Tax and budget issues continue to drag down Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s job approval rating and he remains tied with Republican Tom Foley, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Friday.
Malloy remains deadlocked, 43-43 percent, in a reelection battle with Foley, the 2010 Republican nominee who continues to lead the field of Republican challengers by a wide margin.
“It’s deja-vu all over again,” poll director Douglas Schwartz said in a press release accompanying the results.
Two other Republicans — Senate Minority Leader John McKinney of Fairfield and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton — are within single digits of Malloy, a Democrat nearing the end of his first term. McKinney is just four points behind Malloy in a head-to-head match up; Boughton is five points behind, the poll found.
Malloy’s biggest weakness remains his handling of fiscal issues: Asked for the main reason why they disapprove of Malloy’s job performance, 18 percent cited budget and state finances, 16 percent said taxes and 11 percent said the economy and jobs.
“Economic issues are dragging Gov. Malloy down,” Schwartz said.
Nearly 70 percent of those polled said the economy was “not so good” or “poor,” compared with just 30 percent who rated it “good.”
Perhaps most troubling for Malloy: just 21 percent of voters say they are better off now than they were four years ago while about a third say they are worse off and 48 percent say they are about the same.
Malloy’s plan to give state taxpayers a $55 rebate is viewed as a “campaign gimmick” by nearly two thirds of voters, according to the poll. Malloy has since scrapped the plan.
But, Schwartz said, “a bright spot for Malloy is that voters think he has strong leadership qualities and is honest and trustworthy.” Nearly 60 percent of those polled said the governor has “strong leadership qualities.”
On the Republican side, Foley remains the clear frontrunner. Asked who they would vote for, 39 percent of registered Republicans said Foley, 9 percent said Boughton and 8 percent said McKinney. Avon attorney Martha Dean would receive five percent of the vote, former West Hartford council member Joe Visconti, 4 and Shelton Mayr Mark Lauretti, 3 percent, according to the poll.
Connecticut’s two U.S. Senators remain popular. Democrats Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal both had job approval ratings topping 50 percent.
The poll of 1,668 registered voters was conducted from May 1 to 6. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points. The survey includes the responses of 443 Republicans and that portion has a margin of error of 4.7 percent.