Wednesday, July 27, 2005

New Poll/Upcoming Events

The weekly (er, biweekly?) poll section has been updated with a poll that tries to get to the bottom of the governor's ridiculously high popularity. Feel free to try and explain in it more than a glib sentence here.

Upcoming events: I will post my upcoming interview with John Nussbaum (candidate for secretary of the state) this Friday, July 29th. A Q&A session with him will take place from 5:30-6:30 on Monday, August 1st.

Also in the works for interviews/Q&A sessions: State Senator Chris Murphy (candidate for Congress, 5th District) and Joe Courtney (candidate for Congress, 2nd District). I'll announce times soon, though they should take place in the next two weeks.

7 comments:

Ebpie said...

I think a variety of factors contribute to Rell's current popularity, but the dominant one has to be her moderate views. By agreeing with the Democrats on issues like the minimum wage, stem cell research and civil unions she has taken a lot of issues off the table that could otherwise be used against her. The headlines and the credit therefore go to Rell for signing popular legislation. The only way the Democrats can win back the governor's office is if they present a unified and coherent alternative to what is being offered. Right now they can't because most everything presented by the Dems is being endorsed wholeheartedly by Rell.

Other contributing factors include ethics and the grandma factor. If her popularity was solely based on her not being John Rowland, her numbers would have gone way down by now.

Julio Gonzalez said...

Rell isn't an ideological moderate. She is a flip-flopper. She likes the high approval ratings...problem is that she needs to use some of that capital to solve big economic problems - not just split the difference with Democrats in the legislature.

As voters start tuning into the race and the Democrats can broadcast their economic critique, I think more meaningful questions are going to arise in the mind of the state's electorate.

Specifically, anyone that has seen DeStefano on the stump, on his DVD, or on Face the State, will recognize that there is going to be a lot of cognitive dissonance amongst swing voters when they integrate Rell's absolute lack of an economic vision with their vague, fuzzy positivity towards her.

There is nothing happening in Connecticut under the Rell administration that provides hope that our economic stagnation will end. And given the reckless policies of the federal government coupled with our state's real estate bubble, a market correction would have deeply negative effects on our rather unprepared state. I think voters will definitely seek change in that case. The mounting uncertainty of the status quo might be enough on its own.

Democrats should focus on ideas. DeStefano consistently outlines his top five: job creation, tax reform, controlling health care costs, investing in premier early childhood and higher ed, and comprehensive transportation investment.

These are policy priorities that will work and have majority appeal.

What's Rell for except more rudderless inertia?

Anonymous said...

Rell should have taken a hit during her first legislative session; it did't happen as the Democratic leadership was totally inept as Rell continually put them on the defensive.

I'm a hardcore (R) conservative and given her performance even I have some concerns. Flip-flop seems to be the key attribute that comes to mind.

I'm not feeling very comfortable about the future...

Genghis Conn said...

Anonymous,

Yes, the Democrats very much dropped the ball during the session. Who wouldn't look good next to Jim Amann? Her quick switch over campaign finance reform was a bit abrupt and left a lot of people on both right and left scratching their heads.

Rell may have some trouble with her own party in some areas. She isn't popular in wealthier areas of Fairfield County for raising taxes and the minimum wage, and social conservatives and certain religious groups are furious at her for passing both civil unions and funding for stem cell research. But at this point, Republicans don't have many other options.

Genghis Conn said...

ebpie and julio,

Perceptions may be hard to shake, and it will be especially difficult to do so until the state's economic crisis really starts catching up with people. But, if today's Q-Poll is to be believed, a pretty wide majority (66%) are either very or somewhat satisfied with the way things are going in Connecticut. Only 33% are either very or somewhat dissatisfied. That means Democrats have their work cut out for them if they want to base a significant portion of their campaign on how bad things are right now. John Kerry couldn't pull that off, and things actually were pretty bad.

A clear, compelling and bold alternative would be great. Regionalism is one idea. Those five DeStefano priorities could all be bundled together under the rubric of regional governments/authorities. That would be interesting. Mentioning them separately, connected to nothing, is less so and seems a lot more abstract.

Quinn said...

Two things brought up in the Q-poll thread I thought I might address.

1) The idea that as Lieutenant Gov. Jodi Rell would have to be dense not to know what was going on is a bit overstated IMHO. Perhaps if you're reading the Courant you'd think Rowland was inviting members of the mob into his office on a daily basis, but he was basically convicted of accepting personal gifts from contractors. I don't think that Rell visited Rowland's lake house and asked where the hot tub came from... so I don't think she would have any knowledge of corruption.

2) The CT Republican Party "Vision", at least in the legislature, is to oppose the Democrats choking the economy of the state to death by introducing a 90% corporate tax, 90% estate tax, and a millionaire's tax by the end of the decade. (similarly, the Democrat's vision is to get every last Republican to flee the state due to high taxes). This is quite seperate from the vision of a Republican Governer, who actually has real power(unlike the Rep. house minority) and promotes all the feel-good issues like campaign-finance reform. Rell has been quite clever about the way she has gone about her business.

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