The Washington Times - October 17, 2012, 02:18PM

Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy is ahead in the Connecticut Senate race — but only by a hair, and well within the margin of error of a new poll released Wednesday.

He led his Republican opponent Linda McMahon by 46 percent to 44 percent in a Siena College survey, which has a 4.2 percent margin of error. That’s a smaller lead than most other polls have given the Democratic congressman, indicating Mrs. McMahon may be narrowing the gap in the final weeks before Election Day.

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And there is still a pool of undecided voters to win over. According to the Siena poll, 8 percent of likely Connecticut voters still haven’t decided how they will vote.

A former pro-wrestling executive, Mrs. McMahon has turned the Senate contest into a surprisingly close race with the help of her personal fortune. Mr. Murphy, who is virtually unknown outside his own district, has struggled to counter a blitz of negative advertising she has showered around the state.

Mrs. McMahon’s showing is especially unusual because of President Obama’s strong 15-point lead in the state in the presidential race with Mitt Romney.

She has struggled with likeability ratings, in part due to her industry’s sordid reputation, but Mr. Murphy isn’t popular with voters either. In the Siena poll, 36 percent of respondents in the Siena poll had a favorable opinion of Mr. Murphy, while 45 percent viewed him unfavorably. The breakdown was 41 percent favorable, 49 percent unfavorable for Mrs. McMahon.