Brian Mudd

Brian Mudd

There are two sides to stories and one side to facts. That's Brian's mantra and what drives him to get beyond the headlines with daily stories driven...Read More

 

Q&A – Rick Scott’s Intentions & Ratings for DeSantis, Rubio & Scott


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Q&A of the Day – Rick Scott’s Intentions & Ratings for DeSantis, Rubio & Scott 

Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods.  

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com  

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Today’s entry: A couple of questions for you about Sen. Rick Scott. Do you think it’s a mistake that Democrats are targeting him? He’s not even up for election this year. Also, there are now stories about how unpopular he is. Has he really lost that much support or is this msm spin? 

Bottom Line: The first and most important question, in addressing your question regarding support of any particular politician, is who’s answering it. I’m able to answer your questions but before I do, I think it’s important to hit the reset button about what Senator Rick Scott appears to be doing. Raising his profile nationally with a proposed agenda – his American Rescue Plan. Notably, Senator Scott, in addition to his national advertising campaign to promote his Rescue America agenda, has hit the road to promote it. This included a stop in New Hampshire on Friday. Now, Senator Scott is the Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and there’s a key Senate race Republicans are attempting to flip in New Hampshire this year. His travel to and speeches in New Hampshire make sense in that regard. That said, New Hampshire is an early primary state in presidential election cycles and his willingness to take on the Biden administration publicly, with his vision, as opposed to simply focusing on the state’s senate race is perhaps a bit telling. While any talk of Rick Scott for President is generally met with a quick dismissal (as he’s commonly perceived to be fourth in the Floridian line for that type of opportunity – behind Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis and Marco Rubio), there's something most Floridians should know by now. He’s always been an underdog and he’s always come out a winner. He wasn’t expected to even win the Republican primary for Governor in 2010, let alone become governor. In 2014, he was an Election Day polling underdog yet again to former Governor Charlie Crist. In his 2018 Senate race against incumbent Bill Nelson, he was an even bigger underdog still, especially in a wave election year for Democrats. All of this is to say Rick Scott thrives in the underdog role and has often been prematurely dismissed.  

While I have no insider knowledge of this, my impression is that Rick Scott is angling for one of two opportunities. A potential challenge for Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority leader, should Republicans gain control of the Senate entering next year, and secondarily laying the groundwork for a potential presidential run down the line. His Rescue America plan is designed to be a governing framework. So why continue to push it, and spend money on it nationally, unless you’re going to be in a position to advance it? McConnell has already panned it, so it isn’t happening even if Republicans take back the Senate if he's the leader. Now about the perceived lack of popularity of Senator Scott. Those stories are largely a farce to make it appear as though his efforts are in vein. What you’re referencing is based on a recent Morning Consult poll which surveyed Rick Scott nationally. The results? A net negative 11-point approval rating (which incidentally is better than the performance of Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell – though you surely haven’t heard that storyline). Anyway, the national poll is a farce as it pertains to Rick Scott. Most people don’t really know who he is. 57% of all Americans surveyed on Rick Scott didn’t have an opinion of him – most of which said they’d never heard of him. There’s absolutely nothing which can be credibly inferred about national public perception of Rick Scott or his plan when nearly six in ten people don’t have a clue about him or his plan. And that’s obviously what he’s working to attempt to change. Now, as for where people do know him – Florida. We like him. 

Here’s Morning Consult’s statewide polling results (net approval rating): 

  • Rubio: +10% 
  • Scott: +8% 

So clearly here at home both of Florida’s Senators are well thought of – which incidentally, since Rubio is up for reelection this year bodes well for him. And while we’re at it here’s where our governor’s approval rating sits: 

  • DeSantis+18% 

And maybe that’s the most instructive point of all. How much negative national press has DeSantis received over the past couple of years? How has it impacted him? Rick Scott is probably happy to have everyone from the President of the United States to the smear merchants at national news outlets targeting him. If it’s even half as successful for him as it's been for DeSantis, it’ll be a win. Speaking of wins and DeSantis, his current approval rating is setting him up for potentially a big one this fall.  


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