Poll: Nelson, Rubio Lose to Crist

Thursday, 14 Jul 2011 01:53 PM

By Dan Weil

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Florida voters didn’t think much of Republican turned independent Gov. Charlie Crist last year, opting instead for Republican Marco Rubio in the state’s Senate race. But apparently they’ve had a change of heart, according to a new Sunshine State News poll.
 
Crist tops both Rubio and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in the group’s latest survey of Floridians about their state’s biggest political figures. Crist has a favorability rating of 42 percent and an unfavorable rating of 33 percent. Rubio’s favorable/unfavorable rating stands at 38/34 percent, and Nelson, who is running for re-election next year, has a rating of 32/27 percent.

As for the incumbent senator, "Nelson’s numbers are certainly underwhelming for a guy who has been on the Florida political stage for so many years, but you can’t say he can’t win next year either," Jim Lee, president of Voter Survey Service, which handled the July 5-7 poll, told Sunshine State News.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott's posted a 58 percent disapproval rating in the poll. But that number may not mean much so early in his term, which began in January.

"It's obviously horrible, and it makes perfect sense," Lee said. That’s because he won last November’s election over Democrat Alex Sink with just 49 percent of the vote.

Some polls show Scott with the highest disapproval rating of any governor in the country. But Lee pointed out that Pennsylvania’s Republican Gov. Tom Corbett had only a 35 percent approval as a first-term governor soon after he introduced an unpopular state budget plan last March. That didn’t stop Corbett from winning re-election with 55 percent of the vote in November.

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