The latest Quinnipiac University Poll released Thursday showed Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s job approval beginning to slip as her two Democratic opponents receive a bulk of the attention as the August 8 primary approaches. The focus on the Democratic candidates for governor New Haven Mayor John DeStefano and Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy has increased over the past month. Rell’s campaign spokesman Rich Harris said Friday that the campaign expected the numbers to narrow as the general election in November approaches.

While 74 percent approve rather than disapprove of the job Rell is doing, people’s opinions of how she handles her job as governor have slipped from 74 percent, her all-time high in April 2005, to 59 percent in the poll released July 20. It appears many more people are having “mixed feelings” about Rell too. The percentage of people with mixed feelings increased from 19 percent in the June 8 poll to 22 percent in the most recent poll. That number increases one percentage point to 23 percent when just the number of unaffiliated voters were asked the question. 1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jodi Rell is handling her job as Governor?                  Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   WomApprove           74%    82%    70%    74%    73%    74%Disapprove         13     9     18     12     16     11DK/NA             13     9     12     14     11     15 TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jodi Rell is handling her job as Governor?                                            Highest Lowest                                           Approve Approve                 Jul 20 Jun 8   May 2   Feb 16 Jan 12 Jan 13 Aug 19                 2006   2006   2006   2006   2006   2005   2004Approve           74     75     77     81     78     83     73Disapprove         13     12     11     9     10     3     4DK/NA             13     13     12     10     12     14     24 5. Is your opinion of Governor Jodi Rell favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven’t you heard enough about her?                  Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   WomFavorable           59%    73%    50%    60%    59%    59%Unfavorable         7     6     10     7     9     6Mixed             22     13     28     23     22     22Hvn’t hrd enough     11     9     12     10     10     13REFUSED             –    –    –    –    –    – TREND: Is your opinion of Jodi Rell favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven’t you heard enough about her?                  Jul 20 Jun 8   May 2   Feb 16 Jan 12 Apr 6   Nov 23                 2006   2006   2006   2006   2006   2005   2004Favorable           59     65     64     70     67     74     70Unfavorable         7     6     6     5     5     7     3Mixed             22     19     19     16     17     12     9Haven’t heard enough   11     10     10     9     10     6     18DK/NA             –    1     1     –    1     1     –Click here to read the full poll. According to the poll DeStefano pulled ahead of Malloy by about 20 percentage points, but Rell still shares a sizable lead against the both of them. “The governor tries very hard to do the right things for the right reasons,” Harris said Friday. For DeStefano 51 percent don’t know enough to form an opinion and 75 percent don’t know enough about Malloy, who probably has the biggest uphill battle in this race. Malloy’s campaign claimed victory in the televised debate earlier this week, but at least part of what he said during the debate caused Malloy’s campaign some angst. In a letter to the public Wednesday Malloy apologized for some of his comments durig the debate. “At the time, I believe we were discussing eminent domain and its use in economic development. What I meant to say in my comments was that when eminent domain is used for the purpose of development that it must lead to long term jobs with full benefits that will help grow the community, not low paying or part-time jobs with no benefits that do not provide long term economic growth for the community. In addition, the current practice of some hotels and other businesses of not allowing employees to work enough hours to qualify for benefits must stop.“DeStefano jumped on the opportunity to meet with Unite Here! hotel workers at the Hartford Hilton the following day. hilton destefanoMayor John DeStefano speaks to hotel workers in HartfordNadine Mullings-Gentles, one of the guest service workers at the Hilton, said Thursday that she was insulted by Malloy’s comments. She said everybody at the hotel works hard, sends their kids to school, and pays taxes. What makes Malloy so special that “he thinks he gets to determine what jobs are important,” she said. “Who is going to service all the people who come to the conventions?” she asked. Click here to read Malloy’s full apology to the hotel workers. Can’t get enough of the stats, Click here to read the 89 comments at Connecticut Local Politics.