Politics Published: Jul 15, 2010 - 8:32 AM

Democrats top Republicans in Connecticut Gov race, Quinnipiac University Poll finds

By Quinnipiac University Poll

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Democratic contenders Ned Lamont and Dan Malloy top any of the three possible Republican candidates for Governor of Connecticut by margins of 11 percentage points or more among registered voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Among likely Republican primary voters, former ambassador Tom Foley leads with 48 percent, followed by Lt. Gov. Mike Fedele with 13 percent and businessman Oz Griebel with 7 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

Another 32 percent are undecided. This is the first survey of likely primary voters and cannot be compared with earlier surveys of registered voters.

Among likely Democratic primary voters, businessman Lamont leads former Stamford Mayor Malloy 46 – 37 percent, with 16 percent undecided.

Democrats lead in any possible general election matchups among registered voters:

· Lamont over Foley 45 – 33 percent;
· Lamont over Fedele 49 – 27 percent;
· Lamont over Griebel 49 – 25 percent;
· Malloy over Foley 44 – 33 percent;
· Malloy over Fedele 49 – 26 percent;
· Malloy over Griebel 51 – 25 percent.

“The Democrats haven’t won a race for Governor in Connecticut in 24 years.  Could this be their year?  Both Ned Lamont and Dan Malloy have double digit leads over all the Republicans, including frontrunner Tom Foley.   The Democratic candidates benefit from the state’s Democratic registration advantage and they are better known than the Republican contenders,” said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, PhD.

“Democrats also could be helped by the divisiveness of the Republican primary battle, which seems nastier than the Democratic campaign, an unusual twist,” Dr. Schwartz added.

A total of 41 percent of Connecticut likely Republican primary voters have heard “a lot” or “some” about Foley’s two past arrests, while 58 percent have heard “not much” or “nothing at all.” Only 30 percent of these primary voters say the arrest controversy makes them less likely to vote for Foley, as 55 percent say it doesn’t make a difference. Foley’s past arrests are a private matter, 48 percent say, while 28 percent say they are a legitimate issue.

By a 45 – 9 percent margin, Connecticut 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.

Among those Republican likely primary voters who select a candidate, 73 percent say they might change their mind before the August 10 primary.

Likely Democratic primary voters are more solid in their support, but 50 percent of those who select a candidate say they might change their mind.

Malloy gets a 50 – 8 percent favorability among likely Democratic voters, with 40 percent who haven’t heard enough to form an opinion. Lamont’s favorability is 60 – 12 percent.

“One month before the primary, Foley has a huge lead over Lt. Gov. Mike Fedele and Oz Griebel.  The governor’s race is overshadowed by the Senate battle between Linda McMahon and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and the controversy over Foley’s arrests is not having much impact,” Dr. Schwartz said.  “So Foley has been unharmed and voters still don’t know much about Fedele or Griebel.

“The race is closer on the Democratic side, where Malloy is within single digits.  This race could go down to the wire.”

From July 7 – 13, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,367 Connecticut registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points. Also from July 7 – 13, Quinnipiac University conducted separate surveys of 668 Connecticut likely Democratic primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points and 854 likely Republican primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points. These likely voters were selected from lists of people who have voted in past elections.

The Quinnipiac University Poll conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research.
For more data or RSS feed– http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow them on Twitter.

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