Blumenthal Clear Choice Among Democrats--Bysiewicz Second
New Quinnipiac Poll
Jodi Rell wasn't supposed to do this well. Her first budget was supposed to sink her astronomical numbers, or so the conventional wisdom went. Then, when her approval ratings remained high, the fallout from her first legislative session was supposed to drag her down to more reasonable levels, but apparently that hasn't happened either. Previous poll numbers were inflated, said her opponents, from a scare over her health in January and Rowland's sentencing in April.
Jodi Rell has been governor for a year, and her approval ratings are as high as they ever were, down only a single percentage point from the astronomical 80% approval given to her in April. Quinnipiac University is reporting that her approval rating is 70%, and her disapproval rating is down a point to 9%.
Further in to the poll are the reasons why Rell is so popular. 82% say she has strong leadership qualities, 75% say she cares about the needs and problems of people like them, 86% say she has a likable personality, 79% say she works well with other political leaders, and, when asked whether they thought she was too liberal, too conservative or just about right, 75% said they believed she was about right.
She's a likable moderate, and people in Connecticut approve of that.
Of course, the fact that only 33% thought were either somewhat or very dissatisfied with the way things are going in Connecticut helps her a lot.
More bad news for Democratic candidates in this poll, although it's still pretty early. Rell is favored over all the Democratic candidates besides Blumenthal by very wide margins. She is favored over Blumenthal himself 49-37, which may be troubling for her as she hasn't quite hit the 50% mark incumbents are expected to be at in that matchup. Still, since it's vanishingly unlikely that Blumenthal will actually run this time, that matchup probably won't happen.
The numbers for the Democratic nomination are pretty useless, because they include Blumenthal, who is favored by 49% of Democrats. Interestingly, the fundraising-impaired Susan Bysiewicz comes in second with 12%, John DeStefano third with 9%, Kevin Sullivan fourth with 7% and Dan Malloy fifth with only 3%. But again, this number isn't all that helpful for figuring out where things will be a little over a year from now, because of Blumenthal's inclusion. At least Dodd has been dropped from that particular question.
The most interesting number has to do with the attempts of several Democratic campaigns, most notably John DeStefano's, to link Rell to Rowland's administration. Quinnipiac asked: "Jodi Rell was Governor Rowland's Lieutenant Governor for about 10 years. Does Jodi Rell's association with John Rowland make you more likely to vote for her for governor, less likely to vote for her for governor, or doesn't it make a difference?"
78% said it made no difference.
George Bush did poorly in Connecticut (again). He has only a 36% approval rating here. Both U.S. Senators have approval ratings in the 60s, with little recent movement in either direction. The other statewide figure whose approval rating was measured by the poll was Blumenthal, who is approved of by 73%. This is also consistent with his other ratings.
Other recent polls from Quinnipiac:
April 6, 2005
February 18, 2005
January 13, 2005