Poll shows Scott with highest approval yet — but still double-digits behind Cristby John Kennedy | June 18th, 2013
Gov. Rick Scott draws his highest approval ratings from Florida voters since his 2010 election, but still trails former Republican governor turned Democrat Charlie Crist by a double-digit margin in a prospective governor’s race, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.
Forty-three percent of Floridians approve of the job Scott has done in office, compared to 44 percent who disapprove – the best marks Scott has earned and up from a low of 29 percent in May 2011.
As recently as March, Quinnipiac’s last survey, 49 percent of voters disapproved of Scott’s job performance, while only 36 percent approved.
Crist, however, would top Scott 47-37 percent if the pair meet in next year’s governor’s race, the poll showed. But for Scott, even that may be good news.
In March, Crist held a 16 percentage point lead over the Republican incumbent.
“It is an indication of how far down Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s numbers have been that he can take some solace from a poll that finds him losing by 10 points to his predecessor in the governor’s office,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
“In addition to cutting the deficit between himself and former Gov. Charlie Crist, Gov. Scott sees his tepid job approval and favorability numbers and his still-negative reelection numbers as notably improved,” Brown added.
Similarly, while his approval numbers are rising and he is looking more competitive against Crist, voters aren’t thrilled by the prospect of another Scott term.
Fifty percent of voters surveyed said Scott does not deserve to be reelected, while 35 percent would give him another shot.
As grim as that may appear, the balance, too, reflects his best score so far on that question. Scott drew a 55-32 percent ‘no’ vote in March, Quinnipiac found.
In other possible match-ups, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, who has said repeatedly he has no plans to challenge Scott, also holds a 10 percent margin over the Republican in next year’s governor’s race.
Scott, however, holds a 42-36 percent lead over former state senator Nan Rich of Weston, the only name-brand Democrat who said she is actually running for governor.
The survey of 1,176 Florida voters was conducted June 11-16. It has a 2.9 percent margin-of-error.
Here are Quinnipiac’s findings: http://bit.ly/13OtzGk