Politics

Scott Bouncing Back Against Crist; Obama, Obamacare Big Negatives

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: March 26, 2014 2:00 PM
Rick Scott and Charlie Crist

Rick Scott and Charlie Crist

A new poll shows Gov. Rick Scott is roaring back even as President Barack Obama and his federal health-care law continue to remain unpopular in the Sunshine State.

A poll from St. Leo University released Wednesday shows former Gov. Charlie Crist’s lead over Scott shrinking. In December, a St. Leo poll had Crist with 46 percent while Scott took 34 percent. The new poll has Crist with 43 percent while Scott takes 39 percent. Scott does much better when matched against former state Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich. The Republican takes 40 percent while Rich garners 32 percent.

“Our polling shows good news for Gov. Scott, as he’s been able to take a sizable chunk out of Charlie Crist’s lead,” said Frank Orlando, a political science instructor at St. Leo University. “Gov. Scott has shored up some Republican voters, but he’s also doing about as well among independents and members of the opposing party as Mr. Crist. This is surprising, considering the fact that Crist, a former Republican, was expected to do well among Republicans and independents.”

Scott is above water in the poll, with 48 percent seeing him as favorable and 47 percent as unfavorable. But Scott is upside down when it comes to his performance, with 45 percent approving of him and 47 percent disapproving of him.

The poll finds Scott has gained ground with his fellow Republicans despite Crist spending most of his political life in the GOP, with 79 percent of Republicans approving of him and only 18 percent disapproving. This is a net gain of 22 percent for Scott since the December poll. Three-quarters of Republicans -- 75 percent -- approve of Scott’s job performance in Tallahassee, up 20 percent from the December poll.

Obama continues to sink in Florida, with only 39 percent of likely voters approving of him while 50 percent disapprove of him. Obama carried Florida in both 2008 and 2012.

“Floridians strongly disapprove of the job that President Obama is doing in the White House,” said Orlando, who added this could help Florida Republicans in November, including Scott. “This type of national feeling can make its way into state and local elections by damaging the party’s brand name. If President Obama’s approval ratings continue to fall, Scott will profit at the polls.”

Scott rose to political prominence in 2009 by leading Conservative for Patients’ Rights (CPR) which opposed Obama’s health-care law.

The poll finds only 29 percent of Florida voters are more likely to vote for congressional candidates if they support the health-care law. A majority -- 52 percent -- say they are less likely to vote for a candidate who backs Obama’s health-care law. Earlier in the month, Republican David Jolly upset former state CFO Alex Sink, the Democratic candidate, in a special congressional election. Jolly hammered Sink for her support of Obama’s law.

The poll finds both of Florida’s U.S. senators in solid shape. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., is approved by 50 percent of those surveyed while 33 percent disapprove of him. Almost half -- 49 percent -- see Nelson in a favorable light while 37 percent see him as unfavorable. While 40 percent say they plan to vote for Nelson for a fourth term in 2018, 35 percent say they plan to vote against him.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is approved by 50 percent of those surveyed while 40 percent disapprove of him. Rubio garners similiar favorablity numbers with 50 percent seeing him as favorable and 41 percent viewing him as unfavorable. As Rubio plans to run for a second term in 2016, 46 percent say they plan to vote for him while 38 percent are planning to vote against him.

The poll of 500 Florida adults, including 401 likely voters, was taken March 16-19 and had a margin of error of +/- 5 percent.



Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunhinestatenews.com.

Comments (7)

Jo Vaccarino
1:00AM APR 9TH 2014
Kevin ... I've caught you excluding candidates again. Where is Adrian Wyllie? The least you could do as a journalist is mention that this poll did not include all the candidates. I realize that the privately commissioned pollsters can exclude anyone they want. But you ... we're counting on you to provide us with the truth.

Please tell your superiors and the pollsters that your audience is pressuring you to report on ALL the candidates, not just the ones they choose. Tell them you want to be a good journalist and provide the voters with accurate information.

To create a fallacy that only these two candidates matter is to cheat your audience out of the truth.
davefe
1:18PM APR 2ND 2014
It is not about Crist. Rick Scott is the one being evaluated here and he is a failure. Lots of new low paying jobs does not cut it. The important point here is that Scott has been disliked from the start by Republicans and Democrats. He is unlikeable.
artofintel
1:30AM MAR 28TH 2014
GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT HANDPICKED Manatee County Judge Charles Sniffen on JANUARY 15, 2013.

Buck and Bill can sleep well tonight due to the governor's choices or lack there of when time for a pardon.

I think it will help GOVERNOR'S SCOTT'S campaign if HE USES THE $150 MILLION governor ADVERTISING BUDGET INFORMING VOTERS THAT HE HAND PICKED Judge Sniffen from manatee county who signed the kill order for buck and bill, the beautiful- intelligent Australian Shepherd dogs that did not deserve to die this way.

FLORIDA IS INHUMANE WITH RICK SCOTT'S LEADERSHIP!

a teenage boy was riding his bike and was bit when the dogs supposedly jumped out of a window when the owner wasn't home. some suspect provocation due to no SIGNS OF aggressive issues and officials could not determine which dog bit the teenage boy. So the judge sniffen signed off on killing both loving dogs that did not deserve to die.

FLORIDA IS INHUMANE. PLEASE CHANGE THE LAWS REGARDING DOG BITES. ESPECIALLY WHEN THERE HAS BEEN NO PROBLEMS OR SIGNS OF AGGRESSION IN THE PAST. THIS SHOULD BE A CIVIL ISSUE. THERE WAS NO SUPPORT FROM THE VICTIM TO KILL THE DOGS. THIS ISSUE SHOULD NOT BE ABOUT NEW JUDGES KILLING OFF DOGS ON A WHIM BECAUSE THE CURRENT LAW IS INHUMANE...
artofintel
1:14AM MAR 28TH 2014
GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT HANDPICKED Manatee County Judge Charles Sniffen on JANUARY 15, 2013.

Buck and Bill can sleep well tonight due to the governor's choices or lack there of when time for a pardon.

I think it will help GOVERNOR'S SCOTT'S campaign if HE USES THE $150 MILLION governor ADVERTISING BUDGET INFORMING VOTERS THAT HE HAND PICKED Judge Sniffen from manatee county who signed the kill order for buck and bill, the beautiful- intelligent dogs that did not deserve to die this way.

FLORIDA IS INHUMANE WITH RICK SCOTT'S LEADERSHIP!
NoDino
10:58PM MAR 27TH 2014
That gives plenty of room for Nan Rich to pick up as people get to know her. As people meet her, learn about her and get to know her record over 12 years in the FL House and Senate, and as the first woman Senate Minority leader, they are coming on board. I stand with Nan.
JOE KREPS
7:06PM MAR 30TH 2014
Absolutely. As people get to know Nan, they are supporting her with $20 contributions. She will never get the huge corrupt corporations and special interest dollars but each small contribution is a vote.
Arthro
10:49PM MAR 27TH 2014
Charlie has no record to run on. Rick Scott actually accomplished something while he was governor. When Floridians figure it out, Rick scott will beat Crist easily, and Crist can go back to chasing ambulances and telling old quarterback stories.

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