Malloy Beat the Polls in the Past; Can He do it Again? (And Other Campaign Asides)

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Remarkably, just about every poll of the Connecticut governor’s race has it just about dead even. The latest poll of record in the state, Quinnipiac, has it 43 percent to 43percent (46-45 for Foley with Visconti now out) after the previous two surveys had Gov. Dan Malloy or Republican Tom Foley ahead within the margin of error. But if history teaches us anything about the Q-poll, it’s that Malloy can prove it dead wrong.

In August 2010, Malloy was facing off against businessman Ned Lamont in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. The Quinnipiac poll published August 10, 2010 had Malloy and Lamont in a dead heat. “Dem Gov Primary Too Close To Call As Malloy Closes, Quinnipiac University Connecticut Poll Find…” the headline blared. That poll actually had Lamont ahead by three points.

“The Democratic primary for governor in Connecticut is going down to the wire with businessman Ned Lamont at 45 percent and former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy at 42 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll of Democratic likely primary voters released today. This compares to a 45 – 40 percent Lamont lead August 5. Today, 12 percent remain undecided and 30 percent of those who choose a candidate say they might change their mind,” that Q-poll said.

The result of that primary? Malloy won by 14 points—a 17-point “miss” by the Q-poll.

In the 2010 general election in which Malloy and Foley faced off the first time, the Q-poll had Foley ahead by three points just days before that election. Malloy won in a famously close race winning by less than 7,000 votes.

Top Malloy advisor Roy Occhiogrosso says, “We’ve gone into three election days down in the polls. Two of those times we won.” The question is, will Malloy defy the polls again.

A Public Policy Polling survey released Saturday has Malloy ahead by three points—still within the margin of error. Take out Visconti and that poll is still tied. And the Gold Standard of election predicting, Nate Silver and his website has Connecticut as the only state where the governor’s race is dead even.

Malloy has already turned around the right-leaning Rasmussen poll. The latest poll from that group has Malloy ahead by one point after being down by seven late in August.

• Probably the most hotly contested congressional race is in the 5th district where Democratic Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty is defending her seat against Republican Mark Greenberg who is making his third run for the seat (he was defeated in the primary the first two times). Esty is seen as vulnerable but not likely to Greenberg whose Tea Party-esque positions are too much for bluest Connecticut. Greenberg has spent a boatload of his own personal fortune in his quest for the seat. He is likely to come up empty again.

It also didn’t help that at the beginning of the main campaign season, Greenberg was jammed up testifying in the trial of the incorrigible former Gov. John Rowland who is headed to the crowbar hotel for likely a long stay.

• Republican Dan “Decibel” Debicella is making a spirited run against Democratic Congressman Jim Himes. Debicella, whose insufferable soliloquies on the floor of the state Senate are stuff of legend, raised more than $1 million. Unfortunately for him, Himes raised more than $2.5 million. One longtime political observer describes Himes as “a political stud” who should return to office.