Disagreement on how Visconti's withdrawal will affect governor's race

Two views of the impact of petitioning candidate Joe Visconti’s withdrawal from the governor’s race emerged today.

While a new Quinnipiac University poll showed Gov. Dannel P. Malloy moving three percentage points ahead of Republican challenger Tom Foley — 47 to 44 percent, with 7 percent undecided — without Visconti in the race, most of the polling that yielded the results took place before Visconti’s announcement Sunday that he was bowing out.

“Contrary to conventional wisdom, independent candidate Joe Visconti’s last minute exit … doesn’t look like it will help Republican Tom Foley,” said Douglas Schwartz, the poll’s director.

However, Visconti, a Republican, predicted his withdrawal and endorsement of Foley will carry Foley to a comfortable win in Tuesday’s vote.

“I represented a split in the gun movement,” Visconti said, referring to his campaign promise to actively seek repeal of the state gun-control law while Foley has said he would sign a repeal measure if it reached his desk.

“That’s all solidified now,” Visconti said.

Visconti said he had not “officially” withdrawn from the race, but had “suspended” his campaign and endorsed Foley.

“His (Visconti’s) name will remain on the ballot and any votes cast for him for governor will be counted for him,” said Av Harris, a spokesman for the Secretary of the State’s office. “We are informing all registrars of voters in Connecticut to leave the ballots as they are with no changes before Election Day.”

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