March 22, 2012 - McMahon Leads In Connecticut GOP Senate Primary, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; But Shays Runs Better Against Democrats

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Former wrestling executive Linda McMahon leads former U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays 51 - 42 percent in the Republican primary for Connecticut's U.S. Senate seat, but Shays runs better against possible Democratic candidates, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. This compares to a 50 - 35 percent McMahon lead September 16.

U.S. Rep. Christopher Murphy leads the Democratic primary for Senate with 37 percent, followed by former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz with 25 percent and State Rep. William Tong with 4 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

In possible November matchups:
  • Murphy tops McMahon 52 - 37 percent;
  • Murphy gets 41 percent to Shays' 40 percent;
  • Bysiewicz beats McMahon 49 - 39 percent;
  • Shays gets 43 percent to Bysiewicz' 42 percent;
  • McMahon leads Tong 43 - 39 percent;
  • Shays tops Tong 50 - 25 percent.
In the Murphy-McMahon face-off, the Democrat leads 50 - 41 percent among men and 54 - 33 percent among women.

"Congressman Christopher Shays has narrowed the gap with Linda McMahon from 15 points to 9 points. The question is whether he can catch up by primary day, August 14," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, PhD.

"In general election matchups, Shays runs neck and neck with either Congressman Christopher Murphy or Susan Bysiewicz, while McMahon trails both of them by double digits.

"The numbers have barely moved in the Democratic primary with Murphy holding a double digit lead over Bysiewicz, but 29 percent are undecided," Dr. Schwartz added.

Presidential Race

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney dominates Connecticut's Republican presidential primary with 42 percent, followed by former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum with 19 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 13 percent and Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul with 9 percent.

President Barack Obama thumps Romney 53 - 37 percent in the general election matchup, leading 51 - 40 percent among men and 55 - 34 percent among women. The president leads 91 - 6 percent among Democrats and 48 - 37 percent among independent voters, while Romney leads 85 - 12 percent among Republicans.

Obama beats Santorum 55 - 35 percent.

Connecticut voters approve 53 - 43 percent of the job the president is doing and by 55 - 41 percent they have a favorable opinion of him.

Romney gets a negative 35 - 43 percent favorability and Santorum gets a negative 27 - 43 percent.

"Gov. Mitt Romney is crushing Santorum in Connecticut, leading by 23 points. Romney's strength continues to be among upscale voters and seniors," Schwartz said.

"But President Barack Obama has a big double-digit lead over either Romney or Sen. Rick Santorum in the general election. The question here is whether the president's coattails will affect the Senate race in November."

Connecticut voters approve 51 - 38 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman is doing and approve 64 - 23 percent of freshman Sen. Richard Blumenthal, his best score so far.

From March 14 - 19, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,622 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones. The survey includes 429 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.7 percentage points and 640 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

1. (If Registered Republican) If the Republican primary for President were being held today, and the candidates were Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul, for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS........................
                                                        COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Con    Mod    Yes    No
 
Gingrich             13%    16%    10%    19%     4%    10%    15%
Romney               42     43     40     39     49     51     35
Santorum             19     20     19     23     15     16     22
Paul                  9      9     10      4     18      8     10
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      3      3      1      4      4      2
DK/NA                14      9     18     14      9     10     16
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    ANNUAL HsHOLD INCOME
                     18-44  45-64  65+    <50K   50-100 >100K
 
Gingrich             10%    16%    11%    16%    12%    12%
Romney               40     36     51     38     41     44
Santorum             15     22     19     22     23     17
Paul                 21      6      4      5     12     10
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      5      2      2      2      3
DK/NA                12     15     13     17     10     13
 
TREND: (If Registered Republican) If the Republican primary for President were being held today, and the candidates were: Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul, for whom would you vote? (* 2011 wording referenced "2012 election")
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS
                     Mar 22  Sep 16
                     2012    2011
 
Gingrich             13       3
Romney               42      37
Santorum             19       1
Paul                  9       3
Bachmann             na       8
Cain                 na       3
Huntsman             na       2
McCotter             na       -
Palin                na       4
Perry                na      19
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3       4
DK/NA                14      16
 
 
2. (If Registered Republican) If the Republican primary for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Chris Shays and Linda McMahon, for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS........................
                                                        COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Con    Mod    Yes    No
 
Shays                42%    44%    40%    35%    53%    46%    39%
McMahon              51     50     52     59     43     47     54
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      -      2      1      -      2      1
DK/NA                 6      6      6      6      4      6      6
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    ANNUAL HsHOLD INCOME
                     18-44  45-64  65+    <50K   50-100 >100K
 
Shays                34%    48%    42%    41%    39%    47%
McMahon              54     47     52     52     54     47
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      1      -      2      1      1
DK/NA                10      4      6      6      6      5
 
TREND: (If Registered Republican) If the Republican primary for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Chris Shays and Linda McMahon, for whom would you vote? (* 2011 wording referenced "2012 election")
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS
                     Mar 22  Sep 16
                     2012    2011
 
Shays                42      35
McMahon              51      50
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1       1
DK/NA                 6      12
 
 
3. (If Registered Democrat) If the Democratic primary for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were: Chris Murphy, Susan Bysiewicz, and William Tong, for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED DEMOCRATS..........................
                                                        COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Lib    Mod    Yes    No
 
Murphy               37%    41%    35%    39%    41%    44%    32%
Bysiewicz            25     25     26     23     26     22     28
Tong                  4      3      4      3      3      4      4
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      -      1      -      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      4      3      2      4      3      4
DK/NA                29     27     31     32     26     26     32
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    ANNUAL HsHOLD INCOME
                     18-44  45-64  65+    <50K   50-100 >100K
 
Murphy               34%    39%    38%    38%    33%    42%
Bysiewicz            23     29     24     31     25     22
Tong                  1      4      5      5      3      4
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      -      -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      7      3      2      3      6      4
DK/NA                36     24     31     23     33     28
 
TREND: (If Registered Democrat) If the Democratic primary for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were: Chris Murphy, Susan Bysiewicz and William Tong, for whom would you vote? (* 2011 wording referenced "2012 election")
                     REGISTERED DEMOCRATS
                     Mar 22  Sep 16
                     2012    2011
 
Murphy               37      36
Bysiewicz            25      26
Tong                  4       1
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4       2
DK/NA                29      35
 
 
4. If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and - Mitt Romney the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Lib    Mod    Con
 
Obama                53%    12%    91%    48%    51%    55%    89%    55%    19%
Romney               37     85      6     37     40     34      6     33     72
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      2      2      -      -      1      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      1      2      5      3      4      1      3      5
DK/NA                 6      2      1      9      4      7      4      8      3
 
TREND: If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and Mitt Romney the Republican, for whom would you vote? (* 2011 wording referenced "2012 election")
                     Mar 22  Sep 16
                     2012    2011
 
Obama                53      49
Romney               37      36
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3       2
DK/NA                 6      10
 
 
5. If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and - Rick Santorum the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Lib    Mod    Con
 
Obama                55%    13%    91%    50%    53%    56%    89%    58%    20%
Santorum             35     78      5     35     37     33      8     27     70
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      -      1      1      -      -      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      3      1      6      4      3      1      5      4
DK/NA                 6      5      2      8      5      7      2      9      5
 
 
6. Is your opinion of - Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Lib    Mod    Con
 
Favorable            55%    14%    91%    51%    54%    57%    89%    59%    21%
Unfavorable          41     85      7     44     44     38      8     37     77
Hvn't hrd enough      2      -      1      3      1      2      2      2      1
REFUSED               2      1      2      3      1      3      1      2      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable, or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Mar 22  Sep 16  Dec 17  Mar 27  May 10  Feb 19
                     2012    2011    2008    2008    2007    2007
 
Favorable            55      50      71      59      51      48
Unfavorable          41      45      11      24      15      10
Hvn't hrd enough      2       3      15      15      32      40
REFUSED               2       3       2       2       1       2
 
 
7. Is your opinion of - Mitt Romney favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Lib    Mod    Con
 
Favorable            35%    66%    13%    36%    38%    32%    14%    36%    55%
Unfavorable          43     14     65     43     45     42     69     44     21
Hvn't hrd enough     19     17     18     19     14     23     14     17     23
REFUSED               3      3      3      2      2      4      4      3      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Mitt Romney favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Mar 22  Sep 16  May 10  Feb 19
                     2012    2011    2007    2007
 
Favorable            35      34      15      13
Unfavorable          43      28      23      19
Hvn't hrd enough     19      36      60      67
REFUSED               3       2       1       1
 
 
8. Is your opinion of - Rick Santorum favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Lib    Mod    Con
 
Favorable            27%    55%     7%    28%    30%    24%     9%    22%    51%
Unfavorable          43     17     63     43     45     41     68     47     17
Hvn't hrd enough     29     26     29     28     24     33     23     29     30
REFUSED               2      2      1      1      1      2      -      2      2
 
 
9. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Linda McMahon the Republican and - Chris Murphy the Democrat, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Lib    Mod    Con
 
McMahon              37%    83%     8%    35%    41%    33%    11%    32%    68%
Murphy               52     12     83     50     50     54     77     56     24
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      -      -      -      1      -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      1      -      3      2      1      1      2      2
DK/NA(VOL)            9      4      8     12      7     11     10     10      6
 
TREND: If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Linda McMahon the Republican and Chris Murphy the Democrat, for whom would you vote? (* 2011 wording referenced "2012 election")
                     Mar 22  Sep 16
                     2012    2011
 
McMahon              37      38
Murphy               52      49
SOMEONE ELSE(VOL)     -       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2       1
DK/NA(VOL)            9      11
 
 
10. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Linda McMahon the Republican and - Susan Bysiewicz the Democrat, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Lib    Mod    Con
 
McMahon              39%    84%    10%    36%    44%    34%     8%    37%    70%
Bysiewicz            49     10     81     45     45     52     79     49     22
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      1      2      5      4      3      3      4      3
DK/NA(VOL)            9      4      7     13      7     11     10     10      5
 
TREND: If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Linda McMahon the Republican and Susan Bysiewicz the Democrat, for whom would you vote? (* 2011 wording referenced "2012 election")
                     Mar 22  Sep 16
                     2012    2011
 
McMahon              39      38
Bysiewicz            49      46
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3       3
DK/NA(VOL)            9      12
 
 
11. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Linda McMahon the Republican and - William Tong the Democrat, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Lib    Mod    Con
 
McMahon              43%    87%    11%    44%    49%    37%    14%    39%    76%
Tong                 39      6     71     32     38     39     68     37     15
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      1      1      1      1      1      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      2      2      5      4      4      2      6      2
DK/NA(VOL)           14      4     15     19      9     19     16     17      7
 
 
12. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Chris Shays the Republican and - Chris Murphy the Democrat, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Lib    Mod    Con
 
Shays                40%    80%    11%    40%    48%    32%    14%    37%    67%
Murphy               41      8     75     34     38     45     66     42     19
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      1      -      3      2      2      1      2      2
DK/NA(VOL)           17     10     13     22     12     22     19     18     12
 
TREND: If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Chris Shays the Republican and Chris Murphy the Democrat, for whom would you vote? (* 2011 wording referenced "2012 election")
                     Mar 22  Sep 16
                     2012    2011
 
Shays                40      37
Murphy               41      43
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2       2
DK/NA(VOL)           17      17
 
 
13. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Chris Shays the Republican and - Susan Bysiewicz the Democrat, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Lib    Mod    Con
 
Shays                43%    81%    15%    44%    50%    36%    15%    45%    66%
Bysiewicz            42     11     71     36     35     47     68     39     23
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      -      -      -      -      -      -      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      1      1      3      3      1      1      3      2
DK/NA(VOL)           13      5     13     16     11     15     16     14      8
 
TREND: If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Chris Shays the Republican and Susan Bysiewicz the Democrat, for whom would you vote? (* 2011 wording referenced "2012 election")
                     Mar 22  Sep 16
                     2012    2011
 
Shays                43      42
Bysiewicz            42      40
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2       2
DK/NA(VOL)           13      16
 
 
14. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Chris Shays the Republican and - William Tong the Democrat, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Lib    Mod    Con
 
Shays                50%    87%    23%    53%    57%    44%    22%    52%    76%
Tong                 25      4     53     16     23     27     50     21     10
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      1      1      1      1      -      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      2      2      4      4      3      2      4      3
DK/NA(VOL)           21      8     22     26     15     26     25     23     11
 
 
15. Is your opinion of - Linda McMahon favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Lib    Mod    Con
 
Favorable            40%    74%    14%    41%    44%    36%    17%    37%    66%
Unfavorable          44     16     68     42     44     44     69     47     19
Hvn't hrd enough     15      9     17     15     11     18     13     14     14
REFUSED               1      1      1      2      1      2      -      2      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Linda McMahon favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her? (* High also 43% Jul 2010)
                                                             FAVORABLE....
                                                             High    Low
                     Mar 22  Sep 16  Aug 4   Jul 16  Jun 10  Aug 4   Nov 12
                     2012    2011    2010    2010    2010    2010*   2009
 
Favorable            40      38      43      43      38      43      20
Unfavorable          44      45      37      37      35      37      13
Hvn't hrd enough     15      15      17      20      25      17      66
REFUSED               1       2       2       1       1       2       1
 
 
16. Is your opinion of - Chris Shays favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Lib    Mod    Con
 
Favorable            47%    60%    37%    49%    54%    40%    37%    50%    53%
Unfavorable          13      8     20     11     15     11     18     13      9
Hvn't hrd enough     38     31     41     39     29     47     43     35     37
REFUSED               2      1      2      1      1      2      1      2      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Chris Shays favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Mar 22  Sep 16
                     2012    2011
 
Favorable            47      41
Unfavorable          13      14
Hvn't hrd enough     38      44
REFUSED               2       1
 
 
17. Is your opinion of - Susan Bysiewicz favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Lib    Mod    Con
 
Favorable            39%    17%    55%    38%    36%    41%    57%    40%    23%
Unfavorable          27     48     12     27     31     22      9     26     44
Hvn't hrd enough     34     34     32     34     32     36     33     33     33
REFUSED               1      -      1      1      1      1      1      1      -
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Susan Bysiewicz favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     Mar 22  Sep 16  Jan 21  Nov 10  Feb 10
                     2012    2011    2010    2009    2009
 
Favorable            39      39      49      43      40
Unfavorable          27      27      14      11      12
Hvn't hrd enough     34      33      36      44      48
REFUSED               1       1       1       1       1
 
 
18. Is your opinion of - Chris Murphy favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Lib    Mod    Con
 
Favorable            40%    19%    60%    35%    41%    39%    54%    44%    24%
Unfavorable          15     33      3     15     19     12      2     12     32
Hvn't hrd enough     44     47     37     48     40     48     44     43     43
REFUSED               1      1      1      1      1      1      -      1      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Chris Murphy favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Mar 22  Sep 16
                     2012    2011
 
Favorable            40      38
Unfavorable          15      16
Hvn't hrd enough     44      45
REFUSED               1       1
 
 
19. Is your opinion of - William Tong favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Lib    Mod    Con
 
Favorable            10%     4%    17%     8%    12%     8%    17%     7%     7%
Unfavorable           5      8      2      6      8      3      1      6      8
Hvn't hrd enough     85     88     81     86     80     89     81     87     84
REFUSED               -      -      -      1      -      -      -      -      -
 
 
22. Do you approve or disapprove of the way - Joe Lieberman is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Lib    Mod    Con
 
Approve              51%    61%    39%    54%    54%    48%    39%    53%    56%
Disapprove           38     31     49     34     39     37     51     35     34
DK/NA                11      8     12     12      7     15     10     12     10
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joe Lieberman is handling his job as United States Senator? (*Low also 38% Dec 2008)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Mar 22  Sep 16  Jun 15  Mar 09  Jul 16  Sep 21  Mar 09
                     2012    2011    2011    2011    2010    2000    2011*
 
Approve              51      51      41      38      40      80      38
Disapprove           38      40      45      45      50      14      45
DK/NA                11      10      14      17       9       6      17
 
 
23. Do you approve or disapprove of the way - Richard Blumenthal is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Lib    Mod    Con
 
Approve              64%    44%    82%    62%    61%    66%    83%    68%    40%
Disapprove           23     42      6     24     28     18      6     19     44
DK/NA                14     14     12     14     11     16     11     13     15	    10
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Richard Blumenthal is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     Mar 22  Sep 16  Jun 15  Mar 09
                     2012    2011    2011    2011
 
Approve              64      60      54      49
Disapprove           23      23      25      25
DK/NA                14      17      21      26
 
 
24. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Lib    Mod    Con
 
Approve              53%    12%    87%    49%    51%    54%    87%    56%    17%
Disapprove           43     87     10     46     46     40     11     39     79
DK/NA                 4      2      3      5      2      5      3      5      3
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President? (*High also 71% Apr 2009)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Mar 22  Sep 16  Jun 15  Mar 09  Jul 16  May 27  Sep 16
                     2012    2011    2011    2011    2010    2009*   2011
 
Approve              53      48      53      49      50      71      48
Disapprove           43      48      44      47      44      22      48
DK/NA                 4       4       3       4       6       7       4
 
 

Demographic Summary