The results of the latest Quinnipiac University Poll should make incumbent state legislators seeking re-election this fall and their challengers sit up and take notice.
For starters, Connecticut voters are not enamoured with the direction the state is taking.
When asked if they were satisfied with the way things were going in Connecticut today, more than half (59%) responded negatively. Just 40 percent said they were satisifed.
Those numbers were basically unchanged from April this year, when the Q-Poll asked the same question.
And independent voters--the largest proportion of Connecticut's registered voting population--were more dissatisfied than the average, with almost two-thirds (64%) expressing a negative opinion.
In contrast, 62% of Democrats said they were satisifed, while 78% of Republican voters were somewhat or very dissatisfied.
That general negativity holds up across income groups, with 60% of those in households earning less than $30,000 expressing dissatisfaction, compared with 58% in the $30-$50,000 bracket; 50% in the $50-$100,000 bracket; and 58% of those who earn more than $100,000.
Male voters were slightly more likely to be upset with things than women (61% to 58%). Younger voters (those aged 18-34) were less pessimistic than older voters (49% to 60%).
Rating the legislature
When asked whether they approved of the way the state legislature was handling its job, exactly half said they disapproved. Just a third of voters approved, while 17% had no opinion.
Independent voters were again more dissatisifed than the average, with 55% disapproving of the legislature's performance.
And two-thirds of Republicans disapproved of the General Assembly, while almost half (49%) of Democrats approved. (Democrats hold a 99-52 majority in the House and a 22-14 majority in the Senate.)
Among men, 57% had a negative opinion, compared with 43% of women. All income groups were equal with their disapproval, while younger voters were less disapproving (42%) than older voters (51%).
The Q-Poll also asked voters if government should do more to solve problems, or whether it was doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.
More than half (54%) said government was doing too much, with that number jumping to 61% among unaffiliated voters.
With the presidential election, all five U.S. House seats, and the battle to fill Senator Joe Lieberman's seat in the U.S. Senate, General Assembly candidates can expect a high voter turnout this fall.
Almost a third of voters (32%) said they were more enthusiastic about voting this fall, while 21% said they were less enthusiastic.
Republicans were more energized than Democrats (45% to 25%), while 29% of independents expressed greater enthusiasm about voting in this election.