(Updated) After being in the race for a week, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has taken the lead over three of his Republican opponents in the latest Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.
The survey of 1,430 registered voters released shows Blumenthal, a Democrat, leading former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons 62 percent to 27 percent, former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon 64 percent to 23 percent and Euro Pacific Capital President Peter Schiff, 66 percent to 19 percent.
Blumenthal also bests his Democratic opponent Merrick Alpert by a hefty 82 percent to 4 percent.
In matchups with Republicans, Blumenthal gets 89 to 90 percent of Democratic voters, 60 to 64 percent of the independent voters and 30 to 38 percent of Republican voters.
Voters approve 84 percent of the job Blumenthal is doing as attorney general and give him a 74 percent favorability rating.
“Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s job approval is unbelievably high, higher than any other politician we’ve ever measured, other than former President George W. Bush after 9/11,” Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz said in a press release.
In response to the poll number Blumenthal’s campaign said he’s “pleased that Connecticut residents consider me a worthy Senate candidate, but polls don’t vote, people do—and the only vote that counts is the one on Election Day.”
“I take nothing for granted, and I will work like an underdog,” Blumenthal said in a press release.
Meanwhile, the Republican primary seems to have tightened with Simmons holding a 10 percent lead over McMahon.
“Rob Simmons must be wondering what happened,” Schwartz said. “In September, prior to McMahon’s entry, he was the clear frontrunner for the nomination. He was at 43 percent and no other Republican was in double digits. He also was ahead of Dodd. Now, Simmons is in a real Republican primary race with Linda McMahon and gets destroyed by Blumenthal.”
Voters say 43 to 24 percent that McMahon does not have the right experience to be a Senator. But 35 to 15 percent say she is honest and trustworthy and 37 to 26 percent say she cares about their needs and problems.
Voters say 53 to 16 percent that Simmons has the experience; 49 to 14 percent say he is honest and trustworthy; and 51 to 19 percent say he cares about their needs and problems.
Jim Barnett, Simmons’ campaign manager, was quick to respond to the poll results by saying, “Despite millions and millions of dollars spent on advertising, Linda McMahon has still been unable to buy a lead in the race for the Republican nomination.”
“Once Rob Simmons is the Republican nominee, Richard Blumenthal will have to face – for the first time in his career – a battle-tested, proven winner who has the experience, vision and know how to defeat him.,” Barnett added. To which McMahon’s campaign spokesman countered, “Our December internal polls show us leading Simmons narrowly, but regardless of what poll is being looked at, it is very clear that Linda’s numbers continue to improve while Rob Simmons is experiencing backward momentum.”
As for U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the poll found that voters disapprove 54 to 39 percent of the job he is doing, one point off his worst grade ever and a steep drop from a 49 to 44 percent approval November 12.
And only 12 percent of voters are disappointed U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd dropped out of the race and decided not to seek re-election. However, 13 percent of Republicans voters were upset Dodd dropped out because they felt he gave their party a better chance of winning the seat.
However, 38 percent of voters say they are glad Dodd is out because he is not doing a good job, and 27 percent are glad because it gives another Democrat a better chance to win the Senate seat.