Q-poll tie in governor’s race: Malloy rises as Foley falls

Republican Tom Foley continues to lose ground in his rematch against Gov. Dannel Malloy, according to another poll.

After an earlier poll this week had Foley trailing the one-term Democrat by eight points, Quinnipiac University released its latest poll Wednesday, showing a tie between the two men who competed in one of the closest governor’s races in Connecticut history four years ago.

Less than a month ago, Foley led Malloy 46%-40%, according to Quinnipiac. But in a poll released on Oct. 8, the Connecticut-based polling organization had the two tied with 43% each. Conservative independent candidate Joe Visconti drew the support of 9% of potential voters.

Earlier this year, Malloy was considered one of the most vulnerable incumbent governors in the nation. But there now is not a poll out in the past month that has Foley with a lead — something he had enjoyed most of this year.

If Visconti dropped out of the race, Malloy and Foley would still be tied with 46% each, according the Q-Poll.

Gender gap on both sides

In the last four weeks, Malloy has cut Foley’s lead among men from 19% to 11%, while the Democrat’s lead among women grows from 7% to 11%.

In today’s three-way matchup, women back Malloy 47% to 36%, with 10% for Visconti, while men back Foley 50% to 39%, with 8% for Visconti.

Foley leads 82%-9% among Republicans, with 6% for Visconti, and 47%-37% among independent voters, with 11% for Visconti. Democrats back Malloy 77%-9%, with 9% for Visconti.

Among Connecticut likely voters who name a candidate, 74% say their mind is made up, while 25% say they might change their mind by Election Day. Their minds are made up, say 73% of Malloy voters and 81% of Foley backers, while 56% of Visconti supporters say they might change their mind.

Will ‘go down to the wire’

“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.

“Malloy has been able to cut into Foley’s lead among men while increasing his lead among women, to break even over all,” Schwartz said. “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. “While there are only 5% of likely voters undecided, 25% of voters could still change their minds.

“It looks like we’re heading for another photo finish — just like in 2010,” he said.

Public doesn’t like either major candidate

Connecticut likely voters are not overly fond of any of the candidates:

• Malloy gets a negative 41%-51% favorability, compared to his negative 40%-53% grade on Sept. 10;

• Foley gets a split 41%-39% favorability, compared to a positive 42%-33% rating last month;

• 86% of voters still don’t know enough about Visconti to form an opinion, little changed from his 89% “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.”

More than 1,000 voters surveyed

From Oct. 1-6, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,085 likely voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3%.

On Monday, Public Policy Polling released its first survey of Connecticut this election season, which had Malloy leading 43%-35% over Foley. Visconti also had 9% of the vote in that poll. PPP is considered a Democratic-leaning polling firm.

The Quinnipiac University Poll conducts public opinion surveys in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research.