Governor Jodi Rell’s approval numbers dipped to just 65%, according to a new Quinnipiac Poll released this morning.
The score, which stands as the lowest ever for the Governor, shows that despite a bruising budget fight Rell has maintained her popularity with people in Connecticut. 30% of those polled disapproved of Mrs. Rell’s performance.
Dr. Douglas Schwartz said this:
“If Rell is down a step or two, the Democrats are tumbling down the stairs,” Dr. Schwartz added. “Approval of the Democratically controlled State Legislature is below 40 percent and more blame the Democrats than Rell for the late budget.”
The numbers remain remarkable for the Governor, whose five year run as Governor has been punctuated by high approval numbers throughout – varying between a high of 83% and 65%. Rell also scored a 65% rating in July 2008.
While these numbers will no doubt be welcomed by the Governor, and will likely buttress the case in favor of running for re-election, there are some warning signs that may allude to an electorate less pleased than the topline numbers let on.
In response to the question of how satisified they were with the way things are going in Connecticut, 45% said they were “Somewhat Satisfied” while 47% said they were “Somewhat Dissatisfied” or “Very Dissatisfied”.
While 58% said they would “Definitely” or “Probably” vote to re-elect the Governor, 35% said “Probably Not” or “Definitely Not”.
These figures reveal a potentially unstable electorate that may be susceptible to a persuasive message for change. Whether or not Dan Malloy, Susan Bysiewicz, or Jim Amann represent change is another issue altogether.
Speaking of the Democrats, the ones that haunt the Legislature are none too popular with the people. 45% of those surveyed said they disapproved of the way they’ve conducted themselves, 56% disapprove of the way they’ve handled the state budget, and by a nearly 2-1 margin they blame the Democrats over Rell for the budget stalemate.
So in sum, the Governor has been ruling as de facto Queen for the last three weeks, keeping state government operating only by the power of executive order, and while people aren’t happy about it, they don’t blame her.
She is in the driver’s seat for whatever she decides to do next.