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. Yes, again: Rays blow late two-run lead, get swept by Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As weekends go, this was a bad one for the Rays. In a word: brutal.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Brad Boxberger, foreground, reacts after giving up a home run to Texas Rangers' Carlos Gomez during the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 23, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson) FLMC116
  2. White House offers muddled message on Russia sanctions legislation

    National

    WASHINGTON - White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Sunday that the Trump administration supports new legislation to punish Russia for its meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its aggression toward Ukraine.

    President Donald Trump at the commissioning ceremony for the USS Gerald R. Ford  at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, July 22, 2017. [New York Times]
  3. 'Stranger Things' is coming back; here's the first trailer

    Blogs

    The nostalgia-heavy, small-screen blockbuster Stranger Things returns to Netflix with a new season on Oct. 27 - just in time for a pre-Halloween weekend binge session.

    A scene from the Stranger Things Season 2 trailer.
  4. Photos: Snooty the manatee remained lovable over the years

    Blogs

    Snooty, the world's oldest living manatee in captivity, and arguably the world's most famous, has died, the South Florida Museum announced on Sunday. 

    Carol Audette, manatee aquarium curator, touches noses with Snooty the manatee in 2001.
  5. Surviving the graveyard shift: Convenience store work is fraught with anxiety

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — It's 10 p.m. when the alarm clock goes off and Kara Patnoe gets ready for her overnight shift at a local convenience store.

    Deputies investigate a stabbing at a Riverview 7-Eleven in 2013. [Luis Santana  |   Times]