Stefanowski has Slim Lead over Lamont in SHU/Hearst Media Poll

News Story: November 1, 2018

Bob Stefanowski and Ned Lamont
Bob Stefanowski and Ned Lamont

The fourth and final gubernatorial poll from Sacred Heart University’s Institute for Public Policy, commissioned in conjunction with Hearst Connecticut Media, shows Republican Bob Stefanowski has moved up 3.9 percentage points in the past two weeks to carry a slim 2.4 percentage lead over Democrat Ned Lamont heading into the final days of the race. In a poll conducted from October 13-17, Lamont had a 3.4 percentage point lead over Stefanowski.

This final poll was conducted October 29-31 among likely voters.

Stefanowski’s support among unaffiliated voters has remained steady over the past few weeks as 43.6 percent support the Republican candidate for governor, currently, compared to 43.2 percent in early October. In September, 36.5 percent of unaffiliated voters indicated support for Stefanowski.

Lamont’s lead among female voters has decreased to 40.8 percent compared to 50 percent in October. Male voters continue to support Stefanowski at a rate of 45.2 percent compared to 34.4 percent who support Lamont.

Currently, 38.4 percent of Connecticut voters have a “favorable” view of Lamont compared to 40.8 percent who have an “unfavorable” view of him. The poll shows 41.6 percent of likely voters have a “favorable” view of Stefanowski, while 34.4 percent have an “unfavorable” view. Voters with a favorable view of Stefanowski increased from 34.9 percent in October.

If the election took place today, nine percent of voters indicated they would vote for Independent candidate Oz Griebel.

The top issues driving voters’ decisions at the poll continue to be the high overall tax burden (17.6 percent), the state budget crisis (17.6 percent) and low economic growth in Connecticut (12.6 percent).

“Over the course of the four polls we’ve conducted since September on Connecticut’s gubernatorial race, we’ve watched the Republican candidate, Bob Stefanowski, close the gap,” says Lesley DeNardis, executive director of the Institute for Public Policy and director of Sacred Heart University’s master of public administration program. “Now, it’s a statistical dead heat, with Stefanowski moving up 2.4 percentage points over Lamont, who led by 3.4 percentage points just two weeks ago. While unaffiliated voters are supporting the Republican (43.6 percent), 20 percent of them are still undecided, and the race continues to be highly competitive. High taxes, the state budget crisis and low economic growth continue to be the major factors the race will hinge on. Ultimately, the candidate the voters believe will do a better job of returning Connecticut to economic health, creating new jobs and offering more long-term solutions tied to improved quality of life and cost-of-living issues will prevail.”

GreatBlue Research Inc., conducted the Connecticut-specific scientific telephone survey on behalf of the SHU Institute for Public Policy, interviewing 500 residents statewide who indicated that they were “likely” to vote in the 2018 election for governor. Statistically, a sample of 500 telephone interviews represents a margin for error of +/-4.32 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. 

Sacred Heart’s Institute for Public Policy, which was established in 2017 in the College of Arts & Sciences, is aligned with the University’s new master of public administration program. In addition to hosting state-wide polls, the institute conducts public policy research, hosts public forums and workshops and serves as a public-policy learning incubator for students.

A PDF file of complete polling results is available at