Connecticut has the least popular governor in the country, according to a new Morning Consult survey published on April 12.
Gov. Dannel Malloy is the least popular governor in the country, with a 72 percent disapproval rating, according to the survey, which polled nearly 275,000 registered voters from Jan. 1 to March 31. That makes Malloy the least popular governor, whose administration didn’t deliberately snarl traffic on a major interstate bridge, in American history.
Since 2011, Malloy has made efforts — though not always successfully — to create jobs, improve public education, stabilize the state’s finances, fix the state’s infrastructure and protect the environment.
Despite these efforts, Malloy’s 21 percent approval rating is just slightly above former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s 18 percent approval rating in past polls, making Christie — who finished his final term in January — the least popular governor in United States history and Malloy the second least popular.
“Polls come and go, numbers go up and down,” Malloy spokesman David Bednarz said in response to the poll. “The governor always tries to do what he thinks is in the best interests of the people of Connecticut, irrespective of the political consequences.”
But the results could have implications for the gubernatorial election coming up in November.
At the moment, there are 11 Democratic and 16 Republican candidates eyeing Malloy’s seat. Democrats could lose control of the governorship if Malloy’s low approval ratings boost Republican candidates in the election.
“At the end of the day, every one of the Democrats running agrees with Dan Malloy on every single policy,” said J.R. Romano, chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party. “If they want Connecticut to continue on this road to ruin, then they should vote for the Democrats. … [Malloy’s path] is the path they’re going to continue on.”
But according to Christina Polizzi, director of communications for the Connecticut Democrats, the state party is focused on the candidates seeking to replace Malloy and address major issues — not on the current governor’s poor approval ratings.
“Malloy’s not on the ballot, and our Democratic candidates are talking to voters about the issues that matter,” Polizzi said. “They’ll fight back against the Republican side.”
Connecticut has voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in the past seven general elections and is generally considered a blue state. But given Malloy’s low approval ratings and the uncertainty of the political climate, the governorship could turn red — which would be a win not only for the Connecticut Republicans but also for Republicans throughout the country.
Asked about that possibility, Polizzi dismissed the Republican field, saying, “Most of the candidates have failed to prove that they’re anything but a rubber stamp for Trump’s agenda.”
The general election to replace Malloy will take place on Nov. 6.
Grace Kang | firstname.lastname@example.org