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Chris Murphy Opens Lead on Linda McMahon in Connecticut Senate Race

As she did in 2010, McMahon in the last weeks of her bitter Senate battle is losing favor among women and older voters.

U.S. Senate hopeful Chris Murphy has opened a modest lead on opponent with 49 percent of likely voters now saying they support Murphy, a Democrat, and 43 percent saying they would vote for McMahon, a Republican.

Those are the results of the latest Quinnipiac University poll released today. The poll shows that Murphy is gaining ground on McMahon as women and older voters begin to move away from McMahon.

The poll shows that women back Murphy 52 to 38 percent and that voters 55 and older are split 51 to 42 percent for Murphy.

In the university’s last poll conducted Oct. 4, women backed Murphy 50 to 44 and voters 55 and older were tied at 48 to 48 percent for Murphy.

Even men appear to be having second thoughts about McMahon. In the latest Quinnipiac poll male voters split 50 to 46 for McMahon. In the earlier poll they were split 52 to 45 percent for her.

Still, the race “remains fluid,” Quinnipiac officials said “as 11 percent of Murphy voters and 14 percent of McMahon voters say they might change their mind in the next 13 days.”

"It's déjà vu all over again in the Connecticut Senate race. As we hit the final stretch of the campaign, Linda McMahon is beginning to fade, as she did in her 2010 run against Richard Blumenthal," said Douglas Schwartz, director of the Quinnipiac University poll. "Has she hit her ceiling? She took 43 percent of the vote in 2010, losing by 12 points to Blumenthal. Two weeks before the election, she is back at 43 percent."

A total of 62 percent of Connecticut likely voters have a "strongly unfavorable" or "somewhat unfavorable" opinion of this Senate race in general.

McMahon, Schwartz added, appears to be losing the popularity contest with Murphy. Between 41 to 47 percent of the surveyed voters reported an unfavorable image of McMahon, compared to 39 percent for Murphy.

"One of McMahon's key strengths had been that voters liked her more than Murphy," Schwartz added. "Voters are evenly divided on Murphy but have a net negative opinion of McMahon. After improving her image from two years ago, her favorability rating has fallen back to about where she was in 2010.”

In the presidential race Barack Obama has opened an even greater lead in Connecticut over Mitt Romney, the poll shows. The president leads Romney 55 to 41 percent, compared to 54 to 42 percent in the Oct. 4 poll.

You can read details of the poll here.

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