Quinnipiac Poll Finds Malloy, Foley In Dead Heat In Governor's Race

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Tom Foley and Dannel Malloy are in a dead-heat for the race for Connecticut governor, according to the latest Quinnipiac Poll.
Tom Foley and Dannel Malloy are in a dead-heat for the race for Connecticut governor, according to the latest Quinnipiac Poll. Photo Credit: File Photos

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Greenwich businessman Tom Foley dominates the crowded Republican primary field in the race for Connecticut governor and is locked in a dead heat with Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday.

Malloy, a former Stamford mayor, and Foley, who lost narrowly to Malloy in the 2010 gubernatorial election, are tied at 42 percent to 42 percent, the Quinnipiac University poll said. 

"Haven't we seen this movie before? A potential rematch of Gov. Dannel Malloy vs. Tom Foley couldn't get any closer," said Douglas Schwartz, director of the Quinnipiac University poll, in a statement.

Malloy's office downplayed the results of the poll conducted eight months before the election. 

“We have tried to be consistent in not saying much about polls because, what’s there to say? Polls come and go, numbers go up and down," said Andrew Doba, Malloy's director of communications, in a statement. "The governor always does what he thinks is best for the state and the right thing to do.”

Connecticut Republican Party Chairman Jerry Labriola, Jr. praised the poll results.

“The numbers speak for themselves: Connecticut’s unemployment rate has remained significantly higher than the national average for over 20 consecutive months, 30,000 fewer Connecticut residents are working today than when Dan Malloy took office, the tax burden on our families is among the highest in the nation, and our economy remains among the worst in the nation," Labriola said in a statement.

“Dan Malloy’s failure to fix Connecticut’s economy has made him one of the nation’s most unpopular governors, with an approval rating that has never gone above 50 percent. Despite going on the offensive over the past few months, proposing cheap election-year gimmicks in a desperate attempt to save his re-election chances, Governor Malloy has been unable to convince voters that he deserves a second term."

The poll found a large gender gap: Women back Malloy 45 percent to 37 percent while men go for Foley 48 percent to 39 percent, the poll finds. Foley leads 83 percent to 9 percent among Republicans and 45 percent to 33 percent among independent voters while Malloy takes Democrats 79 percent to 10 percent.

Malloy gets a 48 percent approval rating from Connecticut voters, while 45 percent disapprove. Voters are divided 45 percent to 46 percent on whether he should be re-elected, the poll said.

Foley leads the Republican field with 36 percent. His nearest competitor is Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, with 11 percent. No other candidate tops 6 percent and 35 percent of Republican voters remain undecided.

"Foley dominates other Republicans vying for the nomination, who have little statewide recognition," Schwartz said. "One potential problem for Foley is if he gets bloodied during the primary process. For Malloy, perhaps the biggest worry is that he's never been able to get over 50 percent in job approval - a danger sign for any incumbent."

Malloy tops other possible Republican challengers by margins ranging from 6 percentage points to 11 percentage points.

Other GOP candidates include Senate Minority Leader John McKinney of Fairfield, Joe Visconti of West Hartford, Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, and state Sen. Toni Boucher of Wilton.

The poll of 1,878 registered voters was conducted from Feb. 26 to March 2. It has a margin of error of 4.5 percent.

It is the first time Quinnipiac has conducted a poll on the Connecticut governor’s race since June 2013. In that poll, Foley let 43 percent to Malloy's 40 percent. Read about it here on the Daily Voice. 

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Comments (18)

CT gets another thumbs down today with Fairfield named as one of the Most Overpriced places to live. Citizens become felons overnight because of unconstitutional laws shoved down the throats of law abiding citizens in middle of the night. We have a socialist in Hartford who needs to GO !

I hope Malloy wins. I would love to see Conn be destroyed by the crazy left wingers.

Malloy equals a 500 million surplus

In his dreams. Malloy equals "borrow more than we need & call it a surplus" The mans a cancer on the state.

BClinton's Johnson
We get it, you're an idiot.. No need to prove it everyday.. Why don't you go back to school and learn how to write English, instead of posting your spam on here. I got to tell you, that you are a perfect fit for the right wingers....STUPID. Now I see why your parents didn't want you.

That's an excuse for the many years of failures of Republican Governors.. The buck stops at the Governors desk. END OF STORY.. Thanks to the leadership of Governor Malloy we now have a 500 million surplus.

Duckie, I hope you can ratchet back your assumptions about who is registered politically because your assumptions of who is a registered R are not proving to be accurate.

That being said, the Ukrainians 'experienced gun control' last May/June and look at them now. This is bigger than CT. and now we are looking at a possible civil war in CT over the unconstitutional gun regulation passed this fall in Hartford.

It not an excuse to blame the legislature when we have super majorities in any state of federal congress. Even BO is having to use his pen to get done what the legislation can't or won't do - regardless of the laws on the books. Unfortunately, Jodi Rell, the R governor, went along too many times with the super majority...to the consternation of the R's who elected her.

I've said this before but between new same day voter registration and drivers licenses for non-citizens, Malloy has little to worry about. No more need for those embarrassing bags of uncounted votes found in some gymnasium in Bridgepor

Governor Malloy has done a remarkable job digging us out of the mess by years of Republican Governors

Hang on Connecticut, help is on the way!

This is great news, we don't want Ambassador Foley to peak too early now.
With all due respect, Dannel Malloy is not governing like someone who really understands the pension and economic crisis facing Connecticut and Tom Foley does.

Let's be honest for a second, Dan Malloy and his Hartford based enabler Roy Occhiogrosso, are delusional that Governor Malloy is "presidential timber." In my view, that is their whole focus and the good people of Connecticut will start to see that this year.

Full disclosure here- I'm obviously for Tom Foley and served as NC RTC Chairman from 2010-2014

Police Reports Contradict Foley's Account Of 1981 Incident That Led To Arrest

October 15, 2013|By JON LENDER, jlender@courant.com, The Hartford Courant

Documents obtained by The Courant about a 1981 car crash involving Republican gubernatorial hopeful Tom Foley paint a dramatically different picture from the account that he gave during his failed 2010 governor's campaign when he described the event as an accidental bump at low speed in traffic.

The documents — which contain accounts from those who were in the other vehicle and a description of the physical condition of their car — say that Foley, then 29, drove behind a car full of people on a dark Long Island road in his Toyota Land Cruiser after a party and hit it five times in three separate locations.

The driver of the other car — Michael Howe, now of Greenwich — told The Courant in a recent interview that he believed the contact between the vehicles had been "no accident," and that the episode was "frightening."

The two reports on the incident — which occurred about 1:15 a.m. on June 28, 1981 — were written by members of the Southampton, N.Y., town police department and obtained recently by The Courant.

Foley was initially arrested on a charge of first-degree attempted assault, and spent a night in a police cell, but that charge was later dropped.

The discrepancies in the accounts of the 1981 incident arise as Foley has created an exploratory campaign committee in preparation for a possible rematch in next year's election against Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, and has made personal integrity a campaign issue by criticizing the Malloy administration's ethics.

"This is a police report describing the other party's version of events," Foley, the multimillionaire former ambassador to Ireland, said in an email Tuesday after The Courant sent him copies of the documents. "My version, which I explained when it was brought up in the 2010 campaign, is different. The police didn't pursue the matter and it was dropped — over 32 years ago."

In 2010, when The Courant ran a story about the incident, Foley, of Greenwich, called it "minor" — saying that after a party, he accidentally bumped his vehicle "at a very low rate of speed" into another car while in traffic. He said that he was arrested and spent a night in a cell after the people in the other car mistakenly believed that it had been intentional.

At the time, no police reports were available, but in recent months The Courant has obtained them. One, obtained through a public records request, is a "police accident report." The other, obtained through a source, is an "offense report" that contains additional information and a narrative based on witness interviews.

Car Hit 5 Times

The accident report said that Foley hit the other car — which had five people in it — three times on the left rear fender and twice on its left front fender.

The incident unfolded over a mile or so, and one of the collisions happened when the cars were going about 50 mph, the offense report says. Foley hit the other car several more times after it had stopped in a parking lot, that report said.

Howe, the other car's driver, told a Courant reporter that he and his passengers had driven away from a party in Southampton that Foley also had attended, and that he believed that Foley had followed them in his vehicle. Howe declined to elaborate, and would not comment on what might have prompted the incident. He spoke only briefly when approached outside his home by a reporter who read to him from the police account of the incident.

When the 1981 incident first surfaced during the 2010 campaign, in a Courant story that was based largely on an old newspaper clipping from a Long Island newspaper, Foley was able to put the issue mostly behind him. No official documents were available to contradict Foley's explanation or identify the people from the other car, whose names Foley said he did not know.

Arrest records in New York are sealed by law when charges are dismissed, and a Courant request for them came up empty in 2010 when the Southampton police said in writing that the "case has been sealed by court order." Foley, as the person accused, had the right to obtain them — and his opponents said he should do so, to clear the air — but Foley said at the time that he had a lawyer check into it, and that the lawyer was told they no longer existed.

But now in response to a public records request from The Courant months ago — a request that, this time, included an incident number that a source provided — the Southampton police released the accident report that had not been sealed. It contained basic details, including the statement that Foley hit the other car five times and that he left the scene. It also contained the names of Foley, Howe and the four passengers in Howe's car.

The second report, the offense report, was sealed after the charges were dismissed but obtained through a source. It contains additional details on the circumstances surrounding the incident.

"Above named Michael R. Howe, and those listed as witnesses, are all victims of the charge of attempted assault," according to the report. "Defendant intentionally struck the victims while they were riding in a 1981 Mercury Sedan … Defendant was operating a 1973 Toyota Jeep … Defendant struck victims several times, once at [an intersection], once while west-bound on [Montauk] Highway while traveling approx. 50 MPH. and several more times at the parking lot of Suffolk Lighting on Main St."

The Courant's original 2010 story about the incident reported that, in the wording of a July 2, 1981, article in the Southampton Press newspaper, Foley had "allegedly rammed a vehicle, placing the occupants in fear of serious physical injury, police said."

At the time, Foley recalled that he had been at a party that night in 1981, and, upon leaving, he accidentally ran his car at low speed into the other car in traffic. He said that the day after the occupants filed a complaint with police, he was called to the police station and arrested, then spent the night in a cell and was released. The complainants had been at the same party, he said, and "thought I had done it on purpose."

Foley has the right to all reports about the incident that are on file with the Southampton police, as well as any law enforcement agency that might have such records, Janine Kava, director of public information for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Service, said earlier this month. State statutes "provide that such records shall be made available to the person accused from any agency that has them," she said.

The four passengers of Howe's car either could not be reached or declined to comment.

Boughton: 'Troubling'

One of Foley's potential opponents for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, said that The Courant's revelations "certainly are troubling — and I would encourage the [former] ambassador to be as honest and candid as he possibly can be to, clear up any of the discrepancies about the events in question."

Boughton, who has formed an exploratory committee of his own for a possible 2014 governor's run, said: "If Republicans are going to win, we have to have a clear shot to the governor's office — and we can't have a lot of controversy surrounding our nominee. So it's important for him to be candid. … If, in the past, he wasn't candid about what happened, I would encourage him to clear that up now."

The 1981 Long Island episode was one of two incidents involving vehicles that resulted in Foley's arrest on charges that were later dropped.

The second incident, about 12 years later, was included in a binder that Foley's former wife, Lisa Foley, submitted in 2002 to the governor's office. Much of the material concerned details from the Foleys' bitter 1994 divorce after about five years of marriage and Lisa Foley's belief that Foley should not have been appointed as co-chairman of a special commission on divorce and child custody.

Lisa Foley wrote that in 1993, her then-husband had forced her and the couple's young son "off the road in our car."

Foley denied that charge. He said that he and his wife had been separated, and that she had gone to his home in Greenwich to pick up their son. He said she had refused to give him legally required information about where they were going. He recalled blocking her car with his in the driveway in hopes of getting her to give him the information, but then, he said, "I realized that was a mistake" and let her pass. Then, he said, "I followed her" to "a couple of intersections" and "tried to appeal to her" unsuccessfully. Lisa Foley later complained to the police, he said, and "they asked me to come in and they actually arrested both of us."

"I believe the charge was breach of peace," Foley said, adding that the charges were not prosecuted against either of them. His former wife declined to comment.

Foley issued a public statement in 2010 about both incidents, in which he said:

"These were unfortunate incidents and ones that I wish hadn't happened. Both of these incidents came to light as a result of a letter my former wife wrote to the Governor's office in 2002 at a time when our relationship was particularly strained. I first heard about the letter yesterday afternoon after it was leaked to the Hartford Courant. The circumstances of how a confidential document from the Governor's office was leaked to the press and by whom raise serious questions."

"My opponents have already tried to exaggerate these long ago incidents to gain advantage in the race. Their over-the-top attacks and mischaracterizations include that I was imprisoned, that I have not been candid about these events, that there are still unanswered questions, and that these incidents involved domestic violence. My opponents should be ashamed of their false and intemperate remarks which raise serious questions about their truthfulness and personal characters."

And Dan Malloy harbors felons, hell he creates them, raises them. Not in the past, today, now.

Once again you post your factless opinion...FACTS PLEASE

How did distance to gun access enter relative to this article? ?

Guns should not be anywhere within your reach.

Dan Malloy is a great governor and he is doing the best possible job given the complexity and intractability of economic problems that were created in large part by prior administrations.

Malloy is just another liberal failure ...

Malloy is just another liberal success ...