Florida Gov. Rick Scott stands with his wife Ann Scott, mother Esther Scott and daughter Allison Guimard as they celebrate at a victory party Nov. 3, 2010, in Fort Lauderdale.
Florida voters disapprove of the way Rick Scott has handled his job as governor and a majority of his own Republican party would prefer another candidate to challenge him in the 2014 primary, according to a newly released survey by Quinnipiac University.
Forty-five percent of voters said they disapproved of Scott’s performance, while only 36 percent of voters said they thought Scott was doing a good job, the survey said.
Meanwhile, 53 percent of Republicans said they wanted another candidate to compete against Scott in the next primary for governor, the survey said. Overall, Republicans gave Scott a 63-to-19 percent job approval rating, and said 55-to-26 percent that he deserves a second term.
“Gov. Rick Scott's ratings with voters are just plain awful. The numbers cannot be sugar-coated," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "When voters in a politician's own party want him to be challenged in a primary by another candidate, it's difficult to see it as anything but outright rejection.”
The only bad news for Democrats from the survey is that the numbers might provide an “intra-party challenge to the governor that could produce a more electable Republican in November of 2014,” Brown said. “Obviously, the governor has almost two years to go until the election and anything is possible, but he faces a herculean task in changing public opinion to his favor."
Among the potential Democratic challengers to Scott, former Gov. Charlie Crist, who recently changed his party registration to Democrat after moving from Republican to independent in 2010, is the best-known, the survey said. Crist is followed by Alex Sink, who narrowly lost to Scott in the 2010 November election, the survey said.
Crist, elected governor in 2006 as a Republican, has a 47-to-33 percent favorability rating from all voters. Sink is viewed favorably by 27 percent, and unfavorably by 14 percent, with 57 percent who haven't heard enough about her to form an opinion.
From Dec. 11 to Dec. 17, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,261 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points. Interviewers called land lines and cellphones.
The Quinnipiac University Poll conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia and the nation as a public service and for research.