Florida Governor Rick Scott Vulnerable To Re-Election Challenge

Florida’s Governor isn’t very popular at all: 

Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s chances for re-election are in jeopardy, a new poll shows.

Scott, who narrowly beat Democrat Alex Sink in 2010, has been battling low approval ratings since he took office.

But a poll of registered voters in Florida released Wednesday found that 52 percent say he does not deserve a second term. Scott has already said he plans to run in 2014.

The Quinnipiac University poll also found that Scott is also vulnerable from a primary challenge within the Republican party. The survey said 53 percent of Republicans think another Republican should run against Scott.

“Gov. Rick Scott’s ratings with voters are just awful,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “The numbers cannot be sugar coated. When voters in a politician’s own party want him to be challenged in a primary by another candidate, it’s difficult to see it as anything but outright rejection.”

So far, at least, there hasn’t been talk of a Republican challenging Scott in 2014, but if these numbers hold up then that could change rather quickly. On the Democratic side, meanwhile, there’s one name that comes up:

By contrast the new poll shows that former Gov. Charlie Crist has a 47 percent favorable rating.

Crist was elected in 2006 as a Republican but then became an independent for an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate. But Crist this year endorsed President Barack Obama’s re-election and switched to a Democrat earlier this month. Crist’s decision to switch parties has heightened speculation he will challenge Scott.

Pollsters also asked voters about Sink, as well as other potential Democratic challengers to Scott including Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler and former state Sen. Nan Rich. Rich has already declared she’s running for governor.

Most voters had not heard of the other Democrats. Sink only had a 27 percent favorable rating, while 57 percent said they had not heard enough about her.

If Crist had decided to run for another term as Governor in 2010  instead of making an ill-fated bid for the Senate, he likely would have won re-election. He also likely would not have switched parties as he did recently. Now, he seems poised, if he wishes, to make a return bid for the Governor’s Office against a man who seems to be exceedingly unpopular even inside his own party.


FILED UNDER: Campaign 2014, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. An Interested Party says:

    How delicious that the Democrats would pick up a governor’s seat in this way…perhaps Scott can go back to swindling in the private sector…

  2. rudderpedals says:

    That Gov. Scott shows up on the Rorshach test as Lex Luthor isn’t helping. OTOH, two years is forever.

  3. de stijl says:


    OTOH, two years is forever.

    And this is Florida after all. Who knows how it will play out – rationally, Scott is dead meat – but Floridians get funky in the voting booth sometimes.

    But if I were a betting man, I’d pick anyone but Gov. Scott.

  4. Bennett says:

    I didn’t, and still don’t understand how a state with so many seniors elected a guy who had a hand the largest Medicare scam in history.

  5. Bill says:


    I didn’t, and still don’t understand how a state with so many seniors elected a guy who had a hand the largest Medicare scam in history.

    Me either and I’m a resident of Florida since 1976. Scott was either a 1- Totally incompetent CEO or 2- A crook. Either way voters should have been nuts to vote for him. I said that for all of 2010.

  6. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Bennett: Is it the same thinking that causes Texans to “admire the balls of a guy who will execute an innocent man?”
    … not sayin’… just a thought…

  7. matt says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: Sigh…. It’s true though.