Buoyed by solid approval numbers and a strong lean toward Democrats in the 4th District’s generic ballot, Rep. Jim Himes appears well ahead of his Republican challenger Jayme Stevenson among likely voters according to a new poll commissioned by CT Examiner.
In a two-way contest, Jim Himes leads Jayme Stevenson 53% to 37% with 10% of likely voters undecided. Just a quarter of respondents said they were familiar or had an opinion about Stevenson.
The CT Examiner/Fabrizio, Lee & Associates poll, conducted on Oct. 23-27, surveyed 1,800 likely voters, 600 per congressional district, and has a margin of error of +/- 4.0%.
Jonathan Wharton, a professor of political science at Southern Connecticut State University, said the Fairfield County district is a particularly tough district for a challenger to break through, because voters in the 4th District tend to be more focused on the media based out of New York City.
“The fourth congressional district looks like it’s a pretty safe bet for the incumbent,” said Theresa Marchant-Shapiro, also a professor of political science at Southern Connecticut.
Himes, who has been in office since 2009, is widely known in the district. By contrast, half the voters polled didn’t know who Jayme Stevenson was, and another 25% said they had no opinion of her — including 60 percent of voters from her own party.
Asked which party they would vote for if the election was held today, likely voters in the 4th District chose Democrats over Republicans 48% to 38%, the largest margin in the districts polled.
Wharton said this wider disparity could in part be explained by the large number of people from New York who moved to Fairfield County during the pandemic – although he said this did also bring in a large number of independent voters.
“Fairfield County’s been a draw for years for New Yorkers,” said Wharton. “That’s almost a given. But because of COVID, I think the numbers more than doubled.”
Francesca Capodilupo, campaign manager for Himes, said the results showed that voters were in support of Himes’ congressional record.
“Clearly the people of Connecticut’s 4th district want to send Jim Himes back to Congress so he can continue fighting to lower costs for seniors and expand access to healthcare, keep promises to veterans, create jobs, and invest in America’s future,” Capodilupo said in an emailed statement.
Jayme Stevenson said in a statement that the majority of voters who said the economy was the central issue favored her, and that voters were “expressing their deep concerns with the status quo.”
“The poll shows what we’ve known all along…the economy and the high cost of living is top of mind and of greatest concern for voters. They know what’s on the line this election and that their votes matter. Voters want their voices heard,” Stevenson said. “My opponent may feel secure in his re-election bid because of the issue of abortion, but as a pro-choice candidate, woman and mother of four daughters, I understand and support women’s rights. However, I know that there are so many pressing issues that impact families each and every day – 70% of voters believe the country is moving in the wrong direction. Among motivated voters, the spread between my opponent and me is within the margin of error.”
More insights on data from the 4th District
- 59% of voters said inflation was the issue deciding their vote, compared to 37% who said abortion rights
- Half of respondents said they approved of the job Himes was doing in Congress, and 48% said they had a favorable view of him, including 41% of independents and 24% of Republicans.
- Six in 10 women said they planned to vote for Himes, while men were nearly evenly split between Himes and Stevenson.
It’s the second election poll sponsored by the nearly four-year-old online news startup CT Examiner. The nonpartisan poll was conducted by Fabrizio, Lee & Associates, an Alexandria, VA-based pollster with a who’s who list of corporate and Republican clients, including AARP and former President Donald Trump. Fabrizio has previously served as chief pollster for 5 presidential campaigns and in 2017 was awarded “Pollster of the Year” by the American Association of Political Consultants.