A new Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday showed Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, with a big lead over the three leading Republican candidates in Connecticut's U.S. Senate race.
The poll, which surveyed 1,430 Connecticut voters January 8 - 12, showed Blumenthal leading former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) executive Linda McMahon 64% - 23%. His lead against businessman Peter Schiff was even larger at 66% - 19%, while his lead over former Representative Rob Simmons was at 62% - 27%.
When pitted against the Republican candidates, around 89% to 90% of Democrats said they would vote for Blumenthal. Among independents, 60% to 64% said they would vote for Blumenthal, while 30% to 38% of Republicans said they would vote for him.
Blumenthal announced his candidacy on January 6 after Senator Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., announced he would not be seeking re-election, and has already taken a commanding 82% - 4% lead over Merrick Alpert in the Democratic primary.
"Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's job approval is unbelievably high, higher than any other politician we've ever measured, other than former President George W. Bush after 9/11," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, PhD.
Meanwhile, in the Republican primary, Simmons leads McMahon 37% - 27%. Schiff comes in a distant third at 4%.
"Rob Simmons must be wondering what happened," Schwartz said. "In September, prior to McMahon's entry, he was the clear frontrunner for the nomination. He was at 43% and no other Republican was in double digits. He was ahead of Dodd. Now, Simmons is in a real Republican primary race with Linda McMahon and gets destroyed by Blumenthal."
The poll found that 82% of Connecticut voters feel Blumenthal has the right kind of experience to be a U.S. Senator. Further, 81% feel he is trustworthy, while 80% feel he cares about their needs and problems.
Quinnipiac said the poll also found that Connecticut voters disapprove of the job Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., is doing by 54% to 39%. This marks Lieberman's worst grade and represents a steep drop from a 49% to 44% percent approval in a November poll.
Dr. Schwartz said, "Apparently, the national headlines Lieberman made during the health care debate have taken a toll on his popularity."
During the Senate debate on the health care reform bill, Lieberman forced the Democratic leadership to drop the public option as well as a proposed Medicare buy-in in order to win his support and break a potential Republican filibuster.
by RTT Staff Writer
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