TALLAHASSEE — People in Florida still don't like Gov. Rick Scott, a new poll reaffirms, but a clear majority supports his effort to rid the voter rolls of noncitizens.
By a margin of 60-35 percent, Floridians agree with Scott on the voter purge, according to the statewide survey of 1,697 adults by Quinnipiac University. The survey, conducted June 12-18, has a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points.
Public opinion over the purge is divided along party lines in the poll, with 90 percent of Republicans in support and 60 percent of Democrats opposed.
The purge began in April when Scott's administration sent more than 2,600 names to county election supervisors from a database compiled by the state motor vehicle agency.
Most counties stopped purge efforts after numerous people proved their citizenship, and four lawsuits have been filed, three against the state and one by the state seeking a citizenship database from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Quinnipiac's poll framed the voter purge question this way: "As you may know, there has been an effort by Gov. Scott to remove people from the state's voter rolls who are suspected of not being U.S. citizens. Some people say this effort is needed to prevent voter fraud. Others say this effort is intended to suppress turnout by low-income people and minorities. Do you support or oppose Gov. Scott's effort to remove potential non-citizens from the registered voter rolls?"
As for Scott, the Republican governor's standing with the public remains underwater, with more people (49 percent) disapproving of his handling of his job than approving (39 percent).
That's down slightly from the previous Quinnipiac poll of May 24, in which 46 percent disapproved of his performance and 41 percent approved.
Shrugging off his latest poll numbers, Scott said: "The number that I look at every month is our unemployment rate, and as you know, we're bucking the national trend."
Asked by the pollster if they like Scott as a person, 37 percent said yes, 35 percent said no and 29 percent had no opinion.
Steve Bousquet can be reached at [email protected] or (850) 224-7263.