Bysiewicz Poll Shows Her Leading Lieberman
An internal poll conducted for the nascent campaign of former Conn. Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz (D) shows her narrowly ahead in Democratic primary matchups and three-way general election contests against incumbent Sen. Joe Lieberman (I) and the two GOP statewide nominees last year.
The poll, conducted in mid-December, well before Bysiewicz announced her candidacy, shows Bysiewicz leading a three-way matchup with Lieberman and 2010 Senate nominee Linda McMahon (R), 34 percent to 30 percent to 28 percent. If 2010 gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley (R) is the GOP nominee, Bysiewicz leads, 33 percent to 29 percent to 27 percent. While Bysiewicz can claim leads in both matchups, the close margins indicate that a three-way contest could be anyone's race.
But there are still many developments in the race to come. Lieberman has yet to say whether he'll seek re-election, for one. If he decides against it, Bysiewicz would start the race with a more decisive lead over McMahon. In her poll, she led McMahon 54 percent to 36 percent.
It also remains to be seen who Bysiewicz will face in the Democratic primary. She starts narrowly ahead of Rep. Chris Murphy (D) and Connecticut-based attorney Ted Kennedy Jr. (D), who has also been mentioned as a possible Senate contender in neighboring Massachusetts. Bysiewicz earns 32 percent of the Democratic primary vote, with Murphy and Kennedy both at 26 percent. Bysiewicz also leads Murphy head-to-head, 46 percent to 37 percent.
Murphy said Tuesday that he is interested in the race, and will be shortly announcing a decision.
"My interest in running for Senate in 2012 is well known in the state, and I expect to announce my decision very soon," he said in a statement. "All I can say now is that this is going to be a pretty busy few weeks."
Murphy, who is known for his aggressive style, is very close to running, according to plugged in Connecticut Democratic sources, while Kennedy is likely to wait longer to make a decision. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) has also indicated he is considering the race, but is considered less likely to run than Murphy.
The poll was conducted Dec. 13 to 16 by the Democratic polling firm Bennett, Petts & Normington. Distinct samples of 433 likely voters in the primary and 400 likely voters in the general carry margins of error of +/- 4.7 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively.