Rasmussen: Blumenthal’s Gaffe Gives New Life to Republican Challengers

I said yesterday I was expecting a new poll out within the next few days after Richard Blumenthal’s epic “in Vietnam” disaster. Rasmussen obliged me in less than 24 hours (the poll was taken last night), and he has good news for all three Republican candidates.

Linda McMahon now only trails by three points, 48-45. In the last Rasmussen poll taken on May 6, she was trailing 52-39. On her campaign blog yesterday, McMahon claimed credit for the NYT report on Blumenthal, as it was her oppo team that provided the video of the gaffe to the newspaper. She later took the posting off her blog, so as to not be seen as gloating.

Rob Simmons now trails by 11 points, 50-39. He trailed by 23 in the May 6th poll, 55-32. As someone who actually served in Vietnam for 19 months, winning two Bronze Stars in the process, he’s come out hard and heavy against Blumenthal.

Peter Schiff now trails by 16 points, 53-37. He trailed by 25 in the May 6th poll, 54-29. He has not made any public comments on the Blumenthal gaffe to my knowledge.

Analysis from Rasmussen:

Following a New York Times report that he exaggerated his military record, Democratic Senate hopeful Richard Blumenthal has lost ground in match-ups against all his potential Republican challengers in Connecticut.


Still, just 26% of voters say Blumenthal should withdraw from the Senate race. Only nine percent (9%) of Democrats hold that view.

However, 53% of voters say “the issue of Blumenthal and his military service” will be at least somewhat important in terms of how they vote. That figure includes 27% who say the issue is Very Important. Among voters not affiliated with either major political party, 25% consider this issue Very Important.


Prior to the New York Times story, Blumenthal’s support had never fallen below 52% against any GOP challenger, and no Republican had reached the 40% level of support.

While his support now has fallen against the potential GOP challengers, perceptions of Blumenthal have slipped only modestly. Currently, he is viewed favorably by 66% of voters statewide. That’s down from 72% two weeks ago.

By comparison, 54% have favorable views of both McMahon and Simmons, while 44% say the same of the much less well-known Schiff.

Blumenthal ceded significant ground to all of his challengers due to his gaffe, and 53% of voters said it would be at least “somewhat important” in terms of how they vote in November. Yet, his favorability rating fell just six points, and is still quite high at 66%. I really wish I could figure that one out.


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