(Updated) Republican wrestling executive Linda McMahon is gaining on Democrat Richard Blumenthal, while former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons’ guerrilla campaign has him closing the gap between him and McMahon to 17 points in the Republican primary, according to Wednesday‘s Quinnipiac University poll.
Simmons had been trailing McMahon by 27 points in July’s poll of likely Republican primary voters.
McMahon still trails Blumenthal by 10 points, but she’s closed the gap by 7 points since the last poll in July. She still leads Simmons 47 to 30 percent, with Peter Schiff, the Weston money manager, lagging behind with 14 percent of the vote.
Simmons, who had curtailed his campaign after losing the convention to McMahon, jumped back into the race a few weeks ago with the first of two television commercials.
About eight percent of Republicans are undecided and 38 percent say they may change their mind before next Tuesday. Despite the negative ads Schiff has been running, 61 percent of voters still don’t know enough about him to form an opinion.
McMahon gets a 62 to 27 percent favorability rating from likely Republican voters, while Simmons gets a 49 to 24 percent score, with 25 percent who don’t know enough about him to form an opinion.
In a head-to-head match up between Blumenthal and McMahon, McMahon seems to be gaining slightly on Blumenthal with independents. Blumenthal’s support amongst independents has fallen 10 points since the last poll in July. While Connecticut may be considered a Blue State, the large number of independent, unaffiliated voters often make the difference.
McMahon’s campaign didn’t put out a statement on the poll, but they send out an article by blogger Kevin Rennie about her movement in this category.
“Independents are now evenly divided between Blumenthal and McMahon,” Doug Schwartz, Quinnipiac University poll director, said Wednesday at a Capitol press conference. He said it’s the first time McMahon has caught up to Blumenthal amongst independents.
Asked why McMahon continues to gain, “money,” Schwartz said. He also said Blumenthal hasn’t been as visible as McMahon because he doesn’t have a primary Aug. 10.
Click here to watch more of what Schwartz had to say.
Blumenthal’s said this weekend at a backyard fundraiser in Middlebury that he would run the race like he’s 10 points behind.
“Linda McMahon is spending $50 million in an attempt to buy this Senate seat with negative attacks bombarding Connecticut voters,” Mindy Myers, Blumenthal’s campaign manager, said. “So far, all Linda McMahon has demonstrated is that she’s got the money to protect her own interests in a ‘politics as usual’ campaign of negative attacks. The people of Connecticut know the difference and they know Dick Blumenthal will fight for them in the Senate.”
The poll surveyed 1,299 registered voters from July 28 – Aug. 2. The poll has a 2.7 percent margin of error. A separate survey of 1,003 likely Republican primary voters was conducted with a 3.1 percent margin of error.
The story will be updated throughout the morning.