The polling battles have already begun.
Rep. Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.) released internal polling Tuesday that shows him leading both the primary and general election matchups in the race to replace retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (I).
The release comes less than a week after the three-term Congressman formally entered the race. And it comes a full week after Murphy’s Democratic opponent, former state Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, released her own internals painting a very different story.
Murphy’s numbers, gathered by Gotham Research Group, show him ahead of Bysiewicz by 9 points, 40 percent to 31 percent. And in the general election, Murphy would defeat former professional wrestling CEO and unsuccessful 2010 Senate candidate Linda McMahon (R) by 19 points, 54 percent to 35 percent, and former Rep. Rob Simmons (R) by 12 points, 46 percent to 34 percent.
Gotham Research surveyed 502 likely voters, including a smaller sample of 257 likely Democratic primary voters, Jan. 3-5. The margin of error was 6.1 points. It’s worth noting that the poll was conducted two weeks before Murphy formally announced his candidacy.
“You have to take early polls with a grain of salt, but this level of support for Chris’ candidacy nearly two years out from the election is incredibly encouraging,” said Kenny Curran, Murphy’s campaign manager. “Of course, regardless of what the polls say, we are looking forward to running the same kind of campaign we’ve always run — a door-to-door, neighbor-to-neighbor effort to learn what the people of Connecticut want from their next Senator.”
Bysiewicz’s polling, taken in mid-December, showed her ahead of Murphy by 7 points, 33 percent to 26 percent.
Correction: Jan. 26, 2011
An earlier version of this item incorrectly stated the percentages Murphy and Bysiewicz earned in the poll. He earned 40 percent, and she earned 31 percent.