opinions on banning assault weapons are marked by especially sharp differences among demographic groups: 55% of women support a ban, compared with 43%of men. That reflects a vast gap between white women (60% support) and white men (39%). There is no such gender gap among non-whites. The gap widens further, when looking at support for an assault weapons ban among college-educated white women (65%) versus non-college-educated white men (36%).

Research contact: heather.m.riley@abc.com

The best U.S. cities for first jobs

December 20, 2017

Although the U.S. economy added 228,000 jobs in November, many Millennials still are struggling to get their first job. WalletHub recently completed a poll that suggests that maybe they are looking in the wrong places—literally.

In a comparison of 150 cities nationwide, Salt Lake City, Utah, came out on top and Hialeah, Florida, bottomed out.

According to a report by Cities Journal, the financial services website used a number of factors to make its determinations, from federal government sources such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development; to references such as professional networking site Indeed and health and wellness platform Sharecare, and a number of other organizations.

In addition, WalletHub looked at two factors:

  • Professional opportunities, including availability of entry-level jobs, median starting salary, median income growth rate, annual job growth rate, workforce diversity, and economy mobility; and
  • Quality of life, including median annual income, percentage of the population aged 25-34, percentage of population with a B.A. degree minimum, projected population growth, and house affordability; along with the three WalletHub rankings, recreation, families, and singles.

Tops among places to find a professional job were: (1) Salt Lake City, (2) Denver, (3) Austin, (4) Sioux Falls (South Dakota), and (5) Minneapolis.

Raleigh, North Carolina; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma;, and three Texas cities —Amarillo, Houston and Corpus Christi— also made it to the top 10. (The only city among these that wasn’t in the top 10 in the professional opportunity of life ranking).

At the very bottom of the list were Detroit, Michigan; Fresno, California; Moreno Valley, California; Akron, Ohio, and Hialeah, Florida.

Interestingly enough, New York City—which often is considered the place where people go to make their careers— ranked 127th, below places like Port St. Lucie, Florida,  and Chula Vista, California

Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Memphis, Chicago and Los Angeles represented just a few of the major cities that did not break the top 100.

According to WalletHub, these cities are where you go once you have already made it—not when you are starting your career.

The research unearthed some additional insights, such as the fact that the best cities have 39 times more entry-jobs than the worst ones in this category.

Where is there the most affordable housing? Go to Plano, Texas; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Des Moines, Iowa; Overland Park, Kansas; or Buffalo, New York.

For the highest population of Millennials, seek out Boston, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Jersey City (New Jersey), or Seattle.

There also were huge differences between the highest and the lowest starting salaries (adjusted for cost of living)—with Houston, Durham, and San Jose paying three times more than Honolulu, New York or Santa Rosa.

Research contact: help@wallethub.com