If the Democratic, North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling firm has it anywhere close to right, this is remarkable: Only 26 percent of Florida voters — and only 46 percent of Republicans — approve of Gov. Rick Scott's performance. Also, Charlie Crist running as a Democrat would trounce Scott 55 percent to 22 percent. Alex Sink would beat him 53-37.
From PPP: "Rick Scott has hit a new low in PPP's Florida polling with only 26 percent of voters now approving of his job performance to 58 percent who disapprove. His previous worst numbers had come in June when he had a 33 percent approval rating with 59 percent unhappy with his performance. Scott's numbers with Democrats are pretty much unchanged compared to then and his standing with independents has gotten a little better. What's really caused the bottom to drop out for him is that even Republicans are starting to really sour on his leadership. In June Scott had a 63/30 approval spread with them. That's now dropped all the way down to 46/31. Scott is the most unpopular governor in the country in PPP's polling."
Book deal pads Rubio income
Even some of his most enthusiastic supporters in 2010 quietly wondered how Marco Rubio would be able to get by on his $174,000 Senate salary — a big cut from the $437,000 he reported to have earned in 2009 — while dividing living expenses between Washington and Miami. It's easy: lucrative book deal.
Sentinel, an imprint of Penguin publishing, has acquired the rights to Sen. Rubio's so far untitled memoir, "following a competitive auction process with six publishing houses over the span of one week."
The book is tentatively scheduled for the fall of 2012.
Past ties of Gingrich, Young
In 1989, Newt Gingrich was a tough-talking congressman from Georgia eager for power. But he wasn't popular enough to run away with the race for minority whip. In a contest with Ed Madigan of Illinois, Gingrich turned to Rep. C.W. Bill Young.
"He came to me and said, 'I really need to get these three last votes, help me,' " recounted Young.
Young got him the votes.
On election night in 1994, the future speaker called Young and thanked him. "He said, 'We're going to win this thing tonight.' The next day, he said, 'What job do you want?' I said, 'Newt, what I'd really want to do is defense.' "
That's how Young became chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
Johnson courts Libertarians
Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, a little-noticed Republican presidential candidate, is scheduled to be in Clearwater on Monday — to address Libertarians.
"We're definitely attempting to recruit Gary," said Adrian Wyllie, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Florida, who wants Johnson to drop out of the GOP primary.
Johnson is scheduled to speak at 6 p.m. Monday at the conference center at the Datex Building at 10300 49th St. N. A meet-and-greet reception will follow at 7 p.m. at the Quaker Steak & Lube restaurant next door. Both events are free and open to the public.
Biden speaks on college costs
Vice President Joe Biden will speak about college affordability at Duncan U. Fletcher High School in Neptune Beach on Thursday, appearing along with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
Chamber ramps up lobbying
The Florida Chamber of Commerce has hired Southern Strategy Group to join its stable of lobbyists. Southern Strategy had been working for Associated Industries Florida.
"As we continue to ramp up our efforts in Tallahassee and Washington, adding the team at Southern Strategy Group will further advance our work to move Florida toward a strengthened and more diversified economy," said David Hart, executive vice president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.