May 11, 2012 -
Gov. Rick Scott is doing better with Florida voters, with his approval rating and favorability growing by seven points each over the last three and a half months, according to a new Suffolk University/WSVN-Miami poll. The survey of likely voters showed 42 percent approved of Scott's job as governor, while 44 percent disapproved -- in late January, the survey found 35 percent approval and 45 percent disapproval. And 37 percent of voters said their opinion of Scott was favorable, up from 30 percent in January; about 45 percent said their opinion was unfavorable, down slightly from 48 percent earlier. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democratic incumbent that Republicans view as vulnerable in this November's elections, was viewed favorably by 41 percent of those polled, with 26 percent saying their opinion was unfavorable. And while 50 percent of respondents said they favored the "Stand Your Ground" gun laws that have received scrutiny in the aftermath of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, 71 percent also said sheriffs should more closely monitor neighborhood watch groups and volunteers. George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, shot 17-year-old Martin in February under disputed circumstances; Zimmerman has claimed self-defense under the Stand Your Ground law. The survey also found that Floridians are pessimistic about the economy, with 81 percent believing the recession is not over in Florida and 55 percent saying the state's housing market isn't getting better. And an amendment seeking to bar public funding for abortions or health-care plans covering the procedure could be hotly contested, with 47 percent of those polled saying they oppose the measure and 45 percent approving of it. The survey of 600 likely voters was conducted May 6-8 and has a margin of error of four percentage points.