It's 2010 all over again in Connecticut. Republican voters in the state appear hellbent on nominating Linda McMahon, who appears to have little chance at winning a general election, for the Senate over Chris Shays, who has the appeal to Democrats and independents that would be necessary for the GOP to pick up a seat in the usually dark blue state.
McMahon leads Shays 60-27 with Jason McCoy at 3%. Shays holds a slight lead on McMahon with moderates at 44-40 but gets completely blown out with conservative voters. With Republicans describing themselves as 'somewhat conservative' McMahon leads 60-26 and with those describing themselves as 'very conservative' it's an astonishing 81-14 spread.
GOP voters are pretty skeptical of Shays. Only 36% rate him favorably to 29% with an unfavorable opinion. And with those labeling as 'very conservative' he's actually seen in a negative light, 32/36. McMahon, on the other hand, is pretty much beloved by the Republican base with 69% viewing her positively and only 21% with an unfavorable take. It's going to be very difficult for Shays to catch up with her.
Mitt Romney leads the Presidential race in the state. He's at 25% to 18% for Rick Perry, 10% each for Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul, 8% for Michele Bachmann, 3% for Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman, and 1% for Gary Johnson. On PPP's only other Connecticut poll of the race, last October, Romney was at 28%. The minimal change in his support over the last year is indicative of how steady his support has been even as the cast of characters competing with him shifts.
Romney's up big on Perry with moderates (24-10) and they're actually a consequential part of the electorate in Connecticut, a contrast with many other states. Romney edges Perry 27-22 with 'somewhat conservative' voters and even fights to a tie with 'very conservative' ones at 24%. Perry has blown him out of the water with that group most places.
The more competitive of the two Senate primaries in the state may come on the Democratic side. There Chris Murphy leads Susan Bysiewicz 39-33, with William Tong registering at 8%. Murphy has increased his lead from the only other primary poll we've conducted- in March he led Bysiewicz by only 2 points at 40-38.
Bysiewicz actually leads Murphy 43-35 with voters describing themselves as 'very liberal.' But Murhpy's up 49-29 with voters who are only 'slightly liberal.' The candidates basically tie with moderates, as Murphy holds just a 35-34 advantage.
Full results here