A new poll says that the governor's race is literally tied between Democrat Dannel Malloy and Republican Tom Foley.
The poll, released by the CT Capitol Report website, says that each candidate received 45.1 percent of those surveyed with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.
Compared to the Quinnipiac poll, the CT Capitol Report survey is new on the political scene in Connecticut. The poll was conducted by the Hamden-based Merriman River Group, which is not as well known as many other polling organizations. Overall, the group said that 1,846 likely voters were surveyed via telephone between October 24 and 26 - with 6.3 percent undecided. The group says that its polling method has "accuracy far exceeding traditional polling methods'' that are used in other surveys.
"It seems clear we are heading to the tightest two-way gubernatorial finish in recent memory," poll director Matthew Fitch said in a statement. "The elections of 1990 and 1994, both of which were three-way races, were decided by about four points each. It may even be the closest election since 1954 when Abe Ribicoff won by about 3,000 votes. It is likely that the final spread will be less than four percentage points. With so few undecided voters, it is unlikely that we will see significant shifts in opinion."
Since the race is so close, Fitch said, "This election may well be decided by turnout'' and get-out-the-vote operations on Tuesday.
The Quinnipiac poll showed that 11 percent are undecided, but Foley says the total is even higher.
"We're still at 15 percent undecided in the race, and we think they'll break 2 to 1 or 3 to 2 for us,'' Foley said in an interview earlier this week.
Rasmussen reports that the race is within the margin of error - with Malloy ahead by 3 percentage points with a margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points and 4 percent of likely voters still undecided. Rasmussen rates the race as a "toss-up,'' as does Charles Cook of the highly respected Cook Political Report.
At the same time, national political prognosticators like Larry Sabato and Stuart Rothenberg have rated the race as "leans Democratic.''
Roy Occhiogrosso, Malloy's chief strategist, has maintained the campaign's stance regarding polls and did not comment in detail about Malloy being 5 points ahead in the Quinnipiac poll.
"We don't say very much about polls,'' he said Tuesday. "Polls go up. Polls go down.''
Regarding Foley's statement that he has been leading the race in recent tracking polls, Occhiogrosso said, "Tom Foley says a lot of things. ... Everybody should take what Tom Foley says with a shaker full of salt. Here's what Tom Foley will find out on Tuesday: democracy is not for sale in Connecticut.''
After the polls close, Occhiogrosso said that Foley will have run for both U.S. Senator and governor this year and will still be a private citizen.
"He will have spent in excess of $10 million, and he will still be Tom Foley,'' Occhiogrosso said.
Foley says that he has momentum in the race, and he was endorsed Wednesday by The Waterbury Republican-American. Malloy had been endorsed previously by The Hartford Courant and The New York Times, among others.
While acknowledging that he has been behind consistently in the Quinnipiac polls, Foley said recently that trying to figure out who is a likely voter is "going to be pretty tricky this election'' for the pollsters.
"If we're within a few points, the momentum is on our side,'' Foley told Capitol Watch. "I think that the polls are under-weighting the energy on the Republican side, and if there are a significant number of undecideds, I think what's been happening across the country will happen in Connecticut - and the undecideds will come largely to the Republican candidates.''