BY BUDDY NEVINS
Voters don’t like the job that Gov. Rick Scott is doing.
But they really don’t like the state Legislature’s job performance.
Two polls this week have found that Scott is trailing potential Democratic nominee Charlie Crist and others badly in a match-up for governor.
What the Quinnipiac poll also found is that people think the Legislature is failing.
When asked if they like the way that the state legislature is handling its job: 25 percent approved, while 52 percent disapproved and 23 percent had no opinion.
Compare that with Scott’s rating: 36 percent approve, 49 percent disapprove and 15 percent had no opinion.
The approval rate for the Legislature has been falling for 19 years. The high point was in a September 2004 poll when 51 percent of voters approved of the legislature, 34 percent disapproved and 15 percent had no opinion.
Democrats and independents are heavily opposed to the job that Tallahassee lawmakers are doing, while Republicans slightly approve of their work. This is probably because the GOP controls the Legislature’s agenda.
The Republicans grabbed control of the Legislature roughly around the time the favorability ratings began to fall. This one probably isn’t solely the GOP’s fault since voters have become increasing skeptical of all government over the same period.
Here is what the Quinnipiac news release says about our governor’s chances:
“Scott’s potential vulnerability is evidenced by the fact that only 32 percent of voters say he deserves a second term in office, including just 28 percent of independent voters. His job approval rating is a negative 36 – 49 percent, compared to his negative 36 – 45 percent disapproval in a December 19 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.
“There isn’t much good news in these numbers for Gov. Rick Scott, but there is some,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “His large lead over Agriculture Secretary Adam Putnam in a hypothetical Republican primary gives him some solace that he does not have to worry about an intraparty challenge. Scott’s support among Republicans appears pretty solid, although he has a lot of fences to mend with independent voters and he has virtually no crossover appeal to Democrats.
“The fact that voters think it’s an asset that former Gov. Charlie Crist moved from conservative Republican to a Democrat with very different political views will be a key metric to watch between now and the 2014 voting. These numbers indicate Republicans will have a tough job turning around Crist’s lead over Scott by reminding voters of Crist’s evolution,” said Brown.
Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,000 registered voters between March 13 and 18. This poll, done with live interviews on cell phones and land lines, has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points. The entire poll is here.