Florida Chamber poll finds rising approval for Scott, state’s direction

A Florida Chamber of Commerce poll found a 9-point rise in the percentage of voters who think Florida is headed the right way and more are giving credit to Gov. Rick Scott’s policies for the progress, the Chamber announced in a news release Monday.

According to the poll, 45 percent of Floridians likely to vote – as opposed to those who are simply eligible to vote – say the state is headed in the right direction.

rickscottThat’s up from a similar poll earlier this year that found 36 percent of likely voters thought the state was on the right path, according to the Chamber.

Forty-two percent of those polled credit Scott’s policies for the state’s direction. Only 23 percent of those polled said a brighter outlook for the state can be credited to President Barack Obama, the poll found.

Scott’s approval rating also rose in the poll to 54 percent from 47 percent in March – a milestone in the governor’s 30 months in office.

“For the first time since Governor Scott took office, our polling data shows that more than half of likely Florida voters approve of his performance,” Marian Johnson, the Chamber’s senior vice president of political strategy, said in the release.

“Floridians continue to feel more confident about the direction Florida is headed in, and they credit Governor Scott for putting Florida on the right path,” Johnson said.

The poll numbers announced Monday mark the third time in a week that numbers have turned in Scott’s favor.

On June 18, Quinnipiac University released a poll showing Scott’s favorability rating at 40 percent – a high for his term, according to Quinnipiac.

And on Friday, the governor’s office announced Florida’s unemployment rate was at 7.1 percent for May. That was the lowest in five years and four percentage points below the 11.1 percent unemployment rate when Scott took office.

The national unemployment rate for May was 7.6 percent – a half a percentage point higher than the Sunshine State’s.

“It is our opinion that Florida’s improving private-sector jobs market is boosting Governor Scott’s approval ratings,” Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson said in the release.

Other findings in the poll included the top priorities respondents feel Scott and the Republican-led Legislature should be addressing. Jobs and the economy led with 30 percent, followed by education at 18 percent and health care with 13 percent.

Finally, in a veiled dig at Charlie Crist, Scott’s most-talked about potential opponent in a 2014 governor’s race and a billboard-face for Morgan and Morgan, the large person-injury law firm, the poll asked a number of questions about respondents’ attitudes toward personal-injury law and lawyers.

The poll found a majority of respondents, about 68 percent, consider the number of such lawsuits in Florida to be a serious or somewhat serious problem. About 63 percent felt that personal-injury attorneys rather than the injured parties benefit the most from those lawsuits.

About 79 percent of poll respondents said personal-injury law firms are more interested in making money than in protecting people’s rights.

The poll was conducted by telephone by  Cherry Communications, a Republican-leaning firm in Tallahassee. Its sample size included 600 likely voters and had an estimated margin of error of 4 percent, according to the release.


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