The most unpopular governor of them all

About a month ago, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) chatted with the hosts of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, one of whom was impressed with the right-wing governor’s poll numbers. “The states that have to balance the budget are making the tough decisions, and getting appreciation for it,” Brian Kilmeade said. “Your approval ratings are up.”

It wasn’t true at the time, and it’s certainly not true now.

Gov. Rick Scott is one of the least popular governors in America, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll that shows 57 percent of voters disapprove of his job performance.

Only 29 percent favor the job Scott is doing, the poll of 1,196 registered voters shows.

Scott’s job-performance numbers mirror public sentiment about the $69.7 billion state budget, which cuts schools, healthcare and programs for the environment. The poll finds that 54 percent of voters say the budget is “unfair” to someone like them, while 29 percent favor it.

Scott has praised what he calls the “jobs budget” as a way to get Florida’s economy moving. But despite the nickname, the budget will lead to more layoffs in the short-term because it eliminates nearly 4,500 state worker positions.

It’s hard to spin a 29% approval rating. That’s approaching a Nixon-at-the-height-of-Watergate level of support. A poll like this isn’t just discouraging for a rookie governor; it’s humiliating.

There’s no great mystery here. A bizarre criminal got elected governor of Florida, deliberately turned his back on job creation, slashed funding for popular and necessary programs, and unveiled a plan to “reform” Medicaid that would line his own pockets. He’s cutting state investments, making unemployment worse on purpose, and deliberately undermining the state’s environment.

Of course voters are feeling buyers’ remorse. How could they not?

It’s reached the point at which there are multiple reports of Florida Republicans getting organized to switch their party affiliations away from the GOP, as a way of protesting their ridiculous governor.

I’m curious about what effect, if any, this might have on the 2012 cycle. Floridians are getting a painful reminder about the perils of far-right governing — a point the Obama campaign will likely want to emphasize on the campaign trail next year.