News Column

NYT/CBS online poll: Foley ahead of Malloy in gubernatorial race

July 29, 2014

By Mary E. O'Leary, New Haven Register, Conn.



July 29--NEW HAVEN -- Gov. Dannel P. Malloy gets only 33 percent of the vote to 42 percent for Republican Tom Foley in an online poll conducted by YouGov.

The Internet research firm conducted its poll in conjunction with the New York Times and CBS News.

It shows an additional 8 percent leaning toward Malloy, while Foley had 6 percent leaning toward his candidacy.

With just over three months to the November election, the poll shows Foley, a private equity manager from Greenwich, ahead 50 percent to 15 percent among unaffiliated voters in the state, which is the largest category of voters in Connecticut.

Malloy is only ahead in the age 30-44 demographic, with 42 percent of the vote to 30 percent for Foley; but it is closer among the 45-64 age grouping, with 32 percent for Malloy to 39 percent for Foley.

The Republican is the clear favorite among voters age 65 and older, with 54 percent of the vote, to 30 percent for Malloy, according to the poll.

Foley, who won the nomination at the GOP convention, is running for a second time against Malloy, who beat him in 2010 by 6,404 votes.

Foley is in an Aug. 12 primary fight with state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield.

Malloy continues to beat the Republican contender among women, 42 percent to 29 percent, something other polls have shown consistently. It also shows another 11 percent leaning towards Malloy and 6 percent towards Foley.

Among men, Foley gets 51 percent to 26 percent for Malloy with 6 percent leaning toward each candidate.

Black voters favor Malloy 54 percent to 49 percent for Foley, while white voters are in Foley's camp 47 percent to 29 percent for the first-term governor.

In an analysis of Internet surveys, the New York Times says it is better to average a host of polls using different models and weighting factors. Internet polls do not use probability sampling. A total of 100,000 people across the country responded to YouGov as it looked at the U.S. Senate and governor races.

It reports that this is the first poll using an online panel this year. Traditional polls use random-digit phone surveys, but the response rate there has been dropping.

The New York Times reports that Web panels reach 81 percent who use the Internet. This compares to 98 percent who can be reached by live telephone surveys. Only 63.5 percent can be reached by automated polling firms, because they cannot contact people on their cellphones.

The Times analysis points out that people who don't use the Internet and therefore are not part of the sampling "tend to be less educated, less affluent and more likely to be Hispanic or over age 65," which could affect the results.

Foley was happy with the announcement.

"Any poll that shows me up 9 points is certainly good news," Foley said. He said it shows that the public is "fed up" with traffic congestion in the state and high taxes under Malloy.

As for questions on the poll's reliability, Foley said the 9-point spread, even if not completely accurate, "leads a lot of room for error and you're still ahead."

The Democrats, when asked for comment, sent an analysis by the Daily Kos.

The Daily Kos said YouGov weighted some voter samples to make up for underrepresented populations, but the cross-tabs don't show how they were weighted. It said when YouGov did this in 2012 it miscalculated the non-white vote.

The poll paints a better picture for Republicans across the Senate races than other polls have suggested, even where Democrats have been doing well, Daily Kos said.

It urged caution, given that in 2012 the "margin of YouGov's final polls favored Republicans by an average 5 points, including large errors in competitive races in Nevada, Wisconsin, Connecticut and Virginia -- all in the GOP's favor."

It also took issue with not including "notable third-party" candidates in Maine, Georgia and South Dakota. The third-party contender in Connecticut, Jonathan Pelto, expects to qualify for a place on the ballot by Aug. 6.

Daily Kos conceded however, that "YouGov's distance from the polling averages is generally plausible."

The most recent Quinnipiac Poll has Malloy and Foley tied in the gubernatorial race.

McKinney, in a statement, said the YouGov poll, not having a probability sampling, "is hardly a basis for anything but gossip."

He said the poll "tells us nothing more than that neither Tom Foley nor Dan Malloy have convinced voters that they can bring real change to Hartford."

After Foley put $11 million of his own money into the 2010 campaign and Malloy defends his "disastrous administration," McKinney said the only things his two rivals have are "name recognition."

"Republican primary voters want an honest leader who can fix a broken state by bringing major change to Hartford. Tom Foley and Dan Malloy won't cut spending; I will. Tom Foley and Dan Malloy support a sweetheart deal with union bosses which is breaking the back of middle-class families; I don't. Tom Foley and Dan Malloy have no real plan for cutting taxes on middle income families; I do," McKinney said.

The Republican candidate said he is the only candidate who has "a plan to fix Connecticut."

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(c)2014 New Haven Register (New Haven, Conn.)

Visit the New Haven Register (New Haven, Conn.) at www.nhregister.com

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Source: New Haven Register (CT)


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