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Connecticut: With Primary Looming, McMahon Surges in Poll

Senate hopeful Linda McMahon is leading her Republican challengers and closing in on Democrat Richard Blumenthal, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

The poll, conducted July 28 to Aug. 2, shows McMahon’s standing with voters has improved since mid-July, when she was running 17 points behind Blumenthal.

The Democrat is now ahead 50 percent to 40 percent in the Quinnipiac poll.

Looking at the Aug. 10 Republican primary, the poll found McMahon, former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, leading former Rep. Rob Simmons and businessman Peter Schiff by 17 points and 33 points, respectively.

Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz noted that independent voters “are for the first time evenly divided between Linda McMahon, who gets 46 percent, and Richard Blumenthal, who gets 44 percent.”

Quinnipiac’s statewide survey of 1,299 registered voters has a margin of error of 2.7 points. Its snapshot of the GOP primary is drawn from a sample of 1,003 likely primary voters and has a 3.1-point margin of error.

DNC: GOP Shouldn’t Hide Tea Party Leanings

Less than a week before primary voters will select a Republican nominee in the crowded 4th district race, the Democratic National Committee is pushing a strategy to connect the GOP candidates to the tea party movement.

“The residents of Connecticut’s 4th deserve to know — are the Republicans running to represent them tea party Republicans? If they’re not, they should stand up to the tea party Republican bosses and disavow their radical agenda,” DNC spokesman Michael Czin said.
Specifically, Czin called on the GOP hopefuls to say whether they would join the new Congressional Tea Party Caucus.

“With the nomination of Sharron Angle, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, to name a few, the constant advertising of the group by the right-wing media, the millions of dollars poured into the movement by right-wing leaders and the countless ultra conservative Members of Congress promoting their ideals, it’s clear that the tea party and the Republican Party are now one,” he said.

Here’s how the Republicans vying to take on freshman Rep. Jim Himes (D) responded:

Rick Torres, a Cuban-American and Bridgeport businessman, said, “I would be honored to have the chance to caucus with Rep. Bachmann.”

Rob Merkle, a Westport businessman, initially said he didn’t know enough about it to comment, then said: “I go to some rallies. Usually I’m speaking. I’ve got tea party supporters all over the place. I would have to say yes, I’m a tea party member, and I would likely join the Tea Party Caucus.”

Jason Perillo, campaign manager for state Sen. Dan Debicella, said he did not know whether his boss might join that caucus. “It’s not something we’ve talked about,” he said.

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