Democratic State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal leads all three of his potential Republican rivals as GOP voters go to the polls Tuesday to select their candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Chris Dodd.
Blumenthal won the Democratic nomination in May with a large enough margin to prevent a primary.
On the Republican side, Greenwich resident and former CEO Linda McMahon got the nod from the Republican Party, but former Congressman Rob Simmons of Southington and Weston's Peter Schiff stayed in the race.
All three Republicans are voicing similar policies on economic issues. McMahon, Simmons and Schiff stress job creation, an end to government bailouts and tighter government spending. The main difference between them is experience. Simmons served in the House of Representatives from the state's 2nd District for three terms before losing his seat to Joe Courtney in 2006. Neither McMahon nor Schiff have held public office.
McMahon's opponents have also questioned her history as CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment. Schiff launched a campaign ad showing McMahon kicking a man in the groin during a WWE TV program which claims she supported the Obama Administration's controversial bailout program and other Democratic policies. "If people think this ad is bad, wait until they see what the Democrats do to her if she actually gets the nomination," Schiff told a local news station. "This is pretty tame."
McMahon herself has been running an ad responding to those concerns. According to one actor in the commercial, "She tamed the traveling show world of professional wrestling, turned it into a global company, and created 500 jobs in Connecticut."
According to a Quinnipiac University Poll released August 4, 47 percent of likely Republican voters support McMahon, versus 30 percent for Simmons and 14 percent for Schiff. The latest results show Simmons gaining ground, as he had 25 percent of the vote in a July 16 poll, compared to McMahon's 52 percent. Schiff also gained a percentage point since July 16.
In the general election, however, all three candidates trail Blumenthal. The August 4 poll had Blumenthal ahead of McMahon 50-40, ahead of Simmons 54-35, and ahead of Schiff 57-30. The only Republican to make a significant gain was McMahon, who had just 37 percent to Blumenthal's 54 percent on July 16.