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Florida, USA, taken from Shuttle Mission STS-95 on 31st October 1998. Taken during the STS-95 mission from a point over Cuba, this photo shows an oblique view of the Florida Peninsula, with the light blue, shallow seafloor of both the Florida Keys (curving across the bottom of the view) and the Bahama banks (right). Cumulus cloud covers Miami and the Southern Everglades, although the built-up area from Ft. Lauderdale to West Palm Beach can be discerned. Lake Okeechobee is the prominent waterbody in Florida. Cape Canaveral is shown well, half way up the peninsula. Orlando appears as the lighter patch west (left) of Cape Canaveral, near the middle of the peninsula. Cape Hatteras appears top right, with the north part of Chesapeake Bay also visible.
PPP's brand-new Florida poll shows that their January survey was no outlier—and that's some very bad news for GOP Gov. Rick Scott. As you can see, he's still mired at about 40 percent (trendlines in parentheses):

• 40-52 vs. ex-Gov. Charlie Crist (39-53)

• 37-44 vs. Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio (39-43)

• 40-45 vs. 2010 nominee Alex Sink (40-47)

• 42-36 vs. state Sen. Nan Rich (41-37)

There are many reasons for Scott's poor standing: enacting unpopular budget cuts, presiding over a lousy economy, and warring with the legislature certainly haven't helped his image. Lately, he's tried to turn things around by making nice with the same teachers he's previously ripped, and more notably, by doing an about-face on expanding Medicaid as encouraged by the Affordable Care Act. Neither seem to be helping, especially since Republican legislators are much more interested in pursuing their own Medicaid plans.

Indeed, the Florida GOP establishment seems pretty unhappy with Scott in general. The local press keeps asking prominent Republicans if they want to challenge their nominal leader in a primary, and while no one has taken the bait so far, no one has offered anything close to a full-throated defense of Scott either—or even a half-throated one. Tom Jensen keeps pursuing the question, too:

Only 42% of Republican primary voters say they want Scott to be their candidate again next year to 43% who say they would prefer someone else. It's moderate Republicans who really want to dump Scott (34/55) while ones identifying as "somewhat" (43/38) or "very" (46/42) conservative tepidly support him. Scott does at least lead named potential primary challengers at this point—it's 46/27 over [state AG] Pam Bondi, 48/24 over [Agriculture Commissioner] Adam Putnam, and 54/13 over [Rep.] Ted Yoho.
Probably the biggest thing holding people back is Scott's immense wealth: Even if someone like Bondi figures she could beat him in a primary, she'd have to endure an assault worth tens of millions of dollars for the privilege. That alone may ensure Scott is once again the GOP nominee. (Incidentally, PPP asked about Bondi last time, too, and while the movement is small, it's in her direction: Scott led her 49-25 in January.)

Whoever the Democratic nominee is will of course also have to endure a serious pummeling by Scott, though the prize still looks like it's Charlie Crist's for the taking. He continues to lead a hypothetical primary field with 50 percent; next closest is Sink with just 21. (These numbers are virtually unchanged since the last poll.) Crist's been mum ever since he switched parties and joined the Democrats, but with Scott continuing to rack up horrific poll numbers like these, the race has to look more tempting than ever.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 09:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by State & Local ACTION Group and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    Get the Daily Kos Elections Digest in your inbox every weekday. Sign up here.

    by David Nir on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 09:50:25 AM PDT

  •  Pam Iorio is the formaer Mayor of Tampa (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marieperoy, mdmslle, FG, psnyder

    Scott is toast here.  The Medicaid money game is going to ruin him on the right (for even saying we should take the $$), and the rest of the state will just see that it didn't happen and cast blame on all Republicans.

    I'm kind of surprised that Crist does so well against Sink.  Further proof that the Democratic party is Florida still has problems.  I could see Crist having perhaps a little more name recognition, but Sink was the D candidate for governor last time around, and was one of few prominent Dems in the state government when she was CFO.  For her to be nearly 30 points behind a former republican seems odd.

    •  My theories (6+ / 0-)

      I think there is a mix of different things here.

      First name recognition. Charlie Crist is universally known. Alex Sink, despite her statewide run, isn't in the sense that people who only casually follow politics would not exactly remember her from that one race (even though she had won statewide before). She is not a "familiar" name and not one that was particularly memorable when she was in the news.
      Also, remember that the press OVERCOVERS Charlie Crist. He is always in the news. ALWAYS in the news (part because of his media-savvy and the press liking the drama surrounding him). That both boosts his name recognition and also has the added benefit for him of making him look like the lead opponent of Scott - again for casual observers of politics, that amounts to a name recognition advantage. On the other hand, Sink has not been doing much since she ran and has been EVEN MORE withdrawn for understandable reasons since her husband passed away.
      Another factor is that there is some bitterness at Alex Sink for losing an unlosable race. We can argue as much as we want whether 2010 was too much of an uphill to climb because of the national wave but the feeling was she ran a bad campaign and blew it. For casual voters it does not matter but for committed activist Democrats, that probably means they wouldn't pick her in an open-name poll like this. On one-on-one no doubt they'd pick her over Crist but at this stage she would lose some points from that.
      A subplot of this is her blaming Obama for her loss. May be nothing but the African-American community is a big part of the Democratic base in Florida and Crist had a wonderful reputation among the AA in FL during his term as governor (prisoner voting rights, judge naming, ballot issue etc.). So he would probably get strong support from them in a primary and while her quotes were no big deal, Sink did not plant the seeds to be able to contest that. I don't mind her and would pick her over Crist anyday but she kind of lost me with that non-sense.

      I am desperate that the FL Democrats would run Crist for their one big chance to finally take back the Governor mansion. We probably will win regardless so why choose a fake Democrat, a pathetic human being and someone who will screw us over in an instant the minute it serves his interests?
      But note you can't be surprised. The FL House Democratic Caucus just chose as leader Rep. Rouson who had been a strong longtime booster of Jeb Bush and was a Republican just seven years ago. His first move as leader of the recruitment effort for 2014? Enticing as a candidate for a swing seat a guy ... who ran as a Republican in November against the Democratic Party leader!
      Unfortunately there is still in Florida a culture of self-hatred and cultural insecurities that prompts them to be scared of running as actual Democrats.

  •  Any chance he'll take down some state legistlators (4+ / 0-)

    with him?  With numbers this brutal, it's hard not to imagine a lot of Repub state legislators going down.

    The NRA's response to calls for responsible gun law reform: noun, verb, Second Amendment

    by Christian Dem in NC on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 01:55:26 PM PDT

    •  We are sure are gonna try to take em down (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The money of Scott and his hand in hand with Jeb scares me.   They are all crooks and Jeb will campaign for the bastard.. Takes one to know one, I guess and if that is one thing the Bush's know.. it is personal relationships with BASTARDS.  Don't forget Jeb is proud of W.  You know he is proud of his brother's old partner.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 03:43:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  that goddamned charlie crist shouldve stayed (0+ / 0-)

    in the governors mansion to begin with.


  •  Not bad numbers for a psuedo-criminal (0+ / 0-)

    The Koch party still has too many people fooled and confused.

  •  Re: Medicaid (0+ / 0-)

    I heard, and I think it was on Up with Chris Hayes, that the federal government has been paying hospitals for covering uninsured ER visits. Under Obamacare, that money was reallocated to pay for Medicaid (poor people will be covered, therefore no need to pay hospitals for uninsured). So, if the states don't have help with Medicaid, the hospitals are screwed. It was suggested that the reason Scott decided to take Medicaid was because he's tightly allied with hospitals. Apparently, he hasn't been very successful in convincing Repuke legislators, which means both hospitals and Scott are screwed.

  •  Welfare drug testing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mdmslle, The BigotBasher

    The state of Florida has spent over $178 million performing drug tests for benefit recipients. Keep in mind that that money is all going to a company associated with Rick Scott. Know how many people have been thrown off the rolls for testing positive? 3%. It's "saved" a whopping $60,000. Fiscal conservatives my ass. Every Republican in the state legislature that voted for the Rick Scott Corporate Kickback Act should be run out of government on a rail. Spending $178 million and saving only $60K should be enough to turn every voter in the state against the GOP. But it wont.

  •  So Crist v Scott (0+ / 0-)

    Would Crist just be a marginally less corrupt Republican with a (D) attached to his name?

  •  Vote Democratic--We're The Lesser Of Two Evils! (0+ / 0-)

    This once again demonstrates that the overwhelming reason people vote Democratic is because the Republicans are worse. If there were any loyalty to the Democratic Party, you wouldn't have a former Republican getting 50% of the vote in a poll of a Democratic primary. On the rare occasions when there is a viable non-Democratic alternative to the Republican candidate, as with Angus King in Maine in 2012, Bernie Sanders in Vermont, or Jesse Ventura in Minnesota in 1998, the Democrat finishes a poor third as "Democratic" voters support the independent candidate, while Republicans support their nominee.  

    Nobody feels any loyalty to the Democratic Party, because the Democratic Party shows no loyalty to anybody. I wish it were different, but wishing doesn't make it so, and we're fooling no one but ourselves if we refuse to acknowledge it.

  •  My fear is that Crist's personal life (0+ / 0-)

    which has been, shall we say...newsworthy, gets in the way of the campaign.

  •  It would be perilous (0+ / 0-)

    if he weren't unpopular.

    The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

    by psnyder on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 06:23:07 PM PDT

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