Q Poll: McMahon Leads Shays, But Weaker Against Dems
CORRECTION: The previous version of this post incorrectly stated Bysiewicz's title. She is the former secretary of state.
Linda McMahon would lead former Rep. Christopher Shays in the race for the Republican nomination to succeed retiring Sen. Joseph Lieberman, ID-Conn., but McMahon would trail the two top Democratic candidates, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday. The poll also shows that Shays would be a much stronger general election candidate, tying both Rep. Christopher Murphy, D-Conn., and former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz.
McMahon, the former World Wrestling Entertainment executive who was her party's Senate nominee two years ago, leads Shays among Republican voters, 51 percent to 42 percent. Six percent of GOP voters are undecided. That is closer than the previous poll, conducted last September, when McMahon led Shays by 15 percentage points.
Meanwhile, the Democratic primary remains much more unsettled, according to the poll. Murphy leads Bysiewicz, 37 percent to 25 percent. Four percent of Democratic voters prefer state Rep. William Tong, and a whopping 29 percent are undecided.
Both main Democratic candidates perform similarly in general election matchups, with Murphy running slightly stronger. McMahon trails both candidates by double-digits, losing to Murphy by 15 points (52 percent to 37 percent) and Bysiewicz by 10 (49 percent to 39 percent). But Shays ties both candidates, trailing Murphy by one point and leading Bysiewicz by the same, scant margin. While Murphy leads McMahon among independent voters by 15 points, and Bysiewicz leads her by 9, Shays best both Democrats among independents by high-single-digit margins.
Murphy and Shays are the two most popular candidates. Forty-seven percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Shays, compared with 13 percent who have an unfavorable opinion. Murphy's numbers are similar: 40 percent favorable, versus 15 percent unfavorable.