When Quinnipiac poll numbers were released this week and Florida Governor Rick Scott’s approval numbers were suffering, no one thought twice. The Governor’s poll numbers have been dismal since taking office almost two years ago. He’s still got time to turn it around before his November 2014 general election showdown with Charlie Crist or Alex Sink right?
That’s if he makes it to the general election.
The numbers that jumped off the page, and should have Scott’s team worried were the 53 percent of GOP voters that would like to see Scott compete in a primary. 53%. It’s safe to say those looking for another Republican option, would prefer Scott not being the ambassador of their party.
Ironically enough, Scott’s biggest threats have been in this state’s cabinet the entire time, and with these recent numbers and Scott’s overall approval rate failing to break 40% in almost a year, the state’s CFO, Attorney General, and Secretary of Agriculture would have to consider rushing Scott and taking his place in the general election.
It’s about keeping the Governor’s mansion in the GOP after all right? After President Obama was elected and Democrats made massive gains in the state house? Rick Scott jumped into the GOP primary late in 2010 and overthrew longtime favorite Bill McCullom before barely beating a weak Alex Sink. These three lawmakers would be doing what’s best for the party. What’s best for the state of Florida.
Let’s take a closer look at potential Scott rivals in the cabinet.
CFO Jeff Atwater: The former Senate President and current Chief Financial Officer isn’t done. We know that. He shortly considered a run for Senate before declining (a decision that in hindsight was the right one) and is always making the rounds. He’s got the experience in the state legislature and has already easily won a state level campaign. If he’s not done, and if he’s not interested in the Senate (until Nelson retires) then he’s got to be looking at Governor. If not now, then in 2016.
Attorney General Pam Bondi:The rising star on the national level for the the Florida GOP is it’s AG, Pam Bondi. She’s been doing television analysis for years on Cable TV. She was one of the moderators for a primary debate this year and spent the majority of the cycle campaigning with Mitt Romney. Her attractive appearance and that long blonde hair makes her easy to spot in the crowd. It’s easy to see her taking the Tea Party thunder from Scott. She’s been outfront fighting the President’s healthcare plan or “Obamacare”, even after the Supreme Court made it’s ruling. Like Atwater, it’s hard to see Bondi retreating after her stay as Attorney General.
Secretary of Agriculture Adam Putnam: Bondi and Atwater are both popular picks but, the insiders I’ve spoken to, like the young AG secretary. Yeah he’s young but he’s got to experience. He was elected to Congress in his 20’s and is the only one in the group (including Scott) with DC experience. You don’t hear much about him because, well, he’s the Secretary of Agriculture. When Florida Republicans get to know Putnam, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to move up. And he’s younger so, he can wait out Bondi and Atwater.
The big three factors? The ones working against Scott.
None of them had to hide during the recent elections from fear of hurting candidates.
There all adored by RPOF. (Putnam and Bondi are on the party’s literature)
They’ve all got charisma for miles longer than Rick Scott.
So, when Florida Republicans are polling that they would like to see Governor Scott win a primary, he would be best off taking notice.
And creating a little more space between the members of his cabinet, he knows in his heart of hearts could beat him in 2014.
With Florida Republicans open to a Rick Scott primary challenge, Bondi would be a possibility