Despite some recent “rocky days” for President Barack Obama, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy told MSNBC’s “The Morning Joe” on Wednesday the president is still welcome to come to Connecticut and campaign for his re-election.

“The president’s had some rocky days, there’s no doubt about it. But I think fundamentally, and certainly people in Connecticut, understand hard work, diligence and that he’s handling some tough issues,” the governor said during the Wednesday morning appearance.

Malloy, a Democrat seeking re-election in November, has been a close ally of Obama’s throughout his first term. Under Malloy, Connecticut became the first state to heed Obama’s call to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. And Malloy received national attention for defending the policy and the president against Republican criticisms in February.

On Wednesday, Malloy acknowledged the president’s approval ratings have been low but said Obama has been handling difficult international conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine.

“I think people respect him, respect hard work. He may not be as popular as he once was. But I’m certainly happy to have him come to Connecticut,” Malloy said.

The governor said he is particularly interested in Obama coming to Connecticut to talk about the state’s rollout of the Affordable Care Act, which he said has served as a model for other states.

“[Obama] can certainly come to my state and talk about that issue any day until the cows come home, quite frankly, because it is appreciated, the difference that’s making in our state,” he said.

But the president is not the only one lately facing difficult polling numbers. Earlier this week the New York Times and a research firm called YouGov released the results of an Internet-based survey, which suggested that Malloy is trailing his 2010 rival and Republican-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley by 9 points.

Malloy defeated Foley in 2010 by just 6,404 votes and traditional polls from Quinnipiac University have suggested the two candidates have remained essentially tied since. The last Quinnipiac poll was published in May.

On “Morning Joe,” Malloy said he believes the race is still tied.

“I think it is a dead heat. I think it has been quite frankly since we ran the last time. I don’t think it’s changed at all. That’s where it ended. That’s where it will begin after the Republicans have their primary,” he said.