Quinnipiac poll shows Malloy opening up small lead in governor’s race

With independent candidate Joe Visconti out of the Connecticut governor’s race, Democratic incumbent Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has the support of 47% of likely voters to Republican challenger Tom Foley’s 44%, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

But 7% of voters remain undecided one day before people will cast their ballots, according to the poll,  released Monday, Nov. 3 — the day before the election.

This compares to results of an Oct. 29 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University, showing Foley with 46% of likely voters to Malloy’s 45% — with Visconti out of the race.

Visconti dropped out of the three-man race for governor on Sunday, and endorsed Foley.

Two other polls released over the weekend also show Malloy opening up a small lead.

“Contrary to conventional wisdom, independent candidate Joe Visconti’s last minute exit from the governor’s race doesn’t look like it will help Republican Tom Foley,” said Douglas Schwartz, director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Party support, gender preferences

In the new Quinnipiac poll, Republicans back Foley 89%-7% as Democrats back Malloy 86%-10%. Independent voters are divided with 45% for Foley and 44% for Malloy.

Malloy leads Foley 53%-38% among women, while Foley leads 51-41% among men.

Connecticut likely voters give Foley a split 42%-44% favorability rating, while Malloy gets a negative 43%-49% score.

Four years ago, in a Q-Poll released the day before the 2010 election, which featured the same two candidates, Foley led Malloy by 48%-45%. Malloy went on to win the election by about 6,400 votes — or half a percent.

Most minds are made up

One day before the 2014 election, 89% of Connecticut likely voters who name a candidate say their mind is made up, while 11% say they might change their mind.

The Quinnipiac University Poll was conducted from Oct. 28 to Nov. 2, when 926 likely voters were interviewed. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

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.

Hersam Acorn Editor Joshua Fisher contributed to this story.