Jobs, the economy, taxes, and government spending will be the dominant themes during Connecticut General Assembly election campaigns this fall based on a revealing new poll.

Released today, the Quinnipiac University poll found 72% of voters—an all-time high—are dissatisfied with the direction of the state.

An all-time high 72% of voters are dissatisfied with the direction of the state.

And 65% of voters, another all-time high, disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job.

Over a third of voters said the economy and jobs were the most important problem facing the state.

Another 20% said government spending and the state's budget were the state's biggest issues, while 17% nominated taxes. All other issues registered in the low single digits.

“The message coming from Connecticut voters could not be clearer," said CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan.

"Improving our economy and getting the state's fiscal house in order have to be the top priorities of state government.

“The reality is that you can’t have one without the other. You need business confidence to grow the economy, you can’t have that without predictability and stability.

“And the only way to solve our problems is through fiscal discipline, not tax increases.”

Eighty percent of those polled described the state's economy as "not so good" or "poor," with 53% saying economic conditions were worsening.

Almost three-quarters of voters said jobs were difficult to find, with that number skewing higher for those aged 18-34 and 50-64.

Almost three-quarters of voters said jobs were difficult to find, with that number skewing higher for those aged 18-34 and 50-64.
Asked whether they were better off now than a year ago, just 29% said 'yes,' while 45% said they were worse off and 24% said their situation was unchanged.

General Assembly approval ratings reached 48% in June 2013, climbing from a low of 27% two years earlier after lawmakers passed the largest tax increase in state history.

However, disapproval of the legislature's performance has risen dramatically since the General Assembly in 2015 approved the second biggest tax hike in history, which sparked further fiscal upheaval this year.

Tax increases and the state's ongoing fiscal crisis have driven voter disapproval of the legislature to a record high.

Voter satisfaction with the state's direction followed a similar pattern: plummeting in 2011 after the economy was hit with billions of dollars in tax hikes, and steadily declining again to its low point today.

Eighty percent of independent voters were unhappy with the state's direction, compared with 88% of registered Republicans and 53% of Democrats.

Brennan said the poll results showed Connecticut state lawmakers must work to make the state more economically competitive and stabilize state finances without resorting to harmful tax increases.

“With this being an election year, voters must insist that candidates explain their plans to do just that, and support only those who commit to making Connecticut’s economic improvement their top priority,” Brennan said.

“Once elected, voters must hold legislators accountable for their actions, remind them of campaign promises to turn the state around, and stay engaged in the legislative process.

“Only when we make the economy a top priority will we start to see the kind of growth and investment that our state needs to bring back voter confidence.”

Filed Under: Connecticut Economy, Elections

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