New Poll: Underdog Stefanowski Now Pulls Ahead In CT 'Blue State' Governor's Race

In a so-called "blue state," Republican underdog Bob Stefanowski has pulled ahead of Democrat Ned Lamont for the first time in the governor's race, according to a new poll released Thursday by Sacred Heart University. 

Bob Stefanowski
Bob Stefanowski Photo Credit: Contributed

Have you decided who to support for governor on Tuesday, Nov. 6?
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Have you decided who to support for governor on Tuesday, Nov. 6?

  • Ned Lamont
  • Bob Stefanowski
  • Richard "Oz' Griebel
  • Another candidate
  • Still undecided

The telephone survey found Stefanowski of Madison favored by 40 percent of likely voters, compared to 37.6 percent for Lamont of Greenwich and 9 percent for independent Richard "Oz" Griebel. 

Stefanowski's lead for the first time in the campaign attracted national attention on Friday, Nov. 2 when the Republican Governors Association (RGA) issued a rapid response email blast stating: "Bob Stefanowski's surge in the polls shows that his campaign has the momentum as his pro-jobs message for lower taxes and a return to fiscal responsibility continues to resonate with voters, while Ned Lamont only promises more of the same failed policies."

Spoiler alert:  More than 12 percent of the Nutmeggers surveyed said they were unsure who they'd vote for on Tuesday, Nov. 6. That means this weekend's final "get out the vote" efforts, ads and campaign phone banks remain critical to a win on Tuesday.

Women, younger voters and minorities favor Lamont, but the poll found Stefanowski enjoyed a 2-to-1 lead among unaffiliated voters, a 10 percentage point lead among voters ages 45 to 64 as well as a 5 percent lead among voters identifying themselves as white.

Connecticut has about 862,500 independent "unaffiliated" voters, more than 780,000 registered Democrats and nearly 458,000 Republicans.

Despite the advantage in voter enrollment, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is the only Democrat to win a gubernatorial race in Connecticut since 1986; Malloy's margin of victory in 2010 was the smallest in more than a half-century. Malloy decided not to run for a third four-year term.

Lamont’s chances for a victory now hinge on his ability to attract Democrats saying they now support Griebel.

The margin of error in the poll of 500 likely voters is plus or minus 4.32 points, meaning the election still remains a statistical tossup.

The poll was conducted on Oct. 29, 30 and 31. (The final televised gubernatorial debate was on Oct. 30 and may have impacted poll results.)

A Quinnipiac University poll of likely voters released on Tuesday, Oct. 30 -- as reported here by Daily Voice -- found that Lamont had a 4 percentage point lead over Stefanowski, also within the margin of error.

Major differences in the two polls included Quinnipiac identifying a wide gender gap and Lamont leading among college-educated voters. Sacred Heart, in contrast, found little difference in support for Stefanowski among voters with or without college educations.

"Those polled cited the 'high overall tax burden' and the state budget crisis as their top issues in the election, a clear indication that voters are frustrated after eight years of failed Democrat leadership under Dan Malloy," the RGA wrote in its national email blast.

Stay tuned: Quinnipiac University Polling Institute traditionally releases a final poll between now and Election Day.

Complete Sacred Heart/Hearst polling results can be found by clicking here. 

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