By Quinnipiac University Polling Institute
March 22, 2012
Former wrestling executive Linda McMahon leads former U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays 51 – 42 percent in the Republican primary for Connecticut’s U.S. Senate seat, but Shays runs better against possible Democratic candidates, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. This compares to a 50 – 35 percent McMahon lead September 16.
U.S. Rep. Christopher Murphy leads the Democratic primary for Senate with 37 percent, followed by former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz with 25 percent and State Rep. William Tong with 4 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.
In possible November matchups:
Murphy tops McMahon 52 – 37 percent;
Murphy gets 41 percent to Shays’ 40 percent;
Bysiewicz beats McMahon 49 – 39 percent;
Shays gets 43 percent to Bysiewicz’ 42 percent;
McMahon leads Tong 43 – 39 percent;
Shays tops Tong 50 – 25 percent.
In the Murphy-McMahon face-off, the Democrat leads 50 – 41 percent among men and 54 – 33 percent among women.
“Congressman Christopher Shays has narrowed the gap with Linda McMahon from 15 points to 9 points. The question is whether he can catch up by primary day, August 14,” said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, PhD.
“In general election matchups, Shays runs neck and neck with either Congressman Christopher Murphy or Susan Bysiewicz, while McMahon trails both of them by double digits.
“The numbers have barely moved in the Democratic primary with Murphy holding a double digit lead over Bysiewicz, but 29 percent are undecided,” Dr. Schwartz added.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney dominates Connecticut’s Republican presidential primary with 42 percent, followed by former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum with 19 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 13 percent and Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul with 9 percent.
President Barack Obama thumps Romney 53 – 37 percent in the general election matchup, leading 51 – 40 percent among men and 55 – 34 percent among women. The president leads 91 – 6 percent among Democrats and 48 – 37 percent among independent voters, while Romney leads 85 – 12 percent among Republicans.
Obama beats Santorum 55 – 35 percent.
Connecticut voters approve 53 – 43 percent of the job the president is doing and by 55 – 41 percent they have a favorable opinion of him.
Romney gets a negative 35 – 43 percent favorability and Santorum gets a negative 27 – 43 percent.
“Gov. Mitt Romney is crushing Santorum in Connecticut, leading by 23 points. Romney’s strength continues to be among upscale voters and seniors,” Schwartz said.
“But President Barack Obama has a big double-digit lead over either Romney or Sen. Rick Santorum in the general election. The question here is whether the president’s coattails will affect the Senate race in November.”
Connecticut voters approve 51 – 38 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman is doing and approve 64 – 23 percent of freshman Sen. Richard Blumenthal, his best score so far.
From March 14 – 19, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,622 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones.
The survey includes 429 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.7 percentage points and 640 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percentage points.
The Quinnipiac University Poll conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and the nation as a public service and for research.