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Rick Scott Hurt by Gerald Bailey Matter, New Poll Finds

February 2, 2015 - 6:00pm

Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., starts out his second term upside down as a new poll shows he has been hurt by the controversy surrounding former Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Commissioner Gerald Baileys departure.

St. Pete Polls took a poll for Saint PetersBlog which was released on Tuesday. The poll shows half of Floridians -- 50 percent -- say they do not approve of Scott while 41 percent approve of the governor.

Scott retains his Republican base with 72 percent approving of him while 20 percent disapprove of him. Democrats remain wholeheartedly against Scott with more than three-quarters of them -- 76 percent -- disapproving of him while 15 percent approve of the governor. Voters outside the major parties also break against the governor, with 56 percent of them disapproving of Scott while 34 percent approve of him.

Asked if there should be an investigation of Scotts handling of Baileys departure, half of those surveyed -- 50 percent -- say yes while a third -- 33 percent -- say no with the rest unsure.

Most Democrats surveyed -- 72 percent -- say Scotts administration should be investigated while 14 percent say it is not warranted. Only 26 percent of Republicans say Scotts administration should be investigated but most -- 56 percent -- say it should not be. A majority of independents -- 55 percent -- say the Scott administration needs to be investigated while 27 percent oppose the idea.

The poll of 4,218 Florida voters was taken from Jan. 30-Feb. 2 and had a margin of error of +/- 1.5 percent.

The Florida Cabinet will meet later this week and is expected to address the Bailey situation. The Scott administration has insisted it did nothing wrong while Cabinet officials are saying they were not aware that Bailey had been fired.

Reach Kevin Derby at or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN

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