A new poll commissioned by Linda McMahon shows the professional wrestling matriarch with a nearly a 20-point lead on former Congressman Christopher Shays among likely Republican primary voters.
McMahon’s campaign manager Corry Bliss touted the results of the survey, which was conducted by GOP polling firm McLaughlin & Associates, in an e-mail Tuesday to supporters.
The timing of the poll is rather telling.
Just last week, Quinnipiac University had McMahon leading Shays 51 to 42, narrowing a previous gap of 15 points in McMahon’s favor in September 2011.
But unlike McMahon’s internals, the Q-poll surveyed a broader cross-section of the electorate that included Democrats and unaffiliated voters for a hypothetical general election match-up.
Advantage Shays, who the Q-poll showed in a statistical dead heat with Democrat Chris Murphy.
McMahon, on the other hand, trails Murphy by 15 points.
UPDATE: Here’s what Amanda Bergen, the campaign spokeswoman for Shays, had to say about the McMahon poll.
“The independent Quinnipiac poll shows that Christopher Shays is in a dead heat against the likely Democrat opponent, while Linda McMahon is losing by 15 points. This is not surprising considering Linda McMahon lost the last election by 12 points against a wounded candidate in a Republican year.
We know we are behind in the Republican Primary, but nothing like the numbers her campaign claims. And that is why we are confident we will win the primary on August 14th.”
Check out McMahon’s internals:
To: Linda McMahon for Senate 2012
From: John McLaughlin
Re: Connecticut Republican Primary for U.S. Senate Results
Date: March 27th, 2012
Survey Summary: This poll of Republican primary voters was conducted Sunday, March 25th and Monday, March 26th. Linda McMahon holds a decisive 5 to 3 lead over Congressman Chris Shays. Comparing these results to our two previous polls among likely Republican Primary Voters shows virtually no change since last year.
- Among GOP Primary voters in the state of Connecticut, Linda McMahon continues to be viewed more favorably than unfavorably. She enjoys significantly higher favorable opinion ratings than her opponent, Congressman Chris Shays.
- Linda McMahon has a net positive opinion rating (65% favorable, 23% unfavorable) of 3 to 1. Congressman Chris Shays’ opinion rating (48% favorable, 25% unfavorable) reveals that a majority of Connecticut’s GOP Primary voters do not even have a favorable opinion of the Congressman.
- This is mostly unchanged from August 2011, when 65% were favorable to Linda and 25% were unfavorable. Likewise, Congressman Shays had 47% favorability to 24% unfavorability.
- Since August 2011 there has been little movement on the GOP Primary Ballot for U.S. Senate in Connecticut. Linda McMahon continues to carry a solid a majority as well as maintaining a commanding lead of at least 20% of the primary electorate over her opponent.
- Though 8 months have passed, there has been little to no movement on the Republican Primary Ballot for U.S. Senate.
- Linda McMahon holds a decisive and strong lead over former Congressman Chris Shays. This lead could only get stronger as Shays’ record, which cost him his re-election to the House, becomes part of the Campaign Debate.
- Key Demographics:
- 92% of respondents said they were “Very Likely” to vote in the Republican primary for Senate.
- On a scale of 0-10 voters were asked to describe their level of interest in the primary election, with any answer of 6 or above being graded as interested and any answer of 8 or above being graded as very interested, 97% said they were interested, and 94% said they were very interested.
- Almost half(48%) of respondents were Catholic, while 4 in 10(39%) were Protestant.
- 7 in 10(71%) of respondents are married.
- Slightly less than 2 in 5 (38%) voters were over 65.
- Gender was split 50/50 amongst respondents.
- Respondents were sampled throughout the different counties in the state by their voter turnout and registration. Fairfield 32%, Hartford 23%, New Haven 18%, Litchfield 8%, New London 7%, Middlesex 6%, Windham 3%.
This survey of political attitudes was conducted among 600 likely Republican primary election voters in Connecticut on March 25th and March 26th, 2012. These likely Republican primary voters were called from a list of past primary voters who said that they were likely to vote in this years’ U.S. Senate primary. All interviews were conducted by professional interviewers via telephone. Interview selection was at random within predetermined election units. These units were structured to statistically correlate with actual voter distributions in a statewide primary election. The accuracy of the sample of 600 likely Republican primary election voters in Connecticut is within +/- 4.0% at a 95% confidence interval.