The Washington Times - September 9, 2010, 03:08PM

GOP Rep. Roy Blunt’s lead over Democrat Robin Carnahan in Missouri’s race for U.S. Senate has dropped by 3 percentage points, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll released Thursday.

Mr. Blunt has 53 percent of the vote, compared to 43 percent for Mrs. Carnahan, Missouri’s secretary of state, in a telephone survey of likely voters that included “leaners” — or those who initially indicate no preference for either of the candidates but said in a follow-up question that they are leaning toward a particular candidate.

Two percent of the 750 people polled preferred another candidate and another 2 percent were undecided.

Washington Republicans say the numbers show that Mr. Blunt has maintained a 10-point lead despite Democrats’ $1.3 million negative advertising campaign.  

“Obviously it’s not making a dent,”  said Amber Marchand, National Republican Senatorial Committee spokeswoman. 


Republicans are battling to keep that seat and win 10 held by Democrats to retake control of the Senate.

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In a Rasmussen poll two weeks ago that also included leaners, Mr. Blunt lead 54 percent to 41 percent in the race for open seat of retiring GOP Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond.

Rasmussen said poll results with leaners will now be the primary indicator of the race because undecided voters become more reliably committed to a candidate as the Nov. 2 general election nears.

Rasmussen rates the race as “leaning GOP,” while to Cook Political Report rates it as a “toss up.”

The recent poll without leaners shows Mr. Blunt holding a 51-to-40 percent lead over Mrs. Carnahan, the same as two weeks ago.

Republicans are battling to keep that seat and win 10 held by Democrats to retake control of the Senate.