U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Republican candidate Leora Levy

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal held a 13 point lead over Republican Leora Levy in a poll released Wednesday morning by CT Insider and Channel 3 Eyewitness News, which found the incumbent Democrat with a 30 point advantage among women.

The poll of 750 likely voters was conducted by Western New England University between Sept. 15 and Sept. 21 and reported a marginally smaller lead than the 17 point advantage found by a Quinnipiac University poll that was performed around the same time. 

Wednesday’s poll found Blumenthal leading 53% to 40% among general voters who were asked to choose if the election were held today, according to CT Insider. Blumenthal’s lead comes in part from strong support from women and college-educated voters. Both groups favored two-term Democrat 62% to 32%. The results mirror last week’s Quinnipiac poll which found women preferring Blumenthal 64% to 33%.

Surveyed voters gave Blumenthal a 46% favorability rating and Levy an 18% favorability rating, according to CT Insider. 

While the poll found Blumenthal leading among most age groups, Levy did receive support from 50% of those between 55 and 64 years old, versus Blumental’s 43% support. Levy also led among male voters 47% to 44% as well as voters who did not attend college, 49% to 44%. 

Despite back-to-back polls suggesting Blumenthal held double-digit leads, his campaign spokesman Ty McEachern issued a statement saying the candidate would “continue to work like he’s 10 points behind.”

“Senator Blumenthal is working to be Connecticut’s choice for the Senate while his opponent is Donald Trump’s choice,” McEachern said, referring to Trump’s endorsement of Levy in August. “As always, [Blumenthal is] focused on his job, delivering results for the people of Connecticut.”

In a statement, Levy campaign spokesman Tim Saler said the poll was flawed and “comically over-represented” the number of college-educated voters in Connecticut.

“Perhaps from the ivory tower it may look like 62 percent of Connecticut voters have a college degree, but in fact that number is much, much lower,” Saler said. “This dramatically affects the results of the survey, as does the balance of partisanship. Unaffiliated voters, who are unfavorable to Dishonest Dick by ten points, are also under-represented in this survey, even compared to the blue wave midterm in 2018.”

In a Wednesday phone interview, Gary Rose, a political science professor at Sacred Heart University, said it was possible that recent polls had failed to capture an existing swell of conservative voters. Rose pointed to polling ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

“Is there a hidden Levy vote here or a hidden Trump vote, where people, when they’re polled, don’t want to possibly admit to a pollster that they are supporting a right wing candidate?” Rose said. “That’s a possibility. It is true that in 2016 there was a vote under the surface that the pollsters missed and so it’s possible that there is that dimension here too in this election because people, particularly conservatives, have become suspicious of pollsters and they think there’s an agenda when they contact them.”

However, in general, Rose said the available surveys pointed a landslide in the making for Blumenthal. Levy is a Trump-endorsed Republican in a blue state running against a better-funded and formidable incumbent, he said.

Meanwhile, Levy has receded as a candidate in the weeks since she pulled of an upset primary victory in August, Rose said.

“Since [the primary] her campaign seems to have fallen off the radar and a lot of people still don’t know who she is. They haven’t seen her on TV much,” Rose said. “Right now I’m not sure where she is and I know other voters too are just saying ‘Who is she?’”