Even though millions of dollars have been spent on campaign operations, mailers, and television advertisements, the latest poll on the U.S. Senate race in Connecticut offers almost the same results as it did a year ago.
The survey of 771 likely Connecticut voters released by Public Policy Polling Tuesday shows Democrat Chris Murphy beating Republican Linda McMahon in the November election 50 to 42 percent. A September 2011 poll of registered voters showed Murphy beating McMahon 50 to 43 percent.
Murphy also maintains support of 82 percent of his party in a match up against McMahon, while 10 percent defects across the aisle to McMahon, according to the poll.
The poll also points out there is a reverse gender gap where Murphy is up 20 points with women and McMahon is up seven points with men. In 2010, the gender gap was an issue for McMahon in her race against now U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and may have contributed to her defeat.
The poll brought even worse news for Susan Bysiewicz and former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays who are hoping to win their parties endorsement Aug. 14.
“With the primaries two weeks away, it is nearly impossible for anyone but Murphy and McMahon to emerge victorious,” the PPP press release announcing the poll results states.
Shays’ favorability rating among Republicans are down from where they were a year ago, and he trails McMahon in a head-to-head match-up by 48 points. On the Democratic side Murphy continues to lead Bysiewicz by a smaller margin of 17 points.
The polls speculates Republicans are upset with Shays’ statements regarding McMahon if she emerges victorious on Aug. 14. New reports have said he wouldn’t support her, but the campaign says that’s not true and Shays respect the voters’ choice and will vote for her if she is the nominee. It goes onto surmise that Democrats are upset with Bysiewicz over her refusal to pull a misleading TV ad attacking Murphy.
McMahon’s campaign declined comment on the poll.
Shays’ campaign spokeswoman Amanda Bergen said that’s because the poll proves McMahon is still unelectable. She’s spent millions of dollars and her negatives have moved 1 percentage point since last year, Bergen said.
“She can’t make it over the hump,” Bergen said. “That’s why Karl Rove, who doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with Chris, is endorsing him because he knows he can win in November.”
In a hypothetical match up between Murphy and Shays, Murphy beats Shays 47 to 38 percent with 15 percent undecided, according to the poll. The poll shows Murphy beating McMahon 50 to 42 percent with only 8 percent of the voters undecided.
“With solid leads in both the primary and general Chris Murphy is likely to be the next Senator from Connecticut,” Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said.
Obviously the Murphy campaign would also like to believe that statement.
“This poll shows that more and more people across Connecticut know that Chris is the strongest candidate to take on McMahon’s million-dollar attack machine in November,” Taylor Lavender, a Murphy campaign spokeswoman, said.