With Connecticut Republicans now having chosen their gubernatorial candidate, political analysts say the state’s sluggish economy will likely be the dominant issue in this year's rematch between Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy and Republican businessman Tom Foley.
Voters in Connecticut see the state's economy as being in bad shape, despite any progress made during Democrat Malloy's tenure, according to Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz. ”The chief executive of the state gets the blame when things are going well so you can expect Tom Foley to attack Dan Malloy’s record on the economy,” he said.
But while the GOP says the race will be a referendum on the state's "failing economy" and Malloy's handling of it, Democrats argue that progress has been made since Malloy took office and there should not be a change of course.
Malloy and the Democrats will try to make the election a referendum on the competence of Foley and the Republicans, according to Ron Schurin, a University of Connecticut political scientist. “Sometimes they succeed in doing that. I’m thinking of Jennifer Granholm in Michigan. When she ran for reelection she was upside down in the polls, made the election about her opponent, and pulled through. Sometimes that doesn’t work. Governor Corzine in New Jersey tried to make that election about Chris Christie and it didn’t,” he said.
Whatever the case, Schurin expects the November 4th election will be hotly contested and attract national attention.