Latest Q Poll Shows Malloy has Work to Do; In Virtual Dead Heat with Foley

The latest Quinnipiac University poll is not particularly good news for Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy. He is in a dead heat with potential 2014 Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley. Foley leads Malloy in the poll released Wednesday, 43 – 40 percent. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percent, making it a virtual tie. Malloy also struggles a bit in job approval with 47 percent approving and the same amount not. It’s generally accepted that an incumbent needs to be above the 50 percent mark to be reelected. This from the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute:

“In a 2014 rematch of the 2010 Connecticut governor’s race, Republican challenger Tom Foley gets 43 percent to 40 percent for Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Gov. Malloy is stuck in the mid-40s in other key measures, the poll finds:
• Voters have a split 46 – 44 percent favorable/unfavorable opinion of him;
• Voters give him a split 47 – 47 percent job approval rating;
• 44 percent of voters say Malloy deserves reelection, while 46 percent say he does not.

Foley leads the Republican primary with 36 percent, followed by State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney with 11 percent, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton with 8 percent and House Minority Leader Larry Cafero with 4 percent. Another 37 percent are undecided.

Malloy tops these largely unknown challengers, but can’t break out of the mid-40s:
• 44 – 37 percent over McKinney;
• 43 – 36 percent over Boughton;
• 44 – 37 percent over Cafero.

;Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy gets a lukewarm job approval rating with as many approving as disapproving,’ said poll director Douglas Schwartz, PhD. ‘Since he has been governor, he has struggled with tepid job approval ratings, never rising above 50 percent. So it is not surprising that in our first poll on the 2014 gubernatorial election, ‘Mid-40s Malloy’ runs neck and neck with his 2010 opponent, Tom Foley. Foley gave him a run for his money in 2010, losing by less than one percentage point.’ ‘On the plus side for Malloy, Connecticut voters say 57 – 38 percent he has strong leadership qualities, no doubt due to his response to various crises in the state from Hurricane Sandy to the Newtown shootings,” Dr. Schwartz added.

Foley leads among independent voters, a key swing group, by 21 points. The reason this race is close is because Democrats outnumber Republicans in Connecticut.

Looking at possible 2014 Republican candidates for governor, Connecticut voters give Foley a 35 – 18 percent favorability rating, while 46 percent haven’t heard enough to make a decision about him. The “don’t-know-enough” for the other Republicans ranges from 75 percent to 84 percent.

On even his strongest approval rating, for the way he is handling gun policy, Malloy gets a 47 – 44 percent score. Voters are divided or disapprove of his handling of other issues:
• 43 – 43 percent divided on his handling of education;
• 55 – 35 percent disapprove of his handling of the budget;
• 63 – 29 percent disapprove of his handling of taxes;
• 57 – 35 percent disapprove of his handling of the economy.

Connecticut voters say 59 – 35 percent that keno should not be allowed in restaurants, bars and convenience stores. There is a large gender gap as men say no 52 – 42 percent while women say no 65 – 28 percent. Republicans, Democrats and independent voters all are opposed.

Voters support 57 – 37 percent Connecticut’s new gun-control laws and 32 percent say they are about right, while 35 percent say they go too far and 27 percent say they don’t go far enough.

President Barack Obama gets a 50 – 46 percent approval rating, close to his all-time low 48 – 48 percent approval rating in a September 16, 2011, Quinnipiac University poll.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal has the best approval rating of any statewide official surveyed, 62 – 28 percent, while Sen. Chris Murphy gets a 52 – 32 percent approval.

From June 12 – 17, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,154 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones. The survey includes 283 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 5.8 percentage points.”

The poll comes as Malloy weathers some seemingly bad news about the state’s economy as well as the high-profile visits of some officials—including other governors—coming to Connecticut to try to convince businesses to move. Meanwhile, the state Republican party released this in response to the poll:

HARTFORD—Connecticut Republican Party Chairman Jerry Labriola, Jr. released the following statement this morning in response to today’s Quinnipiac Poll showing that Governor Dannel Malloy trails a Republican challenger by 3 points overall and by 21 points amongst unaffiliated voters.

“Today’s poll again shows that Connecticut voters are rejecting Governor Malloy’s failed economic policies and the ‘different path’ down which he has taken Connecticut. Malloy said Connecticut would take a ‘different path’ — different from the states who cut spending and cut taxes and whose economies are now rebounding while Connecticut’s remains the worst in the nation. Malloy took Connecticut down a different path alright, and he took our taxpayers for a ride.

“Malloy’s record also includes the largest tax increase in state history, a 10-percent increase in government spending and a gimmick-filled budget that steals road and bridge money to pay for his excessive new spending and hurts both consumers and small businesses. It is not hard to see why his approval rating is low — it is more surprising that the number isn’t lower.”