The honeymoon for Gov. Dannel Malloy is over, if he ever had one.
Four months into his first term, voters disapprove of the job he is doing, 40 to 35 percent, and more disapprove of the way he is handling the budget, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
Quinnipiac learned that voters disapprove of the budget plan, 51 to 32 percent, and most think the plan increases taxes too much and cuts spending too little.
"Connecticut voters are in a grumpy mood. Nearly 70 percent are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the state and no elected official in this survey has an approval rating above 50 percent," Quinnipiac University Poll Director, Douglas Schwartz, said.
Roy Occhiogrosso, senior advisor to the governor, said Malloy’s budget might not be popular but the measures are necessary.
"With all due respect, this is why the past couple of governors refused to make the tough decisions that needed to be made: because tough decisions often aren’t popular ones. Gov. Malloy has put forward an honest budget that asks virtually everyone in Connecticut to make sacrifices because he believes that’s the only way we’re going to fix what’s broken and put Connecticut back to work. That people are unhappy with those sacrifices is no surprise," Occhiogrosso said.
Most, 68 percent, said it raises taxes on the middle class too much and increases taxes on the wealthy too little (48 percent).
On a positive note, voters are optimistic about the next four years under Gov. Malloy. Fifty-percent said they are optimistic about four years with the first Democratic governor in decades.
"But it's early. Dannel Malloy has been governor for only two months. The first impression of him is decidedly mixed with many voters taking a wait and see attitude," Schwartz said. "Most damaging is that by a big margin (56 to 31 percent), voters say Malloy is unfair to them."
Voters, 50 to 46 percent, said a tax hike is necessary to balance the budget, but will hurt the state economy and be a "very serious" or "somewhat serious" problem for their families.
"Voters overwhelmingly disapprove of Malloy's proposed increases in the income tax and gas tax. They oppose eliminating the property tax credit and ending the sales tax exemption for clothes under $50," Schwartz said. "They do agree, however, with proposed increases in 'sin taxes' on alcohol and cigarettes, and with wage freezes and furloughs for state employees and - if necessary - layoffs."
Malloy will hold another town meeting tonight on the budget.