A new Quinnipiac University poll gives Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman and Christopher J. Dodd their worst approval ratings in the 14-year history of the poll.

Lieberman, who faced a possible formal rebuke tonight by the Democratic State Central Committee over his support of Republican John McCain, had the approval of 38 percent and the disapproval of 54 percent of voters.

The rating was the worst of any senator in a Quinnipiac poll since Robert Torricelli of New Jersey was forced to resign in 2002.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell remains popular with a 68-percent approval rating, despite a state budget crisis and general pessimism over the economy.

The poll found support for gay marriage, echoing other surveys since the Connecticut Supreme Court legalized same-sex unions in October.

But the poll released today was continued bad news for the state's two senators, whose popularity has plummeted in the past year for different reasons.

Dodd's reputation suffered from his long absence during an ill-considered run for president and questions over favorable treatment from a mortgage lender.

Dodd fared better in the latest poll than Lieberman, but his political problems are more immediate: For the first time in his 34 years in Congress, he is beginning a re-election campaign with an approval rating below 50 percent.

In today's poll, his job performance was approved by 47 percent and disapproved by 41 percent.

" Sen. Dodd's low approval rating is bad news for any incumbent, but at this point there is no strong Republican challenger on the horizon as Dodd faces re-election in 2010," said Douglas Schwartz, the poll's director.

Dodd and Lieberman have fared even worse in other recent polls.

In October, a poll by The Courant and the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut found that 48 percent of residents disapproved and 42 percent approved of Dodd, a Democrat.

In July, a Quinnipiac poll found Dodd with a 51 percent job approval rating, and Lieberman with a 45 percent approval rating. Until today, those numbers were the lowest ratings the senators had earned in the poll's history.

In September, a private pollster found each senator with higher negatives than positives: 54 percent rated Lieberman negatively and 37 percent positively; Dodd was viewed negatively by 46 percent and positively by 43 percent.

Rell's continued popularity runs counter to polling in a bad economy. "Usually, governors take some of the blame for bad times, fairly or unfairly," Schwartz said. "Yet, Gov. Jodi Rell continues to be in a strong position for re-election, should she choose to run again in 2010."

The economy is another matter. Ninety-seven percent of those polled described the economy as "not so good" or "poor," while no one said it was excellent and 2 percent said it was "good." Nearly 60 percent said they will spend less on holiday gifts this year.

The dissatisfaction with conditions in Connecticut were less pronounced. A total of 55 percent of voters were "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied" with how things are going in the state, while 43 percent are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied."

Voters were more upbeat about President-elect Barack Obama: 67 percent expect the national economy to improve during his first term and 57 percent say the Obama administration will be able to revive the economy.

On gay marriage, the new poll found voters supporting legalization, 52 percent to 39 percent. A constitutional ban on gay marriage was opposed by nearly a 2-1 margin.

The poll was based on a telephone survey of 1,445 voters from Dec. 11-15. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points