NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A new survey of Connecticut voters by WTNH/The Hill/Emerson College Polling reinforces an old political rule that helped to vault Bill Clinton to the White House 30 years ago: it’s the economy, stupid.
The latest poll shows Gov. Ned Lamont leading Republican challenger Bob Stefanowski by more than 10 points. Lamont is riding a high favorability rating and strong support from women as well as older and younger voters.
But with 40% of voters saying inflation, jobs and taxes are the most important factors determining their choice for governor, Lamont’s lead may not be bulletproof, if the economy declines further during the 60 days that remain between now and Election Day on Nov. 8.
“Well, for Lamont, his biggest concern is the economy,” said Spencer Kimball, executive director of Emerson College Polling.
“If the economy was to go in a downward trend, if gas prices were to increase over the next couple of weeks, I could see him being the voters holding him responsible for those changes,’’ Kimball said. “When you look within those cross tabs, the economy is a silver lining for the Republican candidates.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday that prices continued to rise in August. Inflation was at 8.3%, a small decrease from July.
Overall, 53% of voters in the survey said Connecticut is “generally headed in the right direction.” But among independent or unaffiliated voters – the largest voting bloc up for grabs in Connecticut – 57% felt the state is on the wrong track.
The poll found that 28% of Democrats rank the economy as their top issue. Among Republicans, nearly 60% say the economy is the most important factor when deciding who to vote for. About 42% of independent voters say the economy will be the most significant issue when voting in November.