MIAMI — In the past few weeks, Gov. Rick Scott has traveled around the state extolling the accomplishments of the recent legislative session and promoting his success in pushing Florida down a more conservative, financially sound path.Read the rest here.
So why is his approval rating the lowest of any governor in America?
“I don’t think about it,” Mr. Scott said in a brief interview when asked about his 29 percent approval rating in a Quinnipiac University poll conducted in May. More alarming for the governor: his negative rating has soared from 22 percent in February shortly after he entered office to 57 percent, suggesting that the more Floridians get to know him, the less they like him.
Mr. Scott, however, chalks up the numbers to his agenda. “Everybody’s scared about change,” he said. “I’m going to make the tough decisions because I know, long-term, they pay off. But, you know, short-term, everybody is worried about change.”
The promise of wholesale changes appealed to Florida voters, who overlooked Mr. Scott’s lack of experience and propelled him into the Governor’s Mansion last year as a Tea Party darling. But within six months of Mr. Scott’s swearing-in, many Floridians seem to have soured on the governor, an unflinching former health insurance executive whose leadership style strikes some as remote and uncaring.
Mr. Scott’s sinking popularity has Republican politicians and some strategists worried that his troubles could hamper their chances of tilting the state’s 29 electoral votes back into their column in 2012. President Obama won Florida by 2.8 percentage points in 2008.
Republican Senate and House candidates are also worrying, strategists say, that the governor’s rapidly declining popularity will affect their chances of winning election. And in Miami, two Republican candidates for mayor have distanced themselves from the governor.