Early polling suggests that Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election chances are dim.
Rick Scott’s approval numbers have seen no improvement over the last two months, even after his decision to allow Medicaid expansion in Florida. 33% of voters continue to approve of the job he’s doing to 57% who disapprove. Although his overall numbers are the same he has seen a slight improvement with Democrats (from 21/71 to 23/69) and a slight downgrade with Republicans (from 49/38 to 46/42).
Scott continues to trail Charlie Crist by double digits in a hypothetical match up, 52/40. That’s just a slight improvement for him from January when he was down 53/39. Crist, who still has a 28% favorability rating with Republicans, wins over 29% of the Republican vote and also has a narrow lead with independents at 47/41. Crist still isn’t as popular as he used to be- a 46/43 favorability rating- but that’s good enough against the backdrop of Scott’s unpopularity to give him a pretty substantial early advantage.
It’s at least a year before this kind of polling will carry much weight, but it will dictate how Mr. Scott and the gang in Tallahassee conduct themselves in the legislative session that just started.
It will be fun to see just how much pre-emptive pandering and sucking up can get done between now and the first week in May to lay the groundwork for the campaign next year. Boost education and give teachers a raise? Sure! Cut taxes on the very rich? Why not? Suck up to the NFL and the stadium lobby in Miami? You got it! Issue a specialty license plate for Jesus-freaks and Pastafarians? Coming right up.
It’s amazing what you can get done when you’re doomed.