With nearly half of respondents saying budget cuts sought by the governor go too far, Gov. Rick Scott? disapproval rating among Florida voters has ballooned, a new poll has found according to the News Service of Florida. The number of voters who say they disapprove of the job Scott is doing three months into his term has doubled, the Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday showed, although those who have said they approve generally still do. More than half of respondents also said state budget cutting proposals are unfair to them. “While his approval rating is unchanged, Gov. Rick Scott’s disapproval rating has jumped from 22 percent to 48 percent, perhaps not surprising given the magnitude of the changes he is proposing,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement accompanying the poll. “Today, Scott is a four-letter word to many Florida voters, but political popularity can change with time. 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.” There were two good things for Scott about the poll. It found that 65 percent of respondents agree with Scott that the state shouldn? raise taxes but balance the budget only through spending cuts. And nearly 8 in 10 voters say Scott’s order that newly-hired state government workers undergo drug testing and that those already on the job be spot-checked is a good idea. The state may be less anti-union than some think, though, the poll found. A proposal in the Legislature that would prohibit government offices from allowing automatic union dues paycheck deductions is a bad idea according to 47 percent of respondents, while 43 percent say it? a good idea. Three out of four, however, say the unions should have to get members?approval before the dues can be used for political purposes. The poll also asked about the teacher merit pay bill Scott signed into law.Voters disapprove 57-39 percent of linking teachers?pay to students?performance, but are evenly split on ending teacher tenure, the poll found.
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.