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RECAP: Governor’s Race Hinged on Trump, Taxes

November 6, 2018 By Staff
RECAP: Governor’s Race Hinged on Trump, Taxes

Reclaim Connecticut recaps a contentious general election race between Republican Bob Stefanowski and Democrat Ned Lamont.

On Tuesday, Connecticut voters will decide who they want to be their governor for the next four years. At stake is the future management of Connecticut’s budget (and its anticipated deficits), the future tax burden in the state, and how the top elected official in Connecticut steers the state’s economy.

Reclaim Connecticut is doing a quick recap of the race, and how the three major candidates got to Election Day.


  • Democrat Ned Lamont is a businessman and two-time former candidate for statewide office (2006, U.S. Senate; 2010, governor); Lamont is running with lieutenant gubernatorial (LG) nominee Susan Bysiewicz, a former secretary of state
  • Republican Bob Stefanowski is a businessman and first-time candidate, who defeated four other candidates in a closely-contested August GOP primary; Stefanowski is running with LG nominee State Sen. Joe Markley (R-Southington)
  • Petitioning¬†candidate Oz Griebel is a businessman and a former GOP gubernatorial candidate (2010); Griebel is running with gun violence prevention activist Monte Frank, of Sandy Hook


According to Quinnipiac, the following issues were top of mind for Connecticut voters this election (as of October 10):

  • The economy (31 percent of likely voters said this was “the most important issue” to them)
  • Taxes (26 percent said this was “most important”)
  • Government spending (24 percent said this was “most important”)
  • Education (13 percent said this was “most important)

Also important was Donald Trump: 65 percent of voters said “supporting a candidate who shares [their] opinion on President Trump” is important (58 percent of Democrats, 78 percent of Republicans, and 61 percent of independents said this).

Outgoing Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.)? He’s important to Republicans (52 percent of Republicans said “supporting a candidate who shares [their] opinion on Governor Malloy [is] important” to them), but not to Democrats (23 percent) and independents (33 percent).


Several firms polled in Connecticut this general election, a sign of the importance of the gubernatorial race. The trend lately has been favoring a Stefanowski bump, but Lamont has been ahead in most polls.

Pollster/DateDemocratRepublicanPetitioningSomeone else/don't knowLead
Gravis (October 30 to November 1)Lamont 46%Stefanowski 37%Griebel 9%Uncertain 8%Lamont +9
Sacred Heart University (SHU; October 29 to October 31)Lamont 37.6%Stefanowski 40.0%Griebel 9.0%Someone else/don't know 13.4%Stefanowski +2.4
Quinnipiac (Q; October 22 to October 28)Lamont 47%Stefanowski 43%Griebel 7%Don't know 4%Lamont +4
SHU (October 13 to October 17)Lamont 39.5%Stefanowski 36.1%Griebel 8.4%Someone else/don't know 16%Lamont +3.4
Q (October 3 to October 8)Lamont 47%Stefanowski 39%Griebel 11%Don't know 3%Lamont +8
SHU (September 12 to September 17)Lamont 43.1%Stefanowski 36.9%N/ASomeone else/don't know 20.0%Lamont +6.2
Q (August 16 to August 21)Lamont 46%Stefanowski 33%Griebel 4%Someone else/wouldn't vote/don't know 18%Lamont +13
SHU (August 16 to August 21)Lamont 40.8%Stefanowski 36.9%N/ASomeone else/don't know 3.9%Lamont +3.9


As of October 28, the last report before the general election, here’s what the candidates for governor have spent:

  • Lamont: $12.9M in receipts, $12.3M in spending, $600K cash on hand
  • Stefanowski: $6.2M in receipts, $6M in spending, $200K cash on hand
  • Griebel: $492K in receipts, $431K in spending, $61K cash on hand

This does not include millions of dollars spent by independent groups.