From Public Policy Polling: You could say Rick Scott’s honeymoon is over…but that would suggest he had one in the first place. A December PPP poll shortly before Scott took office found that only 33% of Florida voters had a favorable opinion of their new Governor to 43% who viewed him negatively. After a few months in office those numbers have only gotten worse- Scott’s approval rating is just 32% while 55% of voters in the state are unhappy with his work so far.
Scott’s numbers leave a lot to be desired across the political spectrum. Only 57% of Republicans approve of the job he’s doing to 27% who disapprove. To put those numbers into some context his counterparts in the Midwest who are having their own popularity problems at least are doing far better within their own parties- Wisconsin’s Scott Walker stands at 86% with Republicans, Ohio’s John Kasich is at 71%, and Michigan’s Rick Snyder has a 68% approval with GOP voters.
Outside of his own party Scott’s support is close to nonexistent. Only 31% of independents like what he’s done so far to 54% who disapprove. And with Democrats his approval is just 11% to 81% who disapprove. For sake of comparison Marco Rubio’s disapproval with Democrats is only 51%, 30 points lower than Scott’s and his disapproval with independents is only 31%, 23 points lower than Scott’s.
The Florida Governor’s race was one of the closest in the country last year with Scott winning by a razor thin margin even in one of the best Republican years ever. If voters got to do it over again today it would be no contest- Alex Sink leads Scott 56-37 in a hypothetical rematch. Independents say they would vote for her by a whooping 32 point margin at 61-29 and even 21% of Republicans now say they’d vote for her, more than twice the 10% level of GOP support exit polls showed her winning in November.
Some of the crosstabs in the ‘redo’ poll point to the Democratic turnout issues that made Scott’s victory possible in the first place though. For instance voters under 30 say they would support Sink by a 67-26 margin if the election was today- but those folks made up only 8% of the electorate in the state last year. If they had turned out in greater numbers Scott would have been in the dustbin of Florida political history four months ago. Turnout from African Americans (who say they would vote for Sink now 85-8) and Hispanics (who say they would vote for Sink 69-28) was also down as a share of the electorate last year from 2008. Democratic voters may be disgusted with Scott as Governor but to some extent they did it to themselves by not showing up to vote in November.
Scott obviously has almost four whole years to rehabilitate his image but one thing’s clear- it’s not going to happen if he doesn’t change the way he operates.
Full results here