Popular Democratic Attorney General Richard Blumenthal was seen by most as a shoe-in to win the open Connecticut Senate seat, but a recent poll indicates he has a real race on his hands. Republican Linda McMahon is now within striking distance according to the latest Quinnipiac poll.
Richard Blumenthal 49
Linda McMahon 46
Someone else 1
The poll shows modest improvement for McMahon since two weeks ago, when Quinnipiac measured this a six-point race (Blumenthal 51 – McMahon 45). This poll indicates that McMahon has a chance of winning in Connecticut, probably a better chance than some other higher profile possible Republicans pickups, like Carly Fiorina in California.
Looking at the internals, one thing Blumenthal has going for him is that he is still personally well liked–51 percent of voters view him favorably while only 41 percent view him unfavorably. Only 42 percent hold a favorable opinion of McMahon while 43 percent rate her unfavorable.
McMahon as a self-funded millionaire has spent big on the race, and it shows. A majority, 54 percent, think McMahon has run an excessive amount of campaign ads while only 11 percent feel the same about the Blumenthal campaign.
Blumenthal’s difficulty in this poll seems to have a fair amount to do with Quinnipiac’s likely voter model, which is very friendly to Republicans this cycle. Blumenthal is only losing independents in the poll by four points, and he is over-performing with Republicans. With Gallup showing a massive enthusiasm gap, Quinnipiac is right to be expecting a large Republican turnout advantage–but how big is the important question.