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After Two Months of Charm Assaults, Gov. Rick Scott’s Approval Still a Freezing 37

| September 21, 2011

Waiting for his bounce. (© FlaglerLive)

Floridians are barely buying Gov. Rick Scott’s make-over as a really nice guy: after two months of trying to play nice with the media he previously scorned, pretending to work at a doughnut shop and a school cafeteria, visiting with local business groups (including in Flagler and St. Johns) and supplying newspapers a more glamorous photograph of himself than the skeletal, bug-eyed versions that had been circulating until then, the governor’s approval rating barely budged: from 35 percent in early August to 37 percent in the latest Quinnipiac University poll, released this morning. Scott’s disapproval rating is at 50 percent, down from 52 percent.

The numbers show a bigger improvement from May, immediately after a legislative session withering to many constituencies, when he was at 29 percent approval and 57 percent disapproval. Scott remains among the least popular governors in the state, and is considerably less popular in his own state than President Obama (whose numbers are nothing to write Hawaii about: in the last poll, in early August, Obama was at 44 percent approval, about even with his national approval.)

Just 35 percent of surveyed voters like Scott’s policies overall.

One underlying factor explaining Scott’s poor numbers: the state’s 10.7 percent unemployment rate is still stuck immovably and considerably higher than the nation’s 9.1 percent, with anemic job creation since Scott has been in office: the net difference in the eight months he’s been in office is just 38,000 more jobs, and a labor force that has shrunk by 75,000, suggesting that large numbers of the unemployed are simply dropping out of the system altogether, in part because Scott tightened eligibility for unemployment checks, thus artificially lowering the unemployment rate. Floridians could also be abandoning the state: last February, a Chamber of Commerce-sponsored poll found that 21 percent of Floridians would leave if they had the opportunity. Low housing prices and the inability to sell those houses is keeping a disproportionate number of people in place.

The charm offensive hasn’t done much to move Scott’s likability as a person, either: 37 percent like him now, compared with 34 percent in early August, though fewer people dislike him: 45 percent did so last month. He’s got that number down to 37 percent.

Approval among women edged up to 36 percent, from 30 percent in the last go-around. Approval among men is 39 percent.

“During his first six months in office Gov. Scott alienated the news media and did not make the effort to explain his program to the general public, as he has been doing recently,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling institute, said. “The governor has improved, not surprisingly, among Republicans, but in addition to solidifying his base, the governor is better off among women, who dislike him a little less.

Some 48 percent still say the state’s budget is unfair to them, down slightly from 51 percent. And 53 percent say they don’t approve of Scott’s handling of the state budget.

One area where Scott scored big points: the requirement that welfare recipients be drug-tested–and pass the test–before they are eligible for checks. Floridians support the measure by a 71-27 margin, including 90 percent of Republicans, 83 percent of white, born-again evangelicals, and 75 percent of independents. Democrats give it just a 49 percent favorable rating. That measure is one of many that has drawn a lawsuit.

The Quinnipiac poll also asked voters about freshman Sen. Marco Rubio. He draws a 49 percent approval rating.

The poll was conducted through live interviews over land lines and cell phones between Sept. 14 and 19 with 1,007 registered voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

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9 Responses for “After Two Months of Charm Assaults, Gov. Rick Scott’s Approval Still a Freezing 37”

  1. Jojo says:

    Wish he would resign or leave gracefully now. Either way, it’s now or later.

  2. NortonSmitty says:

    JoJo, it ain’t now or later. The reality is this thieving asswipe is the new Republican normal. The reality is the reason he is trying to polish his image is he has aspirations to be a viable national candidate, maybe a VP contender next year if he can help deliver Florida. The sad reality is he may not be totally delusional, our political bar has been set so low.

    If the major candidates of the Elephants can include an Alaskan half-term governor that went to five different colleges to get a Bachelors Degree in Sportscasting, a woman who says God told her to get a Law Degree at Oral Roberts University so she could work for the IRS, a Texan who sold access to the Governors office like it was his own private piggy-bank, then hell, why isn’t he qualified? I mean, he has a proven record of theft from the taxpayers, more than any of THEM have.

    He even went to the big secret rally at the Aspen Institute this summer to prove that even though he didn’t have the backing of the right wing power brokers when he bought the election, he knows how to play the game, let him in the club! And they did. And gave him tips on improving his image, the keywords to use to make the rabble think he is on their side, buzzwords and the Media. You know, TeaBag 101. So he could be in the Republican mainstream.

    So he is probably going to be around for a long time. If he does move op the ladder, one just like him is standing by to replace him.

    The scary part is that if the trend continues, we will look back at him fondly as an admired statesman.

  3. Christie 2012 says:

    Time Warner Incorporated announces it will create more than 500 jobs in the Tampa area in the next five years with a new bureau for the worldwide media company.
    The telecommunications company says Tampa was chosen for the shared services facility over 59 other locations, including in Florida, Georgia and New York. Time Warner made the announcement Tuesday. ( over NY, how is that possible?)
    A new partnership between University Community Health and the Florida Hospital Network is expected to bring about $500 million dollars into the local economy,and create about 400 jobs within the year.
    There are also more jobs coming to the Port of Tampa.
    There is a project planned that will create a new ethanol hub. It will bring ethanol into Tampa more efficiently through the nation’s first ethanol train-to-pipeline distribution system.
    It is expected to take a year to build, creating nearly 243 construction jobs.
    It will also create about 80 CSX railroad-related jobs in the first year, but could eventually employ 477 railroad workers in about 30 years.
    Looks to me Scott’s doing OK. The problem is with a federal government doing everything they can to destroy the people that create jobs and large corporations like Time Warner in the name “Fairness”

  4. palmcoaster says:

    @ Christie 2012, can you provide the links that attest your jobs creations mentioned above? Also do you have the actual figures of how many public employees lost their jobs in Florida since R. Scott took office?
    We may find out that the job potential creations mentioned above may seem like a drop of water in the sea of unemployed caused by R. Scott in the Sunshine State.

  5. Sad Times says:

    The really sad part is that Floridians voted Scott into office!! Hey, my question is “Why?” Did those who voted for him not pay attention to what he was promoting for Florida.. while he was campaigning?

  6. Anon says:

    Looks like Scott is doing ok? Do you live in Florida or even on this planet?

    Try reading the unemployment figures for the state of Florida. The majority of Florida has a higher rate of unemployment (11%) that the US rate of unemployment (9%). Flagler County has the second worst unemployment in the state at approximately 15%. And that rate went up last month.

    According to you the federal government is destroying people who create jobs by attempting to remove the generous tax breaks they have been enjoying for the past decade.

    Let us use your reasoning that these tax breaks allow job creation. Well then where are all of the jobs? The wealthy have been enjoying these tax breaks for enough years to have a surplus of jobs, instead this country is in an economic calamity. The middle and lower strata of society are in a quandary.

    The wealthy keep getting richer.

  7. Johnny Taxpayer says:

    It’s funny by reading most of the comments on a Rick Scott story on this site, even though he’s only been Governor for less than a year (and has actually delivered on what he campaigned on) it’s his fault Florida unemployment is so high… yet for the most part these same people blaming Rick Scott give a pass to Mr. Obama who has been in office 3 years as if there is nothing he could have done to avoid the economic mess we’re in, even after the trillions of dollars flushed away on failed stimulus plans? Interesting.

  8. mara says:

    His approval ratings are still frozen because most thinking people aren’t taken in by this crook. The fact that Rick Scott “won” is testament to the fact that we still have a long way to go in this state before we get an honest vote.

  9. D Frank says:

    Not much difference between Scott and Obama or the rest of the cronies in Washington

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