Candidates for state office are in their full-campaign mode now and will be for the next seven weeks until Nov. 2.

Incumbents are highlighting their records and touting achievements while challengers are making a case for change.

No matter what strategy they employ, all candidates should make sure they talk about the biggest issues facing voters in Connecticut: Jobs and the economy. Last week, three major polls confirmed the obvious:

  • “Do you know anyone who is out of work and looking for a job?” “Yes,” said 82% of 500 likely voters in Connecticut, according to Rasmussen Reports
  • “How worried are you about the direction of the nation’s economy …?” asked the Quinnipiac University Poll of 875 likely Connecticut voters: 91% said were either “Very” or “Somewhat” worried.
  • 55% of voters say that the economy and jobs will “matter most” (among four other factors) in deciding how they vote for governor (Quinnipiac Poll, Sept. 15)
  • 65% of Connecticut voters think we’re still in a recession (Rasmussen)

A big reason why candidates can’t ignore these numbers is that an astounding 88% of Connecticut voters responding to a CBIA-commissioned poll this summer said they were “certain” to vote on Nov. 2. Voters are worried, and they’re motivated to take action.

Most candidates are saying that they are “pro-jobs.” Now, voters want to know exactly how candidates are proposing to create jobs. What will they do to recharge the state’s economy? And are they willing to do the hard work to make government work better and more affordably?

High unemployment, a struggling economy, massive structural state budget deficits, a $60 billion unfunded liability for state employee health and retirement benefits, and a very uncertain business environment have put our state’s future at risk, a fact that has not been lost on voters.

Before Nov. 2, it’s very important for voters to know where their candidates stand on the issues and how they plan to help Connecticut move ahead out of the recession and into recovery.