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Good news, bad news for Gov. Rick Scott's re-election bid

3:20 PM, Jun 18, 2013   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A new poll offers good news and bad news for Gov. Rick Scott.

His job approval and favorability ratings have climbed to their highest levels since he took office in 2011.

Forty-three percent say he's doing a good job, up from 36 percent in March.

"His job approval is the best that Quinnipiac has recorded since he's been in office. Same goes for his favorable-unfavorable ratio," said Peter Brown of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Scott's favorability rating is 40 percent, up from 33 percent in March.

But here's the bad news for Scott: 50 percent of voters say he does not deserve a second term and he trails former Gov. Charlie Crist 47 to 37 percent in a hypothetical race for governor.

Brown said an improving economy is helping Scott among Florida voters.

"More of them give credit to Mr. Scott than Mr. Obama so that there clearly is some implication there that he's responsible for a pickup in the economy and the overall numbers, obviously, in the state's unemployment rate that has dropped a good deal since he took office."

There's also good news and bad news for Charlie Crist -- the former Republican governor who became a Democrat and is considering running for governor.

Crist is still popular. Forty-eight percent of Florida voters have a favorable opinion of him.

But the bad news for Crist is that his lead over Scott in a possible race has dropped from 16 points to 10.

"For Mr. Crist, he's got a 10 point lead. It's always better to be ahead than behind and although that compares to 16 points the last time Quinnipiac polled, that's still a pretty formidable number," said Brown.

The poll asks voters if they think Crist's change in party affiliation makes him a pragmatist who changes with the times and issues, or if it's a negative thing showing he has no core beliefs.

Forty-seven percent say it's a positive, while 44 percent consider it a negative.

With more Floridians viewing Crist's change as a positive, Brown offers this opinion.

"I would make one projection to you: Scott won't win without being able to reverse that number."

The poll also shows U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson would beat Scott 48 to 38 percent if Nelson decided to run for governor.

Dave Heller

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