Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who says he doesn’t pay much attention to polls, saw his approval numbers improve to 51 percent in a poll released Tuesday by the conservative Yankee Institute for Public Policy.

That’s an 9 percent improvement over the approval rating he received in a Yankee Institute survey conducted last June.

“It’s statistically significant, but still somewhat modest,” Fergus Cullen, executive director of the Yankee Institute, said Tuesday.

He said the last survey was done in June shortly after Malloy signed into law the biggest tax increase in the state’s history. He said the governor may have recovered over the past seven months to where he was when he first took office last year.

Malloy’s spokesman said the administration does not comment on polls.

The Yankee Institute survey also found voters disapproved of Malloy’s decision to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland last month.

The poll of 500 likely Connecticut voters found 48 percent disapproved of the trip and 35 percent approved. The trip was paid for by the UConn Foundation, and not with state taxpayer dollars.


As far as some of the issues in the upcoming legislative session go, the poll found 70 percent of voters believe the state budget deficit should be addressed mostly or exclusively through spending cuts, not tax increases. Malloy has already said he doesn’t plan to increase taxes in the second year of the two year budget.

Assuming education will dominate the legislative session, the survey conducted by Pulse Opinion Research asked about various proposals including teacher tenure.

The poll found 61 percent of voters would support abolishing tenure for public school teachers, while 24 percent want to see tenure remain. The poll also found 63 percent of voters think teacher unions care more about protecting members’ jobs than about the quality of education. Twenty-eight percent of those polled felt teachers’ unions are interested in the quality of education.

It also asked whether teacher salaries should be tied to experience or student achievement. Fifty-three percent said it should be tied to student achievement, while 28 percent said it should be based on experience and education.

The poll also asked about Malloy’s two executive orders which allow personal care attendants and daycare providers to form a union.

Fifty-two percent of voters disagreed with efforts to unionize these workers, while 34 percent agreed and 14 percent were not sure.

And on Sunday liquor sales the poll found 62 percent approve, while 31 percent disapproved. That’s similar to a 2010 Quinnipiac University poll on the issue which found 66 percent approve and 31 percent disapprove.

The poll also looked at General Election match-ups between the various presidential candidates and U.S. Senate candidates here in Connecticut.

The poll found that President Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney 50-37 percent among Connecticut voters and would defeat Newt Gingrich by an even larger margin, 56-35 percent.

In the U.S. Senate race U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy holds a 49-40 percent lead over Republican Linda McMahon and a smaller 45-39 percent advantage over former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays. Former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz edges McMahon, 43-40 percent, but Shays holds a slight lead over Bysiewicz, 42-41 percent. The other Senate candidates on both the Republican and Democratic side were not included in the poll.

The poll of 500 likely voters was conducted two days last week and has a margin or error of 4.5 percent. Twenty-eight percent of voters in the poll identified themselves as Republicans, 38 percent identified themselves as Democrats, and 34 percent identified themselves as independents.