The race for Connecticut governor has tightened to a statistical dead heat with three points separating the candidates, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday.
The poll credits a shift among independents for Republican candidate Tom Foley closing in on Democrat Dan Malloy's lead.
Foley takes 42 percent and Malloy 45 percent, as opposed to Malloy’s 50 to 41 percent lead in a Sept. 15 Quinnipiac survey.
"Ever since the popular Republican Governor Jodi Rell decided not to seek reelection, Democrats have been very excited about their prospects of winning this open seat in blue Connecticut. Yet despite a bruising primary victory, Republican businessman Tom Foley has made this a very tight race with Democrat Dan Malloy," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz.
The race could go either way, with 12 percent of likely voters remaining undecided.
"The last time there was a Connecticut governor's race this tight was 16 years ago when there was an open seat and Republican John Rowland beat Democrat William Curry by just 3 points,” Schwartz said.
“We don’t pay much attention to polls,” Dan Kelly, campaign manager for the Malloy for Governor Campaign, said in a statement. “This same poll had Dan down by 3 the day before the primary, a race he won by 14 points. Dan tells us to campaign as if we’re in 2nd place, 10 points down. So that’s what we do.”
Pollsters found that 22 percent of likely voters could change their mind between now and when they cast a vote.
Most voters, 47 percent, said they are dissatisfied with Connecticut government and voters who say they are "angry" with state government support Foley, 60 to 29 percent.
"Like Republican U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon, Foley has been capitalizing on the anti-government feeling. Also, both McMahon and Foley have been gaining due to the support of independent voters," Schwartz said.
The governor’s race, like the Senate race, shows a big gender gap, with women backing Malloy and men backing Foley.
This race could be decided with the debates, Schwartz said.
The 79 percent of likely voters who have seen Foley's TV ads split 45 to 46 percent on whether they are informative or annoying and Malloy does only slightly better, with 80 percent of voters who have seen his ads and 49 percent find them informative while 43 percent find them annoying.