Hurricane Irma: Florida voters grade Scott; he launches TV ad

Gov. Rick Scott appears with images of Hurricane Irma in a new ad by his Let’s Get To Work political committee.

Two-thirds of Florida voters say Gov. Rick Scott did a good or excellent job of handling Hurricane Irma, according to a new Mason-Dixon poll, and likely GOP Senate candidate Scott is highlighting the storm in a new TV ad by his political committee.

Mason-Dixon’s telephone survey of 625 registered Florida voters, conducted Oct. 17-19 with a 4 percent margin of error, found 35 percent grading Scott “excellent” and 31 percent “good” for his Irma performance. Twenty-five percent said Scott’s handling was “fair” and 4 percent gave him a “poor” rating.

Nearly nine out of ten Republicans and 62 percent of no-party voters give Scott high marks, while 49 percent of Democrats say the governor was good or excellent and 47 percent rate him fair or poor.

Scott, facing term limits as governor, is expected to challenge Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson next year.

Scott features Hurricane Irma in a new campaign-style ad by his Let’s Get To Work political committee. The ad showcases Scott but doesn’t mention any election; it specifically calls for Congress to speed up payment for fixing the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee and for state legislators to support a state constitutional amendment to limit tax increases.

While Scott has received positive reviews so far for his handling of Hurricane Irma, Nelson has called for an investigation— and other Democrats have been outright critical — of Scott’s response to a Broward County nursing home where 14 deaths have been blamed on the facility losing its air conditioning during the storm.

“Floridians are fed up with Scott’s self-serving administration and at a time when he should be focusing on the state’s recovery and answering questions about his role in the tragic deaths of 14 seniors at the Hollywood Hills facility, he’s once again thinking of himself, his brand and damage control. For Floridians who are still struggling with the expensive and horrific impact of Scott’s failure to prepare and respond to this disaster, his ad campaign is tone deaf and another reminder that he is only ever looking out for himself,” said David Bergstein of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

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