Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott's approval rating is underwater in a new Quinnipiac University poll, with 36 percent of registered voters approving of how he's handling his job and 45 percent disapproving. Scott, who will face voters in a 2014 reelection bid, has seen consistently low job approval numbers.
That's not all: Thirty-one percent of respondents see Scott favorably, while 43 percent have an unfavorable view of the governor. Fifty-two percent of voters feel he does not deserve to be reelected, and just 30 percent feel he does deserve another term. Fifty-five percent of voters want another Republican to challenge Scott for the GOP nomination while just 29 percent want him to go unchallenged -- and among Republicans, 53 percent think another Republican should run for the nod to just 30 percent who don't (despite giving Scott a 63 - 19 percent job approval rating).
"Gov. Rick Scott's ratings with voters are just plain awful. The numbers cannot be sugar-coated," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a polling memo. "When voters in a politician's own party want him to be challenged in a primary by another candidate, it's difficult to see it as anything but outright rejection."
The poll also tests the favorability of several Democratic contenders, including former Gov. Charlie Crist, a recent convert to the Democratic Party (he was previously a Republican as governor, and became an independent during his unsuccessful 2010 Senate bid). He's easily the best known of the possible challengers, with 47 percent holding a favorable view of their former governor and 33 percent holding an unfavorable view. And Democrats seem willing to embrace Crist, with 65 percent seeing him favorably and 10 percent viewing him unfavorably.
Alex Sink, who lost to Scott in a close 2010 race, is seen favorably by 27 percent and unfavorably by 14 percent, with 57 percent saying they haven't heard enough to form an opinion. Four other potential Democratic challengers were tested -- Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, state Sen. Nan Rich and Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler -- and all are largely unknown. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, the only other Republican tested, was also not well-known.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted December 11 - 17. It surveyed 1,261 registered voters with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.8 percentage points.