Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Blumenthal heavily favored

When Chris Dodd retired last night his seat went from one of the most vulnerable to one of the safest for Senate Democrats. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal leads all three of the Republicans in the race by at least 30 points in polling we conducted Monday and Tuesday night before Dodd's announcement.

Blumenthal is unusually popular, especially in hyper partisan times when voters like few politicians. 59% have a favorable opinion of him to just 19% who see him negatively. It's no surprise that he's liked by 71% of Democrats and 60% of independents, but even Republicans view him favorably by a 37/35 margin. It doesn't take a lot of hands to count the number of Democratic politicians with positive numbers among GOP voters these days.

Blumenthal leads Rob Simmons 59-28, Linda McMahon 60-28, and Peter Schiff 63-23. It would take an epic collapse for him not to be Connecticut's next Senator.

Blumenthal's numbers in this survey are quite a stark contrast to Dodd's. The incumbent clocks in at just a 29% approval rating, with 57% of the state's voters disapproving of him. Even in his own party only 45% of respondents express support for him with independents and Republicans giving him ratings of 24 and 7% respectively. He trailed Simmons for the 11th consecutive time in a publicly released poll, 44-40, and also found himself locked in a tie with McMahon at 43.

Although it's not particularly pertinent now with Blumenthal in the race we also found Chris Murphy leading Simmons and McMahon by 7 point margins, despite the fact that a 49% plurality of voters in the state said they didn't know enough about him to have formed an opinion. That's an indication that the strong poll numbers Simmons and McMahon were posting were completely a result of Dodd's unpopularity, and that any other major Democratic office holder in the state would be favored to keep the seat in the party's hands.

The Connecticut Senate seat is certainly one situation for Democrats where a retirement is a good thing. And while Dodd may have wanted to continue his tenure, getting out now ensures that he'll be remembered more for his 30 years of service in the Senate than for losing his final reelection bid.

Full results here


Brandon K said...

Seems like your sample is a little Democrat heavy. 43% identified as Dems in 2008, yet this poll has 46%.

Anonymous said...

I am disappoint, this gives me the sad :(

Chris Dugan said...

Thanks for the poll and analysis. Blumenthal should have an easy race and Democrats will safely retain the Senate seat due to Dodd's retirement.

It's interesting to note that although 78% of those surveyed did not have an opinion regarding Peter Schiff, his disapproval was highest amongst Conservatives, those who have been the most exposed to his candidacy. Perhaps Schiff would fair better in a 2010 Congressional race against Rep. Jim Himes or in a 2012 Senate race for Lieberman's seat against Chris Murphy (who is also somewhat unknown).

Oh, and thank you for referring to us as Ron Paul people and not "bots" on PPP's Twitter. I'm glad the poll timing worked out great for you guys. See, our "spamming" as a niche yet passionate and well organized group can be constructive. On behalf of all of us, you're welcome. I wish the numbers and circumstances worked out better in our favor.

Timothy said...

A senate race is much different than a state race. Don't get too giddy just yet.

Unknown said...

Nader for Connecticut!

The Original Donald said...

I wonder how the Connecticut race will turn out in comparison to the 2002 NJ Race when Robert Torricelli was replaced with Frank Lautenberg.

Unknown said...

Shiff is the only person in this race who has a clue what to do about our dire economic straits. Blumenthal will just be another business-as-usual politician, just like Dodd, although perhaps a bit less blatant in his corruption.

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