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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Rick Scott's approval climbs, but still among worst in the country

5

August

Gov. Rick Scott's approval rating rose to 35 percent, a 6 point increase since May, but still remains among the worst in the country, according to a new Quinnipiac poll released this morning.


The survey shows more than 50 percent of Florida voters don't like his handling of the job, his policies and his handling of the state budget. Forty-five percent say they don't like him personally. (Story here.)

"This is the highest 'dislike' seen in any state surveyed by Quinnipiac University this year," according to the university's press release. "Voters tend to like their governor, even when they disapprove of the job he or she is doing. Florida voters like President Barack Obama as a person 69 - 18 percent, but disapprove 51 - 44 percent of the job he is doing."

Scott's numbers have tumbled since he won office in November with less than 50 percent of the vote, the only Florida governor to do that other than Sidney Catts in 1916.

The first-time politicians has insisted that polls mean nothing to him, but he has made significant changes - both substantive and superficial - this summer. Scott replaced his chief of staff, top policy adviser and top legislative aide, shed his suit and tie for an open collar and khakis and has embarked on so-called "work days" in an attempt to connect with average Floridians.

More from the poll:

• More Floridians (33 percent) say they are "very dissatisfied" with the way things are going in Florida. That's a new high since Quinnipiac started polling the question in 2004.

• Just 34 percent of voters say they approve of Scott's policies, but that might contradict other Q polls that showed 64 percent thought it was a good idea to make state workers contribute to their pension and 78 percent liked the idea of drug testing state workers.

• Scott's approval rating breaks down like this: 35 percent approve, 52 percent disapprove. He has a 7 percent approval among black voters and 29 percent among voters ages 35 to 54.

• His 61 percent approval rating among Republicans compares to 72 percent for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

• This is the third time in four Q polls that Scott's approval rating is 35 percent and second consecutive poll his disapproval rating is exceeds 50 percent.

• Scott's approval rating, however, does surpass the Legislature's. Just 32 percent approve of the job the Republican-controlled House and Senate has performed.

• The second half of the poll release focuses on questions regarding the state budget. But voters are clearly confused about the spending plan: Just 24 percent of voters know the budget did not raise taxes, with 19 percent saying incorrectly that it does raise taxes and 57 percent saying they don't know.

• That said, 51 percent believe the state budget is unfair to "people like you.

• On the budget, 42 percent say the spending cuts went too far, but 58 percent agreed lawmakers should only cut spending and not increase taxes. Most voters (39 percent) believe the spending cuts will hurt the economy.

• The race to pass a so-called "Caylee's law," which would make it a felony offense if a parent failed to report a missing child in a timely manner, has support from 83 percent of voters.From July 27 - August 2, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,417 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

(From July 27 - August 2, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,417 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.)

[Last modified: Friday, August 5, 2011 12:32pm]

    

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