GREENWICH, Conn. – Republican strategist Karl Rove stepped up to support former U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays at a private Greenwich event held Thursday night to raise money for Shays’ bid for U.S. Senate.
“Connecticut Republicans want to win. And at the end of the day, they’ll walk into that booth and say, ‘Who’s got the ability to put together a winning campaign and bring together Democrats, Independents and Republicans to send a new voice from the state to Washington,’” said Rove, standing beside Shays outside a backcountry estate.
Shays is running against former WWE chief executive Linda McMahon in the Aug. 14 Republican primary. Both are aiming to fill the Senate seat being vacated by Joseph Lieberman.
“I want my country back. That’s why I’m running. I want Americans to get back the American dream,” said Shays.
According to a poll released this week by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, McMahon leads Shays 59 percent to 30 percent, compared with McMahon’s lead of 51 percent to 42 percent in a poll released March 22.
"Linda McMahon is now the clear front-runner for the GOP nod, crushing Congressman Christopher Shays by 29 points, after having led Shays by only 9 points back in March. It is hard to see how Shays can overcome such a large lead by primary day," poll director Douglas Schwartz said in a statement.
In a race two years ago for the Senate, McMahon won in the Republican primary against two opponents but lost to Democrat Richard Blumenthal in the general election.
“She ran a spirited race, but 2010 was the year where we won a lot of races, and we’re going to win it back. Now we need a guy who’s steady and solid and is going to walk into the wind and has the courage to do so,” said Rove.