Now we can consider the rebound complete. After getting exposed as a fabulist regarding his military service, Rasmussen showed Connecticut Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal dropping into a virtual tie against Linda McMahon, the endorsed Republican challenger for the seat currently held by retiring Senator Chris Dodd. A Quinnipiac poll a week later showed Blumenthal’s lead reviving, and now Rasmussen sees the same thing:
Democrat Richard Blumenthal apparently has weathered charges that he exaggerated his military service in Vietnam for years and is running as strongly as ever against both his Republican challengers in Connecticut’s race for the U.S. Senate.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Connecticut finds Blumenthal with 56% support versus 33% for Linda McMahon, the officially endorsed GOP candidate. Four percent (4%) prefer some other candidate, and seven percent (7%) are undecided. McMahon has come under criticism recently as people have focused on her role in World Wresting Entertainment, a corporation that one conservative pundit compares to the Gulf oil spill as “a relentless gusher of pollution.”
Blumenthal, the state’s longtime attorney general, earns 55% of the vote in a match-up with Wall Street investment banker Peter Schiff, who hopes to collect enough signatures by Tuesday to force McMahon into an August 10 primary contest. Given that match-up, three percent (3%) like another candidate, and nine percent (9%) are undecided.
With both Republicans earning roughly the same support, the new findings suggest that the race continues to be largely about Blumenthal.
For a brief period last month, that wasn’t bad news for the GOP. Democrats pushed Blumenthal to run after Dodd became the issue in his re-election bid to their detriment. Blumenthal, a highly popular Attorney General, provided a huge boost to Democrats’ fortunes in the race, until the New York Times exposed his repeated assertions that he had served in Vietnam, when his service as a Marine reservist had kept him stateside during the war.
Now, Blumenthal is back to being good news — and that was predictable from the start. Even when losing most of his lead, Blumenthal’s job approval and personal approval ratings were strongly positive. It only took an apology from Blumenthal for Connecticut voters to get over their cognitive dissonance and support his bid for the Senate.
For Republicans, the news isn’t all bad. First, Blumenthal’s troubles with fabulism more or less inoculates Mark Kirk in Illinois, who has had his issues with accuracy on more than one occasion regarding his military service. McMahon, who will almost certainly win the primary, will spend her own money in the Connecticut race, leaving the GOP the option of sending its resources elsewhere. McMahon also may still find more troubles in Blumenthal’s past with her well-financed opposition research, although the next time, her campaign will probably hold it until the final days of the campaign. However, unless lightning strikes twice, this looks more like a solid hold for the Democrats and a sideshow for the GOP in November.