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Poll: Malloy, Foley Still Tied; Budget Policy Hurts Malloy

by | May 9, 2014 7:15am () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: Election 2014, Poll, State Budget

Christine Stuart photo According to the latest Quinnipiac University poll, Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and challenger Tom Foley, his 2010 gubernatorial opponent, are still deadlocked at 43-43 percent.

But voters were split on two key questions. Malloy’s job approval rating remains favorable at 48-46 percent, while 4 percent more voters (48-44 percent) thought he didn’t deserve to be re-elected. Meanwhile, Foley leads five other Republican candidates going into next week’s conventions.

The poll released Friday found that in hypothetical match-ups against the other Republicans, Malloy edges out Senate Minority Leader John McKinney and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton with 44 percent of the vote. In that hypothetical match-up, McKinney receives 40 and Boughton receives 39 percent of the vote. Malloy beats the rest of the lesser known Republican candidates by 8 to 10 percentage points.

Like previous polls, 60 percent of voters believe the $55 tax refund Malloy had planned to give back to taxpayers, and then cancelled when revenues dropped off, was a “campaign gimmick.” At the same time, about 67 percent said it is “fair to return some share of state revenue to taxpayers” when the state has its fiscal house in order.

“The good news for Gov. Malloy is that the negative headlines about his cancellation of the $55 per person tax refund does not seem to affect his overall approval rating or his standing in the governor’s race,” Quinnipiac University Poll Director Doug Schwartz said. “The bad news is that almost all the Republicans are within single digits of Malloy, with Foley tied and Boughton and McKinney on his heels.”

About 48 percent of voters say Malloy is doing a good job in office, while 46 disapprove of the way he’s handling his job. Another 48 percent say he doesn’t deserve to get re-elected, compared to 44 percent who say he should be re-elected. Voters’ top complaint, according to the poll, was his handling of the budget.

Malloy defended his budget Thursday at a press conference with reporters, but rather than argue that his budget has fewer gimmicks than those of his predecessors, he maintained that it was the first budget in 20 years that is “compliant” with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. That’s despite sweeping $7.5 million from the amount of money the state needs to fully-fund the future GAAP deficit when the initiative is fully implemented.

Meanwhile, the poll found 53 percent of voters disapprove of the way Malloy is handling the budget, while 35 percent approve.

In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, 18 percent of those who disapprove of the job Malloy is doing cite taxes as the main reason, while another 18 percent list the state budget or finances, and 13 percent cite the economy or jobs.

Among those who approve of the job Malloy is doing, 13 percent cited his good job as governor and 9 percent list the state budget or finances.

Only 21 percent of voters say they are personally better off than they were four years ago while 30 percent say they are worse off, and 48 percent say they are about the same. The $1.5 billion tax hike Malloy signed three years ago to close the budget deficit hurt the state economy, 32 percent of voters say, while 21 percent say it helped and 39 percent say it made no difference.

Looking at Malloy’s character, 59-36 percent of Connecticut voters said that he has strong leadership qualities, 57-33 percent said that he is honest and trustworthy, and 49-45 percent said that he cares about their needs and problems.

Hugh McQuaid Photo “Economic issues are dragging Gov. Malloy down,” Schwartz said. “A bright spot for Malloy is that voters think he has strong leadership qualities and is honest and trustworthy.”

Despite those qualities, Schwartz said voter responses to key questions put Malloy in a vulnerable position heading into this election season.

“It’s always considered a danger sign—it’s considered, if you’re below 50 percent on key measures like job approval, favorability, re-elect, that you’re vulnerable. [Malloy’s] definitely vulnerable, the question is can Republicans take advantage of it?” Schwartz told reporters Friday.

In a statement, state Republican Party Chairman Jerry Labriola said Connecticut voters want to see a change.

“Dan Malloy has proven that the only way he knows how to balance a budget is with the largest tax increases in state history and cheap gimmicks. But our commonsense Republican leaders know that you can’t tax, borrow, and spend your way to prosperity. The only way to fix Connecticut’s ailing economy is by electing a pro-growth Republican governor this November,” he said.

Labriola said Connecticut’s economy has languished under Malloy as Republican governors in other states have moved their economies toward “real recovery.

However, Schwartz pointed to some Republican governor’s seeking re-election who are facing similar approval ratings. Schwartz said he believed Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett have had worse numbers than Malloy’s on job approval.

Although Malloy’s approval numbers consistently lagging Schwartz said the governor could take a degree of solace in the fact that his numbers remain steady despite a flurry of negative headlines at the time the poll was being conducted.

“It seems like the people that like him, they know they like him and they’re pretty much standing behind him. But it’s not over 50 percent and he needs over 50 percent,” he said.

With about six months until the election, there is still some time for public opinion to shift on Malloy and other candidates.

“There’s plenty of time for movement. Right now people seem to be pretty locked in but there’s still a small slice of the electorate that’s going to make the difference that will be affected by debates and ads and those things,” he said.

The poll surveyed 1,668 registered voters from May 1-6 and it has a 2.4 percent margin of error.

Hugh McQuaid contributed to this report

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(13) Archived Comments

posted by: Commuter | May 9, 2014  8:22am

It never gets remarked upon, but Malloy’s approval numbers are very solid, despite all the negative press and the underperforming economy. They don’t rise, but they don’t fall either.

As others have said elsewhere, this is going to be a brawl, but Malloy has what he needs to win.

Meanwhile, with all the retirements and contested seats in the legislature, there will be some excitement there, too. The Democrats might actually see a net gain of a seat in the Senate. And if they get two, they’ll have the so-called veto-proof majority.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 9, 2014  12:02pm

CT News Junkie, I hope you run this post.

I really like CT News Junkie and tell people about it frequently. However, I’m not thrilled with the censorship last night because of the use of the term “low information voters” in another comment section that has been since closed, and the expression that voters should never be chastised and that won’t be allowed here.

What troubles me is that the term in question is a common term now. Forget about Rush Limbaugh coining it, but late night network comedians are using it in video clips showing the outright ignorance of Americans in all walks of life. Some of it is no longer funny, but frightening.

People put down the so called Low Information/No information because they are sheeple being manipulated or they are overwhelmingly not producing anywhere near what they are taking from society.

This comment was submitted but not run. I have more respect for GutBomb and Politijoe even though I know they will cancel out my vote because they, and others, are taking time to get educated whether it be on this site or elsewhere.

I flat out don’t respect people that don’t take the time to get a basic education on what’s going on. I guess why should I? Respect is earned.

I feel in my gut that it is dangerous for this country for the government to be going out of their way to sign up people to vote from one segment of society that we all know will lean Democrat. I would say the same thing if it was an attempt by government using our tax dollars to get a segment to vote that we would all know would lean heavily Republican.

If heathcare is a right as some would have us believe, then voting is a privilege, and with that privilege comes responsibility to get educated on the issues, formulate a decision, and pull that lever.

posted by: Lawrence | May 9, 2014  6:20pm

4 out of 10 people surveyed haven’t heard enough about Tom Foley to form an opinion—same percentage as three months ago, even though Foley has been criss-crossing the state making his case to be elected.

Now, why is that?

Because Foley is avoiding opening his mouth to the press to prove what a fool he is. That will last until the convention. Then he will open his mouth and that 39% will run screaming in the other direction.

posted by: alocrat | May 9, 2014  9:22pm

@Commuter: Democrats in CT had a veto-proof majority when Rell was in office, and what did they do?

posted by: dano860 | May 10, 2014  1:30pm

Foley can’t expect any votes from the northeast, he has never even visited out here let alone know what we need or do.
Time to stick with the smell we have, when you know where the stink is coming from you just wait for the wind to change direction and that hasn’t happened yet.

posted by: SocialButterfly | May 11, 2014  1:32pm

@Commuter: Give us a break. Don’t suggest adding to or state’s downfall—by making the General Assembly “veto-proof” Democratic prosperity.  They have already buried taxpayers so far down—“they can’t come up for air.”

posted by: SocialButterfly | May 11, 2014  3:57pm

@Commuter:  Malloy’s approval numbers stay constant as he is, and has been— campaigning daily at taxpayer expense.  Our governor wrote the book on using other people’s money and skirting campaign-financing laws. The end justifies the means for Malloy to win an election. Unlike Tom Foley he hs loads of experience in political brawls and he will resort to “sucker shots” to win an election.
Foley on the other hand is a “political gentleman” that may have to put his boxing gloves on to defeat Malloy,

posted by: Bethy | May 11, 2014  6:25pm


Malloy 2014 all day baby…that’s all i have to say…..join me you guys…as he is for the working class, middle class, poor, elder, veterans, teachers, construction workers (as you can see work being done on the highways everywhere in connecticut…I will vote for Dan Malloy in November….Don’t care about polls!!

posted by: Bethy | May 11, 2014  7:19pm


Looking at Malloy’s character, 59-36 percent of Connecticut voters said that he has strong leadership qualities, 57-33 percent said that he is honest and trustworthy, and 49-45 percent said that he cares about their needs and problems.

Hugh McQuaid Photo
Doug Schwartz

“Economic issues are dragging Gov. Malloy down,” Schwartz said. “A bright spot for Malloy is that voters think he has strong leadership qualities and is honest and trustworthy.”

That’s it right there…that’s what we need…‘strong leadership’, ‘honest and trustworthy’...and with our help folks, “we can all move forward” - democrats,republicans and independents - we are all the working class…let’s do this together and vote for Dan Malloy 2014 ... None of the other candidates meet those strong qualifications…

posted by: Lawrence | May 11, 2014  8:42pm

So many Republicans in CT must be greatly disappointed with the CT GOP’s ‘alternative budget’ this year—taxes citizens just as much, spends just as much, has debt just as much as the Democrats.

There goes November….

posted by: Commuter | May 11, 2014  9:22pm

Funny how reflexively negative some people are. All I pointed out about the Senate is that it is possible that the Democratic caucus could get a so-called veto-proof majority. So called, because in fact there are Democrats who are rather conservative on certain issues in that caucus.

Anyway, Joebigjoe might be more correct than not on the low-info voter handle. Although Mr. Hardy is entirely within his prerogatives to moderate the comments as he sees fit.

Except of course when he doesn’t post something I’ve submitted. When that happens, the terrorists win.  ;-)

posted by: SocialButterfly | May 12, 2014  9:36am

@Bethy: Your humor is hilarious.

posted by: art vandelay | May 12, 2014  11:28am

art vandelay

Remember Denise Merrill can always keep the polls open an extra hour in Bridgeport & New Haven if Malloy’s in danger of loosing at the last minute.  They can also hire a few limo companies to get people to the polls too just like Toni Harp did.

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