Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has an eight-percentage point lead over Republican Tom Foley in a survey by Public Policy Polling, a firm with a reputation for reliability and ties to Democrats.

Malloy, the first-term Democrat, led Foley, 43 percent to 35 percent, with petitioning candidate Joe Visconti supported by 9 percent in a poll released Monday afternoon.

PPP is generally considered a Democratic firm, based on its client base, but it also has a reputation for reliability. In 2012, its polls were found to be the most accurate in a study by Fordham University.

The poll, which is the firm’s first Connecticut survey in 2014, is the first in recent months showing Malloy with a lead. The governor trailed Foley by six points in a Quinnipiac University poll last month, 46 percent to 40 percent, with Visconti supported by seven percent.

Compare the Polls
Dannel P. Malloy vs. Tom Foley
Poll Date Malloy Foley Difference
PPP 6-Oct-14 43 35 Malloy +8
YouGov 11-Sep-14 37 37 tie
Quinnipiac 10-Sep-14 40 46 Foley + 6
Rasmussen 21-Aug-14 38 45 Foley +7
Vox 31-Jul-14 35 34 Malloy +1
YouGov 28-Jul-14 33 42 Foley +9
Quinnipiac 9-May-14 43 43 tie
Quinnipiac 4-Mar-14 42 42 tie
Quinnipiac 19-Jun-13 40 43 Foley +3

The poll was largely consistent with a tracking poll conducted recently for the re-election campaign of Attorney General George Jepsen. It showed Malloy leading Foley, 44 percent to 37 percent, with Visconti at seven percent.

Jepsen’s poll of 501 likely voters was conducted Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 by Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group. The poll questions and results were provided by the campaign.

Both polls found a restive electorate. The Garin-Hart-Yang survey found 55 percent of voters think the state is headed in the wrong direction, with only 30 percent saying its on the right track.

Fifty percent of voters in the PPP poll disapproved of the job Malloy is doing as governor, while 40 percent approved. Foley’s numbers were worse, with 49 percent of voters holding an unfavorable opinion of him, while 34 percent had a favorable view.

“The dislike of both candidates helps to explain why Visconti is getting such a high level of support. Malloy is actually winning more Republicans (17%) than Foley is Democrats (12%) which makes it very hard for a Republican to be successful in a state where Democrats have a substantial registration advantage,” the firm said.

Quinnipiac had an unfavorable/favorable rating for Malloy of 53 percent to 40 percent a month ago, which is similar to the PPP job approval rating for the governor. But Quinnipiac found voters had a favorable opinion of Foley a month ago, 42 percent to 33 percent.

Does the difference reflect changes in methodology or the toll taken by a month of negative television advertising?

Another difference with Quinnipiac: PPP found that Visconti, a Republican who has based his campaign on opposition to gun control and the Common Core education curriculum standards, is largely drawing votes from Foley. Quinnipiac found he drew from both.

PPP began its survey Oct. 2, the night of the third debate between Malloy and Foley, which generated headlines for the two candidates’ raising questions about the other’s integrity and character.

The PPP poll was based on an automated telephone survey of 861 likely voters from Oct. 2 to 5. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points. Eighty percent of the interviews were conducted by phone and 20 percent over the internet.

It also found the entire Democratic under ticket with significant leads.

Yankee fans may question the accuracy of the poll, or at least its geographic distribution: Asked to name their favorite team, it found Connecticut voters favoring the Red Sox over the Yankess, 39 percent to 29 percent, with the Mets favored by seven percent.

The Patriots were favored over the Giants 33 percent to 22 percent, with the Jets backed by four percent.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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