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Rick Scott’s Poll Numbers Go From Dismal to Merely Bad in Latest Quinnipiac

| August 5, 2011

Still doesn't look good.

In May Gov. Rick Scott was the most unpopular governor in America, with an approval rating ticking between 27 and 29 percent and disapproval up to a staggering 57 percent. Many voters who’d cast their ballot for him instead of Alex Sink had misgivings. Many who hadn’t felt vindicated.

Scott was particularly damaged by a bruising legislative session–bruising to more constituents than it was even to Scott, as teachers saw their roles redefined as for-hire employees whose professional status was significantly downgraded. Public employees took a 3 percent take-home-pay cut as that share of their pay would thenceforth head for their state retirement pot, enabling state and local government to balance the books at employees’ expense. Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor and some of the elderly, was slashed, affecting 2.9 million Floridians. Job creation remains anemic. Public university tuition costs increased again by more than twice the national university inflation rate, while the state’s scholarship fund was slashed. Public schools lost $1 billion in funding. And the list goes on.

To improve his image, Scott launched a charm offensive, drafting the press he’d snubbed along the way. The PR campaign is working slightly. His poll numbers are improving, if from a very low base.

The latest Quinnipiac University poll has his approval rating improving to 35 percent–still very bad for any politician, and insurmountable at election time, but nevertheless a six-point rise from May. His disapproval rating remains extremely high, at 52 percent, though it, too, is a slight decline from 57 percent. Scott’s poor numbers are driven in part by his inability to explain his own budget. Only a quarter of those polled say they know that budget Scott signed into law doesn’t necessarily raise taxes, though the severity of budget and service cuts is registering with voters.

Scott approval-disapproval from Republicans is 61-23 percent, rising from 51-37 in May. Disapproval is 78-14 among Democrats, not much changed from May. Among independents, he gets a 33-50 approval-disapproval, compared to 28-57 in May. Just 7 percent of blacks approve of his policies, and 37 percent of Hispanics. Among whites, the approval is at 40 percent. The Legislature gets a 32 percent approval.

“The improvement in Scott’s numbers comes primarily from those who would be expected to support him, Republicans and men. But he still has a long way to go to reach the numbers that historically back Republicans,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a release.

Floridians don’t like their governor, even as a person: that’s unusual across the country, where voters, even when they disapprove of their governor’s policies, tend to like their governor as a person. In Florida, 45 percent don;t like Scott as a person, and just 34 percent like him. In comparison, even though a slight majority of Floridians don’t like Barack Obama’s policies, 69 percent like him as a person, and just 18 percent dislike him.

Other bad marks for Scott:

  • Voters dislike his policies 54 – 34 percent;
  • Voters disapprove 57 – 32 percent of his handling of the state budget;
  • 42 percent say budget cuts went too far, as 20 percent say not far enough and
  • 25 percent say the cuts are about right;
  • Voters say 39 – 26 percent that spending cuts in the budget will hurt, rather than help, the Florida economy;
  • Voters say 51 – 33 percent that the new state budget is unfair to them.

“The governor needs to convince voters that his budget was fair to average folks and make sure they know it didn’t raise taxes,” said Brown.

Only 4 percent of voters are very satisfied with the way things are going in Florida; when the somewhat satisfied are included, the proportion rises to 37 percent, as opposed to 61 percent who are somewhat or very dissatisfied.

The poll was conducted between July 27 and Aug. 2 with 1,417 registered voters through live interviews on land lines and cell phones. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

On Thursday, Quinnipiac released its latest poll on Obama’s performance in Floridian’s eyes. The bounce Obama had received from the killing of Osama bin Laden has vanished, returning Obama to the same place he was in April: 44 percent approval, though his disapproval, at 51 percent, is a fraction below where it was in April (52). Some 50 percent say Obama does not deserve to be reelected.

If Romney were running head to head with Obama, the two would be in a toss-up: 44-44. Romney leads among Republicans in Florida, with 23 percent against 13 percent for Rick Perry, Texas’s evangelist governor. Sarah Palin and Ron Paul are at 9 percent. Perry and Palin have not announced for the presidency.

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20 Responses for “Rick Scott’s Poll Numbers Go From Dismal to Merely Bad in Latest Quinnipiac”

  1. Prescient33 says:

    His numbers are improving steadily, and he is recognized by other then Dem sycophants as a man embarked on a serious challenge, i.e., to keep FL fiscally responsible by reining in the public sector unions and their irresponsible demands. Unlike Obama, he demonstrates his willingness to tackle real problems.

  2. rob says:

    I read a number of Florida online newspapers daily and unlike the Tea Party’s poster child I can name the newspapers that I read.

    In the comments sections of many of the articles about Rick Scott I have only read of six people who own up to voting for this man who is masquerading as a governor.

  3. Lin says:

    Yet he won election so someone must have agreed with him

  4. Pat says:

    If you really think about it, Jeb Bush, Charlie Crist, and now the bald headed donut maker, all Republicans, have created the situation we are in in Florida. All his new job numbers are phony. More people in Florida have lost their jobs than any he claims to have created. Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.

  5. Jojo says:

    The man is a crook – plain and simple. I did not vote for him the first time and I surely am not voting for him a second time either. Let him get to work somewhere else.

  6. Jack Cowardin says:

    It’s always an improvement when some initial ingrates come back to what made them righteous, metaphorically. Thankfully, we the mediocrity understand why flip flopping is so popular, with all the influence and uncertainty that keeps us informed. Why , if it wasn’t for self association for the things that differentiate the people that want to preserve their way of life and those that pray their lives may change for the better, we’d have a perfect society, where politicians were amusement and required, but not empowered to make a difference in whether a man can feed his family, in a house he can afford, with a job that is secure. Only a blind rich man fails to see life as it is for those less fortunate, or lucky to have luck on their side. Benevolent leaders, wise and humble, are as rare as the time stove pipe hats were popular.

  7. Outsider says:

    Hey, at least the guy I voted for balanced the budget he was tasked with; not so for your incompetent leader. But hey, you now have someone to divert your attention away from our debt downgrade. The “new details” of the Osam bin Laden killing are getting old.

  8. Billy Bob says:

    “…as teachers saw their roles redefined as for-hire employees whose professional status was significantly downgraded. Public employees took a 3 percent take-home-pay cut as that share of their pay would thenceforth head for their state retirement pot, enabling state and local government to balance the books at employees’ expense. Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor and some of the elderly, was slashed, affecting 2.9 million Floridians.”

    That’s all supposed to be a bad thing? Holy cow, he’s doing exactly what he should be doing! He’s there to get things done, not to win a popularity contest. All you people that moan about how politicians get in there and then bend over backwards when push comes to shove, we’ll Rick Scott doesn’t do that. He doesn’t care who he pisses off, he is doing what needs to be done, cuts and all! This is not a popularity contest. I don’t care that his “approval” rating is low. I don’t care what anybody else thinks about him. I simply recognize that if we had more politicians in D.C. who were wired like Rick Scott, then there is NO WAY this country would owe trillions in debt.

    NO business can survive continuing to spend more than it makes day after day. Eventually it catches up with you as “our” demoted credit rating has clearly proven. Rick Scott is an UNPAID governor who has NOT raised our taxes and has BALANCED Florida’s budget. That’s the bottom line. Again, I don’t care if 75% of you think he’s awful. You’re the 75% who helped get us into this mess in the first place, so deal with it.

  9. lawabidingcitizen says:

    Billy Bob, nicely (and politely) said. A smart person I know always says, when you’re losing money, you can’t make it up on volume. ;-}

  10. Steve Robinson says:

    And while we’re on the subject of Rick Scott, 47 of the nation’s governors understood that Rick Perry’s evangelical rally was inappropriate, and perhaps unconstitutional. Two governors embraced the rally: Sam Brownback of Kansas showed up (no surprise), and who do you think weighed in with a video address to the crowd? Our very own Rick Scott, governor of the fourth most populous state, and one of the nation’s most diverse. What have we done to deserve this man?

  11. Pat says:

    Rick Scott, phony baloney!!!!!!!!! Republicans, start acknowledging the blame for what you done over the last twelve years to Florida. Jail birds, corruption, payoffs, no balanced budgets, you get the picture……..

  12. some guy says:

    Perrys “rally” was niether inappropriate or unconstitutional.. Our Constitution does not bar one from haveing or showing a religious belief. It does say however the Congress shale not make a official religion of our Country. We have freedom OF not from seeing that others have faith no matter what that may be. Their right to have it is over your or mine to say we do not like to see them.

  13. Layla says:

    Texas is creating 4 out of every 10 jobs. Whatever Perry’s got, we could use some of it here. What he does on the weekends hardly violates the separation of church and state.

    As for Rick Scott, I’m having no problem with him except for the robo calls. Otherwise, he is doing exactly what I elected him to do, cut back.

    Drop some of the overregulation on small business and you’ll bring back the jobs. It’s that simple. The jobs go where there is less regulation. Just ask your pool guy, your lawn guy, you mechanic, etc.

  14. Pat says:

    Where are the 700,000 new jobs Rick? Miami/Dade unemployment rate at 22%, Flagler county at 17.6%. Twelve years of Republican leadership, or lack thereof, has created the crisis we face in Florida, and Rick Scott, well, he really has not impressed many with his business acumen. He would do much better as a dictator of a small island nation.

  15. Jojo says:

    Scott says he created 8,000 jobs since taking office. To the Tea Baggers on this thread – who is Scott fooling. It ain’t me. There are well over a million people unemployed in this State. So many people have exhausted their unemployment benefits that they are not counted anymore. The crime rate is out of control. Social programs are having a hard time keeping up with the disadvantaged. The City beautiful are locking up volunteers in Orlando for feeding the hungry. Scotts wife is piss testing welfare recipients, state workers’ and commercial motor vehicle drivers’. Life is good for the Scotts. The Scotts have no clue what’s going on around them. People are dieing and children are starving while more and more people turn to robbing banks to survive. Folks, you can’t turn a blind eye to the have’s and have nots. Sure, balance your budgets but when the riots start because people have to feed their young, the Scotts are well protected.

  16. Outsider says:

    So the way to feed your young is to start a riot and steal? Hmmm….perhaps creating a garden would be more productive? Oh, that would probably be too much work. People are dying? Yes, that happens every day. Children are starving? Not the one I saw in the Bunnell BP the other day; the mom and grandma got two 32 oz. Pepsi’s, a bag of chips, and a bottle of brightly colored unidentifiable liquid. The little two year old girl was drinking a bottle of sugar water the color of anti-freeze. Thirteen dollars and change all went on the red, white and blue striped welfare card. This kid wasn’t starving, but the mom was hungry for a brain.

  17. Pat says:

    The only way to get companies to relocate to Florida is for state, county, or local governments to give them millions of dollars in incentives. Check and see what Texas and other growth areas have done to entice them to their states. Money, money, money, that is the answer. Rick, you have billions you got from medicare. Perhaps you could start a donut shop franchise around the country, and like Paul Newman,you could contribute profits to the State of Florida.

  18. Jojo says:

    Da Outsider is worried about $13. being spent on junk food when his fearless leader, Da Gov, slick Rick, is figuring ways to steal millions from State coffers.

  19. Doug Chozianin says:

    Rick Scott is goring a lot of oxen and slaughtering sacred cows. GO SCOTT GO!!!

    Be honest, would you rather have Jerry Brown as governor?

  20. Pat says:

    Rick Scott, just another lying cheat Republican like Arnold . Arnold managed to take California from a 12 billion dollar deficit to 20+ billion deficit. How is that for fiscal responsibility!!!!!!!! Same old spend, spend,spend Republicans, with tax breaks for their Fat Cat friends.

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