FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Gov. Dannel Malloy enjoys an 8 point lead for re-election over Republican foe Tom Foley, 43 percent vs. 35 percent, according to Public Policy Polling's first Connecticut poll of the year, which was released Monday.
Independent Joe Visconti is polling at 9 percent, the poll said. Visconti is largely drawing voters away from Foley -- his supporters say their second choice would be Foley -- by a 46 percent vs. 27 percent spread. In a head-to-head match-up, Malloy's advantage over Foley is 6 points at 45 percent vs. 39 percent.
Malloy has had low approval numbers throughout most of his term and that hasn't changed: Only 40 percent of voters approve of the job he's doing, compared with 50 percent who disapprove, the poll said.
But Foley's numbers are even worse with just 34 percent of voters holding a favorable opinion of him to 49 percent with an unfavorable one, the poll said.
The dislike of both candidates helps to explain why Visconti is getting such a high level of support, the poll said.
Malloy is winning more Republicans (17 percent) than Foley is Democrats (12 percent), the poll said. That makes it hard for a Republican to be successful in a state where Democrats have a substantial registration advantage, the poll said.
Democrats are headed for a sweep up and down the ballot in Connecticut this fall, the poll said:
- George Jepsen leads 45 percent vs. 30 percent for Attorney General over challenger Kie Westby,
- Denise Merrill is up 42 percent vs. 33 percent for Secretary of the State over challenger Peter Lumaj,
- Denise Nappier is up 45 percent vs. 37 percent for Treasurer over challenger Tim Herbst, and
- Kevin Lembo leads 38 percent vs. 33 percent for Comptroller over challenger Sharon McLaughlin.
Other notes from Connecticut, according to the poll:
- Both of the state's senators have solid approval numbers. 49 percent think Richard Blumenthal is doing a good job, compared to 36 percent who disapprove. And 44 percent are happy with Chris Murphy's performance compared to 38 percent who disapprove.
- Hillary Clinton leads all potential Republican opponents in the state in the 2016 presidential race by double digits: 49 percent vs. 39 percent over Chris Christie, 50 percent vs. 37 percent over Jeb Bush, 53 percent vs. 34 percent over Mike Huckabee, 54 percent vs. 35 percent over Rand Paul, and 54 percent vs. 32 percent over Ted Cruz.
- Voters in Connecticut support 65 percent vs. 27 percent increasing the minimum wage to $10 an hour .
- Connecticut is Red Sox and Patriots territory when it comes to professional sports loyalties. The Red Sox lead the Yankees 39 percent to 29 percent for baseball allegiance with the Mets at 7 percent and the Phillies at 4 percent. The Patriots lead the Giants 33 percent to 22 percent, with the Cowboys and Packers also registering at 6 percent, and the Broncos getting 5 percent.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.