For the first time since she started running for U.S. Senate in 2010 Republican Linda McMahon is leading her Democratic opponent in a poll.
In a Rasmussen poll of 500 likely voters, McMahon received 49 percent of the vote to Democrat Chris Murphy’s 46 percent. About 5 percent of those surveyed were undecided and the margin of error is 4.5 percent.
It’s unclear how many Republicans, Democrats and Independents they sampled and if it reflects the make-up of Connecticut’s electorate.
While the McMahon campaign declined to say if the poll reflects what it’s seeing internally, it said the poll “reflects that the people of Connecticut are sick of career politicians.”
“Only in Washington D.C. can you skip 80 percent of work and expect a promotion,“ Corry Bliss, McMahon’s campaign manager, said Wednesday referring to Murphy’s hearing attendance record during his first term in the House.
Meanwhile, Murphy’s campaign immediately used the poll results to make a fundraising pitch to their supporters.
“Make no mistake, Connecticut is not an automatic victory, and this is going to be a close race against a candidate with unlimited funds,” Kenny Curran, Murphy’s campaign manager, said in an email.
“We’ll never outraise Linda McMahon, but your help will ensure we can hold our own,” Curran added.
Murphy has been trying to beat back the number of television ads McMahon has been running seemingly in an attempt to define him even before the Aug. 14 primary. According to a Quinnipiac University poll in June, 46 percent of voters sampled didn’t know enough about Murphy to form an opinion.
McMahon’s campaign has been trying to capitalize on that number by running ads questioning his attendance and his “jobs plan.”
Meanwhile, Murphy’s campaign is trying to downplay the poll numbers.
“Any poll is a snapshot in time, and November is a long way away,“ Taylor Lavender, Murphy’s spokeswoman said. “We knew this was going to be a competitive race—McMahon has spent over $65 million trying to buy two elections now. But in the end, money doesn’t buy elections and voters know that McMahon is only out for herself, while Chris has been fighting for middle class jobs in Connecticut.”
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was quick also to remind people that Rasmussen tends to be a right leaning poll.
“Rasmussen’s Republican bias is well known and documented so it’s impossible to take their data seriously. The fact is that the last time Linda McMahon ran for office, she spent $50 million trying to buy a Senate seat but still lost by double digits. There’s no reason to expect different results this November,” Shripal Shah, DSCC press secretary, said.
The poll was conducted Tuesday, Aug. 21.