CT-Sen: Another Poll Puts Blumenthal Up 25+ Points

A month ago I asked how it was possible for the Cook Political Report to rate the Connecticut Senate race only "leans Democratic" when the likely Democratic nominee, Richard Blumenthal, lead all of his potential Republican opponents by margins of 19 percentage points or more. A month later, more polling from the clearly not Democratic-leaning Rasmussen Reports shows Blumenthal's already large lead growing.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state shows Blumenthal leading former Congressman Rob Simmons 58% to 32%. Blumenthal held a 19-point lead in this match-up last month and a 23-point lead in early January just after Dodd announced his decision not to run again.

These numbers aren't particularly surprising considering that 72 percent favorable rating now enjoyed in Connecticut by Blumenthal -- including a remarkable 41 percent strong favorable rating.

Looking back towards the topline numbers, according to the Pollster.com trend estimate, Blumenthal's lead over former GOP Congressman Rob Simmons exceeds 23 percentage points. Yet this race is still deemed by the Cook Political Report to only "lean" towards the Democrats -- a categorization that indicates a belief that the race is currently competitive. I don't see it. Perhaps I'm missing something?

Another Poll Gives Blumenthal a Huge Lead in CT-Sen

For some reason the Cook Political Report still thinks the Connecticut Senate race only "leans Democratic" -- meaning that the race is now competitive, though the Democrats have an edge -- but if you look at the polling from the race, it's hard to see how the GOP has much, if any, of a chance at present. Here are the latest numbers on the race from Rasmussen:

[Democrat Richard] Blumenthal, the state’s longtime attorney general who stepped into the race when the embattled Dodd bowed out, leads former GOP Congressman Rob Simmons by 19 points, 54% to 35%. Four percent (4%) like another candidate, and seven percent (7%) are undecided.

Matched against Linda McMahon, the ex-CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, Blumenthal holds a 20-point advantage, 56% to 36%. Just three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate in that contest, and four percent (4%) are undecided.

When you add these latest numbers to the four other surveys on the race, Blumenthal leads Simmons by more than a 25-point margin, 57.0 percent to 31.6 percent. Looking at the Blumenthal-McMahon matchup, the Democrat leads by an even larger 58.8 percent to 31.0 percent margin. How this race could be considered competitive at present, with only a slight Democratic advantage, is beyond me.


Connecticut Senate Race Ratings

In the past few days since Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd announced that he would not run for reelection, we have seen not one but two polls showing Richard Blumenthal, the presumptive Democratic nominee to replace Dodd, leading all Republican comers by margins in excess of 20 and even 30 percentage points. How have the leading election prognosticators taken this?

The Rothenberg Political Report moved the race from toss-up with Dodd in the race to clear Democratic advantage with Blumenthal in the race. The Cook Political Report moved the race from leans Republican with Dodd in the race to a tossup with Blumenthal in the race.

How a race in a Democratic state with an extremely popular Democratic candidate leading in the polls by a wide margin in a tossup is unclear to me. But, at the least, we can say at the end of this week, which has seen a great deal of political turmoil, the Democrats' chances at holding on to the Connecticut Senate seat have clearly improved.

Even Rasmussen Gives Blumenthal a Huge Lead

Yesterday I noted a survey from Public Policy Polling that showed the new presumptive Democratic nominee in the Connecticut Senate race, Richard Blumenthal, leading all Republican comers by margins in excess of 30 percentage points. Today, Rasmussen Reports released its own polling on the race, and somewhat surprisingly the numbers didn't look too different:

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in Connecticut, taken last night, now finds Blumenthal leading former GOP Congressman Rob Simmons 56% to 33%. A month ago, Simmons had a 13-point lead over Dodd.

Linda McMahon, the ex-CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, trails Blumenthal by a 58% to 34% margin. She led Dodd by six.

Long-shot candidate Peter Shiff, the widely-known president of Euro Pacific Capital, was essentially even with Dodd but now trails Blumenthal by more than two-to-one - 60% to 24%.

For some reason, the Cook Political Report moved this race from "leans Republican" with Chris Dodd in the race to just a "tossup" with Blumenthal in the race -- a classification that appears hard to bear considering Blumenthal's sky-high favorability ratings and his massive leads in polling from both PPP and Rasmussen. Indeed, if this race resembles anything, it resembles last cycle's match up between the über-popular Mark Warner and the über-unpopular Jim Gilmore in Virginia, where Warner led by wide margins throughout and ended up winning by close to a 2-to-1 margin. At this point, it's hard to see the GOP winning this race.

Blumenthal Jumps into CT-Sen with 30+ Point Lead

With Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd announcing that he won't run for reelection, it appears the torch is being passed to the state's Democratic Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal. Just how popular is Blumenthal? Public Policy Polling gives us perspective:

Blumenthal is unusually popular, especially in hyper partisan times when voters like few politicians. 59% have a favorable opinion of him to just 19% who see him negatively. It's no surprise that he's liked by 71% of Democrats and 60% of independents, but even Republicans view him favorably by a 37/35 margin. It doesn't take a lot of hands to count the number of Democratic politicians with positive numbers among GOP voters these days.

Blumenthal leads Rob Simmons 59-28, Linda McMahon 60-28, and Peter Schiff 63-23. It would take an epic collapse for him not to be Connecticut's next Senator.

The polling from PPP, which was in the field Monday and Tuesday night before Dodd's announcement, shows Blumenthal to be a significantly stronger candidate than Dodd, who trailed Rob Simmons 44 percent to 40 percent -- his 11th straight deficit against Simmons in a publicly released poll -- and tied with Linda McMahon at 43 percent. Democratic Congressman Chris Murphy similarly stands stronger against the GOP field despite being less widely known in the state, leading Simmons 42 percent to 35 percent and leading McMahon 43 percent to 36 percent.

So while it is tough to see Dodd leave the Senate after 30 years -- particularly after a year as productive as the last, when he played major roles in both healthcare reform and financial regulatory reform -- there is clear silver lining in the news: The Democrats are significantly more likely to hold onto his seat now. 


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