A Ten Point Loss Is Welcome News for Florida Gov. Rick Scott

It Could Be — and Has Been — Worse
Why is this man smiling?

The news was all good for Florida Gov. Rick Scott (Tea/GOP) in a recent Quinnipiac University poll…if you consider losing re-election to any competitor by at least six points to be good news.

In a match-up with former Gov. Charlie Crist (who is considering running against him as a Democrat), Scott would lose 47 – 37. But that’s six points lower than he would have lost in March, according to the poll.

If he were running against U.S. Sen Bill Nelson (D – Fla.), he would still lose, 48 – 38.

Against former state Sen. Nan Rich (D), Scott would lose less badly: 42 – 36 percent. Of course, 84 percent of those polled said they didn’t know enough about Rich to form an opinion on her.

Scott also earned the highest approval ratings he’s seen, showing that a PR charm offensive that included basically paying teachers off is working. A whopping 43 percent of those queried approved of his job performance.

Best of all, only 50 percent of voters say Scott does not deserve to be re-elected.

If you’re wondering why what might be seen by others as reason for a stiff, commiserating drink is making Scott so happy, Quinnipiac explains.

“It is an indication of how far down Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s numbers have been that he can take some solace from a poll that finds him losing by 10 points to his predecessor in the governor’s office,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “In addition to cutting the deficit between himself and former Gov. Charlie Crist, Gov. Scott sees his tepid job approval and favorability numbers and his still-negative reelection numbers as notably improved.”

Scott is happy to claim all the kudos for Florida’s improving economy, which is of course part of the improving national economy, which is of course not even slightly related to Scott’s policies. But that won’t stop him from stealing the credit. Stealing is actually something Scott knows more about than most.

One reason that Scott may be edging up in the voters’ eyes is that by 33 – 18 percent voters say the state’s economy is getting better, compared to 31 – 21 percent who felt that way in March. Among those who see an improving economy 65 percent give at least a little credit to President Barack Obama, while 82 percent credit Scott.

“The governor needs to make voters believe he is responsible for a better economy. That’s the key to his electoral future. He isn’t going to get re-elected because he is Mr. Personality. He needs to essentially convince voters, ‘You may not like me, but I’m the guy who is making things better,'” Brown said.

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