Gov. Scott’s approval rating goes from terrible to bad in new Quinnipiac poll

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Although Gov. Rick Scott’s job approval among Florida voters remains seriously below water, his negative 35 – 52 percent score is an improvement from a negative 29 – 57 percent in May, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Florida voters continue to give Gov. Scott negative ratings on his handling of the state budget, its fairness to average voters and about him personally, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds.

Only one quarter of Florida voters know that the budget passed by the State Legislature and signed by Scott does not raise taxes.

“Given that voters say 58 – 29 percent they favor a budget approach that only cuts spending, rather than a combination of tax increases and spending cuts, it would seem that Gov. Rick Scott and his aides have failed to get their message out,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.  “Gov. Scott still has a long hike to parity in voter approval, but he has begun the trek.  Whether it is the beginning of a serious move or just a blip, time will tell.”

Scott gets thumbs up from Republicans 61 – 23 percent, compared to 51 – 37 percent in May.  Disapproval is 78 – 14 percent from Democrats, little changed from May, and 50 – 33 percent from independents, compared to 57 – 28 percent in May.  Men disapprove 46 – 40 percent, an improvement on May’s 53 – 35 percent, and women disapprove 58 – 30 percent, better than May’s 60 – 24 percent.

“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,” Brown added.

“Making those voters aware he had kept his no-new-taxes pledge would seem to be the best way to win them back,” Brown said.  “He also must improve voter opinion of him personally.”

Only 24 percent of Florida voters say the new budget signed into law by Scott does not raise taxes, while 19 percent say it does raise taxes and 57 percent don’t know.

Florida voters say 45 – 34 percent that they do not like Scott as a person.  This is the highest ‘dislike’ seen in any state surveyed by Quinnipiac University this year.  Voters tend to like their governor, even when they disapprove of the job he or she is doing.  Florida voters like President Barack Obama as a person 69 – 18 percent, but disapprove 51 – 44 percent of the job he is doing, as reported yesterday.

Scott has other bad grades on his report card:

  • 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.

Voters support 83 – 14 percent “Caylee’s Law,” a proposal in the State Legislature to make not reporting a child’s disappearance a felony.  There is strong support among all groups and in every region of the state.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.