He only has a 32 percent approval rating, but that won’t necessarily be a factor in the decision-making process if Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy decides to run for a third term.
“I might very well run for re-election,” Malloy said last week during an editorial board meeting with CTNewsJunkie. “No one thought I could get re-elected the first time.”
He said he’s not “beyond trying again, but the difference between me and a lot of other politicians is I’m not going to change my policy approach for the purpose of being popular.”
He said if a couple of years from now people think “I should get one more term, then maybe I’ll run for one more term. If they don’t, I still may run for one more term just to torture them in the election process.”
Former Republican Gov. John G. Rowland was the last governor elected to a third four-year term, which he didn’t finish. He ended up resigning before pleading guilty to corruption charges.
JR Romano, chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party, laughed at the notion Malloy would consider a third term.
“Apparent he’s only talking to people in the Capitol he’s giving a raise to if he thinks he can keep his job,” Romano said.
However, that’s what some voters thought about Malloy’s chances in winning a second term. He surprised many when he beat Republican Tom Foley, in what essentially ended up being a rematch, by more than 28,000 votes.
In a phone interview Monday, Romano said he’s excited about the “young and dynamic crop of Republican candidates” who may choose to run for governor in 2018.
Romano mentioned Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst, who did well in a statewide contest against State Treasurer Denise Nappier in 2014, New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, and Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti.
“All of these people are proven leaders, and we have a few others who we aren’t even aware of yet,” Romano said.
The Quinnipiac University poll, which put Malloy’s job approval rating at 32 percent also found that “in his own party, less than 60 percent of voters approve of the job he’s doing.”
Malloy also is not well liked by voters. Almost half — 49 percent — believe he’s not honest and trustworthy, and 55 percent don’t believe he cares about voters’ needs and problems.
“Gov. Dannel Malloy’s job approval rating has plummeted to 32 percent, close to the historic 24-percent low hit by disgraced former Gov. John Rowland in January 2004, and Gov. Malloy is not in the middle of a corruption scandal,” Poll Director Douglas Schwartz has said.
But none of that matters much to Malloy, who was recently elected to head the Democratic Governors Association.
“I’m not going to hide the fact that I want more Democratic governors,” Malloy said. “I’m very committed to Democrats.”
Malloy said he’s not worried about balancing the two roles and doing both well.
“I work a lot. I work very hard. Working is my vacation,” Malloy said.
The Republican Governors Association welcomed Malloy to his new post by creating a video focused mostly on his low approval rating.
“As the DGA attempts to cling to its small minority of only 18 governorships in 2016, Governor Malloy will be a major liability to Democrat gubernatorial candidates everywhere,” RGA Communications Director Jon Thompson said.
But Leigh Appleby, a spokesman for the Connecticut Democratic Party, said “poll numbers will go up and poll numbers will go down and the bottom line is Dan Malloy continues to make decisions about the state of Connecticut now and future.”
Appleby said Malloy has a record of accomplishment, raising the minimum wage, implementing paid sick days, and working on issues like juvenile justice reform and investing in transportation.
“The Democratic Party is proud to stand with the governor,” he added.