FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- The race for governor in Connecticut is now a dead heat, even as voters say they don't like either candidate very much, says a new poll from Quinnipiac University.
Gov. Dannel Malloy has overcome a 6-point lead by Republican challenger Tom Foley, leaving the race in a virtual tie with 43 percent for each major party candidate, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. Independent candidate Joe Visconti came up with 9 percent in the poll.
"The poll is good news for Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy. After trailing Republican Tom Foley by 6 points a month ago, Malloy is tied as this race promises to go down to the wire," said Douglas Schwartz, director of the Quinnipiac University poll.
"It looks like we're heading for another photo finish - just like in 2010," Schwartz said. Malloy, a Democratic former mayor of Stamford, topped Foley, a businessman from Greenwich, by about 7,000 votes in their first match-up.
With Visconti out of the race, it's a 46 percent vs. 46 percent tie between Foley and Malloy.
This month's result compares to a 46 percent vs. 40 percent lead for Foley among likely voters in a Sept. 10 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University poll.
In the last four weeks, Malloy has cut Foley's lead among men from 19 percentage points to 11 points, while the Democrat's lead among women grows from 7 points to 11 points.
In the three-way match-up, women back Malloy 47 percent vs. 36 percent, with 10 percent for Visconti, while men back Foley 50 percent vs. 39 percent, with 8 percent for Visconti.
Foley leads 82 percent vs. 9 percent among Republicans, with 6 percent for Visconti, and 47 percent vs. 37 percent among independent voters, with 11 percent for Visconti.
Democrats back Malloy 77 percent vs. 9 percent, with 9 percent for Visconti.
Among Connecticut likely voters who name a candidate, 74 percent say their mind is made up, while 25 percent say they might change their mind by Election Day. Their minds are made up, say 73 percent of Malloy voters and 81 percent of Foley backers, while 56 percent of Visconti supporters say they might change their mind.
"Malloy has been able to cut into Foley's lead among men while increasing his lead among women, to break even overall. There is a gender gap in the race with Malloy ahead by 11 percentage points among women and Foley up 11 points among men," Schwartz said.
But Connecticut likely voters are not overly fond of any of the candidates:
- Malloy gets a negative 41 percent vs. 51 percent favorability, compared to his negative 40 percent vs. 53 percent grade on Sept. 10;
- Foley gets a split 41 percent vs. 39 percent favorability, compared to a positive 42 percent vs. 33 percent rating last month;
- 86 percent of voters still don't know enough about Visconti to form an opinion, little changed from his 89 percent "don't know enough" rating last month.
"As the campaign has gotten nasty, voters are not wild about either candidate," Schwartz said. "Malloy's favorability rating is still underwater. Foley gets a mixed favorability rating. He is a little better known since early September, but a little less liked.
"Voters like Foley less since our last poll. Foley's negatives have risen perhaps due to Malloy's attacks."
The poll was conducted from Oct. 1 to 6, with Quinnipiac University surveying 1,085 likely voters. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.
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