Connecticut Rep. Chris Murphy was trailing his U.S. Senate opponent Linda McMahon just three weeks ago, but now he has gained the upper edge in the race, with a new poll Wednesday morning giving him a 6-point lead.
Mr. Murphy, a Democrat, has 49 percent of the vote compared to 43 percent for Mrs. McMahon, a Republican wrestling executive, in a Quinnipiac poll of likely Connecticut voters. That’s a reversal of where things stood in the polling institute’s Oct. 4 survey, which showed Mrs. McMahon with a 48 percent to 47 percent lead.
While there are several close Senate races around the country, the news is especially welcome to Democrats, who never expected the Connecticut contest to be as close as it’s been over the last few months.
Mr. Murphy was quick to broadcast the poll, saying voters are reacting against Mrs. McMahon’s largely negative campaign, financed by the fortune she accumulated while a top executive at World Wrestling Entertainment.
“After losing four debates and seeing the momentum shift strongly toward Chris, Linda McMahon is now relying completely on stale, desperate and dishonest political attacks to distract voters from her extreme right-wing positions,” said Murphy spokesman Ben Marter.
President Obama’s popularity in the state is a strong boon to Mr. Murphy. The president holds a double-digit advantage over GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
“President Barack Obama is running stronger than Murphy in Connecticut, holding steady with a 14 point lead over Gov. Mitt Romney,” said Douglas Schwartz, director of the Quinnipiac University poll. “The president’s coattails are helping Murphy.”
The Quinnipiac Poll surveyed 1,412 likely voters from Oct. 19-22 with a margin of error of ± 2.6 percentage points.