New polls show Republican governors Rick Scott of Florida and Sam Brownback of Kansas trailing their Democratic opponents.
Scott trails Democratic challenger Charlie Crist in two new polls. While noting that “any outcome is possible” in the seesawing polls of the Florida governor’s race, a SurveyUSA poll shows Crist up six percentage points on Scott, 46–40. Scott led Crist by the same margin in early September, but a major factor in his recent decline in the polls has been Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie. A poll by 0ptimus, a Republican firm, shows Crist leading Scott by just one percentage point, with Wyllie attracting 11.1 percent of support from likely voters. Wyllie, a self-employed information-technology consultant for car dealers, has refused to renew his driver’s license since it expired three years ago but told the Miami Herald he continues to drive illegally as a show of civil disobedience. Scott may eventally need to gain support from Wyllie, who said he voted for Scott in 2010, in order to win in November.
In Kansas, incumbent governor Brownback trails his Democratic opponent Paul Davis by four percentage points in a new Suffolk University poll. Brownback’s declining support among fellow Republicans is tied to his efforts to institute conservative reforms in a state with a relatively liberal Republican party, an issue on which NRO has previously reported. While in office, Brownback has cut income taxes, privatized Medicaid, and taken on the state’s teachers’ unions. His survival in November is critical to cementing his effort to make Kansas a conservative model for other states to follow, but he must first motivate the entire Kansas GOP to unite behind him.