The Washington Times - September 16, 2010, 03:22PM

On the same day President Obama travels to Connecticut to stump on behalf of Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, a well-known political handicapper declared the race between the Democrat and Republican Linda McMahon a “toss up.”

In switching the contest from “leaning Democratic,” the Cook Political Report cited a recent Quinnipiac University poll that showed Mrs. McMahon, a former wrestling mogul, had whittled down what was once a 41-point gap in January to now trail Mr. Blumenthal by just six points. The survey said the longtime top prosecutor leads the former wrestling mogul by 51 percent to 45 percent.


The two are duking it out in an increasingly bare-knuckled race to replace outgoing Sen. Christopher Dodd. Mrs. McMahon, a political novice, has vowed to pour as much as $50 million of her own fortune into the contest; she has also benefitted from tea-party support and a string of gaffes on the part of Mr. Blumenthal.

Political strategists had speculated for months as to whether Mr. Blumenthal would ask for Mr. Obama’s help in a traditionally-solid blue state where the president’s approval ratings have nevertheless dipped. Back in February, the Democrat evaded the question when asked by a reporter for the New Haven Independent.

The president is headlining two events in Connecticut Thursday. He’s scheduled to speak at a hotel in Stamford for Mr. Blumenthal followed by a private fundraiser to benefit the Democratic National Committee.