Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 29, 2011

RICK SCOTT'S SUPPORT COLLAPSES IN FLORIDA.... Go figure. A bizarre criminal gets elected governor of Florida, deliberately turns his back on job creation, slashes funding for popular and necessary programs, unveils a plan to "reform" Medicaid that would line his own pockets, and all of a sudden, voters start to feel buyers' remorse.

You could say Rick Scott's honeymoon is over ... but that would suggest he had one in the first place. A December PPP poll shortly before Scott took office found that only 33% of Florida voters had a favorable opinion of their new Governor to 43% who viewed him negatively. After a few months in office those numbers have only gotten worse -- Scott's approval rating is just 32% while 55% of voters in the state are unhappy with his work so far. [...]

Outside of his own party Scott's support is close to nonexistent. [...]

The Florida Governor's race was one of the closest in the country last year with Scott winning by a razor thin margin even in one of the best Republican years ever. If voters got to do it over again today it would be no contest -- Alex Sink leads Scott 56-37 in a hypothetical rematch.

Before Republicans complain that perhaps the poll leaned Democratic, it's worth noting that this same poll shows Sen. Marco Rubio (R) as the state's most popular politician, and most of the poll's participants said they voted for John McCain in 2008, not Barack Obama.

Scott, in other words, really has seen his support deteriorate to remarkable depths in just a couple of months.

Floridians, don't say you weren't warned. The guy you voted for had one notable accomplishment in his professional life: defrauding taxpayers, getting fired, and narrowly avoiding a criminal indictment. Now he's proving to be a terrible governor, but you really should have seen this coming.

And in the larger context, Scott is part of a new crop of far-right Republican governors, taking the helm in large swing states, and quickly annoying their own constituents. In Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder (R) has seen his approval rating fall off a cliff, and if voters had it to do over again, they wish they'd elected the Dem.

In Ohio, Gov. John Kasich (R) has seen his support plummet in recent months, a trend bolstered by the latest Quinnipiac poll showing his approval rating down to just 30%.

In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett (R) -- the one who's desperate to make brutal cuts to education, while increasing spending on prisons -- hasn't exactly impressed his constituents, either. Last week, a statewide poll found only 31% of Pennsylvanians had a positive impression of his job performance.

Polls in Wisconsin have shown widespread opposition to Gov. Scott Walker's (R) agenda, and if voters had it to do over again, they wish they'd voted for former Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D), who lost to Walker by six points in November.

Will this prove relevant in 2012? Time will tell, of course, but I wouldn't be surprised if it does. Republicans scored big wins in 2010, not because the GOP was popular, but because much of the public was dissatisfied with the status quo, and Dems happened to be the dominant majority.

But now those same voters have been reminded exactly why they didn't like Republicans in the first place.

Steve Benen 12:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (35)

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Not original, I know, but: you get the government you deserve.

Posted by: Jon on March 29, 2011 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Now, if us folks in New Jersey would have a similar "come to Jesus" moment regarding Fat Governor then we'd be all set.

Posted by: Eisbaer on March 29, 2011 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Can we include Maine, Arizona, Michigan and New Jersey, in this gallery?

Obviously someone voted for these turkeys? Will they be as easily led again next time? I don't hold out much hope.

Posted by: Marc on March 29, 2011 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Will this prove relevant in 2012? Time will tell, of course, but I wouldn't be surprised if it does.

Only if Obama and the national Democratic organizations make an issue out of it. So I wouldn't count on it.

It's more likely that Obama and the Democratic "leadership" will tell voters that these far-right Republican governors have "good ideas" too.

Sarcasm just isn't enough to convey my disgust with both parties.

Posted by: SteveT on March 29, 2011 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

FYI - Tom Barrett is not the former mayor of Milwaukee. He's still in office.

Posted by: Old School on March 29, 2011 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

2010 is what happens when you don't vote. That said did they ever get a paper ballot back up for their voting machines in FL? That wouldn't solve all their problems but anyone with a mind to doesn't even have to sweat to steal elections if there isn't at least a chance they'll get caught. And to anyone who thinks that's just nutty conspiracy theorizing I suggest you talk to Roger Johnston security expert from Argonne Nat'l Labs.

Posted by: markg8 on March 29, 2011 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Do not forget the Great White Wail!

Voters are split on whether they have a favorable or unfavorable impression of Christie, with 46 percent viewing him favorably and 44 percent unfavorably. That’s down significantly from December, when 49 percent of voters saw Christie favorably and 39 percent had an unfavorable impression.

Posted by: joyzeeboy on March 29, 2011 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

You know the best way to avoid 'buyers remorse?'

Don't buy that POS!

But, FL, now that you've got Governor Crookie D. Ripoff for the next 4 years, enjoy him!

You get what you vote for. And it's about time people realize that.

Posted by: c u n d gualg on March 29, 2011 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

"But now those same voters have been reminded exactly why they didn't like Republicans in the first place."

Talk about a painful reminder. But why does it always come to this? The GOP causes maximum damage --> Democrats get elected to clean up the mess --> the GOP does everything in their power to block Democratic progress in cleaning up the mess --> the public gets "dissatisfied with the status quo" without understanding the GOP's role in blocking any measure that would bring relief to the public --> the public votes the GOP back into power --> the GOP doubles down on causing massive damage --> the public again votes in Democrats to clean up the mess... rinse and repeat.

Posted by: June on March 29, 2011 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Bringing a thoughtful response to a Republican tsunami of emotional wedge issues , is just like a responsible American , like bringing facts to a conservative convention .

Posted by: FRP on March 29, 2011 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you wish the Democrats had actually put up a fight last election? Instead they turned conventional villager "wisdom" into reality.

By the way, I have been getting a lot of requests from labor oriented groups for money. They get it. What about the national Democrats?

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 29, 2011 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

If you HAVE to win by means of trickery, enormous expenditures, outright lying and other gimmicks as Republicans apparently feel the need to do, you deeply do not believe in democracy. Votes are like cash to them, not the expression of the will of a free people.

So what else can you expect? And what difference does it make to the thief once seated in power. Does he care? Does he have to?

What leverage do the people have?

Posted by: jjm on March 29, 2011 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Many voters inherit their party affiliation from their parents. They come of age, register R or D, and on the appointed day proudly do their civic duty, and pull the R or the D lever, vote the straight ticket. The names on the ballot mean little, when you are not like the good crew assembled here, but spend your waking hours working, playing, procreating.
And that's how you get the government you deserve.

Posted by: DAY on March 29, 2011 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Americans should have learned how disastrous Republican policies are for Americans after eight years of Bushco. But no. Short memories, massive misinformation campaigns and an absence of liberal and young voters produced the 2010 election that voters are now remorsing.

Fool Americans once, shame on Republicans; Fool Americans twice, shame on Americans.

My hope is that brand Republican will be radioactive from now on.

Posted by: PTate in MN on March 29, 2011 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

The voters won't remember any of this by the next election.

The propaganda machine will muddy the water, churn out half-truths and outright lies, and then pop out a bunch of shiny irrelevant issues. And the voters will scratch their heads, and drool into their Doritos, and follow the shiny objects with their eyes just as they're supposed to.

We're doomed. We have met the enemy, and it is us.

Posted by: bleh on March 29, 2011 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

DAY makes a very good point. But it can be overcome. Both my parents were Republicans (not the insane kind, fortunately) and I was on track to become one myself. Then I took a year off from college to hitchhike around Europe. Came back a changed man. Best decision I ever made.

June also makes a very good point, and we can only hope that enough people will be slapped awake by the consequences of their ignorance to have some real improvements in 2012.

Posted by: Curmudgeon on March 29, 2011 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

I was here . The anti Dem ads funded by the newly liberated (Citizen United)corporations started long before the Republican Primary . He spent 70 million of his own money on a job that pays 200k a year . The outsiders dumped in countless millions and it convinced the uneducated masses in Northern and Central Florida that Scott was a good guy who was going to create jobs. A compliant mass media failed to note his serious character flaws and there we were. He intends to privatize the entire state to the benefit of his buds.
"Three companies with lobbyists in Tallahassee have reaped lucrative contracts by taking over state prisons and mental hospitals. One Boca Raton company, GEO Group, manages two of the state's seven private prisons and four of its seven mental-health facilities.

Corrections Corp. of America, headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., runs four prisons, and Management Training Corp., based in Utah, runs one.

Those three companies are prime financiers of the Republican Party. GEO Group alone gave more than $400,000 to the party in the past election cycle and another $25,000 to Scott's inaugural bash.

Geo Group's lobbyist, Brian Ballard, hosted Scott at his Tallahassee home to watch the Super Bowl. He also helped raise $3 million for Scott's inaugural."

Tea Party My ASS. They have been played for fools . They are getting less government alright but traded it for control by big bidness. Rubes

Posted by: John R AKA Mr. Serf Man on March 29, 2011 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Scott is backed by a Tea Party legislature. The Senate President, Mike Haridopolos, is planning an easy transfer to the US Senate despite serious ethics problems. The Senate's working on easing the ethics rules and seems to be working to get rid of judicial independence.

So politically, we're pretty much like Oklahoma unless everyone who voted for Obama actually comes back out in 2012.

Posted by: Dave Martin on March 29, 2011 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Um, yes, Florida has followed Newt Gingrich's old admiration of Tammany Hall as a far better political model than Theodore Roosevelt's (or Wisconsin's) Progressivism.

On the plus side, medical clinics owned by Gov. Scott's wife seem likely to administer Medicaid. Thanks to that nepotism, we can expect that threats to withdraw Florida from Medicaid will come to naught. (Ezra Klein at the Washington Post took a look at Scott and Medicaid yesterday)

Posted by: Dave Martin on March 29, 2011 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Getting Republicans elected in Florida and Ohio is really about undermining President Obama in 2012. Remember, they control the election process ( see 2000 in Florida and Ohio in 2004). Keep an eye on their Secs of State. Call shinanagins when needed.

Posted by: bobbob on March 29, 2011 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

You have to kick the sleeping beast...

... pretty hard to get it to wake up, but that's what's happening here. Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio - are all coming to the hard realization that what Republicans SAY while campaigning isn't anything like what they actually have planned to DO when they take office.

It's not as if these power-mad Republican governors and legislatures are suddenly going to get civic-minded before the next election. People in their states will remember, all right, as well as anyone who listens to the news.

Posted by: zandru on March 29, 2011 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Teabaggers are deaf, blind, mute, and fingerless when it comes to the shameless behavior of these BPublicans. Campaign ads, editorials, investigative reports, news accounts made no impression on Floriduh voters as they went to the polls in 2010 to put a crook in the governors mansion.

But a whispered smear campaign has them all convinced that the POTUS is a foreigner and a socialist (as if those things are worse than ripping off tax payers).

ILMAO when Scott won the election. I'll stiffle more laughs when hurricane season hits and he refuses help from FEMA on 10th amendment grounds.

You get the gubmint you deserve.

Posted by: Winkandanod on March 29, 2011 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

There are always going to be Progressives who take the "Voters won't remember this; we're doomed!" stance, but you can't ignore the polling evidence. Every one of these radical Republican governors has seen his numbers crash in very short order. They are pursuing a lethally unpopular agenda, and of course that will hurt the national GOP. Only liberals addicted to failure think otherwise.

Here's what happened in 2010: The economy was beyond crappy, despite steps taken to alleviate the suffering (and, yes, I agree more should have been done, but the votes weren't there, no matter how much we wish they had been). The way the two-party system works, the out-party does well in such an electoral environment. But, having made their gains, that party is supposed to act realistically. Today's GOP is incapable of such: they live within a Fox Bubble (reinforced by a wuss mainstream media eager to accept a generally GOP slant on politics). Thus, they are collectively behaving like lunatics possessed by the spirit of the robber barons. They are killing what was left of the Republican brand.

They have one hope of not being destroyed in 2012: they have to hope for double-dip recession. If the economy avoids that, Obama will be re-elected easily, and the GOP will find many of the gains they made last elction wiped out in the process.

Posted by: demtom on March 29, 2011 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Huh. Meanwhile, not insane, grown-up governors who have to make tough choices, but are not crowing about taking a chainsaw to last strands of the social safety net, workers rights and education are enjoying strong public support. Go figure. California may have been in the worst fiscal shape of any state (save perhaps Illinois), but they at least elected some people to deal with the crisis who were not either crazy ideologues or corrupt incompetents.

Posted by: jonas on March 29, 2011 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio. All swing states that went with the Republican in 2010. All have buyers remorse. These are states that the Republicans can not afford to lose.

Posted by: jomo on March 29, 2011 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

And how many of these schmucks got in because Dems were/are disappointed in Obama? Thanks need to go, not just to Citizens United Not Timid, but to the Jane Hamshers (spit) of the left blogosphere, because they preferred nothing over anything.

Don't get me wrong, I'd have liked more in many areas, but I'm realistic. Hamster and her lot were not and they did nothing but demotivate dem voters.

And this is what those states got in return.

Posted by: MsJoanney on March 29, 2011 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

I live in Maine and it really chaps me to hear "Voters get what they deserve" in regards to these awful governors.

This has probably been mentioned before, but, at least in Maine and Florida, the Repubs won because the non-wingnut vote was split between a Dem and an independent. Neither of the governors won actual majorities. In Maine, LePage received slightly less than 39% of the vote. Not nobody, but certainly not a majority.

There has since been a campaign to hold instant runoff elections in the case when nobody receives an actual majority.

Posted by: Fleem on March 29, 2011 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Even if the dems retake some states or parts of some states, a lot of damage will have been done in the meantime. The biggest potential damage would be redistricting, which can't be undone for another 10 years.

Posted by: CDW on March 29, 2011 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

The consequences to stupidity are coming home, but it's to late now ... the 'voters' simply need to look themselves in the face ...

Posted by: stormskies on March 29, 2011 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

I hear that Oswald Cobblepot is the GOP candidate for Mayor of Gotham City.

Posted by: Out & About in The Castro on March 29, 2011 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Let me give everyone something more to think about. Some of the guv's legislative buddies have decided that what FL really needs is two, not one, but TWO, supreme courts. One for criminal cases and one for civil cases. The addition of the second supreme court would require the addition of three justices, which are appointed. Can anyone else see where this if going?

Posted by: Dunhaddit on March 29, 2011 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

But, FL, now that you've got Governor Crookie D. Ripoff for the next 4 years, enjoy him!

You get what you vote for. And it's about time people realize that.

Posted by: c u n d gualg

sorry. i got him. i didn't vote for him.

if you look at the numbers, Gov. Ripoff barely won. Hardly the stuff of a sweeping mandate for his brand of extremism. And that's his problem in a state where democrats hold edge in terms of registration. perhaps it takes an extremist like Gov. Ripoff (and walker and kasich and lepage and corbett) to make voters realize that elections do have consequences, sometimes profound consequences.

i've said it before. under normal circumstances, Ripoff would not have made it through the republican primary let alone won the general. but these are not normal times especially here in florida, where the unemployment rate is 12 percent.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on March 29, 2011 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

If the Democrats want to recover from this, they can stop with the bipartisanshit and start blaming the Repukeliscum. If Obama had done that, we wouldn't be in this prediment.

If you play games with shit eating turds, you too will become covered in shit.

Posted by: POed Lib on March 29, 2011 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

I live in Florida. I voted for Alex Sink. None of what is happening is a surprise. If only a few more Floridians would have paid attention to the issues before voting we'd not be in this mess.

Posted by: Tom W on March 29, 2011 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

If voters got to do it over again today [...]--PPP

And if grandma had wheels, she'd have been a bicycle, as we used to say back in Poland. Elections aren't the same as a rough draft of a term paper; they're more like final exams. There are no do-overs; you get graded on the first effort and you have to live with the results.

Perhaps all the campaign ads should also, in addition to the standard "I'm X and I approve this message", carry a warning: "the results will be final and no do-overs will be possible".

Posted by: exlibra on March 29, 2011 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK



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