Sunday, July 17, 2005

Rell's Approval Rating Remains High

Quick polling news.

Gov. Rell's approval rating remained very strong following the end of the legislative session. Survey USA has her July rating at 73%, which is a rise from her May rating of 66%. Only 18% disapprove of her.

Rell is popular across the board, finding approval among Republicans and Democrats, young and old, conservatives and liberals. She is especially popular among women, people over 55, conservatives and moderates.

This is pretty consistent, and has been for a year. Can Democrats still claim a honeymoon period, or will they admit they have a huge hill to climb?


Anonymous said...

Obviously Jodi Rell is very popular right now, I think even the Democrats must admit that. But by no means is she a mortal lock for election. Alot can change between now and Nov '06, not least of which is the possibility of primary and/or an independent challenge from the right. Rell has angered alot of party activists and fundamentailist kooks, and they may create an atmosphere where the Dems may have a decent chance at victory.

Also, I'm a bit suspect in general of Survey USA polls, so I will wait for a Q-poll to establish a more credibe mark.

Genghis Conn said...

I'm a little wary of Survey USA, myself. They often seem to be all over the place. Quinnipiac, unfortunately, hasn't released a new CT poll since April, so this is all we have to go on right now.

As for Rell, you're right that a lot could change between now and next November, but Rell is starting in excellent position.

DeanFan84 said...

Could we have a 2nd Poll:

"Specifically, what is it that you like about Rell?"

"Which of her achievements and goals resonate with you?"

When the subject of Rell's purported popularity comes up among friends, I press them for the reasons behind their support.

And to date, the only reason I have heard back is that she is not completely corrupt, like Rowland was. Bravo!

So without some real evidence of Rell connecting with CT citizens, could you quit with the cheerleading meme, (as based on meaningless polls)? How about a discussion of how Republican leadership continues to hurt the future of CT?

Anonymous said...

So why is Rell popular, you ask?

Easy one-- she is the moderate Republican that CT citizens want as a Governor. Since 1990, Connecticut has elected moderate Republicans (I'm counting Lowell Weicker here) because they are looking for pro-business policies and controlled spending increases. They also want liberal social policies. Rell captures this balance (as Rowland did for so long) on economic issues, virtuall indisguishable from Democrats on social issues.

New England citizens are all alike in this regard...we like our national politicans (e.g., Senators) pretty liberal, but we like our Governors moderate. Why? Because the Governors have lots of influence over pocketbook issues (e.g., economic devleopment, state taxes) while any given Senator has only indirect impact on them. That's why NY, MA, RI, CI, (even VT I think right now) has Republican governors.

It's why any of the Democrats running now will have a hard time beating her. Only a truly unique alternative vision (like maybe DeStefano's regionalization) can compete.

Genghis Conn said...


"Cheerleading meme"? That's a new one.

At this point, you can't simply assume her popularity will melt away once it's challenged. I think at least some Democrats have been fooling themselves in that department. That isn't to say a Democrat can't win next year: the economy and the closure of the sub base (coupled with what may be a big year for Democrats nationally) may combine to create the sense of crisis needed to kick out an incumbent governor. But it isn't going to be easy.


Interesting thoughts. So how do you explain Mitt Romney, who isn't much of a moderate at all (at least for around here--in Utah he was probably a Democrat)?

Anonymous said...

Romney ran as a moderate Republican (e.g., pledged to uphold abortion rights in the campaign)-- he focused on economic issues facing MA. It's only recently that his presidential ambitious has led him to move to the right on social issues (at least publicly-- but that's all that matters at the end of the day)

Ebpie said...

There is an editorial in The Day today that rips into DeStefano's attempt to tie Rell to Rowland. Clearly this strategy is backfiring some. Perhaps it will help the campaign raise some money, but it will also do damage if one of the first things voters in Southeastern CT read about the Mayor is how wrong he is.

Here is the link:

stomv said...

Rell is popular because, well, life is good in Connecticut.

Sure, there's the high cost of living, but that can be played both ways -- after all, it helps keep the riff-raff out of the neighborhood.

Sure, there's the traffic, but nobody wants to ride mass transit and the traffic has been a problem for years... it's not a mega-issue.

Sure, there's the unemployment, but most people in CT have jobs and believe that they're going to keep them. So, the perception is that unemployment isn't impacting themselves personally.

In short, things are just peachy. As long as Rell sticks to the middle, the only thing that could knock her off is (a) scandal, or (b) some unforseen disaster in the state. Neither is likely. Until then, the Dems are best off trying to stay competitive for the corner office while working much harder on picking up seats in the House.

Just my two bits.

Steve Maher said...

Why is Jodi Rell popular? Easy answer: politics. Jodi Rell is an excellent "smoke and mirrors" politician. She makes it appear as if things are being done to address the "liberal social desires" people in CT have, as discussed in this thread. Howeverm nothing is actually being done. For example, she proposed a new transportation plan in excess of 1 billion dollars. Great, that can go in the Courant, and now people in CT will think that she has done at least a decent amount to combat the states transportation issues. In reality, most people who have studied the issue realize that this piddlance, while it seems alot to the average American, will hardly scratch the surface of what needs to be done in the state for transportation. In fact, a real transportation fix would require at least $20 billion. Another example? Campaign finance. A day after she proposed the date 2010 as the effective date for campaign finance legislation, she declared that she would veto the Senate Bill because it adopted that date, decrying that "it wasn't real reform," and that they "might as well make the date 2050." That's right: just one day after she herself proposed that date.

The point? Jodi Rell does nothing for us, but makes us think she is. This makes her a great politician, keeps her numbers up, while meanwhile staying the course set by the Rowland administration.

Anonymous said...

Almost any politician who been around the block a few times has skelatons in the closet. Rell enjoys popularity because she done a great job of keeping hers in the closet. She contantly tells the people of connecticut how diassapointed, shocked and outraged she is over ethical issues. The granny role won't last or serve her well in the end. Remember Little Red Riding Hood.....

Anonymous said...

Apparently not in New London,

Day Staff Writer, New London
Published on 7/21/2005

New London — Scott Bullock, an attorney with the Institute for Justice, met Wednesday with the governor's chief counsel to recommend ways the state could change its laws and restrict the ability of local governments to take private property for economic development projects.

In the month since it lost its case before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Institute for Justice has shifted its mission to constrict eminent domain powers from the judicial to the political arena. The law firm has tried to capitalize on public outcry against the court decision to change the laws in Connecticut and other states.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell has shown some sympathy to the campaign. While she has not said outright that she favors changing the law, last week she compared the institute's fight to preserve the Fort Trumbull neighborhood in New London to the Boston Tea Party — a revolt against the tyrannical power of government.

A spokesman said Wednesday, however, that the governor still has an open mind and would send her chief counsel, Kevin Rasch, to meet next week with members of the New London Development Corp. to hear the other side of the issue. The NLDC manages the Fort Trumbull project on behalf of the city.

Judd Everhart, the governor's spokesman, characterized the hourlong meeting between Rasch and the Institute for Justice as “cordial” and “productive” but declined to elaborate on the details of their discussion.

“I think it was just part of what everyone hopes will be an ongoing dialogue,” he said. “(The governor) is open to discussion on just about any aspect of the whole doctrine of eminent domain.”

Bullock described the meeting as an informational session in which he presented ways the law might be amended to shore up private property rights. He also tried to convince the governor's counsel that commercial development can coexist with the houses and the apartment building that remain standing on the Fort Trumbull peninsula.

While that meeting took place in Hartford, officials in New London fumed over the Boston Tea Party statement issued last week by the governor's office.

Rell's spokesman seemed to temper that statement on Wednesday, saying the governor had not settled on whether eminent domain law should be changed, but the New London officials were angry she has not retracted what they consider inflammatory rhetoric.

Local leaders say they are baffled that the governor would second-guess the use of eminent domain when it was the state that provided the money to acquire the houses on the Fort Trumbull peninsula and tear them down to make way for offices, condominiums, a luxury hotel and the Coast Guard's national museum.

“Gov. Rell seems to forget she was a part of the Rowland administration,” said City Manager Richard Brown, referring to former Gov. John G. Rowland, who championed the redevelopment as a way to revitalize a depressed city. Rell was his lieutenant governor and running mate.

Ronald Angelo, the deputy commissioner of the state's Department of Economic and Community Development, said Wednesday the state is not backing away from the plans for Fort Trumbull. He said the state supports plans for a hotel that a developer filed with the city's development office last week. The hotel will not be built on property taken by eminent domain.

Angelo said his office is closely watching how the legislature will act on the issue of eminent domain. He said it is not yet clear whether New London will abide by the moratorium on the taking of private property that the legislature requested cities observe while it holds hearings on amending the state's eminent domain law.

Michael Joplin, president of the NLDC, said Wednesday he hopes to meet with the governor's staff before legislative hearings begin, as early as next week. He also expressed the hope that his agency, whose plan was endorsed by the U.S. Supreme Court, would have the first chance to testify during the hearings.

“In three courts — the Superior Court and the state and federal supreme courts — we have shown that we have been impeccable in the way we applied the law,” Joplin said. “There may be wrong uses of eminent domain, and there probably are, but that is not what happened here. We are perfectly willing to go to the legislature and offer suggestions as to how this statute could be perfected and how, if there are abuses, to avoid them. But we are unwilling to hear from the governor's office that we have done something indefensible.”

Joplin was alluding to the statement in which the governor's staff first referred to the Fort Trumbull fight as the Boston Tea Party and then said the use of eminent domain was not justified.

“Our homes are the places where we raise our families and build our lives,” the statement, dated July 11, said. “When government intrudes on our homes, it must have a defensible reason. In the New London case, the reason was not defensible.”

On Wednesday, Joplin called that statement “extreme to the point of imprudent.”

Bullock, the Institute for Justice attorney, meanwhile praised the governor for not letting the policies of a past administration color the way she thinks about the project now.

“The person who was mainly pushing it was the old governor,” Bullock said. “I don't want to fight about what the state did or did not to do in the past. We should work towards a solution right now that helps move development forward and also keeps people in their homes. Finger-pointing and talking about the past is completely unproductive.”

Anonymous said...