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Voters Skeptical About Budget

EAST HARTFORD – The good news for Gov. Dannel Malloy is that he enjoys his highest approval ratings ever, at 54 percent, according to a new poll by the Yankee Institute. The bad news is that voters don’t like his new budget proposals and only 42 percent of Connecticut voters say they would vote to re-elect him next year.

The governor’s approval rating sits at 54/45%, for a net positive rating of +9 percent. This is the governor’s highest approval rating yet. A year ago, Malloy’s approval rating was 51/46 (+5), which represented a significant improvement from June, 2011, in the wake of the tax increases of his first budget, when his approval rating was 42/56 or net negative 14 points.

However, just 42 percent of voters say they would re-elect him next year, with 39 percent saying they would probably vote for an unnamed Republican opponent. 19 percent are undecided. The governor’s re-elect rating has dropped 5 points from a year ago (47/47).

Furthermore, voters are deeply skeptical of the governor’s budget proposal. Given basic information about the budget, 54% of voters described it as spending too much. Voters oppose its reliance on borrowing by a 3:1 margin, 68-21 percent. They oppose exempting cars from the property tax, 52-34 percent, when informed about the proposal’s impact on municipalities. A narrow plurality of voters support the budget’s extension of tax increases on power plants, corporations, and insurance premiums, but only by 44-39 percent.

By a 2:1 margin (56-27%), voters say the governor’s First Five / Next Five program is a bad use of taxpayer money.

Support for immigration reform appears to be growing in Connecticut. By 69-27%, voters expressed support for legal status for undocumented immigrants over deportation (+42). A year ago, support for such a proposal registered at 56-37% (+19). Republicans support legal status by 54-40%.

President Obama continues to be popular in Connecticut, with a 58/41 (+17) approval rating. Senator Blumenthal continues to have strong approval ratings, at 59/35 (+24). Senator Chris Murphy enjoys a honeymoon rating of 53/39 (+14) in his first rating as an incumbent senator.

Full crosstabs

Question wording

The partisan breakdown of respondents was 40% D, 28% R, and 32% I.

Methodology: The survey was conducted on Sunday, February 10 of 500 likely Connecticut voters. 450 surveys were completed by phone using a recorded script and a keypad response mechanism. 50 surveys were completed online to capture younger demographics. The survey was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, which is associated with Rasmussen Reports. Question wording was based on public polling conducted by NBC News/Wall Street Journal, ABC News/Washington Post, CBS/New York Times, Quinnipiac, University of New Hampshire, Rasmussen, and Pew.

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Yankee releases new poll

EAST HARTFORD – President Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney, 50-37%, among Connecticut voters, and would defeat Newt Gingrich by an even larger margin, 56-35%, according to a new Yankee Institute poll. Gingrich is weighed down by an unfavorable image. More than twice as many voters think unfavorably of Gingrich (63%) as view him favorably (28%).

In the U.S. Senate race, Democratic Congressman Chris Murphy holds a 49-40% lead over Linda McMahon and a smaller 45-39% advantage over Chris Shays. Susan Bysiewicz edges McMahon, 43-40%, but Shays holds a slight lead over Bysiewicz, 42-41%, should they both become their party’s nominees in the general election.

Governor Malloy’s approval and re-elect numbers have improved somewhat since the end of the last legislative session, though he continues to be the least popular elected Democrat in Connecticut. Governor Malloy’s approval rating is 51 % and his net approval rating is positive by five points (51/46), a net improvement of 19 points compared to June of last year, when it was 42/56 percent. Gov. Malloy’s re-elect number is 47%, up 8 points but still below the 50% mark incumbents like to see. Gov. Malloy’s job approval rating trailed those of other Democrats:

• Senator Richard Blumenthal:       62% approve, 31% disapprove (net +31)
• Senator Joe Lieberman:                 53% approve, 43% disapprove (net +10)
• President Barack Obama:              53% approve, 44% disapprove (net +9)
• Governor Dannel Malloy:              51% approve, 46% disapprove (net +5)

Among candidates, Chris Murphy enjoys the highest net favorable rating (+19), followed by Shays (+7) and Bysiewicz (+1). Romney (-5), McMahon (-9) and Gingrich (-35) had net negative favorability ratings.

Voters were asked about a number of policy issues that may be considered during the coming legislative session, including education reform.

Cut spending, don’t raise taxes: 70% of voters think the state budget deficit should be addressed “all” (40%) or “mostly” (30%) by spending cuts, and not tax increases.

Abolish teacher tenure: 61% of voters would support abolishing tenure for public school teachers, and just 24% want to see tenure kept.

Reform teacher compensation: 53% of voters support reforming teacher compensation to reflect student outcomes and classroom evaluations, while 28% think experience and education credentials should be the main considerations.

Skeptical about teachers unions: 63% of voters think teachers unions care more about protecting members’ jobs than about the quality of education (28%).

OK on Sunday liquor sales: By two-to-one (62-321%), voters support changing state law to allow for Sunday sales of beer, wine, and liquor.

Oppose forced unionization: By 52-34%, voters disagree with the Malloy administration’s push to unionize certain daycare providers and personal care attendants.

Reform immigration: 56% of voters support creating a path to legal status for illegal immigrants, and just 37% say such people should be required to leave the country.

Skip Davos: By 48-35%, voters disapprove of the Governor’s decision to attend the World Economic Forum.

Complete results are available here: Toplines (PDF); Survey (PDF); Crosstabs (XLS)

Methodology: The phone survey was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, February 1 and 2, of 500 likely Connecticut voters and has a margin or error of 4.5 % with a 95% level of confidence. The survey was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, which is associated with Rasmussen Reports. Question wording was based on public polling conducted by NBC News/Wall Street Journal, ABC News/Washington Post, CBS/New York Times, Quinnipiac, University of New Hampshire, Rasmussen, and Pew.

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YIPP Poll: Unhappy with Malloy

HARTFORD – Gov. Dannel Malloy’s job approval rating has dropped to 42 percent, and a majority of voters say they would not vote to re-elect him in the wake of the legislative session that saw passage of the largest tax increase in state history, according to a new survey of likely Connecticut voters conducted by Pulse Opinion Research on behalf of the Yankee Institute.

Download the poll now: MS Doc (.doc) | PDF (.pdf)
Download the poll crosstabs (.xls)

Voters oppose by wide margins every Malloy administration initiative tested in the survey:

• On the budget deal, 57% of voters say the new state budget agreement “spends too much and raises taxes too much,” while 39% describe it as “about as good as could be expected given a weak economy.”
• On the labor union concessions, 49% of voters say state employee unions “did not give up enough and should have been asked for more,” while 36% say “the unions did give up a lot.”
• By a margin of 60-30%, voters describe the $572 million New Britain busway project as “a bad use of taxpayer money.”
• By a margin of 56-25%, voters describe the $864 million UConn Health Center expansion as “a bad use of taxpayer money.”

Opposition to the Malloy administration initiatives is driving poor ratings for Governor Malloy. His job approval rating fell to 42%, while his re-elect rating stands as just 39%. A majority of voters – 51% – say they “probably” or “definitely” would not vote to re-elect him.

Malloy’s job approval rating trailed those of other Democrats:

• Senator Richard Blumenthal: 61% approve, 36% disapprove (net +25)
• President Barack Obama: 55% approve, 42% disapprove (net +13)
• Senator Joe Lieberman: 52% approve, 46% disapprove (net +6)
• Governor Dannel Malloy: 42% approve, 56% disapprove (net -14)

Malloy is less popular among Connecticut voters than New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (50% fav / 26% unfav) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (38% fav / 32% unfav).

In a Yankee Institute survey conducted February 20, Malloy’s job approval rating was 50% favorable, 36% unfavorable, for a net swing of -28 points.

The state employees unions considering the concessions package also lack public support. By 50%-36%, voters support laying off state employees should the unions reject the concessions package. And, by 74%-14%, voters say “state employee unions are more interested in protecting their members’ jobs” than are “more interested in the quality and affordability of public services.”

Voters were also asked the following question: “Say you have a friend who lives out of state and has a young family, but is thinking about moving to a different state and looking for a new job or starting a new business. Would you recommend that your friend move to Connecticut?” 24% of voters said yes, and 65% said no.

The complete survey, including question wording, order, and cross tabs, is posted at yankeeinstitute.org

Methodology: The phone survey was conducted on Thursday, June 9 of 500 likely Connecticut voters and has a margin or error of 4.5 % with a 95% level of confidence. The survey was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, which is associated with Rasmussen Reports. Question wording was based on public polling conducted by Quinnipiac, UNH, NBC/Wall Street Journal, Rasmussen, and Pew.

Download the poll now: MS Doc (.doc) | PDF (.pdf)
Download the poll crosstabs (.xls)

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CT Voters Oppose Malloy Tax Hikes

HARTFORD – A new poll of likely voters shows strong support for Governor Malloy’s proposed spending cuts but strong opposition to his proposed tax increases. 57% of voters think the budget deficit should be addressed “entirely” or “mainly” though spending cuts.

30% more think it should be though an “even balance” of spending cuts and tax increases. Just 11% say it should be “mainly” or “entirely” though tax increases.

  • By 73-15%, voters oppose eliminating the $500 property tax credit (least popular)
  • By 68-21%, voters oppose creating a state earned income tax credit
  • By 67-31%, voters oppose increasing the gas tax
  • By 60-34%, voters oppose eliminating sales tax exemptions
  • By 54-38%, voters oppose increasing the income tax
  • By 53-43%, voters oppose increasing the sales tax
  • By 71-20%, voters support seeking concessions from state employees (most popular)
  • By 68-39%, voters support increasing tobacco and alcohol taxes
  • By 47-28%, voters support budget cuts in social services and higher education

In other survey results:

  • 58% of voters say they have considered moving out of Connecticut because of high taxes
  • President Obama has a 64% job approval rating
  • 52% of respondents said they would probably vote to re-elect President Obama next year
  • Governor Malloy’s approval rating is 50/46
  • Support for the federal health care law remains evenly divided, with 45% supporting repeal and 44% saying Congress should keep the law
  • 20% of voters say they consider themselves supporters of the Tea Party Movement

For more information: Full results (PDF); Crosstabs (XLSX); Press Release (PDF)

Methodology: The phone survey was conducted on Sunday, February 20 of 500 likely Connecticut voters and has a margin or error of 4.5 % with a 95% level of confidence. The survey was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, which is associated with Rasmussen Reports. Question wording was based on public polling conducted by Quinnipiac, UNH, NBC/Wall Street Journal, Rasmussen, and Pew.

ABOUT THE YANKEE INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY:

The Yankee Institute is a think tank that develops and advocates free-market and private sector solutions to public policy issues. Founded in 1984, Yankee has offices on the campus of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. The Yankee Institute is nonpartisan research and educational organization and is classified by the IRS as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit.

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Poll: CT Residents Oppose Health Care Overhaul

HARTFORD – A new poll conducted by the Yankee Institute for Public Policy shows that Connecticut residents oppose the national health care overhaul  being debated in Congress.

  • Connecticut residents oppose the current bills in Congress by a margin of 51-34 percent
  • By a margin of 62-29 percent, Connecticut residents believe Congress has rushed the process and should take more time to get it right
  • More than three-quarters of voters, 77 percent, say they are very concerned or somewhat concerned that changes in health care will result in more government spending, higher taxes, and a bigger budget deficit.  61% described theselves as “very concerned” about these possibilities
  • Half of state residents say the changes to health care being considered will do more harm than good
  • By a nearly 2:1 margin, Connecticut residents say Congress in being too ambitious.  They favor smaller, more incremental reforms to a major overhaul
  • Residents are also concerned about proposed expansions to Medicaid to be paid for by state taxpayers.  Residents oppose expanding Medicaid by a margin of 49-26%. 

In terms of how to pay for health care changes:

  • A large majority of residents oppose taxing health insurance, 77 to 9 percent.  We didn’t distinguish between so-called “Cadillac” plans and other insurance plans, but voters seem to recognize that taxing insurance policies just drives up premiums and costs
  • A large majority also oppose taxing people who don’t have insurance, by 59-27 percent.  This is the so-called “individual mandate”.
  • Residents also oppose taxing businesses that don’t offer health care, 44-31 percent.  This is another mandate.

Methodology: This poll was conducted on January 12th and 13th using automated phone dial technology.  A total of 1,526 residents completed the survey, resulting in a margin of error of 2.5 percent. 

  • released a poll today showing that Connecticut residents are very skeptical of the health care reform efforts currently under consideration by the U.S. Congress.

Download the full results of the poll here!

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New Poll: Voters Say Cut Spending

Download the results from the Yankee Institute Poll now!

NEW POLL: CONNECTICUT VOTERS SAY CUT SPENDING

HARTFORD – A brushfire poll conducted by the Yankee Institute shows that Connecticut voters overwhelming favor cutting state spending over raising taxes, and are unenthusiastic about Governor Rell’s tax increase proposals.

• By 72-28 percent, voters say the state should cut spending rather than raise taxes to plug the $8 billion budget deficit.

• By 66-34 percent, voters say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who voted to raise the income tax.

• By 54-46 percent, voters say Gov. Rell’s support for higher taxes makes them less likely to vote for her.

• 45 percent of voters say they have considered moving out of Connecticut due to the state’s high taxes.

Voters were unenthusiastic about Governor Rell’s proposed package of tax increases and tax cuts, and expressed mixed feelings:

• By 59-41 percent, voters support Gov. Rell’s proposal to cut the state sales tax from 6 to 5.5 percent.

• By 54-46 percent, voters support Gov. Rell’s proposal to eliminate the inheritance tax.

• By 53-47 percent, residents oppose Gov. Rell’s proposed 10 percent increase in the corporate tax.

• By 56-44 percent, voters support Gov. Rell’s proposal to increase income taxes on the wealthy.

• By 72-28 percent, voters support Gov. Rell’s proposal to increase the cigarette tax.

The poll of 471 Connecticut registered voters was conducted on Thursday night. It has a margin of error of 4.5 percent. Top line results, including wording of the questions, is posted here.

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