Momentum: Q-Poll Puts CT Sen Race Within 3

Posted: Sep 28, 2010 9:16 AM
Rasmussen pegged Richard Blumenthal's lead at just five yesterday.  Another day, another poll: Can you smell what Quinnipiac is cooking?

Propelled by Connecticut likely voters who say they are "angry" with government, former wrestling executive Linda McMahon, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate, is closing in on Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, the Democrat, and now trails just 49 - 46 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

In today's survey, 4 percent are undecided and 9 percent of voters who name a candidate say they could change their mind by Election Day. Blumenthal leads 89 - 9 percent among Democrats. McMahon leads 80 - 16 percent among Republicans. Independent voters shift from 47 - 46 percent for Blumenthal September 14 to 49 - 44 percent for McMahon today. In a gender reversal, women back Blumenthal 56 - 39 percent while men back McMahon 52 - 44 percent.

The 33 percent of likely voters who say they are "angry" with the federal government support McMahon 78 - 20 percent.

McMahon is a self-funder, and her advertising blitz has clearly paid off to some extent, but is she beginning to irritate voters?

Of the 95 percent of Connecticut likely voters who have seen McMahon TV ads, 56 percent find them annoying and 40 percent find them informative. Among all voters, 54 percent say McMahon's TV, radio and direct mail advertising is excessive, while 37 percent say it is about right.

Effective political advertising can be a tightrope walk; McMahon should proceed with caution, despite her momentum mojo.  That said, few people don't find political spots annoying, and providing information like this about your opponent is worth the risk:

If any firm is going poll Connecticut accurately, it would be Quinnipiac.  They're located in-state.  Given the past two days of polling data, national Democrats have to be concerned.  The DSCC now faces the unenviable task of engaging in political triage.  Which unexpectedly close races will they prioritize for the largest injections of cash?  Will it be Russ Feingold, who's lagging in Wisconsin?  Richard Blumenthal's campaign is probably pushing the panic button, too.  Or perhaps flip-floppin' Joe Manchin of West Virginia is still salvageable?  But what about Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and Barbara Boxer in California, Patty Murray in Washington...

Decisions, decisions.