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Rep. Chris Murphy
Rep. Chris Murphy
Public Policy Polling (PDF). 7/26-29. Connecticut voters. MoE ±3.5% (4.9% for both primary portions) (9/22-25/11 in parens):
Chris Murphy (D): 50 (50)
Linda McMahon (R): 42 (43)
Undecided: 8 (6)

Chris Murphy (D): 47 (43)
Chris Shays (R): 38 (39)
Undecided: 15 (18)

Susan Bysiewicz (D): 45 (47)
Linda McMahon (R): 42 (46)
Undecided: 13 (7)

Susan Bysiewicz (D): 40 (37)
Chris Shays (R): 43 (48)
Undecided: 17 (16)

Chris Murphy (D): 49 (39)
Susan Bysiewicz (D): 32 (33)
Undecided: 18 (19)
Linda McMahon (R): 68 (54)
Chris Shays (R): 20 (19)
Undecided: 12 (10)
We at Daily Kos Elections have been hankering for details about the Connecticut Senate race for a while now, not just because Chris Murphy (who was just added to the Daily Kos Orange to Blue team) is one of our favorite Democratic candidates up this year, but also because the poll results we've gotten so far in this race have been all over the map, leaving us unclear as to whether this is a close race or not. (Case in point is the two most recent polls by Quinnipiac of their home state, where Murphy led likely GOP nominee Linda McMahon by a narrow 46-43 in May and a dominant 52-37 in March.)

Well, with nearly a year elapsed since Public Policy Polling last looked at the Nutmeg State, we've finally got our wish ... and it turns out that very little has changed at all in the general. Back in September 2011, PPP found Murphy leading McMahon 50-43 ... and today, they find Murphy leading 50-42. The only noteworthy evolution has come in the shrinking chances for moderate Republican ex-Rep. Chris Shays, who last year seemed to have the potential to make this a competitive race if he could find a way out of the GOP primary. He doesn't seem to have worn well on the public in the intervening months, though, and now he's no more competitive against Murphy than McMahon is. Against McMahon's bottomless pockets, Murphy is going to have to fight this race the whole way to November and spend a lot of money doing so, but it's clearly leaning in his direction.

Not that Shays has any hope of getting out of the GOP primary (to be held on Aug. 14) any more: He's now down 68-20 to McMahon, as the undecideds have broken in her direction. Part of that may simply be that Shays doesn't have the money to compete with the self-funding wrestling magnate McMahon in the TV arena, but Shays (already unacceptably RINO-ish by today's exaggerated GOP standards) didn't do himself any favors either among the party faithful with his petulant-sounding tirades against McMahon last week. PPP finds Shays's favorables underwater purely among members of his own party (at 37/40), which is no way to win a primary (he's now at 32/36 overall, thanks to 36/33 favorables among Democrats).

There's a somewhat similar dynamic at work in the Democratic primary, where the undecideds have broken in Murphy's favor at the expense of rival ex-SoS Susan Bysiewicz. Bysiewicz's problem, though, isn't that she's too moderate for the Democratic base; the problem is more a pattern of events that call her basic competence into question, most recently her mixing-up of Chris Murphy with ex-Rep. Scott Murphy in a recent ad. At any rate, she's also left with 36/38 favorables among her own party, good for 27/42 overall. (That compares with 38/31 faves overall and 60/17 among Democrats for Murphy.)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 12:41 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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