Republican Tim Herbst ran away with our March Madness Election 2018 contest, emerging Sunday at the end of our poll with 71 percent of the vote.

He bested Democrat Sean Connolly and independent Oz Griebel in the third and final “General Election” round of the contest. Connolly received 22 percent of the vote and Griebel received 6 percent.

Herbst was one of the 15 total Republican candidates included in our three-week tournament-style poll. He held off Prasad Srinivasan and Mark Boughton in the first round, and then defeated Srinivasan again in our second round “Primary” to earn a spot in our final.

As the former first selectman of Trumbull, this is Herbst’s first run for governor. In 2014, he ran for state treasurer and lost to Denise Nappier.

CTNewsJunkie columnist Susan Bigelow correctly predicted Herbst would emerge victorious lin three-way matchup against Connolly and Griebel.

“Connolly and Griebel are both good candidates, but Tim Herbst is my pick,” Bigelow wrote. “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.”


Just as a reminder, this contest was for political junkies and was 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 — 27,123 votes were cast in the tournament.

How and why did we set up the regions this way? We thought it made sense to include established Democrats and Republicans in each of their respective regions. We thought campaigns that had raised significant amounts of money were likely going to have supporters who were willing to spend a minute to click their candidate’s name in our online poll — and this turned out to be the case.

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 were mostly newer campaigns that had yet to reach critical mass, so putting them in the same region against each other actually provided some close contests.

Above all, this contest was 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.

Thanks for participating!