Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Times/Herald/Bay News 9 Poll

Scott still unpopular, but approval inches up in new Times/Herald/Bay News 9 poll

Gov. Rick Scott is working on his image, even dressing casual. In the poll, seven in 10 Republicans approve of his performance.

Associated Press (2011)

Gov. Rick Scott is working on his image, even dressing casual. In the poll, seven in 10 Republicans approve of his performance.

While Gov. Rick Scott remains generally unpopular, his months-long charm offensive and singular focus on jobs creation may be slowly winning Floridians over, according to a new Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 poll.

More than four in 10 Florida voters, 43 percent, approve of Scott's job performance a year into his first term; 47 percent disapprove; while 10 percent are not sure.

While these numbers are not fantastic — they remain worse than President Barack Obama's approval rating in the state, for example — they still represent a marked improvement for a man who took office facing an extremely polarized electorate.

"His numbers aren't great. He is still not where he needs to be in order to get re-elected," said Brad Coker, managing director of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, which conducted the poll. "But people don't seem to have such a negative gut reaction.

"The makeover's working."

The telephone survey of 800 registered Florida voters — all likely to vote in the general election — was conducted Jan. 24-26 for the Times, Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, Bay News 9 and Central Florida News 13. Mason-Dixon is a nonpartisan, Jacksonville-based company. The margin of error is 3.5 percentage points.

The poll shows that more men than women approve of Scott's performance — 47 percent compared with 38 percent. And while Scott is popular in Republican-rich southwest Florida (51 percent approve compared with 38 percent who disapprove), the script flips in Democratic southeast Florida. There, just 33 percent of voters approve of the governor, compared with 58 percent who disapprove. Seven in 10 Republicans approve of Scott's performance; seven in 10 Democrats disapprove. In a separate question, voters were asked whether they recognize Scott favorably or unfavorably. Thirty-five percent of voters recognized the governor favorably, and 39 percent recognized him unfavorably.

In December a Quinnipiac University poll showed him at only 33 percent approval. Scott in recent months has reshaped his image in ways big and small — from ditching his dark business suits for khakis and casual button-down shirts, to reversing course on cuts to education funding, to blitzing talk radio shows across the state.

"He's politically playing smart and you're seeing his numbers improve," Coker said.

Aaron Sharockman can be reached at asharockman@tampabay.com.

Scott still unpopular, but approval inches up in new Times/Herald/Bay News 9 poll 01/29/12 [Last modified: Monday, January 30, 2012 8:16am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. N. Korea says strike against U.S. mainland is 'inevitable'

    World

    North Korea's foreign minister warned Saturday that a strike against the U.S. mainland is "inevitable" because President Donald Trump mocked leader Kim Jong Un with the belittling nickname "little rocketman."

  2. All-eyes photo gallery: Florida State Seminoles loss to the N.C. State Wolfpack

    News

    View a gallery of images from the Florida State Seminoles 27-21 loss to the N.C. State Wolfpack Saturday in Tallahassee. The Seminoles will face Wake Forest on Saturday, Sept. 30 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

    Florida State Seminoles fans sing the fight song during the Florida State Seminoles game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on September 23, 2017, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.  At the half, North Carolina State Wolfpack 17, Florida State Seminoles 10.
  3. Helicopter, small aircraft collide at Clearwater Air Park

    News

    CLEARWATER — Two people suffered minor injuries after a helicopter and a small aircraft collided late Saturday afternoon at Clearwater Air Park, 1000 N Hercules Ave.

    Clearwater Fire Department emergency personal douse a plane with fire retardant after the plane crashed into a helicopter at Clearwater Air Park 1000 N Hercules Ave. Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. According to Clearwater Fire two people sustained minor injuries. [Photo by Clearwater Fire Department]
  4. 4-year-old girl, man injured in Clearwater Beach boating crash

    Briefs

    A 4-year-old girl was airlifted with serious injuries after a personal watercraft she was riding on collided with a boat in the Intracoastal Waterway near Clearwater Beach just before 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

  5. Hernando Sheriff's Office identifies bank robber killed after chase, places 7 deputies on administrative leave

    Crime

    Authorities have identified a bank robbery suspect fatally shot by Hernando County sheriff's deputies after a wild chase Friday in which the fleeing suspect rammed several patrol cars in Brooksville.

    Scott Michael Chamberlain, 44, died after a deputy-involved shooting Friday. The Hernando County Sheriff's Office said that Chamberlaine attempted to rob a bank before taking deputies on a pursuit. (Florida Department of Corrections)