Republican Gov. Rick Scott is defending himself against criticism that he was overstating how much the federal health care overhaul would cost his state.
Photographer: Alex Wong, Getty Images
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In May of last year just 29 percent of Florida voters approved of the job Governor Rick Scott was doing. So Scott hired a new chief of staff, invited reporters over for donuts.
He ditched his executive suits and changed his official photo to a more causal picture. Under the watchful eye of his new chief advisor, Scott’s approval rating rose to 41 percent. But now it’s falling again.
A Quinnipiac Poll released Wednesday shows Scott’s rating dropping to 39 percent. Pollster Peter Brown says the governor needs more support from his own party. “One of the reasons he’s having so many problems, is his Republican numbers are low.”
Scott received a 71 percent job approval rating among Republican voters, but experts say a sitting governor should be able to get 80 or even 90 percent support within his own party.
Scott says there is only one number he is concerned about. “The only number I look at every month is our unemployment rate and as you know we are bucking the national trend. We’ve come down 2.5 percent in the last 17 months."
And if Florida’s unemployment rate improves Scott’s job approval will likely rise with it.
The man who helped bring Scott’s popularity to its highest point is stepping down amid questions about how he handled state contracts. Steve MacNamara’s last day as the governor’s chief of staff is July first.
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