Update, new Q polls
Ronald Reagan’s polling numbers after two years as president showed he was toast. Then the economy rebounded and he croaked his Democratic opponent Walter Mondale in 1984.
Bill Clinton’s polling numbers after two years were dicey as well. Then the economy soared. And he dispatched his Republican opponent Bob Dole in 1996. But mid-term races for both Reagan and Clinton showed a revolt against the White House occupant. And that’s where Barack sits today unless the economy improves dramatically between now and November. One year into his presidency Barack’s polling numbers aren’t so great, according to a new national Q Poll. Barack’s Connecticut numbers are better than his national numbers but his standing in Fairfield County isn’t what it was when he ran much better than anticipated in wealthy Republican suburban towns. And that’s a challenge for Congressman Jim Himes who overwhelmed in the three cities of the Fourth Congressional District in 2008 but lost in every other community.
If the generic Democratic candidate–one who places a name on the ballot and doesn’t do much or is money challenged beyond competitiveness–was good for 35 percent of the vote against former Republican Congressman Chris Shays, I say it’s at least that and probably closer to 40 percent against Himes. Now throw a lot of money at that and now the Republican is competitive. Himes has not shown enough independence to sidestep voter unrest with Congressional spending. The Bridgeport vote that delivered a massive plurality for Himes will not be as large this time around. Bridgeport’s midterm percentage vote falls off more than the percentage vote of most suburban communities in Fairfield County.
But Himes has two mighty things going for him. Money and likability, with the chance to build voter good will throughout the district. The challenge for the Republican, and right now Shelton State Senator Dan Debicella has a leg up on former Bridgeport State Senator Rob Russo through his fundraising efforts, is focusing voters on Himes’ record by contrasting how he’d spend their money (or not).
Barack Q Poll
OBAMA’S APPROVAL SPLITS EVENLY FOR FIRST TIME, QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY NATIONAL POLL FINDS; VOTERS SPLIT ON WHETHER FIRST YEAR IS SUCCESS OR FAILURE
American voters are split 45 – 45 percent on whether Barack Obama’s first year in office is a success or failure and split 35 – 37 percent on whether the U.S. would be better off if John McCain had won the 2008 election, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released today. As he marks the first anniversary of his inauguration, President Obama’s approval has slipped slightly into an even 45 – 45 percent split for the first time.
By a 43 – 30 percent margin American voters think Obama has been a better President than George W. Bush, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey finds. Voters blame Bush more than Obama 55 – 20 percent for the current economic conditions, but they say 35 – 24 percent that Obama’s policies have made the United States less safe than those of his predecessor. Another 38 percent say safety is about the same.
Looking at his characteristics, voters say:
· 56 – 37 percent that he is honest and trustworthy;
· 66 – 32 percent that he is a strong leader;
· 50 – 46 percent that Obama does not share their views on the issues they care about;
· 53 – 43 percent he is being fiscally irresponsible in his spending of federal money.
“President Barack Obama’s approval rating is dead even for the first time, which is more of a symbolic low than any large movement in public opinion against him,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “When asked to compare, voters give Obama a higher rating than George W. Bush, but that’s not much to write home about since Bush’s approval at one point was among the lowest of any president in history.
“President Obama’s report card from the American people on his first year in office is a mixed one. He gets better grades on his personal qualities than his policies and compared to his predecessor he is viewed more favorably on the economy than on national security.”
:His split verdict from voters on whether he is a failure or a success pretty much sums up divisions among the American people, divisions that are perhaps magnified when the subject is Obama,” Brown added. “But it is important to understand that this overall split masks deeper divisions that fall across gender, racial and age lines.”
By a 47 – 40 percent margin, independent voters rate Obama’s first year in office as mainly a failure; 81 percent of Democrats say it’s a success and 75 percent of Republicans say it’s a failure. Men say failure 50 – 40 percent, while women say success 49 – 40 percent. White voters say failure 54 – 37 percent, while black voters say success 82 – 7 percent.
Obama’s job approval is only slightly lower than his 46 – 43 percent rating in Quinnipiac University’s December 23 survey. But it continues a gradual but consistent downward move that began last summer when his approval rating was 59 – 31 percent positive June 4.
Except for terrorism, Obama’s approval numbers on specific areas of domestic policy are lower than his overall rating:
· 41 – 54 percent for his handling of the economy;
· 34 – 59 percent for creating jobs;
· 35 – 58 percent for health care;
· 48 – 44 percent for handling terrorism.
“These ratings on the economy and health care probably are why more voters say they don’t share Obama’s views on the issues they care about,” said Brown.
Obama’s policies generally favor the rich, 18 percent say, as 15 percent say the middle class; 21 percent say the poor and 35 percent say he treats everyone equally.
Obama gets a split 45 – 46 percent for his handling of foreign policy and a split 45 – 45 percent for Afghanistan. Voters say 50 – 46 percent that he hasn’t been tough enough standing up to the rest of the world, but agree 53 – 43 percent that he has improved America’s image around the world.
Another Q Poll Gives Blumenthal a Large Lead
BLUMENTHAL BODY SLAMS REPUBLICANS IN CONNECTICUT , QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY POLL FINDS; LIEBERMAN APPROVAL PLUMMETS
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has 35 to 47-point leads over three Republican candidates for the 2010 U.S. Senate contest, thumping former wrestling executive Linda McMahon 64 – 23 percent, bruising businessman Peter Schiff 66 – 19 percent and smacking former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons 62 – 27 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
Simmons tops McMahon 37 – 27 percent in a Republican primary, with 4 percent for Schiff and 28 percent undecided, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.
Blumenthal, who only announced his candidacy January 6, leads Merrick Alpert in a Democratic primary 82 – 4 percent.
In matchups with Republicans, Blumenthal gets 89 to 90 percent of the Democratic voters, 60 to 64 percent of the independent voters and 30 to 38 percent of Republican voters.
Connecticut voters approve 84 – 11 percent of the job Blumenthal is doing as attorney general and give him a 74 – 13 percent favorability rating.
“Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s job approval is unbelievably high, higher than any other politician we’ve ever measured, other than former President George W. Bush after 9/11,” said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, PhD.
“Rob Simmons must be wondering what happened. In September, prior to McMahon’s entry, he was the clear frontrunner for the nomination. He was at 43 percent and no other Republican was in double digits. He also was ahead of Dodd. Now, Simmons is in a real Republican primary race with Linda McMahon and gets destroyed by Blumenthal.”
Connecticut voters say 82 – 11 percent that Blumenthal has the right kind of experience to be a U.S. Senator; 81 – 9 percent that he is honest and trustworthy and 80 – 12 percent that he cares about their needs and problems.
McMahon does not have the right experience to be a Senator, voters say 43 – 24 percent, but she is honest and trustworthy, voters say 35 – 15 percent, and she cares about their needs and problems, voters say 37 – 26 percent.
Simmons has the experience, voters say 53 – 16 percent; is honest and trustworthy, voters say 49 – 14 percent, and cares about their needs and problems, voters say 51 – 19 percent.
Lieberman, Dodd Approval
Connecticut voters disapprove 54 – 39 percent of the job Sen. Joseph Lieberman is doing, one point off his worst grade ever and a steep drop from a 49 – 44 percent approval November 12. Republicans approve 61 – 35 percent while Democrats disapprove 67 – 27 percent and independent voters disapprove 57 – 36 percent.
Voters disapprove 58 – 36 percent of the job Sen. Christopher Dodd is doing. Only 12 percent are disappointed Dodd is not seeking reelection, because they think he is doing a good job and another 13 percent are disappointed because a Republican would have a better chance against Dodd. But 38 percent of voters say they are glad, because Dodd is not doing a good job and 27 percent are glad because it gives another Democrat a better chance to win the Senate seat.
Connecticut voters approve 64 – 28 percent of the job Gov. Jodi Rell is doing. President Barack Obama gets a 55 –41 percent approval, his lowest ever in Connecticut.
“The voters are in an anti-incumbent mood. Connecticut’s Senators and President Barack Obama have seen their job approval numbers drop,” Dr. Schwartz said. “Sen. Lieberman has suffered the biggest drop – to a low approval rating of 39 percent. Apparently, the national headlines Lieberman made during the health care debate have taken a toll on his popularity.”
Here Comes George
Former Senate Leader George Jepsen isn’t letting Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz zoom into the Dem nomination for attorney general. Jepsen has built numerous political relationships through the years that will come in handy at the state convention to endorse candidates in May and a potential August primary. From the Jepsen campaign:
George Jepsen Will File Papers for Attorney General
Today, attorney George Jepsen will officially file his exploratory campaign for Connecticut Attorney General. Over the next few weeks, Jepsen plans to meet and discuss his vision for the office with the leaders of the state. He is also looking to discuss future endorsement potential with unions, civil rights groups, law enforcement and consumer protection groups.
George Jepsen has practiced law for over 26 years. He was the former State Senate Majority Leader from 1997 to 2003, and he chaired the Judiciary Committee from 1993 to 1994. He graduated with honors from Harvard Law School and the Kennedy School of Government, after attending Dartmouth College. His first job after completing a Harvard teaching fellowship was working for the Connecticut Carpenters Union. In 2003, Jepsen joined the law firm of Cowdery, Ecker & Murphy. He previously worked at the law firms of Shipman and Goodwin, and Abate and Fox.
As a legislator, Jepsen is known for being a vocal champion on several issues including public ethics reform, women’s rights, environmental preservation, workers rights and campaign finance. He co-authored Connecticut’s 1990 codification of Roe v. Wade and then led the successful fight to establish prescriptive contraceptives as an insurance mandate. Jepsen became a nationally recognized leader for his work on the 1993 Assault Weapons Ban, and he further spearheaded legislation addressing domestic violence and rights for crime victims.
The committee’s name is “Jepsen 2010” and his treasurer is lawyer and Hartford Democratic Town Committee member Thom Page. Supporters looking to help and volunteer should email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supporters looking to contribute may send individual donations to:
Attn: Thompson Page
9 Lewis Street
Hartford, Connecticut 06103
The individual contribution limit is $375. George Jepsen has pledged to uphold the long term tradition of Richard Blumenthal by not accepting political donations from law firms doing business with the office. Further, if he becomes Attorney General, he plans to enforce and argue for the current campaign finance laws. He has asked other candidates for Attorney General to match this pledge. Unlike Susan Bysiewicz, who has said she will not participate in the campaign finance system, Jepsen will participate in the campaign finance system.
News release from Jim Himes
WorkPlace, Inc. Awarded $4 Million from Recovery Act to Create Green Jobs
Himes, Finch, Carbone say grant will create hundreds of jobs for those who need them most
WASHINGTON, DC—The WorkPlace, Inc. and dozens of partner organizations will receive a $4 million Recovery Act grant for the Green-Up Bridgeport project, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch announced today. This Pathways out of Poverty Initiative grant will provide resources for local service organizations and the city to train unemployed workers for in-demand occupations. Participants in the program will ultimately be placed directly into employment.
“This investment in training and education for green jobs is a tremendous opportunity to build better futures for people in Bridgeport,” said Joseph M. Carbone, President and Chief Executive Officer of The WorkPlace, Inc. “We look forward to working with our great partners to prepare and link this workforce with the emerging green economy locally.”
The WorkPlace, Inc., along with partner organizations, will provide an overview of the core sectors of the green economy to 700 participants. Then 500 of those participants will complete education and training activities in areas such as HVAC, electricity and plumbing; resource management, drinking water and wastewater treatment; landscaping, recycling and remediation; construction; architecture and engineering; installation, maintenance and repair trades; and transportation. Training program participants will earn a certificate or credential that will facilitate entry into an in-demand occupation or trade. The training and job placement program will target disadvantaged individuals for the training and job placement they need to help get them back on their feet.
“Putting Americans back to work now is absolutely critical. A job is more than a paycheck. It is dignity and hope for the future,” said Congressman Himes. “This grant combines the right training, the work, and the right long-term vision to help make Bridgeport and its citizens leaders in the clean energy economy.”
The City of Bridgeport will donate a foreclosed home now owned by the city to serve as a real-life classroom for the program. Throughout the course of their training, participants will upgrade the house to be fully energy efficient. Green-Up Bridgeport will support Bridgeport’s B-Green 2020 initiative.
“Working together with the WorkPlace and our local and state education partners, this funding will enable the city to move forward in creating a ‘green jobs ladder’ that will help Bridgeport residents access training enabling them to get in on the ground floor of the green jobs revolution,” said Mayor Finch. “Creating jobs that will stay here and provide a living wage for our residents is one of the core tenets of my administration’s B-Green 2020 sustainability efforts. This grant is a crucial part of our efforts and we are very thankful to Congressman Himes and Senators Dodd and Lieberman for their diligence in securing this funding for the city.”
Partnering organizations include: Career Resources, Inc., Applied Behavioral Rehabilitation Institute, Inc., FSW, Inc., Mount Aery Development Corporation, Family ReEntry, Inc., Action for Bridgeport Community Development, Inc., Urban League of Southern Connecticut, Inc., City of Bridgeport, Bridgeport Social Services, Pivot Ministries, Central Connecticut State University, Institute of Technology and Business Development, Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University, University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport Public Schools Adult Education Department, Housatonic Community College, Bridgeport Regional Business Council, United Illuminating Company, 5Million Green Jobs, Connecticut Retail Merchants Association, City of Bridgeport, Office of Planning & Economic Development, Carpenter’s Local 210, and Sikorsky Aircraft.
From Mayor Finch
Mayor Finch Announces Third Round of Funds for Social Service Agencies
Advancing Capacity Together grants to go to 14 local Nonprofits
WHAT: 14 area nonprofit agencies are receiving more than $150,000 in capacity-building grants in the third round of Advancing Capacity Together (ACT) grant funding. The awards, which range from $8,000 to $19,990, will be used to expand staff and program capacity for organizations benefiting homeless and at-risk residents in Bridgeport.
WHO: Mayor Bill Finch; Alanna Kabel, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Central Grants & Community Development; Kelly McDermott, Senior Manager of Development for Central Grants; Dr. James Crispino, Senior Vice President of Community Impact for United Way of Coastal Fairfield County; Ali Wimer, ACT Grant Manager for United Way of Coastal Fairfield County; Kristin DuBay Horton, Principal of DuBay Horton Associates; Sean Campbell, Director of Project Learn for The Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport; Mike McCarthy, Director of bluegreen Research Institute at The Workplace, Inc.
WHERE: City Hall Annex, 999 Broad St. , Conference Rooms A & B
WHEN: Friday, January 15, 11 a.m
Advancing Capacity Together (ACT) is a program funded by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Administration of Children and Families, Compassion Capital Demonstration Program. ACT provides capacity-building funding for local nonprofit organizations serving the homeless/at-risk community.
ACT is administered locally by the City of Bridgeport Dept. of Central Grants & Community Development. Partner organizations are United Way of Coastal Fairfield County , DuBay Horton Associates, The Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport, and The Workplace, Inc. Since receiving a grant from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services in 2007, the City of Bridgeport and its partners have awarded more than $430,000 to 25 organizations in two rounds of ACT Sub-Awards.
The following organizations are receiving capacity-building funds through the third round of ACT Sub-Awards:
ACT Spooner House
ARK of Christ
Burroughs Community Center
Children in Placement
Helping Hand Center
Homes for the Brave
McGivney Community Center
Spirit Led Ministries
Universal Church of God
Women for Change
More from the mayor
MAYOR FINCH AND 200 BRIDGEPORT SCHOOL CHILDREN TEAM WITH DUPONT AND USCM TO PROMOTE SCIENCE
Bridgeport, CT (January 14, 2010) – Mayor Bill Finch joined Cities United for Science Progress (CUSP), a partnership between The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and DuPont, at two schools for Bridgeport’s Science in the School Day event. The schools that participated in the day were Barnum Elementary and Black Rock Elementary schools.
In the morning Mayor Finch and Thomas Stilley, DuPont Corporate Remediation Group Project Director, Thomas Stajkowski, DuPont Corporate Remediation Group Construction Manager and Scott Martin, URS Corporation Project Manager worked side-by-side with over 130 fourth and fifth graders at Barnum Elementary School. Mr. Stilley jump-started the event with a fun, hands-on project exploring basic engineering principles. Students applied the techniques learned from engineers to conduct the “puff mobile” science experiment, which was derived from the popular children’s television show ZOOM. Mayor Finch joined the students as they built “puff mobiles” using everyday materials like drinking straws, lifesavers, paper, scotch-tape and paperclips.
In the afternoon the Mayor and Thomas Stilley, Thomas Stajkowski and Scott Martin, visited Black Rock Elementary, where more than 60 4th and 5th graders joined in the fun and built “puff mobiles”. Students raced their inventions to determine the “fastest puff mobile in the school” and the Mayor presented them with Engineer for the Day certificates that were signed by the Mayor and the engineer.
“We are indeed honored that the U.S. Conference of Mayors and DuPont chose Bridgeport for this important Science in the School Day program,” said Mayor Finch. “Today, we highlight the ‘science’ smarts of our public schools. We are aiming to make Bridgeport a ‘cleaner and greener’ city, and preparing our future leaders with a strong math and science background will be an asset in the growing ‘green’ economy. We anticipate that this experience will spark an interest in our students to consider a career in math or science, and perhaps one day they will aspire to become engineers,” he concluded.
“DuPont is pleased to be with Bridgeport elementary students today at Barnum and Black Rock Elementary schools. We hope to excite these students about the importance of math, science and engineering while engaging them in a fun engineering experiment.” said Thomas Stilley, DuPont’s Corporate Remediation Group Project Director. “We want to thank Mayor Finch for all of his efforts in bringing this program to Bridgeport. We stand with him in his goal of creating a brighter future for all the young people of the city.”
“We are excited to have a partnership that benefits children who are the future of our cities,” said Tom Cochran, executive director of The U.S. Conference of Mayors. “CUSP serves as a useful tool for teachers, students and children across the country and helps revive a much-needed interest in science.”
DuPont is a science company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.
CUSP is a partnership between The U.S. Conference of Mayors and DuPont. Through the $4 million Lead-Safe…for Kids’ Sake grant program and the acclaimed Science in the School Day initiative, over 30 cities have received grants, 150 cities have been visited, and over 25,000 elementary school children have participated in the USCM-DuPont partnership. CUSP provides assistance to mayors in promoting and inspiring student’s interest in science and engineering.