From Sacred Heart University. See full results shupoll.
A new poll conducted by phone and email by Sacred Heart University’s Institute for Public Policy has examined local quality-of-life issues in Connecticut, including Governor Lamont’s job approval ratings and national views on President Trump’s performance, presidential voting preferences, COVID-19-related perspectives and opinions about filling the recent Supreme Court vacancy. The 39-question survey was completed in partnership with GreatBlue Research between October 8 and October 21, 2020, and involved 1,000 Connecticut residents.
The majority of Connecticut residents polled (51.4%) indicated they plan to vote for Joe Biden, while 26.4% indicated they plan to vote for Donald Trump, and 20% reported they were undecided or unsure. Among Republican voters, 70.3% would vote for Trump and 18.6% would vote for Biden, while 8.9% are unsure. Among independent voters, 23.7% would vote for Trump and 44% would vote for Biden with 29.7% unsure. Among unaffiliated voters, 20.4% would vote for Trump and 35.2% would vote for Biden with 38.9% unsure. Among Democrat voters, 4.4% would vote for Trump and 86.9% would vote for Biden with 8.1% unsure.
Regarding the President’s approval ratings, 30.7% of Connecticut residents approve of how Donald Trump is handling his job as President. This reflects strongly partisan results, with 72% approval among Republicans (5.5% unsure); 30.6% approval among independent voters (13.8% unsure); and 24.1% approval among unaffiliated voters (15.7% unsure). Inversely, Trump’s approval rating among Democrats is only 8.7% (with 3.5% unsure).
Fewer than one-third of surveyed residents (28.8%) approve of President Trump’s overall response and handling of the COVID-19 crisis, down from 39.9% when last surveyed by SHU in April 2020. On other performance fronts, 32.5% reported they approve of the way President Trump is addressing a plan for businesses in the United States, and 29.8% reported they approve of the way he is addressing a plan for U.S. residents and families. Additionally, 26.5% reported they approve of President Trump’s communication to the public during the pandemic.
Relative to the COVID-19 pandemic, here are other key survey findings:
— 44.4% of respondents indicated they plan to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available, while 21.1% do not plan to take it and 34.5% were unsure
— Those who intend to take the vaccine believe a vaccine will stop the spread and/or offer protection from the virus (29.3%)
— Those who do not intend to take the vaccine or are undecided report, most frequently, that potential vaccines would be too new and need more time for testing
— 54.8% of those ages 65 or older reported they plan to take the vaccine, compared to 40.3% of those ages 18-34
— 62.5% of those earning $150,000 or more per year reported they plan to take the vaccine when available, compared to 37.2% of those earning $50,000 or less
— Respondents who identified as white (48.3%) also reported they plan to take the vaccine more frequently than Hispanic (40.7%) or Black/African American (28.4%) respondents
Regarding work-related findings linked to the pandemic, 38% of respondents said they were working at their workplace at least part time prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to 32.2% since the pandemic began. Rates of working from home increased to 13.4% (over 9.1% in April 2020) as did the rate of unemployment (13% over 9.1% in April). More women (16.4%) reported they were unemployed, compared to male respondents (9.4%). And 18.8% of respondents ages 18-34 indicated they are currently unemployed, compared to 15.4% of respondents ages 45-64.
When asked about their financial and mental health, 53.5% of respondents reported no change, and 30.9% indicated their financial situation is either somewhat worse (22.4%) or significantly worse (8.5%) in comparison to before the pandemic. And 36.7% of respondents ages 35-44 indicated their mental health was worse in comparison to before the pandemic, while 25.1% of those ages 65 or older reported the same. More women (36.9%) than men (23.4%) reported that their mental health was worse since the pandemic began.
Governor Lamont’s Performance Approval Rating and Quality of Life in Connecticut
Connecticut residents (53.5%) approve of how Ned Lamont is handling his job as governor, which is significantly higher than the 41.4% of respondents who reported the same in April 2020. The breakdown on the Governor’s approval ratings includes 37.3% approval among Republicans (with 15.3% unsure); 70.6% approval among Democrats (with 16.6% unsure); 46.3% approval among unaffiliated voters (with 24.1% unsure); and 52.6% approval among independent voters (with 15.1% unsure).
During the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly three-quarters of respondents approve of the way Ned Lamont is handling communication to the public (71.2%, over 67.2% recorded in April 2020) and support his overall response and handling of the COVID-19 crisis (67%, over 65% in April 2020). Additionally, 58.3% reported they approve of the way Governor Lamont is addressing a plan for Connecticut residents and families (over 51.6% in April 2020), and 53.1% reported they approve of the way Lamont is addressing a plan for businesses in the state (over 45% in April 2020).
And finally, 69.1% of respondents report their quality of life as being either excellent (19.2%) or good (49.9%), which marked an increase over the 64.2% who reported the same in April 2020.
“This poll collected a lot of relevant, timely and valuable information about Connecticut residents’ views of President Trump’s performance, his COVID-19 response, our Governor’s performance and likely presidential electoral preferences,” said Lesley DeNardis, executive director of the Institute for Public Policy and director of Sacred Heart University’s master of public administration (MPA) program. “In Connecticut, at least, Joe Biden appears to be the favorite, and Governor Lamont’s approval rating has increased since we last polled in April. He also gets high marks for his handling of the pandemic, while the President’s COVID-19 performance numbers declined. A surprisingly large population say they are still undecided about the presidential election, and the jury clearly is out on public willingness to line up for a COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available. Much in our state and across the country is in flux, though Connecticut residents seem to be holding out well, all things considered.”
GreatBlue conducted the Connecticut-specific scientific survey on behalf of the SHU Institute for Public Policy, interviewing 1,000 residents. Statistically, this sampling represents a margin for error of +/-3.02 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.
Sacred Heart’s Institute for Public Policy, which was established in 2017 in the College of Arts & Sciences, is aligned with the University’s MPA program. In addition to hosting state-wide polls, the institute conducts public policy research, hosts public forums and workshops and serves as a public-policy learning incubator for students.