July 1, 2008 - Connecticut Voters Are Down, But Still Like Gov. Rell, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Mortgage Scandal Takes Small Toll On Sen. Dodd

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Connecticut voter satisfaction with life in the state is at its lowest level in five years, and voter optimism is down, two facts which are putting a slight dent in Gov. Jodi Rell's historically high approval rating, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Voters approve 65 - 23 percent of the job Gov. Rell is doing, a great score for most governors, but the lowest she ever has had. This compares to a 76 - 13 percent approval March 27.

A total of 59 percent of Connecticut voters are “somewhat dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” with the way things are going in the state, while 41 percent are “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied.” This is the worst satisfaction rate since a July 31, 2003 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University when 61 percent were dissatisfied and 38 percent were satisfied.

Sixty percent of Connecticut voters say they are worse off than they were a year ago, while 25 percent say they are better off. Economic conditions in the state are "excellent" or "good" 30 percent say, while 70 percent say they are "not so good" or "poor."

And 44 percent expect economic conditions in the state to get worse in the next 12 months, while 12 percent expect conditions to get better and 39 percent say conditions will stay the same.

"Gov. Jodi Rell still enjoys an extended honeymoon with two-thirds of Connecticut voters, although the romance is fading for some Democrats and those voters who say the economy is in trouble," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D.

"For example, Gov. Rell's approval rating falls below a majority among the 22 percent who say the state's economy is in poor shape."

Connecticut voters approve 81 - 16 percent of the increase in the state's minimum wage, with the State Legislature overriding Rell's veto. Even Republicans approve 63 - 33 percent.


By a 60 - 39 percent margin, Connecticut voters say gas prices have caused hardship for someone in their household. Impact of rising gas prices include:
  • 67 percent are considering a fuel efficient vehicle for their next car;
  • 62 percent have cut back significantly on driving;
  • 53 percent have cut back significantly on household spending;
  • 82 percent are willing to pay cash to get a discount at the pump.
At 32 percent, oil companies top the list of who's to blame for gas prices. Others are:
  • 28 percent blame the federal government;
  • 19 percent blame oil-producing nations;
  • 9 percent blame American consumers.
Sen. Christopher Dodd

Connecticut voters approve 51 - 34 percent of the job Sen. Christopher Dodd is doing, his lowest net approval rating ever, with a higher disapproval than his 51 - 28 percent score March 27. And 51 percent say they "definitely" or "probably" will vote to reelect him, while 39 percent say they "probably" or "definitely" won't vote for him.

A total of 62 percent of voters have read or heard "a lot" or "some" about allegations that Sen. Dodd received special treatment from Countrywide Financial on mortgages on his two homes. Voters say 59 - 32 percent the matter deserves more investigation.

"Sen. Christopher Dodd's job approval is lukewarm at best, especially given his 28 years of service in the U.S. Senate, the longest in Connecticut history," Dr. Schwartz said. "This probably is a combination of his unsuccessful presidential bid and the mortgage scandal."

Sen. Joseph Lieberman gets a 45 - 43 percent approval, down from 52 - 35 percent March 27 and his lowest score ever.

"Sen. Lieberman's approval rating has dropped below 50 percent for the first time in 14 years of polling, with nearly two-thirds of Democrats giving him low marks, probably because he is campaigning for Sen. John McCain," Dr. Schwartz said.

From June 26 - 29, Quinnipiac University surveyed 2,515 Connecticut registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research.

For more data -- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jodi Rell is handling her job as Governor?
                        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve                 65%    74%    56%    67%    61%    68%    67%    51%
Disapprove              23     19     27     21     25     21     22     32
DK/NA                   12      6     16     12     13     12     11     17
 
                        ConnecticutEconomy.
                        Exclt/ Not
                        Good   SoGood Poor 
 
Approve                 77%    66%    46%  
Disapprove              11     22     40   
DK/NA                   12     12     13   
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jodi Rell is handling her job as Governor?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Jul 1   Mar 27  Nov 7   May 9   Feb 15  Jan 13  Jul 1
                        2008    2008    2007    2007    2007    2005    2008
 
Approve                 65      76      77      69      72      83      65
Disapprove              23      13      14      22      20       3      23
DK/NA                   12      10       9       9       8      14      12
 
 
3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joe Lieberman is handling his job as United States Senator?
                        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve                 45%    70%    26%    47%    46%    44%    47%    29%
Disapprove              43     18     62     39     44     41     42     46
DK/NA                   13     12     12     14     10     15     11     25
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joseph Lieberman is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               Highest Lowest
                                                               Approve Approve
                        Jul 1   Mar 27  Nov 8  May 10  Feb 19  Sep 21  Jul 1
                        2008    2008    2007   2007    2007    2000    2008
 
Approve                 45      52      52     53      52      80      45
Disapprove              43      35      38     39      40      14      43
DK/NA                   13      13       9      8       7       6      13
 
 
4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Dodd is handling his job as United States Senator?
                        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve                 51%    40%    64%    46%    51%    51%    51%    54%
Disapprove              34     47     21     35     36     31     34     32
DK/NA                   16     13     15     19     13     18     14     14
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Dodd is handling his job as United States Senator? * also 51% 3/27/08
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Jul 1   Mar 27  Nov 8   May 10  Feb 19  Apr 19  Jul 1
                        2008    2008    2007    2007    2007    2001    2008 *
 
Approve                 51      51      55      60      60      71      51
Disapprove              34      28      31      26      25      16      34
DK/NA                   16      21      15      14      15      13      16
 
 
6. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Connecticut today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Very satisfied           4%     7%     3%     2%     4%     3%     3%     4%
Smwht satisfied         37     46     33     36     37     37     38     21
Smwht dissatisfied      35     30     34     37     36     33     36     31
Very dissatisfied       24     17     29     24     23     26     21     44
DK/NA                    1      -      1      1      1      1      1      -
 
TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Connecticut today? Very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                        Jul 1   Mar 27  Nov 7   Jun 8   May 2   Feb 16  Jan 12
                        2008    2008    2007    2006    2006    2006    2006
 
Very Satisfied           4       6       6       8       7       7       7
Smwht Satisfied         37      48      57      54      53      61      59
Smwht Dissatisfied      35      30      24      25      29      22      23
Very Dissatisfied       24      14      10      12      11       9      10
DK/NA                    1       1       1       1       -       -       1
 
 
7. How likely are you to vote to re-elect Jodi Rell for Governor in 2010 - Do you think you will definitely vote for her, probably vote for her, probably not vote for her, or definitely not vote for her?
                        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Definitely              13%    21%     7%    14%    14%    13%    13%     8%
Probably                40     51     33     41     38     43     41     27
Probably not            20     13     28     17     21     19     20     24
Definitely not          13      7     20     11     15     12     12     33
DK/NA                   13      8     12     17     13     14     14      8
 
                        ConnecticutEconomy.  
                        Exclt/ Not
                        Good   SoGood Poor   
 
Definitely              20%    10%     9%    
Probably                48     42     25     
Probably not            14     22     23     
Definitely not           5     12     28     
DK/NA                   13     13     14     
 
 
8. How likely are you to vote to re-elect Chris Dodd for United States Senator in 2010 - Do you think you will definitely vote for him, probably vote for him, probably not vote for him, or definitely not vote for him?
                        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Definitely              14%     6%    24%     9%    14%    13%    13%    27%
Probably                37     25     45     38     35     39     37     33
Probably not            20     26     14     21     18     21     19     22
Definitely not          19     32      9     20     23     16     21     11
DK/NA                   10     10      8     12      9     12     10      7
 
 
9. Which one of the following statements comes closest to the way you feel about Jodi Rell - I like Jodi Rell as a person and I also like most of her policies OR I like Jodi Rell as a person but I don't like most of her policies OR I don't like Jodi Rell as a person but I DO like most of her policies OR I don't like Jodi Rell as a person and I also don't like most of her policies?
                        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Like as person/
 like policies          53%    68%    42%    56%    49%    57%    55%    40%
Like as person/
 don't like policies    28     23     36     24     30     27     27     36
Don't like as
 person/like policies    2      2      2      2      3      1      2      1
Don't like as
 person/don't like
 policies                7      3     10      6      8      6      6     13
DK/NA                   10      4      9     13     11      9      9     11
 
TREND: Which one of the following statements comes closest to the way you feel about Jodi Rell -
                        Jul 1   May 9
                        2008    2007
 
A) Like her, like
   policies             53      62
B) Like her,
   dislike policies     28      23
C) Dislike her,
   like policies         2       2
D) Dislike her,
   dislike policies      7       5
DK/NA                   10       8
 
 
21. Would you describe the state of Connecticut's economy these days as - Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Excellent                1%     2%     -      -      1%     1%     1%     -
Good                    29     38     24     28     33     25     30     15
Not so good             48     44     49     49     48     49     49     58
Poor                    22     15     25     22     18     25     20     26
DK/NA                    1      1      1      1      1      1      1      2
 
                        Annual Household Income...
                        <30k   30-50  50-100 >100k
 
Excellent                2%     -      -      -
Good                    15     20     30     39
Not so good             42     51     47     49
Poor                    38     27     21     11
DK/NA                    2      1      1      -
 
TREND: Would you describe the state of Connecticut's economy these days as - Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                        Jul 1   Apr 7   Nov 24  Jun 4   Nov 21  Oct 9   Jul 31
                        2008    2005    2004    2004    2003    2003    2003
 
Excellent                1       2       2       1       2      1        1
Good                    29      43      51      41      37     29       28
Not so good             48      41      36      42      43     47       47
Poor                    22      12       8      14      18     22       23
DK/NA                    1       2       3       2       1      1        1
 
 
22. During the next 12 months, do you think the economic conditions in Connecticut will get better, get worse, or stay about the same?
                        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Get better              12%    14%    12%    11%    14%    10%    12%    18%
Get worse               44     41     47     42     42     45     44     43
Stay the same           39     42     36     42     40     39     40     35
DK/NA                    5      3      4      5      4      5      5      3
 
                        ConnecticutEconomy.  
                        Exclt/ Not
                        Good   SoGood Poor   
 
Get better              14%    13%     9%    
Get worse               36     42     57     
Stay the same           46     40     29     
DK/NA                    4      5      5     
 
TREND: During the next 12 months, do you think the economic conditions in Connecticut will get better, get worse, or stay about the same?
                        Jul 1   Apr 7   Nov 24  Nov 21  Oct 9   Jul 31  Mar 13
                        2008    2005    2004    2003    2003    2003    2003
 
Get better              12      22      31      38      30      29      20
Get worse               44      23      14      13      17      18      30
Stay the same           39      51      52      47      50      50      45
DK/NA                    5       4       3       2       3       3       5
 
 
23. Would you say that you are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?
                        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Better off              25%    37%    18%    23%    29%    21%    26%    21%
Worse off               60     48     66     63     57     63     60     68
SAME(VOL)               14     15     14     13     12     15     14     10
DK/NA                    1      1      1      2      2      1      1      1
 
                        Annual Household Income...
                        <30k   30-50  50-100 >100k
 
Better off              17%    20%    22%    39%
Worse off               68     68     62     50
SAME(VOL)               13     12     14     11
DK/NA                    1      -      2      -
 
TREND: Would you say that you are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?
                        Jul 1   Apr 7   Nov 24  Nov 21  Oct 9   Jul 31  Mar 13
                        2008    2005    2004    2003    2003    2003    2003
 
Better off              25      39      40      37      32      35      27
Worse off               60      35      32      41      46      42      50
Same                    14      25      26      21      20      22      22
DK/NA                    1       1       1       1       1       1       1
 
 
24. As you think about your own financial situation, which of the following economic issues worries you the most right now -- a. Declining retirement fund values b. Declining real estate values c. Rising health care costs d. Rising gasoline prices e. Rising food prices
                        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
a. Retirement funds     10%    10%     8%    10%     9%    10%    10%     6%
b. Real estate vals      8     10      8      7      9      8      8     11
c. Health care cost     14     11     15     17     14     15     15     13
d. Gasoline prices      51     56     52     49     54     49     52     46
e. Food prices          12     10     14     12     10     14     11     21
DK/NA                    4      3      3      5      5      3      4      3
 
                        Annual Household Income...
                        <30k   30-50  50-100 >100k
 
a. Retirement funds     11%     6%     9%    12%
b. Real estate vals      4      8      8     13
c. Health care cost     15     15     13     14
d. Gasoline prices      38     53     57     51
e. Food prices          26     15      9      7
DK/NA                    6      3      4      2
 
 
25. Have recent price increases in gasoline caused any financial hardship for you or others in your household, or not?
                        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                     60%    52%    64%    61%    57%    62%    57%    74%
No                      39     47     35     39     41     37     41     23
DK/NA                    1      2      2      1      1      1      1      3
 
                        Annual Household Income...
                        <30k   30-50  50-100 >100k
 
Yes                     65%    73%    63%    48%
No                      34     26     37     52
DK/NA                    1      1      -      -
 
 
26. As a result of the recent rise in gas prices, have you seriously considered getting a more fuel-efficient car the next time you buy a vehicle?
                        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Have                    67%    60%    71%    69%    70%    65%    67%    64%
Have NOT                29     36     24     28     27     31     30     32
DK/NA                    4      4      4      3      3      4      4      3
 
                        Annual Household Income...
                        <30k   30-50  50-100 >100k
 
Have                    47%    61%    72%    79%
Have NOT                41     35     27     20
DK/NA                   12      4      1      1
 
 
27. As a result of the recent rise in gas prices, have you cut back significantly on how much you drive?
                        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Have                    62%    52%    66%    66%    57%    67%    62%    74%
Have NOT                34     45     30     32     41     29     36     17
DK/NA                    3      3      4      2      2      4      2      9
 
                        Annual Household Income...
                        <30k   30-50  50-100 >100k
 
Have                    67%    71%    64%    52%
Have NOT                20     26     36     47
DK/NA                   12      3      -      -
 
 
28. Have you cut back significantly on your household spending because of higher gas prices?
                        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Have                    53%    44%    57%    55%    46%    59%    51%    69%
Have NOT                45     54     41     43     52     39     48     29
DK/NA                    2      1      2      1      2      1      2      3
 
                        Annual Household Income...
                        <30k   30-50  50-100 >100k
 
Have                    59%    63%    56%    43%
Have NOT                34     35     44     57
DK/NA                    7      2      -      -
 
 
29. As a result of the recent rise in gas prices, have you gone to another state to buy gas?
                        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Have                    21%    21%    20%    22%    23%    19%    21%    11%
Have NOT                78     77     78     78     76     79     77     84
DK/NA                    2      2      3      -      1      2      1      5
 
                        Annual Household Income...
                        <30k   30-50  50-100 >100k
 
Have                    11%    19%    22%    25%
Have NOT                83     80     78     74
DK/NA                    6      1      -      -
 
 
30. Would you be willing to pay cash for gas if you got a discount?
                        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                     82%    83%    84%    81%    80%    84%    82%    85%
No                      14     13     12     15     17     11     14      8
DK/NA                    4      4      4      4      3      5      4      7
 
                        Annual Household Income...
                        <30k   30-50  50-100 >100k
 
Yes                     80%    86%    83%    82%
No                      10     12     14     16
DK/NA                   10      2      2      2
 
 
31. Who do you think is most responsible for the increase in gas prices - the oil companies, the oil-producing nations, the federal government or American consumers?
                        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Oil companies           32%    26%    36%    33%    32%    32%    33%    32%
Oil-producing nations   19     25     18     18     18     20     20     21
Federal government      28     28     27     29     26     30     26     41
American consumers       9      9     11      8     11      8      9      3
DK/NA                   11     12      9     12     13     10     12      3
 
TREND: Who do you think is most responsible for the increase in gas prices - the oil companies, the oil-producing nations, the federal government or American consumers?
                        Jul 1   Jul 20
                        2008    2000
 
Oil companies           32      33
Oil-producing nations   19      35
Federal Government      28      19
American consumers       9       8
DK/NA                   11       5
 
 
32. As you may know, the state legislature voted Monday to override Governor Rell's veto of a minimum wage increase. The law will now increase the state's minimum wage from $7.65 an hour to $8 an hour beginning in January, and to $8.25 an hour in 2010. Do you approve or disapprove of this increase in the state's minimum wage?
                        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve                 81%    63%    92%    81%    77%    84%    80%    93%
Disapprove              16     33      6     15     19     13     17      4
DK/NA                    3      4      2      4      4      3      3      3
 
                        Annual Household Income...
                        <30k   30-50  50-100 >100k
 
Approve                 85%    82%    81%    79%
Disapprove              11     16     15     20
DK/NA                    4      2      4      2
 
 
33. How much have you heard or read about allegations that Senator Dodd may have received special treatment from Countrywide Financial on mortgages on his two homes - A lot, some, not much, or nothing at all?
                        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
A lot                   26%    33%    23%    26%    30%    23%    28%    20%
Some                    36     37     37     36     39     34     36     30
Not much                15     10     16     15     12     17     15     19
Nothing at all          22     20     23     22     17     26     21     30
DK/NA                    1      1      1      1      1      1      1      1
 
 
34. Do you think that these allegations deserve more investigation or are not that serious?
                        Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Deserve more
 investigation          59%    64%    52%    63%    59%    60%    60%    63%
Not that serious        32     27     38     29     34     29     32     28
DK/NA                    9      9     10      8      7     11      8      9