Republican Thomas Foley now enjoys a modest lead over his two top Democratic opponents in Connecticut’s gubernatorial race, a contest that was a toss-up two months ago.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state finds Foley leading businessman Ned Lamont 44 percent to 37 percent. In early February, Foley trailed Lamont 40 percent to 37 percent. Seven percent (7 percent) now prefer some other candidate, and 13 percent are undecided.
Foley, a former U.S. ambassador to Ireland, leads ex-Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy 44 percent to 35 percent. The two men were virtually tied in the previous survey. Given this match-up, eight percent (8 percent) favor another candidate, and 14 percent are undecided.
The other top GOP hopeful, Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele, now runs closely with both Democrats. Lamont leads Fedele 41 percent to 38 percent, down from an eight-point lead in February. Nine percent (9 percent) like another candidate, and 12 percent are undecided.
Malloy leads Fedele 40 percent to 37 percent, with 7 percent preferring another candidate and 16 percent undecided. In February, Malloy had a negligible 36 percent to 35 percent lead.
Most male voters continue to prefer Republican contenders in the match-ups, while most female voters prefer the Democrats. Unaffiliated voters favor the Republican in every match-up.
Primary elections for both parties will be held August 10.
Foley is viewed very favorably by 10 percent of Connecticut voters, very unfavorably by six percent (6 percent).
Eighteen percent (18 percent) have a very favorable view of Lamont, who beat Senator Joseph Lieberman for Connecticut's Democratic Senate nomination in 2006 and then lost the general election to the longtime senator when the latter opted to run as an independent. Twenty-two percent (22 percent) view Lamont very unfavorably.
For Malloy, very favorables are 12 percent and very unfavorables 11 percent.
Fedele is the least-known of the candidates, with three percent (3 percent) very favorable toward him and five percent (5 percent) very unfavorable.
At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with strong opinions more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.
Incumbent Republican Governor Jodi Rell, who decided not to pursue a second term despite her popularity, enjoys 63 percent job approval from Connecticut voters. That number includes 21 percent who strongly approve of her performance. Only 34 percent disapprove, including 15 percent who strongly disapprove.