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Blumenthal Gains in Polls over McMahon

Linda McMahon and Richard Blumenthal AP

Connecticut Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon was for some weeks gaining on her Democratic opponent Richard Blumenthal in the polls, but Blumenthal has taken a double-digit lead over McMahon in a Quinnipiac poll released today.

Two days after a heated debate between the candidates, Blumenthal currently leads McMahon 54 percent to 43 percent. Just 3 percent are undecided and 7 percent of voters who named a candidate said they could change their mind by Election Day.

Blumenthal, the state attorney general, was once thought to be a shoo-in for the seat that Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd is retiring from, but the race came down to single digits within recent weeks.

Both candidates have aggressively targeted each others' respective weak points. McMahon recently launched ads calling Blumenthal a liar over his misstatements about his record of military service. She said in Tuesday's debate that the Democrat has a "difficult time telling the truth."

Blumenthal, meanwhile, blasted McMahon for her record as former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, bringing up the fact that seven wrestlers have died since McMahon launched her Senate campaign. Democrats have zeroed in on McMahon's history with the WWE, particularly focusing on the wrestling organization's treatment of women.

The Republican has been unable to escape controversy surrounding the WWE. Just today, the Hartford Courant published as its top story an article entitled, "An Act Cleaned Up? Substance Abuse In WWE Dogs McMahon Run." The New York Times published on its front page an article entitled, "Female Candidate Finds Tough Audience: Women" while at the same time endorsing Blumenthal on its editorial pages.

Today's Quinnipiac poll confirms that female voters are wary of McMahon: Women voters surveyed backed Blumenthal over McMahon, 63 percent to 32 percent.

Blumenthal also had a slight edge among independent voters, who favored him 49 percent to 44 percent.

CBS News has pegged the race as "edging Democratic."

Connecticut Senate Election: Linda McMahon (R) Vs. Richard Blumenthal (D)
CBSNews.com Special Report: Campaign 2010


Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.
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