As expected, revelations that Dick Blumenthal embellished his war service has dented the public standing of the attorney general seeking Chris Dodd’s U.S. Senate seat, according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll taken in the past day. It could be worse. Don’t write Bloomer’s political obituary just yet, as long as there are no other embellishment shoes to drop. This is a knee-jerk poll sampling. Blumenthal will be forced to balance the negative impact with a paid media campaign to remind voters of his 20-year record as AG. In a few weeks we’ll know better if this service flap has permanent stick.
From the Rasmussen poll:
Following a New York Times report that he exaggerated his military record, Democratic Senate hopeful Richard Blumenthal has lost ground in match-ups against all his potential Republican challengers in Connecticut.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Connecticut finds Blumenthal with just a three-point advantage over Linda McMahon, 48% to 45%. Two weeks ago, he led the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment by 13 percentage points. The New York Times story broke late Monday; the survey was taken Tuesday evening.
When matched against former GOP Congressman Rob Simmons, Blumenthal leads by 11 – 50% to 39%. Two weeks ago, the longtime state attorney general held a 23-point lead over Simmons.
Blumenthal now leads Peter Schiff, a high-profile Wall Street investment banker, 53% to 37%. In the previous survey, he posted a 54% to 29% lead over Schiff.
Still, just 26% of voters say Blumenthal should withdraw from the Senate race. Only nine percent (9%) of Democrats hold that view.
However, 53% of voters say “the issue of Blumenthal and his military service” will be at least somewhat important in terms of how they vote. That figure includes 27% who say the issue is Very Important. Among voters not affiliated with either major political party, 25% consider this issue Very Important.
The survey of 500 Likely Voters in Connecticut was conducted on May 18, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/-4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Prior to the New York Times story, Blumenthal’s support had never fallen below 52% against any GOP challenger, and no Republican had reached the 40% level of support.
While his support now has fallen against the potential GOP challengers, perceptions of Blumenthal have slipped only modestly. Currently, he is viewed favorably by 66% of voters statewide. That’s down from 72% two weeks ago.
By comparison, 54% have favorable views of both McMahon and Simmons, while 44% say the same of the much less well-known Schiff.
Both major political parties are holding state conventions to begin the candidate nomination process this weekend. Depending upon the results of the conventions, the nominees may not become known until an August 10 primary.
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