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Why Rick Scott isn't that important in 2012

Florida Republicans are circulating this column in Roll Call from political scientist Stu Rothenberg, who writes there is no evidence of a presidential candidate losing a state because of an unpopular governor.

"I don’t know who will carry the Sunshine State in the 2012 election," Rothenberg writes. "But to argue that the Florida governor will cost the Republicans the state in 2012 is to argue that Scott will be more important than the presidential candidates, the issues and all of the media coverage surrounding the contest. If you believe that, you don’t understand campaigns and elections."

Rothenberg column was a response to a recent Public Policy Polling survey that indicated Scott could be a problem for the next Republican presidential candidate. Rothenberg says results from the specific question ("Have Rick Scott’s actions as governor made it more or less likely that you'll vote for a Republican for president next year, or has it not made a difference?") were probably a metter measure of Scott's job performance.

"Take a wild guess which voters are most likely to agree that Scott’s actions make them less likely to vote for the Republican nominee for president," Rothenberg wrote. "Of course, it’s self-identified Democrats — who aren’t going to vote Republican in 2012 anyway. (Oddly, 17 percent of self-identified Democrats in the survey said that Scott’s actions made them more likely to vote Republican in the next presidential election.)"