After almost two months in his new office, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., is in solid shape according to two new polls.
St. Leo University released a poll on Monday showing Scott has the approval of half of Florida voters as 50.2 percent of them approved of the freshman Republican while 35 percent disapprove of him. Despite Scott serving two terms as governor, 15 percent of Florida voters are not sure what they think of Scott.
The University of North Florida (UNF) also released a poll on Monday which looked at Scott’s performance in his first weeks in the Senate. Scott is above water with 43 percent of those surveyed approving of him while a third–33 percent–disapprove of him. Almost a quarter of those surveyed–24 percent–are not sure what they think about Scott.
There is a partisan divide on Scott, the UNF poll shows. Almost two-thirds of Florida Republicans–64 percent–approve of Scott while 13 percent disapprove of him. A majority of Democrats in the Sunshine State–53 percent–disapprove of Scott while 23 percent approve of him.
After a long and prominent business career, which saw him focus on healthcare management, Scott became involved in politics, leading Conservatives for Patients’ Rights (CPR) to oppose then President Barack Obama’s healthcare law. Using his own personal wealth, Scott upset then state Attorney General Bill McCollum in the Republican primary and beat then state CFO Alex Sink to become governor in 2010. Focusing on economic issues in Tallahassee, Scott oversaw a jobs boom in Florida which helped him defeat former Gov. Charlie Crist for a second term in 2014. Last year, Scott edged U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.,
The St. Leo poll of 500 voters in Florida was taken from Feb. 16-Feb. 25 and had a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percent. The UNF poll of 870 voters in Florida was taken from Feb. 20-Feb. 27 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percent.
Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com