Poll Shows Dick’s Lead Shrinks, But Still Strong

The latest Rasmussen Reports poll has former Republican Congressman Rob Simmons doing better in a match up against Attorney General Dick Blumenthal than Simmons’ well-financed chief rival Linda McMahon. The poll also shows Peter Schiff, the other Republican in the race for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, running third in the matchup, but improving on past numbers as his name recognition increases. From Rasmussen:

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal continues to earn over 50% of the vote in Connecticut’s U.S. Senate race, while his three top Republican challengers remain in the 30s.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in Connecticut finds Blumenthal with 52% support against former GOP Congressman Rob Simmons who earns 38% support. That’s down six points for Blumenthal from a month ago and a six-point gain for Simmons. That’s also the lowest level of support Blumenthal has earned to date and the best a GOP hopeful has done so far this year.

Blumenthal picks up 55% of the vote to 35% for Linda McMahon, former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment. A month ago, the Democrat had a 60% to 31% lead.

Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital, trails the Democrat 58% to 32%. In March, it was a 57% to 27% race.

In all three match-ups, four percent (4%) or less favor another candidate and six percent (6%) remain undecided. Republicans will pick their nominee in an August 10 primary.

Incumbent Democratic Senator Chris Dodd struggled against all his GOP challengers, but Blumenthal’s support has ranged from 52% to 60% since he jumped into the race in January following Dodd’s decision not to seek reelection. Since then, none of the Republicans has been able to break out of the 30s.

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Republican Thomas Foley now enjoys a modest lead over his two top Democratic opponents in Connecticut’s gubernatorial race, a contest that was a toss-up two months ago.

Voters not affiliated with either major political party favor Blumenthal in all three Senate match-ups. He posts a two-to-one lead or better among women and leads among male voters unless Simmons is the Republican in the race. Blumenthal and Simmons run roughly even among men.

Connecticut has been a reliably blue state in national elections in recent years, so at this stage a Democratic candidate without the kind of baggage Dodd was carrying appears less vulnerable than the party’s hopefuls in many other states. Blumenthal also has been a popular officeholder there for a number of years.

Blumenthal is viewed very favorably by 41% of likely Connecticut voters and very unfavorably by 12%.

For Simmons, very favorables total 11% and very unfavorables 14%.

McMahon is viewed very favorably by 19% and very unfavorably by 27%.

Eight percent (8%) have a very favorable impression of Schiff, while 13% view him very unfavorably.

These findings have changed little from last month. At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with strong opinions more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.

Forty-six percent (46%) of Connecticut voters say the health care bill signed into law by President Obama three weeks ago will be good for the country. Almost as many (44%) say it will be bad, while only three percent (3%) believe it will have no impact.

Just above half (52%) say they favor repealing the health care bill, including 41% who strongly favor it. Forty-five percent (45%) are opposed to repeal, with 36% who strongly oppose it. Nationally, 58% of voters favor repeal of the health care bill.

The closeness of these findings suggests that the health care bill is having little impact on the Senate race thus far. Blumenthal earns 90% or more of the votes of those strongly opposed to repeal no matter which Republican is in the race. The three GOP contenders pick up 65% to 70% of those who strongly favor repeal.

The health care bill includes a provision that every American will have to obtain health insurance, and 52% of Connecticut voters favor that requirement. Forty-six percent (46%) oppose it. These findings include 31% who are strongly in favor and 33% who are strongly opposed.

Voters are evenly divided over whether Connecticut should join the other states who are suing the federal government over the constitutionality of that requirement: 43% favor such a suit, while 43% oppose it.

Forty-seven percent (47%) of Connecticut voters say their views on the major issues of today are closer to President Obama’s than those of the average Tea Party member. Forty percent (40%) say their views are more like those of the average Tea Party member.

A majority (55%) are at least somewhat concerned that those opposed to Obama’s policies may resort to violence. Forty-two percent (42%) are not very or not at all concerned about this possibility.

Just seven percent (7%) of voters in the state rate the U.S. economy as good, but 50% rate it as poor. Forty-two percent (42%) say the economy is getting better, while 35% say it’s getting worse. Twenty percent (20%) say it’s staying about the same.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) in Connecticut believe offshore oil drilling should be allowed. Still, voters are evenly divided when asked whether drilling should be permitted off the coasts of New England and California: 41% say yes, 40% say no. Nineteen percent (19%) are undecided.

Forty-three percent (43%) say states should have the right to ban oil drilling off their own coastline, but 33% disagree. Twenty-four percent (24%) are not sure.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of Connecticut voters approve of Obama’s job performance, including 35% who strongly approve. Forty-four percent (44%) disapprove, with 34% who strongly disapprove. This is a higher level of approval for Obama than is found nationally in the Rasmussen Reports daily presidential tracking poll.


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