Governor’s Race In Dead Heat
CT Post, October 24, 2018
By Ken Dixon
Democrat Ned Lamont’s lead over Republican Bob Stefanowski has shrunk during the last month from 6.2 percent to 3.4 percent, putting the governor’s race into a statistical tie, according to a Sacred Heart University/Hearst Connecticut Media Group poll released Tuesday.
The survey of likely voters shows that the unaffiliated have shifted their support to Stefanowski, a consultant and former corporate executive running for his first elective office, from 36.5 percent in September to 43.2 percent with two weeks left before Election Day. Recommended Video
The race is now within the margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.32 percent. Overall, the survey finds Lamont with 39.5 percent of the vote, Stefanowski with 36.1, and Oz Griebel, the unaffiliated former Hartford business leader, with 8.4 percent, along with 14.8 percent undecided.
“The governor’s race in Connecticut is coming down to the wire and has tightened up since our September poll. The numbers reflect voter discontent with current leadership, our State’s struggling economy and concerns about national issues,” explains Lesley DeNardis, executive director of the Institute for Public Policy and director of Sacred Heart University’s master of public administration program. “Results from our new poll indicate a large number of undecided voters and support largely along party lines.
In September, the Sacred Heart/Hearst Poll showed Lamont with 43.1 percent support, compared to Stefanowski’s 36.9 percent.
Stefanowskis spokesman Kendall Marr used the poll to try and link Lamont, unaffiliated candidate Oz Griebel and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy together on policy issues, a frequent talking point of the Stefanowski campaign.
“As we have said from the beginning, this race will continue to move in Stefanowski's direction as voters realize that Ned's Lamont's policies are the same ones that put our state in its current position. When it comes to Ned, Oz, and Dan Malloy, they are three peas in a pod,” Marr said in a statement.
While 50 percent of women say they will vote for Lamont, a Greenwich investor, compared to 25.2 percent for Stefanowski, 47 percent of men say they’ll back Stefanowski, with 29.1 percent for Lamont.
“Female voters are likely to have a strong impact on local and national races as reflected in our survey for the gubernatorial and Congressional races, as well as lackluster support for President Trump and discontent over how the Kavanaugh appointment was handled,” DeNardis said. “It looks like the gubernatorial race will remain highly competitive right up to election day.”
Marc Bradley, Lamont’s campaign manager, used the poll to criticize Stefanowski.
“Polls go up and down, but one thing has remained consistent: Bob Stefanowski's tax scheme will eliminate more than half the state's revenue, forcing property taxes to rise dramatically in every one of Connecticut's 169 towns and cities while decimating education, health care and public safety,” Bradley said in a statement.
Registered voters back to top
Statewide, there are 460,279 registered Republicans, 785,615 Democrats and 870,17 unaffiliated voters, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill announced Tuesday.
Stefanowski opposes highway tolls and higher taxes. But 52.1 percent of voters support toll roads to raise money for transportation infrastructure, and 64.9 percent believe that raising taxes on those with incomes of a million dollars or more is a “fair and effective” way to help balance the state budget, if cutting state services and spending cannot solve it.
Lamont has proposed trucks-only highway tolls, but has not backed higher income taxes.
Overall, given a list of nine top issues facing the state, 22 percent of voters said the tax burden is the major problem, followed by 17.6 percent who said the budget crisis is paramount. The 501 voters, who said they were likely to cast ballots on November 6, were reached by landline and cell phones by the polling company GreatBlue Research. The survey took place between October 13 and 17.
On congressional races, 48.7 percent of those responding to the poll said they would support Democrats for the U.S. House of Representatives, while 34.1 percent said they would vote for Republicans.
The poll found that 72.4 percent of Democrats and 54.8 percent of Republicans disapproved of the way the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee handled the recent nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Eighty percent of women surveyed disapproved of the Senate committee’s actions.
On October 10, the Quinnipiac University Poll found Lamont leading Stefanowski by 47 percent to 39 percent, with 21 percent undecided.