Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Rell's Approval Slips 14 Points

Governor's Rating Still 4th Highest in Nation

A new poll released by Survey USA shows that Governor Rell has one of the highest approval ratings for a governor in the country. Her 66% approval rating (23% disapprove) is fourth on the list behind North Dakota's John Hoeven (71%), South Dakota's Mike Rounds (70%) and Wyoming's Dave Freudenthal (67%).

Rell has the highest approval rating east of the Mississippi, and is comfortably ahead of the national average (41% approval, 48% disapproval). Most governors in the country fared poorly. The worst were Gov. Frank Murkowski of Alaska (27%) and Gov. Bob Taft of Ohio, whose 19% approval rating shows that having a portly presidential ancestor doesn't guarantee success.

However, this number is actually fourteen points lower than her most recent approval rating, which, according to Quinnipiac University, was 80% in April. This is the lowest approval rating Rell has received during her time in office.

This could mean that Rell's support is finally eroding, as many Democrats have been predicting and hoping it would. The two most recent Quinnipiac polls were influenced by Rell's battle with cancer and John Rowland's sentencing--this one probably more accurately reflects statewide approval of her actions instead of events surrounding her.

Still, following a month in which Rell was involved in a budget battle, signed a controversial civil unions bill and promised to sign a minimum wage hike, she's doing pretty well. If this number accurately relfects how people feel about her governorship, then people seem to like what she's doing. This number has the potential to be very solid, unlike the much higher figures we saw before. Democrats can be encouraged by the slide in Rell's numbers, but should wait to see whether it stabilizes or continues to fall before celebrating too much.


ctkeith said...

Polls this far out mean nothing and should be taken with a grain of salt

Rell was never elected to be governor on her own and the only person she can rightfully be compared to is Gerald Ford.

Fords numbers were unbelievably high this far out too but as I remember he didn't do so well when the people got their chance to vote.

Anonymous said...

Given recent events - Rell's willingness to give the surplus to the towns and teacher's pension fund - I'm beginning to approve of her, too.

If she acts like anything but a Republican, and compromises, and invests in the state rather than gives money to the wealthy, why not keep her?

stomv said...

^ Or, to put it another way...

Given that she's not the biggest problem in the state (that would be the 3 GOP members of the House) and that the state legislature and her are tending to see eye-to-eye on a number of issues, why not invest the manpower and money within CT Dems toward picking up a seat or two in Congress?

Aldon Hynes said...

I think it is a mistake to look at campaigns as a zero sum game. One good way to help win some of the congressional seats is to have strong Democratic candidates on the rest of the ticket. Last cycle, I ran my wife's campaign in a district that is heavily Republican and worked extensively on Diane Farrell's campaign. Diane did much better in Republican districts where there was a Democratic challenger than in districts where there wasn't a challenger.

I hope to work as hard on Diane's campaign for 2006 (assuming she runs), while also working hard on campaigns for State Reps and continuing my role as BlogMaster for DeStefano.

The stronger the challenge against Rell, the better the chance we have of picking up congressional seats.

Of course, I imagine that ctkeith and others might carry this further to other parts of the Democratic ticket, but I'll leave that section for them to fill in.

stomv said...

^ I don't entirely disagree.

However, at the same time, there's a finite number of dollars spendable on those campaigns, and a finite amount of television time that will be allotted to the candidates throughout the state.

While a viable candidate for governor is important, the Dems have got to get better results from CT on a national level -- 2 out of 5 in the House and a senator who makes kissyface with GWB just isn't enough from such a blue state.

Additionally, since House seats tend to have much greater longevity than governorships, investing on gaining a House seat or two now may result in structural improvement on Dem turnout for years in the future from an additional Congressional district or two.

Sure, coattails extend in both directions, and having strong candidates up and down the ballot makes a big difference. However, I think that CT needs to make doing its part to remove GOP leadership from the USHouse more important than replacing a fairly moderate governor where the legislative branch is already Democratic. If it can do both, bonus.

ctkeith said...

As long as Lieberman is at the top of the ticket no gains will be made in the house.Lieberman provides Simmons and Shays with enough cover to almost guarantee their survival.If you don't believe me ask the candidates considering runnimg.I did.

MikeCT said...

I used to be in the "target limited resources" to a limited number of races camp. Lately I've come around to the belief that no Republican should be unchallenged. Running candidates against them everywhere keeps them on the defensive - we shouldn't let them take anything for granted. And our ultimate goal should be to expand our "limited resources" in terms of grassroots strength so that we don't have to make these false choices.