The latest PPP poll of the potential Florida governor’s race finds Gov. Rick Scott trailing former Gov. Charlie Crist by twelve points, 52%-40%.
According to PPP, Gov. Scott has been and continues to be wildly unpopular. Scott’s approval rating is at 33%. Fifty seven percent of those surveyed disapproved of the job that he is doing as governor. Scott’s acceptance of the Medicaid expansion in Florida resulted in a two point improvement in his approval rating with Democrats, but a three point drop in his approval rating with Republicans. Crist only has a 46%/43% approval/disapproval split, but the state’s Democrats solidly approve of him (66%/24%), and he leads Scott with Independents by 6 points (47%-41%).
Gov. Scott may not even win the Republican nomination. Only 42% of Republicans want Scott to be their candidate. Forty three percent would prefer a different Republican. Scott doesn’t have a base of strength with any of the state’s Republicans, but 55% of moderate Republicans want to dump their governor. Scott does lead his potential primary challengers by a 2 to 1 margin, and unless the moderate Republicans come out to vote, it is easy to see him winning his primary if the electorate is extremely conservative.
The time that Charlie Crist put in campaigning for President Obama in 2012 seems to have solidified his position within the Democratic Party. Gov. Scott is prepared to dump $100 million into his reelection campaign, but it doubtful if any amount of money can wash away the memories of the damage that he has done to his state. Outside of Pennsylvania’s Tom Corbett, none of the other tea party governors look as vulnerable as Rick Scott does in Florida.
The level of distaste for Scott within his own party makes it difficult to see how he will win a second term. Charlie Crist is a strong candidate in a Blue State running against a governor that is too far right for his constituents. Unless something dramatically changes, Rick Scott’s days as governor of Florida appear to be numbered.