What a weird ride it's been for poor Rick Scott! He came into office with hardly any pretense, with his intentions as plainly visible as the veins in his scalp. But nobody noticed, and now everybody hates him.
Which is bad news to the folks manning the bridge on the GOP mothership. Especially if they've noticed the weird trend picked up upon in the Quinnipiac University poll results released Thursday, which showed an inverse correlation between Rick Scott and Barack Obama's job approval ratings.
Dig it: Quinnipiac University pollsters spoke with 1,196 Floridians on Rick Scott's job performance and found that 57 percent of Floridians are now dissatisfied with governor, up from 48 percent on April 6. Back then, 35 percent approved of Scott's performance, and now only 29 percent do. For a first-term governor, the April results were bad. These results are disastrous. Rick Scott is now officially the least popular governor in the country.
During the same period that Scott was alienating a tenth of his electorate, Barack Obama's popularity was growing at an almost exactly equal rate. Back on April 7, 44 percent of Floridians approved of his performance, while 52 percent disapproved. The new numbers are 51 percent approve, 43 percent disapprove.
In other words: If presidential and gubernatorial elections were held in Florida today, no declared Republican presidential candidate could unseat Obama, while Scott would have a hard time beating Raul Castro.
But hell! Why would the Democrats want to beat Scott? Florida's the most important swing state in the country. If the Dems can keep Scott in Tallahassee, they'll never lose a presidential election again! (Though they will have to contend with Florida devolving into a destitute anarcho-capitalist hellpit in which gangs of starving, naked ex-teachers roam the streets in search of human flesh. But oh well. It wasn't that nice a place to live anyway.)
But wait! Is it likely that Scott's helping Obama's numbers? Politicususa thinks so, but it's completely discounting the impact of Osama Bin Laden's death upon Floridian sentiments. It also fails to mention that Florida is full of very old people, who lately have been hearing some very scary things about Republicans' plans for Medicare. And then there's the fact that our state is home to two of the most outspoken, angry Republican congressmen in America. Maybe Floridians are just fed up with the vitriol and are blaming the governor because he's bald and scary-looking.
So it's important not to read too much into the inverse correlation discovered by Quinnipiac. Still, the temptation is there. The numbers are striking. It's hard not to believe that somebody aboard the mothership hasn't examined the figures and taken a long, queasy look at a picture of Rick Scott's cool amphibian eyes, and thought: Holy shit! Is he working for them?
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.