Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy has a 6-point lead over GOP opponent Linda McMahon in a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday morning, closely mirroring the results of an internal poll the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee released Wednesday.
Murphy has 49 percent support in the poll to McMahon's 43 percent. Quinnipiac's last poll, released in early October, had McMahon edging Murphy 48 percent to 47 percent.
The main difference between the two polls is McMahon's support among women. While the previous Quinnipiac poll showed Murphy with 50 percent support from female voters and McMahon with 44 percent support, this poll shows her numbers dwindling: Women back Murphy 52 percent to 38 percent in Wednesday's survey.
A huge deficit among female voters helped McMahon to a 12-point defeat in her 2010 Senate bid.
Murphy is seen favorably by the same percentage of people who see him unfavorably: 39 percent. McMahon's numbers are worse overall, with 41 percent viewing her favorably, but 47 percent viewing her unfavorably. Her favorable/unfavorable numbers were better in the previous poll.
"One of McMahon's key strengths had been that voters liked her more than Murphy," said Quinnipiac University poll director Douglas Schwartz
. "After improving her image from two years ago, her favorability rating has fallen back to about where she was in 2010."
The poll also shows 62 percent of respondents have a "strongly unfavorable" or "somewhat unfavorable" view of the race in general -- not surprising considering the sheer number of attacks that have characterized the contest over the past few months.
Meanwhile, the poll shows President Obama
running far ahead of Mitt Romney
in the White House race, 55 percent to 41 percent.
Other polls have showed a tighter race between Murphy and McMahon, and I profile the race in today's National Journal Daily
The Quinnipiac University poll surveyed 1,412 likely voters and was conducted from October 19-22. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 2.6 percentage points.