Gov. John G. Rowland’s approval ratings have slipped a bit, but he still has big leads over two potential challengers, a new Quinnipiac University poll shows.

The poll, released Thursday, shows the Republican governor has a 65 percent approval rating, down from the record 78 percent approval he had in a similar poll in December.

However, Rowland still far outdistances his two most likely Democratic challengers, former state Comptroller Bill Curry and Senate Majority Leader George Jepsen.

Rowland leads Curry, 57 percent to 26 percent, the poll shows, and tops Jepsen 59 percent to 22 percent. Rowland’s lead over Curry is down 12 percentage points from December, and his lead over Jepsen is down 10 points.

The telephone poll of 1,217 Connecticut registered voters was conducted from Feb. 8 – 12 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Poll Director Douglas Schwartz called the poll results good news for Rowland, saying his current 65 percent approval rating is about where Rowland had been over the last five years in the Quinnipiac polls.

“Any sitting governor would be pleased starting off an election year with a 65 percent job approval rating,” Schwartz said.

Between the Democratic candidates, the poll showed Curry topping Jepsen 32 percent to 14 percent, with 48 percent undecided. The poll of 422 registered Democrats has an error margin of 5 percentage points.

“Curry enjoys an edge, but with 48 percent undecided, Jepsen certainly has a shot,” Schwartz said.

–Associated Press