Rell Still Popular, DeStefano and Malloy Lose Ground
Voters in Connecticut support the status quo, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released this morning.
The poll confirms what we already know about the governor's race: people like Jodi Rell, and they have no idea who her challengers are. She would defeat DeStefano 70%-16%, and Malloy 70%-15%. Both DeStefano and Malloy, embarassingly, would win only 28% and 29% of Democratic votes cast--a clear majority of Democrats would support Rell in both cases. DeStefano and Malloy are actually losing ground against Rell from a poll released last month.
The only consolation--and it's a bitter one--is that neither man is well known, yet: 59% haven't heard enough about DeStefano to form an opinion, while 83% haven't heard enough about Malloy. These numbers won't really start to change until the convention. DeStefano is still ahead of Malloy 38%-19% for the nomination, by the way.
Voters support the governor's plan to repeal the car tax 52%-31%.
Sen. Joe Lieberman is in good shape as people don't seem to be inclined to support a Lowell Weicker bid against him, and no one has any idea who his potential primary challenger is. The hyping of Lamont has primarily been an internet phenomenon--lest we start getting swelled heads and thinking that blogs influence elections in a big way, the result of a month of hype on big national blogs as well as liberal Democratic blogs in state is that 93% of people apparently have no idea who he is. Lieberman would defeat him 68%-13%. The silver lining for Lamont is that 25% of Democrats say that the war would be "the most important single issue" for them in a primary vote, while 60% say it would be as important as other issues. 80% of Democrats believe that going to war was the wrong thing to do.
The governor's race isn't worth paying much attention to, right now. Voters certainly aren't. They also show little sign of abandoning Jodi Rell, whose tax cut plan they sort of like. The first job of a challenger is to convince the voters that the incumbent doesn't deserve re-election. DeStefano and Malloy have a steep hill to climb there.
Ned Lamont's position is lousy, to start, but it's not all bad. 25% of Democrats, who almost universally are against the war, will be in his corner. As for getting the rest, he needs to become more knowledgable about other issues, and that he needs to differentiate himself from Lieberman on more than just the war. However, his position on the war, combined with Lieberman's stubborn support of an unpopular war being waged by an unpopular Administration (31% approval rating), does give Lamont something to stand on.
The situation isn't hopeless for the challengers in either race. The name recognition problems will be overcome. It's early, and by the time the election rolls around, people who are voting will know who the candidates are. Once again, the Democratic convention in May will be a great help, there.
As always, it's good to see the poll for yourselves and to draw your own conclusions.
Poll. Quinnipiac Poll-Connecticut. Conducted by Quinnipiac University Feb. 9-14, 2006.