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Quinnipiac poll finds support for Florida's senators but not for Gov. Rick Scott

May 26, 2011|By Michael Muskal

Both of Florida's senators are looking very strong, but not Gov. Rick Scott, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.

Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, has a commanding lead over three potential Republican challengers in 2012, according to the poll released on Thursday; the closest any of the challengers comes is 20 percentage points behind. When those polled were asked to pick among the three Republicans seeking that party's Senate nomination, a staggering 64% said they didn't know. Former Sen. George LeMieux got the support of 14%; state Senate President Mike Haridopolos had 13%, and former state House majority leader Adam Hasner came in at 4%.

Florida's Republican senator, Marco Rubio, also did well in the poll, with 49% saying they approved of the job he is doing, compared to 26% who disapproved.

President Obama also did well, gaining a 51% to 43% approval rating, a sharp reversal from his standing in April, when 44% approved of his job performance and 52% disapproved.

The poll is based on interviews conducted between May 17 to 23 with 1,196 registered voters. It has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 points.

Those kind of findings could lead an observer to believe that Florida voters have a bias toward incumbents. But the poll's results on the state level sharply dispute that.

Florida voters disapprove of the job Scott is doing, 57% to 29%, which Quinnipiac says is the worst score of any governor in the states surveyed by the university. Scott, a Republican, suffers at both ends of the poll compared to his standing in April: his disapproval numbers are up nine points and his approval number fell six points.

The principal reason for Scott's problems seems to be the state budget, generally perceived to be unfair by an overwhelming number of Democrats and independents, according to the poll.

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