The Connecticut U.S. Senate race is essentially tied up, with 48 percent of likely voters for Republican Linda McMahon and 47 percent for Democratic U.S. Rep. Christopher Murphy, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
Voters have about the same low opinion of professional wrestling and the U.S. Congress.
Today's results compare to the too-close-to-call results of an August 28 likely voter survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ac) University, showing McMahon with 49 percent and Murphy with 46 percent.
In today's survey, 50 percent of McMahon backers are "very enthusiastic," while 39 percent are "somewhat enthusiastic." For Murphy, 27 percent are "very enthusiastic" and 55 percent are "somewhat enthusiastic."
Men back McMahon 52 - 45 percent, while women back Murphy 50 - 44 percent. Independent voters go Republican 52 - 43 percent.
By a 45 - 41 percent margin, Connecticut voters have a favorable opinion of McMahon, compared to 47 - 35 percent August 28. Murphy gets a negative 36 - 40 percent favorability rating, down from a 38 - 30 percent positive score in August.
"Connecticut voters like Linda McMahon more than U.S. Rep. Christopher Murphy. But the Democrat seems to be holding his own against the onslaught of negative advertising," said Douglas Schwartz, PhD, director of the Quinnipiac University poll.
"McMahon voters are much more likely to say they are very enthusiastic about their choice than Murphy voters, by about 2-1. While the horserace has barely changed, the images of both candidates have declined since August, as the campaign attacks have increased."
"Murphy's negatives are up 10 points and McMahon's are up 6 points. McMahon has done a good job defining Murphy, who was not well known statewide, in a negative way," Dr. Schwartz added.
Among Connecticut likely voters, 5 percent have a very positive opinion of professional wrestling, with 18 percent somewhat positive, 31 percent somewhat negative and 30 percent very negative. Only 2 percent of voters have a very positive opinion of the U.S. Congress, with 24 percent somewhat positive, 37 percent somewhat negative and 34 percent very negative.
"There is so much that could be said about the U.S. Congress and professional wrestling, but we probably shouldn't say it," Schwartz said.
A total of 84 percent of voters have seen McMahon campaign ads "very often" or "somewhat often," compared to 64 percent for Murphy. McMahon's ads are "very effective" or "somewhat effective," 66 percent of voters say, compared to 51 percent for Murphy.
"McMahon's blanketing the airwaves with TV ads appears to be working. More voters have seen her ads than Murphy's and more voters think they are effective," said Schwartz.