The latest PPP survey of Florida shows that Barack Obama is leading all Republicans in the state and Gov. Rick Scott is causing voters to not want to vote Republican in 2012.
Even though the new PPP survey of the state revealed that President Obama’s approval rating is split 48%-49% in the state, the incumbent still leads every potential 2012 Republican challenger. Obama leads Romney, 47%-43%. He leads Tim Pawlenty, 48%-40%. The President leads Michele Bachmann, 49%-40%, and he continues to dominate Herman Cain (48%-37%), and Sarah Palin (52%-40%).
Some Republicans have been openly speculating that adding Sen. Marco Rubio to the Republican ticket would tilt the state back to the GOP, but the poll shows that adding Rubio would make more Floridians less inclined to vote Republican (35%) than he would support him (31%), for 34% his presence wouldn’t change their vote either way.
Whoever the Republican nominee is they are going to have a big Rick Scott problem. Gov. Scott is so unpopular that only 26% of respondents said that he has made them more likely to support the GOP. For 34% he made no difference in their vote, but 40% of Florida residents responded that Rick Scott makes them less likely to support the Republican Party.
On top of the huge anchor that is Rick Scott, the basic problem for Republicans is that their candidates aren’t well liked in the state. No Republican presidential candidate has a positive approval rating in the state. Michele Bachmann came the closest with a 36%-37% split, but Mitt Romney was at a net (-4), 41%-45%. Herman Cain was a net -8, (25%-33%). Tim Pawlenty is a net -20, (19%-39%), and Sarah Palin was a net -21, (37%-58%).
The Republican plan of making Obama a one term president by tanking the economy and obstructing his agenda has run into two large roadblocks. The newly minted governors of 2010 have been such a disaster that they are pushing voters away from the Republican Party in states like Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Republican governors are implementing radical agendas in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania.
While the national economy has yet to turn around for many voters, these governors’ version of trickle down on steroids has made their economic position worse. The Republican governors are turning into walking billboards for why voters should not vote Republican in 2012.
As much as Obama has been weakened by the slowness of the economic recovery, the GOP field is still weaker than this president. The un-popularity of the slate of Republicans challenging Obama is making the president more electable. If the economy does not break out, the 2012 election may be a replay of 2004. It could be an election contested between the lesser of two evils in many voters’ minds, and these scenarios always benefit the incumbent.
Considering that Republicans have been campaigning to defeat Obama since the moment he took office, and the terrible state of the economy, the president’s numbers aren’t bad. If a credible alternative does not emerge from the GOP field, Obama will still be in a good position to be reelected.
In a state like Florida, a point or two can be the difference between victory and defeat. If this trend holds true in 2012, Florida voters’ Rick Scott repulsion may put the Sunshine State in Obama’s Electoral College column on Election Night.