(WTNH) – The poll of 1,000 registered voters found that Lamont, a Democrat in his first term, holds a 51% to 38% lead over Stefanowski, with 12% of voters undecided.

“Right now he is very popular in the state. His popularity is higher than President Joe Biden,’’ said Spencer Kimball, executive director of Emerson College Polling.

The poll was conducted on May 10 and 11 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 points. Data was collected over landlines and mobile phones.

Lamont edged passed Stefanowski in 2018 by just three points. Since then, the governor has earned high marks in surveys for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stefanowski is “going to have to take on a very popular governor,’’ Kimball said.

“There is a major gender divide between men and women as it comes to this governor’s race. With men, it’s a three-point lead for Lamont With women it’s a 20-point lead for Lamont,’’ Kimball said. “He is getting crushed with the female vote.”

Six months before the general election, the survey found that many people have made up their minds already. About 80% say they will definitely vote for their candidate, while 20% say there is a chance they could change their mind.

Unaffiliated voters will be a key battleground for this election and the poll found that among independent voters, Stefanowski leads Lamont by a 44-to-39 margin with 17% undecided.

Lamont showed strong support among urban and city voters while Stefanowski had a plurality among rural voters. In the suburbs, Lamont holds a 51% to 38% lead over Stefanowski.

Four years ago Lamont beat Stefanowski by just 44,000 votes. While much can change in the coming months, particularly with the pandemic still looming, Spencer said Lamont is now “in a solid position, particularly compared to where he was four years ago.”

Results from the race for the U.S. Senate race will be released Thursday morning.