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Voters Skeptical About Budget

EAST HARTFORD – The good news for Gov. Dannel Malloy is that he enjoys his highest approval ratings ever, at 54 percent, according to a new poll by the Yankee Institute. The bad news is that voters don’t like his new budget proposals and only 42 percent of Connecticut voters say they would vote to re-elect him next year.

The governor’s approval rating sits at 54/45%, for a net positive rating of +9 percent. This is the governor’s highest approval rating yet. A year ago, Malloy’s approval rating was 51/46 (+5), which represented a significant improvement from June, 2011, in the wake of the tax increases of his first budget, when his approval rating was 42/56 or net negative 14 points.

However, just 42 percent of voters say they would re-elect him next year, with 39 percent saying they would probably vote for an unnamed Republican opponent. 19 percent are undecided. The governor’s re-elect rating has dropped 5 points from a year ago (47/47).

Furthermore, voters are deeply skeptical of the governor’s budget proposal. Given basic information about the budget, 54% of voters described it as spending too much. Voters oppose its reliance on borrowing by a 3:1 margin, 68-21 percent. They oppose exempting cars from the property tax, 52-34 percent, when informed about the proposal’s impact on municipalities. A narrow plurality of voters support the budget’s extension of tax increases on power plants, corporations, and insurance premiums, but only by 44-39 percent.

By a 2:1 margin (56-27%), voters say the governor’s First Five / Next Five program is a bad use of taxpayer money.

Support for immigration reform appears to be growing in Connecticut. By 69-27%, voters expressed support for legal status for undocumented immigrants over deportation (+42). A year ago, support for such a proposal registered at 56-37% (+19). Republicans support legal status by 54-40%.

President Obama continues to be popular in Connecticut, with a 58/41 (+17) approval rating. Senator Blumenthal continues to have strong approval ratings, at 59/35 (+24). Senator Chris Murphy enjoys a honeymoon rating of 53/39 (+14) in his first rating as an incumbent senator.

Full crosstabs

Question wording

The partisan breakdown of respondents was 40% D, 28% R, and 32% I.

Methodology: The survey was conducted on Sunday, February 10 of 500 likely Connecticut voters. 450 surveys were completed by phone using a recorded script and a keypad response mechanism. 50 surveys were completed online to capture younger demographics. The survey was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, which is associated with Rasmussen Reports. Question wording was based on public polling conducted by NBC News/Wall Street Journal, ABC News/Washington Post, CBS/New York Times, Quinnipiac, University of New Hampshire, Rasmussen, and Pew.

Yankee Staff

Yankee Institute is a 501(c)(3) research and citizen education organization that does not accept government funding. Yankee Institute develops and advances free-market, limited-government solutions in Connecticut. As one of America’s oldest state-based think tanks, Yankee is a leading advocate for smart, limited government; fairness for taxpayers; and an open road to opportunity.