New poll gives Malloy slim lead in tight governor’s race

Tom Foley, the Republican nominee for governor, on in New Canaan in August. (Aaron Marsh photo)

Tom Foley, the Republican nominee for governor, on in New Canaan in August. (Aaron Marsh photo)

As Tom Foley’s negative ratings rise, Gov. Dannel Malloy is a bit closer to re-election, according to the latest Quinnipiac University Poll. But the rematch for the Connecticut governor’s mansion is still too close to call.

Mr. Malloy is locked in a repeat of the 2010 down-to-the-wire governor’s race as he holds 43% of likely voters to Republican challenger Tom Foley’s 42%, with 9% for independent candidate Joe Visconti, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday morning, Oct. 22.

This compares to a 43%-43% dead heat among likely voters in an Oct. 8 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University. With Visconti out of the race, it’s a 45%-45% tie, according to the Hamden-based poll.

Four years ago, in a Quinnipiac Poll released on on Oct. 26, 2010, Malloy led Foley 48%-43%, which was about one week closer to Election Day 2010 than today’s poll is to the Nov. 4 Election Day.

On Sunday, a Rasmussen Reports poll of 980 likely Connecticut voters had Foley leading Malloy 50%-43% — the first poll in weeks that has Foley in the lead. In that poll, 2% preferred another, unnamed candidate. That poll was conducted from Oct. 14-16 and has a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.

Rasmussen polling is done with automated, pre-recorded telephone inquiries. Quinnipiac uses live operators for its polling.

Listen: Quinnipiac Poll director Douglas Schwartz talks to HAN Radio about how the Q-Polls are conducted and his thoughts on governor’s race
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Q-poll breakdown

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,010 likely voters from October 14-20. The latest Q-Poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.

The gender gap is wide in the three-way race as Malloy leads Foley 51%-32% among women, with 9% for Visconti, while Foley leads Malloy 53%-34% among men, with 9% for Visconti.

Independent voters are divided with 38% for Foley, 36% for Malloy and 16% for Visconti. Malloy tops Foley among Democrats, 81%-11%, with 4% for Visconti. Foley beats Malloy 85%-6% among Republicans, with 6% for Visconti.

With 13 days until the election, 81% of Connecticut likely voters who name a candidate say their mind is made up, while 18% say they might change their mind. Their minds are made up, say 86% of Malloy voters and 84% of Foley backers, while 49% of Visconti supporters say they might change their mind.

“The race for Connecticut governor looks very much like it will go down to the wire — again,” said Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., director of the Quinnipiac University poll. “Republican Tom Foley has to be concerned that this is the first likely voter poll in which Gov. Dannel Malloy has a numerical edge, even though it’s razor-thin.


As expected, Democrats and Republicans are coming home with both Malloy and Foley winning at least 80% of their bases, but the independent voters are really up for grabs, with independent Joe Visconti now taking 16% of the independent vote,” Schwartz added.

The gender gap is now a huge 38 points, with men going to Foley by 19 points and women for Malloy by 19 points.

Connecticut likely voters give both major party candidates negative favorability ratings:

  • Malloy gets a negative 42%-50% favorability, virtually unchanged from Oct. 8;

  • Foley gets a negative 40%-46% favorability, down from his split 41%-39% score two weeks ago;

  • 80% of voters still don’t know enough about Visconti to form an opinion, compared to an 86% “don’t know enough” rating two weeks ago.

The other bad news for Tom Foley is that his favorability rating continues to tumble,” Schwartz said.For the first time, more voters have a negative view of him than a positive view.

The more voters get to know him, the less they like him.

The good news for Foley is that Malloy’s favorability is actually slightly worse.

The Connecticut race recently was rated the most negative in the nation, and voters are giving a thumbs down to both major party candidates. With voters not liking either candidate very much, some voters could just choose the lesser of two evils. The dislike of Malloy and Foley helps explain why independent candidate Joe Visconti is holding onto 9%, at least for now.

The Quinnipiac University Poll conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research.

Gov. Dannel Malloy speaks at the March for Change rally for gun control in Hartford on Thursday, Feb. 14. (Blossom Hill Photography/Shiva Sarram photo)

Gov. Dannel Malloy speaks at the March for Change rally for gun control in Hartford on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. (Blossom Hill Photography/Shiva Sarram photo)


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