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From Quinnipiac University:

Connecticut likely voters say Tom Foley, the Republican challenger in the governor’s race, would do a better job than Gov. Dannel Malloy, the Democrat, handling two top issues, the economy/jobs and government spending, as they give Foley a 46 – 40 percent lead eight weeks before Election Day, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Foley leads 82 – 9 percent among Republicans and 48 – 35 percent among independent voters, while Gov. Malloy takes Democrats 77 – 10 percent, the independent Quinnipiac poll finds. This survey of likely voters can not be compared to prior surveys of registered voters.

Malloy’s 45 – 38 percent lead with women is offset by Foley’s 54 – 35 percent lead among men.

Joe Visconti, running as an independent candidate, gets 7 percent of the vote. When the race is recalculated without Visconti, Foley leads Malloy 49 – 43 percent.

Among Connecticut likely voters who name a candidate, 69 percent say their mind is made up, while 30 percent say they might change their mind by Election Day. Their minds are made up, say 68 percent of Malloy voters and 77 percent of Foley backers, while 75 percent of Visconti supporters say they might change their mind.

“In our first likely voter poll, Tom Foley has the edge but Gov. Dannel Malloy is certainly within striking distance,” said Douglas Schwartz, PhD, director of the Quinnipiac University poll. “Foley has a double-digit lead among the key swing group, independent voters. With eight weeks until Election Day, there are 6 percent undecided and another 30 percent who say they could change their mind.”

“A difficult problem for Malloy to overcome is his high negative favorability rating, as 53 percent say they have an unfavorable opinion of him, including 40 percent who say they have a strongly unfavorable opinion,” Dr. Schwartz added.
“It is tough for a well-known incumbent to change voter opinion once formed. In contrast, only 33 percent have an unfavorable opinion of Foley.”

Connecticut likely voters have a negative 40 – 53 percent favorability rating of Malloy. Foley gets a positive 42 – 33 percent favorability rating. For Visconti, 89 percent don’t know enough about him to form an opinion.

The economy/jobs matters most in their vote for governor, 40 percent of likely voters say, while 19 percent list government spending and 16 percent list taxes.

Foley would do a better job than Malloy handling these top issues, voters say:
• 54 – 37 percent on the economy and jobs;
• 59 – 31 percent on taxes;
• 54 – 36 percent on finding the right balance between needed and unneeded government

Looking at Malloy’s character traits, Connecticut voters say:
• 51 – 38 percent that he is honest and trustworthy;
• 48 percent that he cares about their needs and problems, while 46 percent say he doesn’t
• 57 – 38 percent that he has strong leadership qualities.
Looking at Foley’s character, voters say:
• 44 – 28 percent that he is honest and trustworthy;
• 46 – 35 percent that he cares about their needs and problems;
• 53 – 24 percent that he has strong leadership qualities.

“Foley leads Malloy in large part because he is viewed by most voters as better able to handle pocketbook issues. Voters think Foley is better able than Malloy to handle their top issue – the economy and jobs. Foley also has big leads on taxes and government spending, while Malloy has small leads on gun policy and education.”

From September 3 – 8, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,304 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points.