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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Q poll: Rick Scott one of the nation's least popular governors

Gov. Rick Scott is one of the least popular governors in America, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll that shows 57 percent of voters disapprove of his job performance.

Only 29 percent favor the job Scott is doing, the poll of 1,196 registered voters shows.

Scott's job-performance numbers mirror public sentiment about the $69.7 billion state budget, which cuts schools, healthcare and programs for the environment. The poll finds that 54 percent of voters say the budget is "unfair" to someone like them, while 29 percent favor it.

Scott has praised what he calls the “jobs budget” as a way to get Florida’s economy moving. But despite the nickname, the budget will lead to more layoffs in the short-term because it eliminates nearly 4,500 state worker positions.

Scott also plans to veto tens of millions of hometown spending projects that lawmakers inserted in the $69.7 billion state budget to benefit their districts.

“The data on the perceived fairness of the governor’s budget is crucial. When voters by almost 2-1 say his approach is unfair to them, that’s a giant flashing political warning sign for Scott,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a written statement. “When voters don’t think they are being treated fairly, they tend to react negatively.”

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[Last modified: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 9:00am]

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