Blumenthal’s Lead Over McMahon Shrinks to 6 Points

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Associated Press

The race between Democrat Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Republican former WWE CEO Linda McMahon for U.S. Senate is getting tighter, indicating that it could be either candidate’s race when voters go to the polls in November.

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Blumenthal in the lead, 51 to 45 percent, over McMahon. In January, Blumenthal led McMahon by 41 points – 64 percent to 23 percent -- but the wrestling exec, who has said she would spend up to $50 million in her own money, has been chipping away at his lead. In August, Blumenthal led by 10 points.

"This is now a 6 point race among likely voters. With seven weeks to go and lots of money to be spent, anything can happen," Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz said. "For Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, an elected official with a 70 percent approval rating, this race is surprisingly close.”

In a state that has never had a female senator and last elected a Republican into the Senate in 1982, statistics show that this could be either candidate’s race -- about 3 percent of voters said they are undecided and 11 percent of those who do name a candidate said they could change their mind by Election Day.

Then there is the issue of why voters are leaning toward one candidate over the other. Of the people who said they back McMahon, 42 percent said their vote is mainly against Blumenthal, while 53 percent say they mainly are pro-McMahon.

“ It is not that voters are wild about McMahon; her favorability rating is tepid. And many of her supporters are more anti-Blumenthal," Schwartz said. "The question is whether Linda McMahon can ride the anti-establishment, anti-Democratic wave to victory in blue Connecticut, a state that hasn't voted for a Republican for Senator since

What’s happening in national politics seems to be hurting Blumenthal more than helping him.

"President Barack Obama appears to be a drag on Blumenthal, even in Connecticut, where the President's job approval rating is a negative 45 to 52 percent,” Schwartz said.

Where Blumenthal maintains a stronghold is with female voters, and Schwartz attributes this to fewer women holding his Vietnam service statements against him.

" It may be because women are less likely than men to be turned off by Blumenthal's Vietnam misstatements, and more likely to be turned off by McMahon's wrestling background," Schwartz said.

You can find more results from the poll here.

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