Lamont, Foley lead primary races for governor

Tom Foley leads a three-way Republican field for governor, while Ned Lamont tops Dan Malloy in the Democratic race, 41 percent to 24 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

In the GOP race, Foley is supported by 37 percent of Republicans, followed by Lt. Gov. Mike Fedele with 11 percent and Hartford-area business leader Oz Griebel with 5 percent.

But the Republican race could be volatile as 42 percent of Republicans are undecided and most voters still know little about the field: the percentage of voters who don’t know enough about the candidates to form an opinion ranges from 58 percent to 88 percent.

In the Democratic primary, 30 percent are undecided and voters still are unfamiliar with the endorsed candidate, Malloy.

Lamont gets a 46 – 12 percent favorability rating among Democrats, with 39 percent who haven’t heard enough to form an opinion.  For Malloy, 65 percent haven’t heard enough.

“In the governor’s race, Ned Lamont leads Dan Malloy because of his advantage in money and name recognition that he built during his 2006 Senate run,” said Douglas Schwartz, the poll’s director.  “Foley dominates the largely unknown Mike Fedele and Oz Griebel.

Lamont and Foley already are advertising heavily on television.

“With each poll, we’ve seen Ned’s support grow as he tells more voters about his plan to put Connecticut back to work and move our state forward,” said Justine Sessions. Lamont’s communication director.

The Malloy campaign was quick to minimize the survey.

“So much for Ned’s poll in which he claimed to be leading by 35 points; if his poll was right and the Q-poll is right that’s an 18-point drop for him.  Not great.  As for the Q-Poll, in January Dan was at 11 and Ned was at 27.  Today Dan’s at 24 and Ned’s at 41.  That means they’ve each moved by almost the same amount.  But Ned’s spent a million dollars on TV and Dan hasn’t spent a dime,” said Dan Kelly, Malloy’s campaign manager.

In the previous Quinnipiac poll, taken in March, Lamont led Malloy, 28 percent to 18 percent. Lamont’s campaign more recently released an internal poll showing him with a 35-point lead.

The poll was taken May 24 and 25, immediately following the Democratic and Republican nominating conventions. The survey includes 379 Democrats with a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points and 231 Republicans with a margin of error of plus or minus 6.5 percentage points.