Pollster: Race For Governor Is Too Close to Call
HARTFORD, CT — (Updated following 11 a.m. press conference) The race for governor in Connecticut is still too close to call, according to the latest Quinnipiac University Poll.
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ned Lamont is still ahead with 47 percent of the vote, but Republican Bob Stefanowski, a political newcomer who didn’t vote in the state for 16 years, received 43 percent of the vote in a poll of 1,201 voters where the margin of error is 4 percent.
Unaffiliated candidate Oz Griebel’s support has fallen from 11 percent to 7 percent and only 4 percent of likely voters remain undecided.
Stefanowski has continued to chip away at Lamont’s lead, which has held steady at 47 percent compared to the Oct. 10 poll of likely voters. On Oct. 10, Lamont received 47 percent to Stefanowski’s 39 percent among likely voters.
There’s still a gender gap in the race, according to the latest poll, with women backing Lamont 55-34 percent and men backing Stefanowski over Lamont 51-38 percent.
Only four percent of likely voters are undecided and 13 percent say they might change their mind in the next week.
The poll also found that if voters planned to vote for Griebel and they were given a second choice, 45 percent would go to Lamont and 23 percent would go to Stefanowski.
“This race is looking a lot like the last two elections for governor in Connecticut — a real nail-biter,” Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz said.
In 2014, the race between Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Republican Tom Foley was tied at 43 percent, according to an Oct. 29 Quinnipiac University poll that year. In a Nov. 3 poll , Malloy was ahead 47 percent to Foley’s 44 percent, which ended up predicting the result of the election pretty precisely. That year Joe Visconti was also on the ticket and was able to pull about 11,000 votes. Malloy ended up winning by 28,019 votes.
In 2010, the last Quinnipiac University poll before the election showed Foley with 48 percent of the vote to Malloy’s 45 percent, which was within the 3.2 percent margin of error. Malloy ended up winning the race after days of recounts by 6,404 votes. That year, Tom Marsh ran on the Independent Party line and received 17,629 votes.
Stefanowski’s increase in support between the Oct. 10 poll and Tuesday’s poll “could mean Stefanowski has momentum on his side,” Schwartz said. “However, a candidate would rather be Lamont in this situation bring on the plus side of a too close to call race is better than the alternative.”
As far as Griebel being a spoiler, Schwartz said third party candidates often see their support fade the closer they get to election day and if that happens then “Lamont stands to benefit from that.”
“Over the last three weeks if appears as if Stefanowski has benefited from Griebel’s fading up to this point, but going forward it seems as if the people who are voting for Griebel decide in the end they would rather vote for one of the major party candidates that candidate would be Lamont and he would do better,” Schwartz said.
But it’s a nailbiter of an election still.
Schwartz said the key for both campaigns will be turnout.
Stefanowski has edged Lamont slightly with unaffiliated voters, who make up the largest voting bloc of Connecticut voters. The poll found Stefanowski received 43 percent of support from unaffiliated voters to Lamont’s 38 percent.
“Connecticut is a very Democratic state,” Schwartz said. “For a Republican to win they have to do very well among independents and right now Stefanowski isn’t doing well enough.”
Schwartz declined to say if there would be one more poll before the Nov. 6 election.
Libertarian Rod Hanscomb and Mark Stewart Greenstein are also on the ballot for governor, but did not register enough support to be included in the poll. The poll was conducted between Oct. 22 and Oct. 28.
U.S. Senate Race
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy has largely maintained his lead over Republican Matthew Corey.
The poll shows Murphy with 56 percent of the vote over Corey’s 41 percent of the vote among likely voters. That’s a one percent change from Oct. 11 when 57 percent of voters supported Murphy and 42 percent supported Corey.
Quinnipiac University Poll Director Doug Schwartz discusses the latest poll numbers in 2018 governor and US Senate races. READ OUR STORY: https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20181030_race_for_governor_too_close_to_call/Posted by CTNewsJunkie.com on Tuesday, October 30, 2018