Mar 19, 2013
11:04 AMConnecticut Today
Gov. Malloy's Approval Ratings on Par with Other Governors
According to the March 12, 2013 Quinnipiac University poll, Gov. Dannel Malloy is currently enjoying his all-time highest approval ratings: 48 percent of those surveyed responed yes when asked if they approved of the way Dannel Malloy is handling his job as governor. After struggling with disapproval ratings that were higher than his approval ratings, those numbers have also come down; 39 percent now disapprove of the job he's doing, while 13 percent didn't know or didn't answer.
Obviously, a lot of the goodwill toward Malloy comes as a result of how he's handled himself in the face of some remarkable events and crises, from a pair of devastating hurricanes and a blizzard to the school shootings in Sandy Hook. His efforts on the more mundane aspects of governing—the state budget, education, the economy—are not looked upon quite as favorably at the moment.
Still, on the whole, Malloy now finds his popularity at levels that are more in line with the majority of governors with about 20 months until his next election.
Going by recent polls released by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, here's a look at how Gov. Malloy stacks up against six other U.S. governors in terms of job-approval ratings. These governors were selected because they are all the ones for which Quinnipiac has conducted recent surveys, and it made sense to make comparisons based on a single polling agency to ensure consistent polling practices:
Obviously, potential GOP presidential candidate and governor of New Jersey Chris Christie hopes that his 74 percent approval rating continues to stay sky high at home and possibly beyond. New York governor Andrew Cuomo's ratings are down recently, partially in reaction to the strict gun laws he recently pushed the New York legislature to pass. Gov. Rick Scott in Florida has gained the scorn of voters due to the reversal of his policy stance on Obamacare, and is currently polling behind former governor and possible 2014 opponent Charlie Crist, who recently switched to the Democratic Party. Pennsylvania's top man Tom Corbett's low ratings are due to his positions on a host of critical current issues facing his state, while Ohio's John Kasich—at one point, as far down in the polls as Malloy—has rebounded to numbers he's never enjoyed on the strength of how he's handled the state's budget. Gov. McDonnell of Virginia, who can't run for re-election under Virginia law, has seen his popularity slide because of issues last year with the state legislature and a controversial ultrasound bill, but still enjoys good marks.
Looking around at some other polls and local governors:
Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts scored a 60 percent approval rating according to a December 2012 MassInc survey, while Gov. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island was down at 33 percent in a January poll conducted by Public Policy Polling. The most recent poll for Vermont governor Peter Shumlin, taken in May 2012 by a group including Vermont Business Magazine, showed him with 65 percent approval, while at the other end of the spectrum is Gov. Paul LePage of Maine, posting a 39 percent favorability according to a January report by Public Policy Polling. Maggie Hassan was just sworn in as governor of New Hampshire on Jan. 3 and has been on the job only two months, so it's too soon for any viable ratings.
Checking in around the country, Gov. Malloy finds himself: on par with Jerry Brown in California (49 percent approval according to a USC/LA Times poll), who has helped the state get its financial house in order with some bitter medicine; ahead of one-time political darling Rick Perry of Texas, who is now at 41 percent approval and could be vulnerable when he runs for reelection according to Public Policy Polling; and tied at 48 percent with political lightning rod Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, again according to Public Policy Polling.
So currently, Gov. Malloy finds himself comfortably in the middle of the popularity pack in terms of governors. But as he'd undoubtedly be the first to tell you, it's a long way to next November.