Republican U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon holds a slender lead over Democratic rival Chris Murphy in blue Connecticut, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll released Wednesday.
It is the first independent poll showing McMahon in the lead.
The telephone survey of 500 likely voters in Connecticut shows McMahon with 49 percentage points to Murphy’s 46. (One percent of those polled said they prefer another candidate, and just five percent are undecided. McMahon has been running TV ads for months now, and has recently begun airing a series of negative commercials criticizing Murphy.
McMahon campaign manager Corry Bliss said the poll is “just a snapshot in time.”
However he also said the results show Connecticut voters are “sick and tired of professional politicians.” Murphy has served in Congress, representing the state’s 5th Congressional District, since 2006.
Murphy spokeswoman Taylor Lavender echoed Bliss’ comments that a poll is a snapshot in time.
She added: “We knew this was going to be a competitive race—McMahon has spent over $65 million trying to buy two elections now. But in the end, money doesn’t buy elections and voters know that McMahon is only out for herself, while Chris has been fighting for middle class jobs in Connecticut.”
Shripal Shah, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, discounted the poll.
“Rasmussen’s Republican bias is well known and documented so it’s impossible to take their data seriously,” Shah said in an email. “The fact is that the last time Linda McMahon ran for office, she spent $50 million trying to buy a Senate seat but still lost by double digits. There’s no reason to expect different results this November.”
Meanwhile, the Murphy campaign sent out a fundraising appeal citing the poll.
“Make no mistake, Connecticut is not an automatic victory, and this is going to be a close race against a candidate with unlimited funds,” stated the fundraising email from campaign manager Kenny Curran.
“The good news is that our ads are back on the air and over 3,000 individuals have contributed to our campaign since the week of the Democratic primary. But if we’re going to stop McMahon’s momentum and flip these numbers, we need you to help the campaign today,” Curran added.