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FL Governor Rick Scott's First 100 Days

April 15, 2011

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida Governor Rick Scott's first 100 days in office are not exactly getting rave reviews from some quarters. The latest poll released by North Carolina-based Public Policy Poll gives Scott just a 32 percent approval rating among likely voters.

Gov. Scott was elected over Alex Sink by just one percent of voters last fall. But opponents of the new governor say, instead of building good will, Scott has continued to turn voters off. The new poll pegs his disapproval rating at 55 percent.

Rich Templin, a legislative representative for the AFL-CIO Florida, was among those at a State Capitol rally this week, claiming Scott is the 'least-liked' governor in modern Florida history.

"What working people around the state are saying with our governor, Rick Scott, is that he has really been a abysmal failure."

The poll says if an election was held today, Scott would lose in a rematch with the Democratic candidate by a 56 to 37 percent margin. Challenger Sink would also win the Independent vote by a stunning 61 percent, a flip-flop since the election 100 days ago.

A spokesman for the governor says poll numbers don't take a long-term view into account and that's what matters. Gov. Scott's Press Secretary Lane Wright argues it is not the short-term approval rating that counts.

"People tend to look at the short-term, they tend to look at how things are right now, without looking at the long view – the hard work and hard decisions we're making now, what kind of payoff they will have into the future."

According to the poll, 43 percent of Independent voters say they dislike Scott; Democrats disapprove of his performance by a whopping 81 percent. Templin says the poll numbers point to the need for the governor to ponder changing how he does the state's business.

"Using this 100 days, we would like to ask the governor to actually do something different."

Templin also notes that Scott was elected governor by the slimmest of margins, even in a very good Republican election year.

Les Coleman, Public News Service - FL