Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont gained a mildly higher approval rating during the first quarter of this year, according to a new poll commissioned by Sacred Heart University’s Institute for Public Policy and the Hartford Courant. However, the governor’s handling of tolls and tax issues has not endeared him with most residents.
The poll, which encompassed 1,000 Connecticut residents and was conducted between Feb. 24 and March 12, gave Lamont a 31% approval rating on his job performance, up from 28.1% in December and 24.1% last September. Most of the high scores came from Democrats (48.2% approval versus 29.8% unsure), followed by unaffiliated residents (25% approval versus 32.9% unsure) and Republicans (16.75 approval versus 13.2% unsure). The sampling represents a margin for error of +/-3.02% at a 95% confidence level.
Regarding how Lamont approached specific policies, 57.5% of respondents disapproved of his tax policies and 56.8% were unhappy with his leadership on tolls. However, Lamont also received a 34.7% approval on protecting the environment and providing green initiatives, as well as a 32.7% approval on handling public and primary education and a 30.2% approval for leadership on health care.
The poll also focused on wider socioeconomic issues impacting the state, 64.3% of respondents rated Connecticut’s overall quality of life as either excellent (18.5%) or good (45.8%), up from 60.6% level in December. The poll also found 21.3% of respondents voicing concern that the quality of life in Connecticut is declining, down from 27% in December. The majority of surveyed residents (63.4%) said they would either strongly (34.4%) or somewhat (29%) support the legalization of recreational marijuana in Connecticut.
Furthermore, the poll raised the question of the 2020 presidential race, with 51.9% of respondents saying they would vote for former Vice President Joe Biden (51.9%) over President Donald Trump (35.6%). In the event Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders snagged the Democratic nomination, 49.6% of poll respondents said they would vote for him while 38% supported the president’s re-election.