When in doubt, just say it doesn’t matter; Malloy’s Job Approval Rating Drops 7 Percent in a Month

Malloy’s Job Approval Rating Drops 7 percent in a month

With today’s Quinnipiac Poll reporting that only 37% of the voters approve of the way Governor Malloy is doing his job and only 38% approve of the way he is handling education policy, Roy Occhiogrosso, Malloy’s mouthpiece and spin-master, is absolutely right to say;

“We have tried to be consistent in not saying much about polls because…what’s there to say?  Polls come and go, numbers go up and down.  The Governor always does what he thinks is best for the state and the right thing to do.”  – Occhiogrosso 4-25-12

Polls do come and go and – as the cliché goes – the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day!

That said, after what is probably close to $1 million in television and radio ads supporting the Governor’s “Education Reform” proposal, ads that repeatedly complimented him by name, it is pretty telling that his job performance rating has dropped 7 percent in the last 30 days (from 44% positive to 37% positive).

Furthermore, only 4 in 10 voters support his education plan.

His negative rating on both job performance and on his education policies are particularly high among women – who, as Occhiogrosso and every political observer knows – is the most significant voting bloc in electoral politics.

From today’s Quinnipiac Poll:

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Dannel Malloy is handling his job as Governor?

Total Republicans Democrats Unaffiliated Men Women
Approve 37% 19% 51% 39% 30% 35%
Disapprove 44 64 32 41 45 43
Don’t Know 19 18 17 20 15 22
Do you approve or disapprove of the way Dannel Malloy is handling – Education?
Total Republicans Democrats Unaffiliated Men Women
Approve 38% 26% 47% 38% 39% 37%
Disapprove 43 52 37 41 40 45
Don’t Know 20 22 16 21 21 18


The Quinnipiac Poll has its own host of issues when it comes to how reliable a measure it is over where likely voters stand, for someone who won with 49 percent of the vote – almost all of that coming from Democratic voters – it is extremely telling that only 51 percent of Democrats approve of Malloy’s job performance and he doesn’t even get to 50% of Democrats supporting him on his education policy.

For the full survey results check out http://www.quinnipiac.edu/institutes-and-centers/polling-institute/search-releases/search-results/release-detail?ReleaseID=1739&What=&strArea=1;&strTime=0

  • CT_Dad

    But Jon — 

    Sometimes a true leader has to make the tough choices,

    even if they are unpopular policies…

    and completely wrong, to boot.

    • jonpelto

      yes, yes they do….
      but one should pick between unpopular and wrong 🙂

      • CT_Dad

        But remember, JP –

        We mustn’t let the perfect be the enemy of the self-evidently crappy….

        • jonpelto

          I so bet you were in the Mensa club in high school!

  • I think you know as well as I do Jon that the response to polls has been the m.o for the administration since day one. Campaigns on the other hand, we know how that is.

    When you’re in a campaign (politics or otherwise), polls matter a heck of a lot more. And in campaigns, the favorability shifts massively based on the saturation of negativity and misinformation (from both sides mind). So to see a dip in Malloy’s approval during a period when the CEA turned up the heat and the issue became officially polarized in the public eye should not be even surprising. It’s really a ‘no duh’ moment. And I’m sure you’re aware of that considering your history.

    What is telling is not the lack of a boom in partisan support from either side, its that people are moving back to the undecided bloc (when you look at the trends).

    From the QPoll: Apr 25 Mar 21 Sep 15 Jun 15 Mar 09
    2012 2012 2011 2011 2011

    Approve 37 44 41 38 35
    Disapprove 44 45 48 44 40
    DK/NA 19 11 11 18 25Huh, an 8 point bounce up in uncertainty. Exactly 7 points lost from approval, and one point lost from disapproval. It just goes to show that CT is still trying to decide on Gov. Malloy

  • jonpelto

    We should definitely invite everyone to participate in a discussion on this issue someday. I agree that polls have limited value when it comes to job favor-ability and re-election prospects and no value at this point in the process. The key question is the “re-elect” question – that is would you vote to re-elect the governor or do you think it is time for someone new. That still doesn’t get a hard number because some people say yes someone new and then don’t like any of the new people – however – having watched that number for 35 years in Connecticut I have a lot of confidence in using it as a barometer.

    Also – what Quinnipiac doesn’t do well is narrow the universe to likely voters so that this poll often has a higher undecided rate because it is picking up people who are voters – but don’t vote. Remember that only about 70% of the people who could register do and 70% of those vote in presidential elections but the number drops in non-presidential elections.

    Now haven’t had a Democratic governor for so long I don’t remember where O’Neill was – but his job performance was certainly much higher at this stage of his term and much lower at the end which was the reason he decided not to run for re-election.

    For the sake of argument thought I’ll go out on limb and say that while these numbers would not prevent Malloy from being re-elected in a general election, the right Democratic challenger would – if these numbers stayed the same – beat him in relatively low turnout Democratic Primary.

    If you want I can explain my reasoning and to be sue we’d have to look at the crosstabs of the poll – but the real trouble sign of this poll is not the overall job approval but the incredibly low ratings among Democrats.

    • I do have to say in the very least that I have to agree with Powell at the JI in that some of the more toxic issues like the death penalty (and perhaps education reform in CT) become special interest issues.

      Not totally debasing those who do care about the death penalty or education reform, but it should be made aware when a lot of voters go to the polls in August of 2014 (if there is a Democratic primary), as well as November of 2014, the death penalty may be directly in the consciousness of those who lie on the peripheries of politics. But for a majority of people who make up their minds, they’re going to be secondary markers of support or opposition.

      It is the result of time and economic/social rotations. What will be the issue can be left up to the weatherman as much as politicos, pollsters, and partisans to speculate.

      I would be interested to see who you would consider a viable Democratic challenger to Malloy at this point though. Ned Lamont (as I prodded to you on Twitter a while back) essentially endorsed Malloy’s bill this year, and has largely been lightly agreeing with much of his work throughout the first year and a quarter. Even if people call for their vote back from Malloy, Lamont might not have been a heck of a lot different. And to be honest I could only expect a vibrant state House/Senate member to be a challenger to Malloy, and play themselves off as a true-blue leader.

  • Striking

    Polls are nothing but a snapshot, a picture in time. Who wants to be in a bad picture? Ever? Who wants the picture to show they’re ugly, fat or disheveled? Anyone? 37% approval rating after all that money on education; after all that money on Malloy’s tours to argue with the public over taxes, education and faux cuts in spending – and the picture still shows it’s ugly. Oh No Ocho can photoshop it all he wants. The real picture doesn’t lie.

    • jonpelto

      A snap shot of a picture in time – the poetry of that makes we think back to happier days :). Plus you are right.
      Sent from my BlackBerry please excuss typos

  • Pingback: CT Essential Politics – Thursday 04.26.12 - CT Devil's Advocate | CT Devil's Advocate()