PPP's newest poll of the Connecticut Senate race finds Democrat Chris Murphy expanding his lead to 6 points over Republican foe Linda McMahon, 48-42. Last month he led 48-44.
There's no doubt Murphy's image has taken a hit over the course of this campaign. Only 36% of voters say they have a favorable opinion of him to 44% with a negative one. That's down a net 15 points from July when he was at a 38/31 favorability spread. But voters aren't warming up to McMahon either- she has a 42% favorability rating with 49% of voters seeing her unfavorably, numbers basically identical to 42/48 a couple months ago. McMahon's done a good job of hitting Murphy but she hasn't done anything to prop herself up and in a race between an unpopular Democratic candidate and an unpopular Republican candidate in a state like Connecticut the Democrat is going to win.
The key question we asked on this poll was probably whether people wanted Democrats or Republicans in control of the Senate, and by a 50/38 margin folks say they want the Democrats in charge. That reality should help Murphy along as well.
McMahon actually leads the race with independents, 51-38. Her problem is that 20% of Republicans are supporting Murphy over her, similar to what we found her losing to Richard Blumenthal in 2010. You simply can't win as a Republican in Connecticut without holding your party base in line to a greater extent than that, but many GOP voters continue to find her unacceptable.
Murphy's still not up by as much as you would expect a Democrat in Connecticut to be but he does look again like the clear favorite.
2 other notes from Connecticut:
-One thing that would help McMahon is poor turnout from Democrats. But 59% of Democrats say they're 'very excited' to vote, compared to 56% of Republicans. There doesn't appear to be a pro-GOP enthusiasm gap.
-The wrestling stuff certainly doesn't help McMahon. 17% of voters in the state have a favorable opinion of WWE to 51% with a negative opinion.
Full results here