The number of Florida voters who disapprove of Gov. Rick Scott has more than doubled in two months, with almost half now saying they don’t think he’s doing a good job, a new poll says.
Results of a Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday show that 48 percent of Sunshine State voters disapprove of Mr. Scott, compared with a 22 percent disapproval rate in a Quinnipiac poll from early February. His approval rating was the same in both polls; 35 percent.
The new poll also shows that 53 percent of respondents say the Republican governor’s new budget proposal is unfair to them, compared with 37 percent who say it’s fair.
Mr. Scott’s proposed budget cuts go “too far,” 47 percent of voters say, while 16 percent say they don’t go “far enough” and 29 percent say they are “about right,” the independent Quinnipiac University survey finds.
“Today, Scott is a four-letter word to many Florida voters, but political popularity can change with time,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “The experience of Scott’s predecessor, Charlie Crist, who had 70 percent approval ratings at this point in his tenure, shows how fickle public opinion can be.”
Mr. Scott defeated Democrat Alex Sink by a little more than one percentage point in November. Mr. Crist, who ran as an independent for Senate last year, was badly beaten in the race by now Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.
Still, the fact that Mr. Scott is as unpopular as the state Legislature, which has a 47 percent to 35 percent approval/disapproval rating, is evidence of the depth of his political problem, Mr. Brown says.
“It is exceedingly rare for an unindicted governor or president to ever be seen as poorly by the electorate as his legislature or Congress,” he said.
Mr. Scott is doing at least one thing right, voters say. Seventy-eight percent of the survey’s respondents say they approve of the governor’s decision that newly-hired state government workers undergo drug testing and that those already on the job be spot-checked.