Poll: Floridians Have Strong Buyers Remorse After Electing GOP Gov. Scott

April 14, 2011 9:07 a.m.

Only three months removed from Governor Rick Scott’s (R) inauguration, a majority of Florida voters now say the state is headed in the wrong direction and that, if they could do it all over again, they wouldn’t have elected Scott in the first place, according to a new Suffolk University poll.

In the poll, 54% of voters said the state was headed in the wrong direction, compared to 30% who said it was going the right way. Further, just under half (49%) of all voters said they disapproved of Scott’s job performance, versus only 28% who said they approved.

Scott’s approval rating is so bad that the poll found him losing a hypothetical do-over election to Democrat Alex Sink by a ten-point margin, 41% to 31%.Previous polls have also found Scott’s job approval deep underwater, including a Quinnipiac poll released earlier this month that pegged his approval to disapproval split at 35% to 48%. A March PPP poll showed Scott with an even worse 32%-55% split, and found him losing a do-over election — by a 20-point margin.

Scott was one of several freshman GOP governors swept into office last year amid the Republican wave nationwide. But since taking office, voters have rapidly soured on Scott as he’s pursued some drastic — and deeply unpopular — policies.

In the poll, 41% of respondents said Scott’s first 100 days in office had been “negative and polarizing,” compared to 26% who said they’d been “positive and productive.”

Among Scott’s more unpopular moves since taking office were a proposal to cut $155 million from public schools, and signing a bill that eliminated tenure for new teachers while tying future pay to performance levels. In the Suffolk poll, almost two-thirds of respondents disapproved of Scott’s education funding cuts, while just one-quarter approved.

The Suffolk poll was conducted April 10-12 among 600 registered voters. It has a margin of error of 4%.

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