**UPDATED** Poll: Rick Scott a liability to GOP presidential candidates in Florida; low poll numbers helping Obama

President Obama's secret weapon for winning Florida in 2012 might be Republican governor Rick Scott.

There’s a reason why Republican presidential hopefuls are smart to avoid being seen with Florida governor Rick Scott.

Jon Huntsman was in Miami and Orlando yesterday, and failed to seek a photo-op with the governor when both were in the vicinity of the Happiest Place On Earth. He even made it to Rick Scott’s adopted hometown of Naples, with nery a comment about the governor. This despite the fact that Huntsman’s Florida-based PAC is being helmed by Scott’s former campaign manager, Mary Wiles.

Mitt Romney was tepid last week when he was in Florida and was asked if he’d seek the governor’s endorsement.

Message: Rick Scott is political neurotoxin.

A TPM chart shows that of all the tanking Republican governors, Scott is the “tankingest”, with his approval rating down 20 percent, leaving him as probably the most unpopular governor in America:

Now comes word that new numbers out from Public Policy Showing, whose polling has Romney ahead in Florida, followed by Michele Bachmann, will show voters are less inclined to support any Republican next year because of their distaste for Scott. From TPM this morning:

In the survey, 40% of registered voters said Gov. Rick Scott’s actions have made them less inclined to back the GOP presidential nominee next year, versus 26% who said his actions had made it more likely they’d vote Republican in 2012. An additional 34% said Scott has had no impact on whether or not they’ll support a Republican candidate.

A key finding within those results is that almost one in five (18%) of respondents who said they disapproved of President Obama’s job performance said they were still shying away from supporting a Republican alternative because of their dissatisfaction with Scott. Further, 45% of all independent voters said they were less inclined to vote for the GOP nominee after seeing Scott’s policies in action, versus only 18% who said Scott had made them more keen to vote against Obama next year.

Here’s the previous TPM poll release on Republican candidates in Florida. The new numbers are slated to be released sometime today.

UPDATE: Here are the core numbers:

48% of voters in the Sunshine State approve of the job Obama’s doing to 49% who disapprove. Republicans are more unified in their disapproval of him (87%) than Democrats are in their approval (81%) and independents split against him by a 48/49 margin identical to his overall numbers.

Despite Obama’s tepid approval numbers he still has at least a 4 point lead against all of his top potential challengers. It’s 47-43 over Mitt Romney, an 8 point advantage over Tim Pawlenty at 48-40, a 9 point edge against Michele Bachmann at 49-40, an 11 point spread against Herman Cain at 48-37, and a 12 point blowout over Sarah Palin at 52-40.

Why, if Obama’s relatively weak in the state, does he lead all of his potential opponents? Because the Republicans are weaker. Consider this:

1) All of the GOP

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One Response to **UPDATED** Poll: Rick Scott a liability to GOP presidential candidates in Florida; low poll numbers helping Obama

  1. majii says:

    It’s time for the GOP 2012 presidential candidates to wrap their arms around Scott and show him some love because he is doing exactly what the Heritage Foundation and the corporatists want the GOP to do: privatize everything, give them tax breaks and subsidies, destroy unions, and end abortion, among other things. The GOP candidates have the same plans as Scott, and voters need to know this before going to the polls in 2012.