A funny thing happened in Connecticut lately: the Senate race started tightening.
This Reuters article about the likely McMahon/Blumenthal match-up contains at least one major howler – to the best of my knowledge, Linda McMahon has never been an actual professional wrestler* – but the major point seems valid: McMahon has made up considerable ground in the last few months. Of particular note is the latest Quinnipiac poll, which shows Blumenthal/McMahon at 50/40, and with McMahon actually edging out Blumenthal among independents. Reuters suggests that this may be due to McMahon’s targeting of female voters:
[Sacred Heart University Professor Gary] Rose said McMahon’s commercials have effectively targeted middle- and upper middle-class women. Her current TV ads depict two well-dressed women driving in a black SUV and debating the merits of McMahon vs Blumenthal, noting she has not taken any money from special interest groups while Blumenthal went back on a vow not to accept such cash.
To give you an idea of the trend, I went to Real Clear Politics and pulled the race match-ups for McMahon and Blumenthal for this year. After removing dKos’s garbage polls – I don’t know why they’re still even there and taken seriously – and removing the PPP because it’s a singleton and can’t show a trend, I created a graph for the trend of the remaining polls (Rasmussen’s and Quinnipiac’s). Then I deleted that graph and separated out the two polls, because Rasmussen is tracking likely voters and Quinnipiac is tracking registered ones.
The results were as follows:
Separating out the polls probably didn’t make much difference, anyway: we’re still seeing a steady closing of the gap between the two candidates. That bump in the middle there in the Rasmussen poll shows the primary season fallout of Blumenthal getting caught lying about his war record; it hasn’t come up since, but I can’t imagine McMahon not revisiting the issue more strenuously, should she win today’s primary. She’s certainly got the resources for it, given that she’s prepared to spend quite a lot of her own money (a total of $50 million, reportedly) in a very expensive media market.
Don’t get me wrong. On paper, Blumenthal looks good right now: he’s up by an average of twelve points (again, I’m not taking dKos’s joke polls seriously) and is breaking 50%. But Blumenthal may be losing independents, he probably will have to address his earlier war record lying, and he’s definitely going to be losing the money battle. This has the potential to become a race that will panic Democrats in October…
*I think that they’re referring to the fact that she’s shown up in various story lines. Not to be nitpicking this, but actual wrestlers have a distinctly different skill set than the announcers, managers, and executives do (a statement that remains true, no matter what your opinion is of the true nature of professional wrestling).
Crossposted to Moe Lane.