Is Rick Scott’s approval rating really ‘up’ to 43% — and if so, why?

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Rick Scott’s makeover is working, says Brad Coker, managing director of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, who has conducted a new poll for the Tampa Bay Times & Bay News 9.

More than four in 10 Florida voters, 43 percent, approve of Scott’s job performance a year into his first term; 47 percent disapprove; while 10 percent are not sure, writes Aaron Sharockman.

Sharockman contends that these latest numbers are a marked improvement from the last poll conducted by Quinnipiac, which showed Scott at only 33 percent approval.

As any political science major can attest, it’s rarely a good idea to imply direction by comparing one poll to another.  In other words, Scott’s approval may be at 43% in the Mason-Dixon poll, but he’s not “up” from 33% in the Quinnipiac poll, as Sharockman implies.

I also take issue with Scott’s approval being up, according to Sharockman’s narrative, because “Scott in recent months has reshaped his image in ways big and small — from ditching his dark business suits for khakis and casual button-down shirts, to reversing course on cuts to education funding, to blitzing talk radio shows across the state.”

All of that may be true, but Scott’s improving poll numbers likely have as much to do with the drop in the state’s unemployment numbers.  To not mention this paints an incomplete picture.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.