Poll finds Rick Scott, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell both underwater
Rick Scott and Debbie Murcarsel-Powell get detail-oriented in the U.S. Senate race

Rick Scott Debbie Mucarsel-Powell SBS AP
The Democratic challenger also largely remains an unknown to Florida voters.

New polling shows U.S. Sen. Rick Scott underwater with voters. But it also shows voters are unhappy with or unaware of Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, his most likely Democratic opponent.

Survey results released by the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab (PORL) shows Scott could face trouble in 2024 with an electorate displeased with its elected officials.

The poll shows just 39% of registered Florida voters have a positive opinion of the Naples Republican, while 49% have view him unfavorably.

Moreover, the antipathy for the incumbent remains more intense. About 30% of voters said they had a “very unfavorable” view of Scott, while only 13% said they have a “very favorable” opinion.

His standing proved weak with independent voters, with 47% voicing dissatisfaction with Scott compared to 37% who like him.

The lack of enthusiasm has been reflected in other recent polls as well.

But then Florida voters seem generally dissatisfied with elected leaders all around. Voters also don’t care for Democratic President Joe Biden (34% favorable, 62% unfavorable) and are split on former President  Donald Trump (48% favorable, 49% unfavorable) and Gov. Ron DeSantis (48% favorable, 48% unfavorable), who are competing for the Republican presidential nomination.

“No one fared particularly well in favorability,” said Michael Binder, a UNF political science professor and the faculty director of PORL. “DeSantis (is) the only one treading water with equal favorable and unfavorable, while Biden is well under water with a majority of respondents and the lowest favorability among the bunch,”

But voters know those presidential contenders’ names. About 12% of voters have no opinion of Scott, a first-term Senator who served two terms as Florida’s Governor.

He is, however, a much better-known quantity than his most prominent Democratic opponent.

Mucarsel-Powell, who announced her candidacy in August, remains an unknown to 48% of Florida voters. Meanwhile, just 22% of voters have a favorable view of the former U.S. Congresswoman, and 30% view her negatively.

Binder noted that leaves the Democratic challenger with room to grow. In the coming months, he expects to get a better read on voters as more of them make up their mind about her as a candidate.

“A lot of folks aren’t familiar with Mucarsel-Powell this early in the campaign, but we can expect that to change as we get closer to Election Day,” Binder said.

Pollsters did not survey voters about any other Democrat running for Scott’s Senate seat.

The poll reports a margin of error of 4.37%. Results include responses from 716 voters surveyed between Nov. 9 and Nov 26.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Impeach Biden

    November 30, 2023 at 6:24 am

    Mucarsel-Powell unknown to voters? Of course! She is a one term congressman. To all you potential donors, go ahead and piss your money away.🤣

  • Sonja Fitch

    November 30, 2023 at 6:56 am

    Don’t tease! Is that disgusting human Rick Scott UNDER WATER! Get rid of the most horrible human ever to hold office in Florida!

  • Phil Morton

    December 1, 2023 at 7:04 am

    Rick Scott set out to make a name for himself on the national stage. He did and no one liked what they saw.

  • Biscuit

    December 2, 2023 at 4:09 pm

    Rick Scott is fine underwater. He was designed to breathe underwater as well as withstand a constant onslaught of cries for help from his constituents, for whom he has nothing but a nearly inaudible electronic beep every sixty seconds to let them know he’s working. They vote for him because the beep is so mesmerizing and he’s so cute.

  • Commander Demetries Grimes

    December 3, 2023 at 12:00 pm

    As Floridians, our choice has never been clearer, nor our stakes higher. Debbie Murcarsel-Powell (DMP) has emerged as the local face of a national catastrophe—the destructive policies of President Biden’s administration. These policies are not mere political disagreements but a direct affront to the American way of life, placing our citizens, economy, global partnerships, and our standing as a nation last.

    DMP’s stance against merit-based education and school choice is an assault on opportunity and excellence. Education is the bedrock of our future, and by opposing these principles, DMP is undermining the potential of our youth and, with it, the future prosperity of our state and country.

    Further compromising the safety of our communities, DMP supports stripping essential legal protections from our law enforcement officers. This move is not reform; it is a dismantling of the rule of law that threatens the peace and security of our neighborhoods.

    On immigration, DMP’s push for open borders and sanctuary cities is a radical step that would erode the integrity of our nation’s borders and the rule of law, creating havens that flout federal authority and jeopardize our security.
    Economically, DMP’s endorsement of reckless spending and tax hikes threatens to crush both employees and business owners alike under the weight of fiscal irresponsibility, stalling growth, and innovation.

    Her support for the “green new deal” cloaks a socialist agenda in the guise of environmentalism, proposing measures that would suffocate our economy rather than sustain it.

    Most distressing is DMP’s blatant disregard for the Constitution. Her advocacy for restrictive gun control measures is a direct violation of her oath to defend the constitutional rights of all Americans, a sacred trust that she seems all too willing to breach.

    In this tumultuous era, Senator Rick Scott embodies the conservative leadership that respects the foundational values of our nation. Senator Scott champions a vision of America as “one nation, under God,” a vision steeped in the principles of freedom and liberty that have been the cornerstone of our country since its inception.

    The Democrats’ vision of a new America—one reliant on government largesse and submissive to globalist ideologies—is an existential threat to the values we hold dear. This vision must be met with unwavering resistance from those who believe in American sovereignty and the individual liberties that have long defined us.

    The time for Floridians to act is now. We must ensure that our civic duty is fulfilled by registering to vote, rallying our communities, and standing firm in the upcoming elections. The battle for the future of our state and our nation demands our active participation.

    This is not just a call to action; it is a call to arms in defense of the American Dream, which is currently under siege. We must be vigilant, for the cost of apathy could be the very liberty we cherish.

    • rick whitaker

      December 3, 2023 at 11:15 pm

      commander grim, your post was horrible. i found almost every word of your pack of lies to be offensive. what a load of maga cultist crap. it’s a good thing the gop is blowing itself up. rick scott found out how many people despise him. it’s policies like those in your crazy post that are waking people up to the awful florida maga cultist’ point of view. the fascism you espouse is being rejected more everyday.

      • Commander Demetries Grimes

        December 7, 2023 at 4:04 pm

        The truth about DMP and the radical left Democrat agenda she embraces hurts…Can you share with fellow Florida voters how DMPs embrace of open borders, decriminalized crime, higher taxes and regulation, relinquishing U.S. energy independence, and lower standards and less choice in education would benefit Floridians and Americans?

        • rick whitaker

          December 7, 2023 at 4:35 pm

          commander, to answer your loaded question, i would first have to agree that what you said was even partially true. as i said before, all of what you say is maga cultist fantasy. saying the words ” radical left ” makes your statement garbage. being a brainwashed cultist, i don’t expect you to understand much reality. if you ever met an actual radical leftist, then you would know what you’re talking about concerning florida politicians is not the same. i’m a radical leftist, i should know. i’m not an activist though, so don’t worry about me. i’m NOT running for office.

    • Silly Wabbit

      December 7, 2023 at 11:48 am

      You kwazy.

    • Beverly Brevity

      December 9, 2023 at 12:09 pm

      Mr. Grimes, either Earl Pitts is your writing teacher or you are just naturally fond of using far too many words to voice childish complaints and simplistic solutions, all the while using every cliche available. In short, sir, you are a windbag.

  • Joe

    December 3, 2023 at 4:54 pm

    Does a living skeleton need to breathe underwater?

Comments are closed.


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