New poll shows Senate race in dead heat - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New poll shows Senate race in dead heat

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB/AP) -

A new Quinnipiac University Poll shows Connecticut's U.S. Senate race remains a dead heat.

Forty-eight percent support Republican Linda McMahon while 47 percent back Democratic U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, according to the telephone survey of 1,696 likely voters released Thursday.

Poll Director Douglas Schwartz said both candidates have taken hits from the recent barrage of negative TV ads.

"Connecticut voters like Linda McMahon more than U.S. Rep. Christopher Murphy. But the Democrat seems to be holding his own against the onslaught of negative advertising," Schwartz said.

However, Schwartz said McMahon's supporters are more enthusiastic about their candidate.

"McMahon voters are much more likely to say they are very enthusiastic about their choice than Murphy voters, by about 2-1. While the horse race has barely changed, the images of both candidates have declined since August, as the campaign attacks have increased."

Half said they consider themselves "very enthusiastic" about the former wrestling executive, while 27 percent of Murphy's supporters said they're "very enthusiastic" about his candidacy.

"Connecticut voters like Linda McMahon more than Chris Murphy," Schwartz said. "Also, Connecticut voters tell us that they want someone with business experience rather than experience in politics."

Despite the number of polls, the overall results are virtually unchanged since August, but some voters are watching them

"I want to see what the other parts of the state are saying," said voter Liz Edgecomb of Broad Brook. "I have been wrong in my life."

The poll shows that the biggest challenge for McMahon is being a Republican in a blue state while Murphy's biggest hurdle is being outspent. Voters said they know more about McMahon because she is running more ads.

According to the poll, voters have the same "low" opinions of both McMahon's former position as CEO of the WWE and Murphy's current job as a United States congressman.

"I think in this current environment, one hears quite a bit of negative about an incumbent and sentiments about house clearing," said voter Tom Robinson of Manchester.

Lorenzo Parker of Hartford said he is not surprised that voters do not like politicians.

"They say one thing and do another," he said.

The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

To check out the entire poll, click here.

The same poll shows Democratic President Barack Obama has a 12 percentage point lead over Republican Mitt Romney.

Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.

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