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Rick Scott in Trouble


Key Point: Gov. Rick Scott’s toxic approval rating, which has remained underwater since taking office, not only makes him extremely vulnerable to Democrats in 2014 but threatens the GOP brand in 2012. Scott’s recent effort to purge the voters rolls is particularly damaging, as 50-percent of  Florida voters say they disagree with this extreme agenda.

PPP: Florida Miscellany

-Several polls have shown now that Rick Scott would lose in 2014 if Charlie Crist became a Democrat and ran against him but our newest survey finds that Democrats might not need that high of a profile candidate to knock off Scott, at least if he remains this unpopular. 5% of voters in the state have a positive opinion of State Senator Nan Rich. Only 14% have even heard of her. And despite that she still leads Scott by 12 points in a hypothetical match up, 47-35.

Obviously that finding has a lot more to do with Scott than it does with Rich. His approval rating has sunk back down to 31%, with 56% of voters disapproving of him. One thing that hasn’t done his popularity any favors lately is his push to eliminate some people from the voter rolls. Only 34% of voters approve of that effort to 50% who disagree with it.

Some people have compared Scott to Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, saying he could have a similar sort of resurrection in his standing. But the lowest level of popularity Walker ever hit in our polling was 43%. That would be a record high for Scott if he ever got there.

-Like voters in most of the country Floridians are moving on gay marriage. They’re still narrowly against it with 45% opposed and 42% supportive. But that three point margin represents an 8 point shift from last September when 48% were opposed and just 37% in support. This very much looks to be an Obama effect. Republicans and independents have moved very little on the issue but Democrats have moved 20 points from +15 support (48/33) to +35 support (61/26). The most dramatic movement has been among African Americans who’ve shifted 48 points from being opposed -30 in the fall (23/53) to now supporting it by 18 points (49/31).

72% of Florida voters support either gay marriage or civil unions, with only 26% opposed to any form of legal recognition. Even 61% of Republicans support some form of legal recognition for same sex couples. 

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