Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy scores his highest approval rating of his term in a new Quinnipiac University poll released on Tuesday, a significant improvement over the Democrat's job rating in the previous poll, conducted just last week. The poll comes as the state legislature debates new laws backed by Malloy that would restrict gun ownership.
Forty-eight percent of voters approve of the way Malloy is handling his job as governor, the poll shows, higher than the 43 percent who approved of Malloy in last week's survey, which pegged disapproval of Malloy at 43 percent, as well. Just 39 percent disapprove of Malloy in the new survey.
But Malloy still faces a challenging reelection campaign. Asked if they think Malloy deserves to be reelected, only 42 percent of voters say yes, while 45 percent believe he does not deserve reelection. Among self-identified independents, just 35 percent think Malloy deserves reelection, and 53 percent do not.
Malloy earns good marks for his handling of gun policy in the wake of the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown: 48 percent approve, and 39 percent disapprove. But majorities of voters disapprove of Malloy on other key issues: the economy (56 percent), taxes (61 percent) and the budget (57 percent).
On the crises that Malloy's administration has been forced to confront over the past few months, the governor scores well. Overwhelming majorities approve of how he handled Hurricane Sandy (78 percent), the February blizzard (80 percent) and the Newtown shootings (76 percent). And the gun issue looks like a winner for Malloy, with 66 percent of voters saying they support stricter gun laws in the state. Voters are split on whether Malloy and the state legislature can get something done this year to reduce gun violence, however.
The poll was conducted March 7-10, surveying 1,144 registered voters. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 2.9 percentage points.