Hartford – The conclusion of the most expensive GOP primary for Governor in Connecticut’s history with a win by Bob Stefanowski, leaves no doubt the Connecticut Republican party, like the national GOP, is now the party of Donald Trump. Here are a few of our initial takeaways:
· The approximately 143,000 Republican voters participating in the GOP Primary was a significant increase over the highly contested 2010 GOP primary for Governor which had 116,883 voters participate.
· Trump voters played an important role in Stefanowski’s victory as he embraced the President while at the same time spending more than others, such as Tim Herbst, to specifically activate Trump voters.
· Stemerman, Herbst and Obsitnik performed as expected based on our polling of the race, and the winner performed as expected (gaining about 30% of the primary vote to win).
· Our final public survey showed Stefanowski picking up ground on Boughton, but Stefanowski outperformed his top range in our polling by a little less than 5% and Boughton underperformed his bottom range in our poll by about 6%.
· As our polling consistently indicated, 70% of the GOP primary voters did not vote for the winning candidate.
· The Citizens Election Program was a hinderance to candidates who decided to participate, failing to provide timely and sufficient funds to get the message out in the face of well financed competitors.
“This was an interesting and competitive race. By choosing Stefanowski the GOP will have a difficult time separating its’ image from that of Donald Trump. For Democrats, the challenge of separating themselves from Governor Malloy’s unpopularity will be lessened by the selection of his former competitor as their nominee.” Stated Matt Hennessy of Tremont Public Advisors.