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Democrat Blumenthal Widens Lead in Connecticut U.S. Senate Race

Thursday, 14 Oct 2010 06:47 AM

Democrat Richard Blumenthal has opened an 11 percentage point lead in Connecticut’s U.S. Senate race over Republican Linda McMahon, the former chief executive officer of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., according to a poll released today.

Blumenthal, the state’s attorney general, has a 54-43 percent advantage among likely voters in the Nov. 2 election, according to a poll by Quinnipiac University. In a Sept. 28 survey, Blumenthal led by only 3 points, 49-46 percent, over McMahon, who has spent more than $21 million to win the seat of retiring Democrat Christopher Dodd.

“Linda McMahon may have peaked too soon, and her advertising saturation could be causing ‘McMahon fatigue,’” said Douglas Schwartz, poll director at Hamden, Connecticut- based Quinnipiac University, in a statement accompanying the results.

McMahon, 62, had spent $21.3 million on the race as of July 21, the last date for which figures are available, according to the Federal Election Commission. She had loaned $21.5 million and donated $582,000 to her own campaign, and had raised $26,282 from individual contributions.

The money has funded a blizzard of television ads, radio commercials and printed mailings that 54 percent of voters described as “excessive” in Quinnipiac’s Sept. 28 poll.

Blumenthal, 64, had spent about $1.4 million through June 30, according to the FEC. He had raised $3.5 million, including $3 million from individuals, about $500,000 from political committees, and $11,931 from his own pocket.

Senate Contest

McMahon’s ability to put millions of her own dollars into the race drew attention to the campaign to replace Dodd, a 30- year Senate veteran, with control of Congress at stake.

Blumenthal has been elected to five terms as Connecticut’s attorney general since 1990. McMahon and her husband, Vince McMahon, built Stamford, Connecticut-based World Wrestling Entertainment into a company with a market value of more than 41 billion.

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,119 likely Connecticut voters from Oct. 7-11. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

Blumenthal is supported by 95 percent of Democrats, the poll showed; McMahon is favored by 87 percent of Republicans. Blumenthal leads 63-32 percent among women voters, while McMahon has a 52-46 percent advantage among men.

Blumenthal has a 5 percentage point lead among independent voters, after trailing McMahon by 5 points among independents in the Sept. 28 poll.

“With only three weeks left in the campaign, McMahon is down by 11 points with only 3 percent undecided,” Schwartz said, describing the challenge facing McMahon. “This has been a very unusual election year, however, so anything is possible.”

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