(Updated) Quinnipiac University’s latest poll on the gubernatorial contest shows both Democratic candidates, Ned Lamont and Dan Malloy, beating all three of the Republican candidates by margins of 11 points or more.
In a general election match-up Lamont bests Republican frontrunner Tom Foley 45 to 33 percent, Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele 49 to 27 percent, and R. Nelson “Oz” Griebel 49 to 25 percent. Malloy beats Foley by 44 to 33 percent, Fedele by 49 to 26 percent, and Griebel by 51 to 25 percent.
Democrats haven’t held the governor’s office in more than two decades. The late William O’Neill was the last Democrat to hold the office.
“The Democrats haven’t won a race for Governor in Connecticut in 24 years. Could this be their year?” Quinnipiac University Poll Director Doug Schwartz, said in a press release. “The Democratic candidates benefit from the state’s Democratic registration advantage and they are better known than the Republican contenders.”
Among likely Democratic primary voters, Lamont leads Malloy 46 to 37 percent, with 16 percent undecided. It looks like the race between the two is tightening, but this is the first poll which screens for likely primary voters.
With the race tightening, Malloy’s campaign manager Dan Kelly, used the results to call on Lamont to debate.
“As this race continues to tighten, Dan thinks it’s more important than ever that he and Ned should debate. There’s still time left for Ned to change his mind,” Kelly said. A week ago, Lamont bowed out of the July 27 televised debate in New London.
But Lamont’s campaign doesn’t seem to be giving anything on the decision not to debate.
“We know that the more Democrats who vote on August 10, the better our chance to win and bring change to Hartford. Just like he did in 2006, Ned is out pounding the pavement meeting with families across the state, building a network of grassroots support, and reminding people how important this election is to the future of Connecticut,” Lamont’s campaign said in a statement Thursday.
On the Republican side Tom Foley is still in the lead with 48 percent of the voted, followed by Fedele with 13 percent and Griebel with 7 percent.
“Democrats also could be helped by the divisiveness of the Republican primary battle, which seems nastier than the Democratic campaign, an unusual twist,” Schwartz said.
Plagued by news coverage of two arrests more than two decades ago, including one involving his ex-wife, only 30 percent of Republican primary voters say the arrest controversy makes them less likely to vote for Foley, as 55 percent say it doesn’t make a difference.
Most Republicans have a favorable view of Foley, who won the convention endorsement back in May. By a 45 to 9 percent margin the poll found Republican primary voters have a favorable opinion of Foley, with 42 percent who haven’t heard enough to form an opinion. For Fedele, 73 percent haven’t heard enough. For Griebel, 81 percent haven’t heard enough to form an opinion.
And while the Foley’s decades old arrests don’t seem to be resonating with Republicans, Fedele’s campaign is hoping the public campaign finance lawsuit will.
“Scandal plagued Tom Foley has tried to shut down the Fedele Campaign through a flood of frivolous lawsuits because he knows full well his support is paper thin, based solely on early uncontested spending,” Jim Conroy, Fedele’s campaign manager, said. “Once voters learn about businessman Mike Fedele and his detailed conservative plan to make meaningful spending cuts and veto taxes, the polls will close quickly – and that effort is now underway.”
Foley on the other hand was pleased with the results of poll.
“Today’s poll tells us that if the Republican primary were held today my campaign would win by 35 points,” Foley said in an emailed statement. “The strong support for my candidacy shows that voters are paying attention to issues that matter: bringing back jobs and the economy, reducing the cost and size of state government, and fixing the mess in Hartford.”
The poll surveyed 1,367 Connecticut registered voters with a 2.7 percentage point margin of error.