After Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal survived the exposure of his false claims of service in Vietnam, conventional wisdom had the popular Democrat making the race to replace Chris Dodd a slam dunk.  At one point, Blumenthal led by more than 20 points over his likely Republican rival, Linda McMahon — among likely voters.  Today, though, Quinnipiac’s poll of registered voters drops a bomb on the race and may move it back into the competitive column:

Republican former wrestling executive Linda McMahon trails Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, the Democrat, 50 – 40 percent in the U.S. Senate race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll of registered voters released today. That’s down from a 54 – 37 percent Blumenthal lead July 16. …

“The McMahon-Blumenthal Senate race in Connecticut could be a real smackdown, as the Republican has the money and momentum, cutting into Blumenthal’s lead month to month,” said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, PhD.

“Independent voters, the largest bloc of voters in Connecticut, are for the first time evenly divided between Linda McMahon, who gets 46 percent, and Richard Blumenthal, who gets 44 percent. Blumenthal led 54 – 35 percent among independent voters just three weeks ago,” Dr. Schwartz added.

What happened? As Jim Geraghty also suspects, Blumenthal’s problems with honesty didn’t end with his fables about combat service:

Blumenthal’s response was a flat-out lie on its face. Lynn Sweet and the NRSC got one of the invitations (which I received separately from another source)that made clear that the trip was a fundraiser. Blumenthal’s name appears on the list of candidates to receive funds from the event and the percentage breakdown of the distribution. Blumenthal got 7% of the money, while Reid got 20%.

Looks like Connecticut voters may be tired of Blumenthal’s evasions and looking for a change. That would be a seat Democrats can’t afford to lose in this election.