The Road to the Governor’s Office is long and hard. And while there have been a few bumps, bruises, and ambulance rides along the way, we’re almost there with just one more week of voting left to go!

Our third and final round of voting closes SUNDAY, April 1, at NOON.

Vote below! You will need to switch OFF any ad blockers you have running to ensure that the poll shows up. If you’ve switched off your ad blocker but still don’t see the poll, you probably aren’t in the right state to be eligible to vote!

For a look at how we got here, check out our previous posts for the results of the first and second rounds for the Democratic region, the Republican region, and the Wildcard region in our mock election tournament.

Just as a reminder, this contest is for political junkies and is completely unscientific. We thought we’d give readers a shot at naming the frontrunners in a race where there had been no frontrunner, and you came through for us with a remarkable amount of participation — 25,642 votes cast in the first two rounds of our tournament.

How and why did we set up the regions this way? It made sense to include established Democrats and Republicans in each of their respective regions. Campaigns that have raised significant amounts of money are likely going to have supporters who are willing to spend a minute to click next to their candidate’s name in an online poll.

We set up the Wildcard region to include independent candidates and others who had yet to raise at least $5000 in support from individuals. These are mostly newer campaigns that have yet to reach critical mass, so putting them in the same region against each other actually provided some close contests. In fact, Round 2 was decided by 20 votes and the race for second place in Round 1 was decided by just three.

Above all this contest is about each campaign’s ability to generate enthusiasm among their supporters. What does it take to get people to show up at the polls on Election Day? Probably a lot more effort than it takes to get folks to click on an online poll.

Let us know what you think in the comments below … and please by all means keep it civil! This is supposed to be fun for everyone.

Susan’s Analysis


We’ve made it to the final round! How did your bracket do? Mine didn’t make out too badly. Here’s my original bracket (also pictured above).

I called both Democratic second-round candidates, and one each from the Republicans and Wildcards.

Unfortunately, my streak of luck ran out around there. Sean Connolly absolutely crushed Ned Lamont, proving once again that Connolly, if nothing else, has some very passionate fans. I thought Erin Stewart would do a lot better than she did, but while she got off to a good start, it didn’t last. Prasad Srinivasan did surprisingly well, making it to the second round with Tim Herbst. Srinivasan then gave Herbst a run for his money, but came up short. And among the wildcards, Oz Griebel got a win over Eric Mastroianni.

That leaves us with a final round of Sean Connolly (D), Tim Herbst (R) and Oz Griebel (I).

Connolly is not a bad candidate for the Dems. He doesn’t have a lot of baggage, he has a military background, and he has government experience running the state Department of Veterans Affairs. He’s not a rich guy like Lamont, nor is he a mayor of a rapidly sinking city like Bronin, or a blast from the past like Bysiewicz. He’s also not a felon, like Joe Ganim. If the Democrats are to have a chance this year, it’s going to be with a fresh face.

Herbst is also a good candidate for the GOP. He’s a tough campaigner who has been nowhere near Hartford during the rotten mess of the past decade. He has GOP bona fides from nearly unseating Treasurer Denise Nappier in 2014, and so far he has no real baggage dragging him down. He’s also more exciting than Boughton and isn’t an ultra-wealthy self-funder.

Oz Griebel is poised to play the spoiler. The former head of the MetroHartford Alliance isn’t too well known outside of Greater Hartford, but he has a refreshingly regional perspective and a deep knowledge of the issues. His campaign is aiming for the middle, and he could absolutely draw moderate voters from both the left and the right.

So who comes out on top? Connolly and Griebel are both good candidates, but Tim Herbst is my pick. Why? Simple: Republicans are fired up. Their vote totals in both rounds have been much, much higher than either the Democrats or the Wildcards. Look for Connolly to come in second and Griebel third.

If this were the actual general election matchup, I’d order these picks exactly the same.

Good luck to all the candidates!

Susan Bigelow is an award-winning columnist and the founder of CTLocalPolitics. She lives in Enfield with her wife and their cats.

DISCLAIMER: The views, opinions, positions, or strategies expressed by the author are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of CTNewsJunkie.com.