Poll gives Foley lead over Malloy in governor's race

Republican Tom Foley
Republican Tom Foley

A new poll has great news for Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley, giving him a lead in his quest to unseat Gov. Dannel Malloy.

The poll, released Monday by the non-partisan YouGov group in partnership with both The New York Times and CBS News, is full of bad news for the incumbent Democrat governor. Foley, a Republican, has a 42%-33% lead over Malloy in a potential rematch of the 2010 race that Malloy narrowly won.

That does leave a large number of undecided voters, though, more than enough to swing the election and the poll did find that 8% of undecided respondents were leaning toward Malloy as opposed to 6% for Foley.

Malloy also has a distinct advantage with women voters, leading Foley 42%-29%.

Big lead among unaffiliated

Overall, the poll shows a climate ripe for Foley to win a potential rematch in November. The number of unaffiliated voters, a key voting block in what is a relatively blue state, is tilting heavily toward Foley by 50%-15%.

Foley is also polling well among men, with a 51%-26% advantage.

This comes months after a Quinnipiac Institute poll that found the race to be a dead heat.

Malloy is facing a challenge from his left in this election from former state Rep. Jonathan Pelto’s independent candidacy that could potentially peel off otherwise Democratic votes this November.

Unique methodology

This new poll does not use the traditional methods that are employed by organizations such as Quinnipiac. Instead its findings are based on online panels.

Polls were conducted by YouGov across the nation and it remains unclear how reliable the data is given that this is the first release from the group this year.

Representatives from the Malloy and Foley campaigns could not be immediately reached for comment on Monday morning.

Republican primary is first on Aug. 12

Foley is not the party’s official nominee yet, though. He still is facing a Tuesday, Aug. 12 primary with state Sen. John McKinney and while there has been no public polling of that race released yet, Foley, who received the state Republican Party’s endorsement at its May convention, is considered to be the front-runner.

He even received an endorsement last week from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the head of the Republican Governors Association (RGA).

Christie came to Greenwich for both a private fund-raiser and public event with Foley, taking the relatively unusual step of publicly endorsing a candidate as head of the RGA before the primary is even held.

‘Willing to step forward again’

In an appearance at a Greenwich diner, Christie said he did it because he felt strongly about Foley’s qualifications.

“Tom worked hard four years ago and I was really disappointed he came up short,” Christie said. “When he was willing to step forward again and take a run at this race in 2014, I wanted him to know I was with him right from the beginning.”

“Remember something,” Christie added, “[Foley] lost by a very small amount four years ago and people of this state have gotten to see Gov. Malloy’s policies up close now. It was only a theory four years ago and now they’ve gotten to live under the highest tax increase in Connecticut’s history and the way jobs have been driven out of this state.”

Foley to appear on HANRadio

Foley is scheduled to appear in a live interview with HANRadio.com on Monday, Aug. 11 at 10 a.m., the day before the primary contest with McKinney.

The interview will be simulcast live on this (SheltonHerald.com) and the other 16 Hersam Acorn News websites in southwestern Connecticut.

An invitation to the “Connecticut Candidates” series has also been extended to Malloy. A full archive of past interviews, including a recent one with McKinney, is available online at www.HANRadio.com.

Ken Borsuk is editor of the Greenwich Post, another Hersam Acorn newspaper.