Gubernatorial candidate New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. is poised to beat Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy in a Democratic primary, according to a poll released yesterday by Quinnipiac University. The poll, however, shows both Democrats losing to current Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who holds an approval rating of 78 percent.

The poll showed Rell defeating DeStefano by a 64 percent to 21 percent margin, and Malloy by 68 percent to 17 percent in the general election. In the Democratic primary, DeStefano leads Malloy by 36 percent to 18 percent among registered Democratic voters, of whom 42 percent remain undecided.

DeStefano Campaign Director Shonu Gandhi ’03 said in a statement that the campaign is optimistic that as the November polling date draws closer, more voters will hear of the mayor’s platform.

“We all know that incumbents enjoy a huge early polling advantage,” she said.

Malloy and DeStefano do not share Rell’s name-recognition: DeStefano had a 16 percent approval rating, but 59 percent did not know enough about him to judge, and Malloy had 8 percent approval, but 83 percent of those surveyed said they had not heard enough about him.

The poll surveyed 1,369 Connecticut registered voters and has a margin of error of 2.7 percent.