Propelled by Connecticut likely voters who say they are “angry” with government, former wrestling executive Linda McMahon, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate, is closing in on Democratic Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and now trails just 49 – 46 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3 points so the race is a statistical tie.
This compares to a 51 – 45 percent Blumenthal lead in a September 14 likely voter survey by conducted by live interviewers.
In today’s survey, 4 percent are undecided and 9 percent of voters who name a candidate say they could change their mind by Election Day. Blumenthal leads 89 – 9 percent among Democrats. McMahon leads 80 – 16 percent among Republicans. Independent voters shift from 47 – 46 percent for Blumenthal September 14 to 49 – 44 percent for McMahon today. In a gender reversal, women back Blumenthal 56 – 39 percent while men back McMahon 52 – 44 percent.
The 33 percent of likely voters who say they are “angry” with the federal government support McMahon 78 – 20 percent. “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. Blumenthal has to be concerned about Linda McMahon’s momentum. He can hear her footsteps as she closes in on him,” said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, PhD.
“McMahon clearly is capitalizing on the anger that one-third of voters are feeling toward the federal government. But McMahon has to be concerned that voters are still divided on her,” Dr. 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. Usually debates don’t make much of a difference, but in a race this close next month’s debates could be a game changer.”
Connecticut likely voters approve 68 – 29 percent of the job Blumenthal is doing as attorney general and have a 51 – 41 percent favorable opinion of him. McMahon gets a split 42 – 43 percent favorability.
Connecticut likely voters disapprove 51 – 45 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing. Offered four choices to describe their feelings about the federal government:
• 2 percent say enthusiastic;
• 21 percent say satisfied;
• 43 percent say dissatisfied;
• 33 percent say angry.
Of the 95 percent of Connecticut likely voters who have seen McMahon TV ads, 56 percent find them annoying and 40 percent find them informative. Among all voters, 54 percent say McMahon’s TV, radio and direct mail advertising is excessive, while 37 percent say it is about right.
Of the 87 percent who have seen Blumenthal TV ads, 54 percent find them informative and 42 percent find them annoying. Blumenthal’s advertising has been about right, 49 percent say, while 33 percent say he hasn’t advertised enough and 11 percent call it excessive.
“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!’”
From September 21 – 26, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,083 Connecticut likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.