Democrat Richard Blumenthal’s campaign wasted no time countering a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday morning that shows Connecticut’s Senate race locked in a statistical dead heat.
The Quinnipiac survey shows Blumenthal leading former wrestling executive Linda McMahon (R) by just 3 points — 49 percent to 46 percent. That result, however, is within poll’s 3-point margin of error.
But Blumenthal, the Nutmeg State’s attorney general, released a separate poll showing he holds a far greater advantage over McMahon. That survey, conducted by the Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, gives Blumenthal a 12-point lead over McMahon, 52 percent to 40 percent. That internal poll details also shows significantly higher negatives for McMahon. The Blumenthal internal poll of 606 likely Connecticut voters was taken Sept. 20-23, while Quinnipiac surveyed 1,083 likely voters from Sept. 21-26.
“With five weeks to go, the Connecticut Senate race is very close. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is ahead by only a statistically insignificant 3 points,” Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz said. “Blumenthal has to be concerned about Linda McMahon’s momentum. He can hear her footsteps as she closes in on him.”
Before Tuesday’s Quinnipaic poll, McMahon had yet to pull within 6 points of Blumenthal.
“But McMahon has to be concerned that voters are still divided on her,” Schwartz added. “There continues to be a big gender gap, as we’ve seen in other states such a New York and Pennsylvania. Women are going with the Democrat and men are siding with the Republican.”
The Democratic poll, meanwhile, noted that McMahon has spent nearly $22 million on the campaign so far, far more than Blumenthal.
“Blumenthal’s edge is based on his generally strong standing, compared to fairly high negative impressions of McMahon,” Greenberg wrote. “Blumenthal receives a 55 – 29 percent favorable-unfavorable rating. McMahon’s ratio is 36 – 44 percent favorable-unfavorable, a ratio that has not changed much over the past month and is notable because a plurality of voters view her unfavorably.”
Quinnipiac found that a majority of likely voters, 56 percent, find McMahon’s television advertising campaign annoying, while 40 percent find them informative. For Blumenthal, however, 54 percent of respondents said his television advertising was informative, while 42 percent said it was annoying.
“Linda McMahon has spent about $22 million on her campaign, but is it overkill? A majority of voters say that it has been excessive. In contrast, many Democrats feel that Blumenthal hasn’t been doing enough on the advertising front,” Schwartz said. “As McMahon has flooded the airwaves, many voters are saying, Enough already!'”
Blumenthal and McMahon square off in their first debate in less than a week.