Blumenthal Leads McMahon by 18 points in Connecticut

Posted October 21, 2010 at 2:57pm

In what has already been a roller coaster of a Senate race, Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal leads Republican Linda McMahon by 18 points, according to a Suffolk University poll released Thursday.

Blumenthal has led consistently in the high-profile contest against the former wrestling executive, but a Rasmussen Reports survey released last week had his lead down to 5 points.

But the Suffolk poll found that Blumenthal led with 57 percent to McMahon’s 39 percent. The university surveyed 500 likely Connecticut voters Oct. 19 and 20. The poll had a 4.4-point margin of error.

Suffolk’s pollster noted that Blumenthal will appear twice on the ballot — as a Democrat and under the Working Families Party lines.

“It doesn’t appear that voter fusion will cause too much confusion in Connecticut on Election Day,” said David Paleologos, director of the Political Research Center at Boston’s Suffolk University. “Blumenthal, at this point, doesn’t even need the Working Families Party votes to secure a win — he just needs Republican Linda McMahon to continue her negative ad campaign, as voters have viewed McMahon’s campaign as the more negative between the two.”

Suffolk found that 62 percent of likely voters think McMahon has run a more negative campaign, compared with 20 percent for Blumenthal. When asked specifically about McMahon’s ads that state Blumenthal lied about serving in Vietnam, 33 percent of likely voters said it would not affect their vote, 30 percent said it made them more likely to vote for Blumenthal, and 25 percent said it pushed them toward McMahon.

News surfaced this week that McMahon had loaned her campaign another $20 million, bringing her total self-funding this cycle to more than $41 million on the effort, which has included several rounds of attack ads. She has indicated a willingness to spend as much as $50 million.

Meanwhile, the McMahon campaign dismissed the new numbers as “inaccurate.”

McMahon spokesman Ed Patru said the Rasmussen survey showing it as a 5-point contest was consistent with internal polling for McMahon.