I was reading about a poll that had Rick Scott losing to any Democrat with a pulse.
Personally, I think Scott is a sleazy scam artist who picked a politically lucky year to buy himself a state with a personal fortune partly accrued by defrauding taxpayers. But I don’t think that most folks feel quite so vehemently about him.
Yet his numbers are consistently in the toilet. It’s a boost for him when his approval numbers creep into the 40s and when his disapproval numbers are only a little bit above 50.
My suspicion is that he’s suffering from the same malaise that struck former New Jersey governor, Jon Corzine. I was working on some races in South Jersey in 2009, when he lost to Chris Christie and got a pretty good feel for what happened.
The best way I found to explain what happened is that the people of New Jersey were ‘over’ Corzine. They didn’t hate him. Didn’t think he was bad guy. Or even necessarily a bad governor. But they were over him. And that’s why nothing Corzine did could move his numbers into a place where he could win. Jersey voters had moved on.
Arnold Schwarzenegger (speaking of him as a movie star, not a politician) was the biggest star in the world for a while. His movies were sure fire hits. Then, that stopped. Sure, doing another Terminator movie could always bring ’em in, but the days when whatever he did was a hit were over. Moviegoers hadn’t started disliking him. But in their hearts, they’d already moved on.
If that’s what has happened to Scott, his options are narrow and, no matter how much he spends (or how much companies and groups with Tallahassee interests spend), he could find it impossible to get above 45-47%.
This doesn’t change what we already know: that Floridians are not fans of Scott the Governor and that Scott and his allies will focus all their fire on trying to render his opponent so repellent that he squeaks by in a low turnout election (which will be harder than you might think if the opponent is Charlie Crist; yes, Crist has baggage, but Florida knows Crist; all the stuff he’ll be blasted with – flip flopper, etc. – won’t be news to voters; they know it, they’ve already heard it, and they’ve already decided that the still find him to be an okay guy; that’s the problem with figures with such wide name recognition: they’re already defined in the public’s eye before the ad men have had a chance to do it for them).