For the third time in two days, Republican Bob Stefanowski trailed by double digits in a survey of his Election 2022 rematch with Gov. Ned Lamont. That’s according to a Tuesday poll released by WTNH which found the incumbent Democrat with an 11-point lead in Connecticut’s gubernatorial election.
The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted by Emerson College for News 8 and The Hill between Oct. 19 – 21 and found the incumbent Democrat leading 52% to Stefanowski’s 41% with Independent Party candidate Rob Hotaling trailing at 1%. Five percent of voters reported being undecided on the candidates.
The poll follows a pair of surveys released Monday. One by Quinnipiac University put Lamont ahead by 15 points while another conducted by SurveyUSA suggested Lamont led the race 52% to Stefanowski’s 34% with Hotaling at 4%.
Tuesday’s, which lands with just two weeks before Election Day, found Lamont with a 57% favorability rating versus Stefanowski’s 48%. According to WTNH, Emerson College Polling Executive Director Spencer Kimball named Lamont among the nation’s most popular governors.
“He rivals Gov. Charlie Baker in Massachusetts and is one of the most popular governors in the country, which is very interesting considering he had a very tough election against Bob stepping out back in 2018, winning by only about three or four points. So, to see his numbers improve in what many consider to be a republican wave year really speaks to what he’s done in office,” Kimball told WTNH.
Stefanowski’s campaign responded to the poll with a short statement from the candidate, who cast doubt on the results.
“Our internal polls and feedback from the public show a different race,” Stefanowski said.
In a statement, the governor’s campaign spokeswoman Onotse Omoyeni said Connecticut voters were ready to elect Lamont for another four years.
“In two weeks, voters will head to the polls and make their voices heard. Until then, Governor Lamont is going to do what he’s always done– deliver for the people of Connecticut. The state’s economy is roaring with historic opportunity and consequential relief for middle-class families,” Omoyeni said.
Polling in the race has remained relatively stable for weeks. Stefanowski appeared closer ahead of the 2018 election, when Lamont defeated him by just over 3 percentage points. In an Oct. 30, 2018 poll by Quinnipiac, Lamont led Stefanowski by 47 – 44% with unaffiliated candidate Oz Griebel trailing at 7%. At the time, Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz called the race “too close to call” and a “real nail-biter.”
Things have been much different this year. In none of the polls since at least May has Stefanowski topped Lamont. In fact, he’s trailed by double-digits in all of the public polls, except one.
In a Tuesday phone interview, Gary Rose, a political science professor at Sacred Heart University, said the consistency of this year’s polling numbers suggested the electorate had “hardened” in its positions as voters seemed to have made their minds up in a decisive way.
“Quite frankly I don’t see a lot of indication that there’s any rethinking and movement among the voters,” Rose said. “I will say that Stefanowski did come closer in the final analysis in 2018 compared to what the polls were showing, but at the same time, I’d say that in this election cycle there’s less fluidity in these polls.”