Florida is another state where the falling popularity of President Obama is proving a drag on Democratic candidates -- in this case, Alex Sink
, who finds herself trailing Republican newcomer Rick Scott
in the race for governor, according to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted Sept. 23-28.
Scott, the former health care executive who won an upset victory in the GOP primary, leads Sink by 49 percent to 43 percent with 7 percent undecided. The margin of error is 2.9 points. Sink is the state's chief financial officer.
Independents favor Scott by 46 percent to 40 percent with 12 percent undecided.
Fourteen percent of voters say they may yet change their mind, including 16 percent of Scott supporters and 13 percent of those who back Sink. Twenty-three percent of independents say they may change their minds.
Forty-eight percent believe Scott would do a better job of rebuilding Florida's economy while 39 percent chose Sink, with 4 percent seeing no difference and 9 percent undecided.
Fifty-six percent of voters disapprove of the job Obama is doing compared to 40 percent who approve, with 3 percent undecided, and Quinnipiac says that's a culprit in Sink's showing.
"It's no surprise that Scott's campaigning and advertising has been trying to tie Sink to President Obama," said Quinnipiac's Peter Brown. "The president's low ratings, especially among independents who are likely to decide the governor's race, are a problem for Sink's campaign. It's a fair bet that if the president had a 56-40 percent approval rating, instead of the opposite, Sink probably would be ahead."
Scott has not been shy about using his wealth to help flood the state with his political advertising, but even though 54 percent of voters find his ads annoying (compared to 46 percent for Sink), voters are not as turned off as much as their Connecticut counterparts, who have been the recipients of a similar avalanche of ads
from another self-funded candidate, former World Wrestling Entertainment executive Linda McMahon.
Forty-three percent say the amount of Scott's television, radio and mail advertising is "about right" compared to 38 percent who call it excessive. Eleven percent say he has not done enough advertising while 8 percent are undecided.
In the Connecticut race, 54 percent found the ads from Republican McMahon to be excessive while 38 percent considered the amount to be about right. However, majorities in the case of both candidates found the ads annoying.
Read Politics Daily's 2010 Elections Round-Up