Scott’s disapproval rating soars in new poll; ‘I’m not trying to become most popular,’ he respondsby George Bennett | April 6th, 2011
Florida voters disapprove of Gov. Rick Scott by a 48-to-35 percent margin, says a new Quinnipiac University poll that finds the new Republican governor’s disapproval ratings have more than doubled over the last two months.
A February Quinnipiac poll showed Scott with the same 35 percent approval rating, but with only 22 percent disapproving.
Voters overwhelmingly agree with Scott that taxes should not be increased to balance Florida’s budget. But by a 64-to-24 percent margin, they don’t believe Scott can keep his no-new-taxes pledge. And they disapprove of Scott’s overall handling of the budget by a 55-to-36 percent margin, with 53 percent calling Scott’s proposals “unfair” to people like themselves.
Forty-seven percent say Scott’s proposed spending cuts go too far, compared to 29 percent who say they are about right and 16 percent who’d like deeper cuts.
Scott’s proposal to require state employees to begin contributing a portion of their salaries to their pensions is supported by 55 percent of Floridians, with 39 percent calling it a bad idea. His order that new employees be submit to drug tests gets 78 percent approval.
Voters dislike a new law linking teacher pay to student test scores by a 57-to-39 percent margin.
The poll of 1,499 registered Florida voters was conducted March 29 through April 4 and has a 2.5 percent margin of error.
“Today, Scott is a four-letter word to many Florida voters, but political popularity can change with time,” says Quinnipiac’s Peter Brown. “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.”
Our Kim Miller reports that Scott, in Palm Beach, was asked about the poll and said he’s not trying to win a popularity contest.
“I won this race because I put out a specific game plan for the state and people know I’m doing exactly what I said I was going to do,” said Scott, who spoke during a question-and-answer session at The Wall Street Journal Women in the Economy conference at the Four Seasons on Palm Beach.
“I’m not trying to become most popular,” Scott said. “I’m trying to make sure this state succeeds. When I run for re-election they will decide whether I succeeded.”