It’s that time again for us to drill down on the latest batch of poll numbers that are out there on this doozy of a Senate race.
And you don’t have to be a math geek to do it.
The Real Clear Politics average for the contest has Democrat Christopher Murphy up by 3.4 percent on Republican Linda McMahon, a one-point swing in the congressman’s favor.
The poll aggregation website has Murphy at 48.7 percent and McMahon at 45.3 percent.
It took the average of three polls — Quinnipiac University, Rasmussen Reports and Public Policy Polling.
Two of those three polls dropped within the past week, with the nonpartisan Q-poll staking McMahon to a 1-point lead and the right-leaning Rasmussen giving Murphy a 5-point cushion.
Of note, Rasmussen conducted its poll Oct. 7, hours after the first televised debate between Murphy and McMahon on WFSB Channel 3.
A number of pundits gave the first debate to Murphy, but neither candidate committed a fatal faux pas.
McMahon’s supporters are hanging their hats on these two factors:
With the exception of Rasmussen, which has him at 51 percent, Murphy is below the 50 percent threshold, which Republicans say is not the most encouraging sign for a Democrat running in a state that President Obama won by 22 points in 2008.
A side note: Rasmussen has Obama up 6 points in Connecticut, while Quinnipiac has the incumbent’s advantage at 12 points.
Secondly, the sampling size of Rasmussen’s Senate poll that was conducted Sunday was 500 likely voters.
In contrast, Quinnipiac University, surveyed 1,696 likely voters in its poll that came out last week.
Here’s the latest spin from both campaigns, this from McMahon spokesman Todd Abrajano:
“Polls go up and down as we have seen over the past week with two other polls showing Linda McMahon with a lead in this race,” Abrajano said. “This race will continue to be close until the end, but Connecticut voters will ultimately be swayed by Linda’s record of leadership, rather than Congressman Murphy’s distortions. Linda McMahon’s plan to put Connecticut back to work and cut middle class taxes by $500 a month for the average Connecticut family of four next year, stands in sharp contrast to Congressman Murphy, who has no plan and has accomplished nothing in Congress while taking $1 million in taxpayer-funded salary.”
This from Murphy spokesman Eli Zupnick:
“As Connecticut voters focus on the issues and examine the records and policies of both candidates, McMahon’s desperate attack ads and smears are going to get more and more stale no matter how many millions of WWE dollars she spends on them,” Zupnick told Hearst Connecticut Newspapers. “As we saw in the debate on Sunday, Chris is talking about the issues middle class families care about, like jobs, the economy, Social Security, and Medicare, while McMahon is doing everything she can to hide her right-wing positions that are wildly out of step with Connecticut voters.”
A now for a look at the week ahead in the race:
Murphy and McMahon will tangle in their second televised debate, which is being put on by the Hartford Courant and FOX CT, both Tribune-owned properties, at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. It starts at 7 p.m. and will be streamed live on the Internet.
After bypassing newspaper editorial boards during the Republican primary, McMahon will sit down with opinion writers and editors of the Courant for a grilling on the substantive issues in the race: entitlement reform, taxes, where she stands on social issues and the authenticity of her own economic recovery plan that Murphy’s campaign says is not her own intellectual property.
The Senate rivals will renew their rivalry during a debate sponsored The Day newspaper of New London.