After months of declining Quinnipiac University poll numbers, Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Richard Blumenthal has reversed the trend and opened up a 54 to 43 percent lead over Republican nominee Linda McMahon in the latest poll.

Last month, Blumenthal held a slim three-point lead over McMahon. But with only a few weeks to go, independent voters have shifted their support from McMahon to Blumenthal, who now leads among independent voters 49 to 44 percent.

“Fueled by a surge in support from women, Democrats, and independents, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has his best poll numbers since the start of the fall campaign,” said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Doug Schwartz. “Linda McMahon may have peaked too soon, and her advertising saturation could be causing ‘McMahon fatigue.”

Blumenthal held similar double-digit leads in polls conducted by CNN, Rasmussen, Fox News, and Public Policy Polling. It was only the Quinnipiac University poll that put the contest at a dead heat on Sept. 28.

“After Linda McMahon had climbed to within 3 points of Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, he has stopped her momentum and increased his lead by 8 points in two weeks.  While September wasn’t very good for Blumenthal, perhaps like Reggie Jackson, he could be called ‘Mr. October,’” said Schwartz.

“Blumenthal is running stronger among Democrats than McMahon is running among Republicans.  He is winning women by an overwhelming 31-point margin, while McMahon has struggled with women throughout the campaign.  They have a negative image of her, but like him by more than 2 to 1,” said Schwartz. “With only three weeks left in the campaign, McMahon is down by 11 points with only 3 percent undecided.  Even if she won all the undecided, she still would fall short.  This has been a very unusual election year, however, so anything is possible.”

“This election is about jobs and the economy, and Dick Blumenthal’s challenge over the next two and a half weeks will be to explain how he can put Connecticut back to work without an understanding of how jobs are created,” said Ed Patru, McMahon’s communications director. “With the economy as the overwhelming concern of struggling families, only 13 percent of voters agree with Mr. Blumenthal’s claim that our economy is in ‘good times.’”

But the poll was conducted after last week’s first debate where Blumenthal was asked by McMahon how a job is created. McMahon’s campaign later turned his answer into a television commercial. McMahon’s campaign also seems to have adopted what Blumenthal’s campaign was saying when the Sept. 28 poll put the race within the margin of error.

“We have always said this election will be close, and as is typically the case in close elections. Polling will fluctuate,” Patru said.

“We will continue to work like we are 10 points down because there is a lot at stake during this election and with our opponent spending $50 million to fuel her negative attack machine, we know that this is going to be a tough race until the very end,” said Mindy Myers, Blumenthal’s campaign manager. “The people of Connecticut need, and a deserve, a Senator like Dick Blumenthal who is going to stand up and fight for them in Washington.”

The poll conducted Oct. 7-11 surveyed 1,119 likely voters with a 2.9 percentage point margin of error.