Murphy, McMahon clash in first United States Senate debate - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Campaign 2012

Murphy, McMahon clash in first United States Senate debate

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ROCKY HILL, CT (WFSB/AP) -

Republican Linda McMahon and Democratic United States Rep. Chris Murphy clashed Sunday over plans for the economy, taxes, personal financing and other issues in the first debate in the race for United States Senate.

During the debate McMahon accused Murphy of being "desperate by questioning the source of her economic plans. She said he expected "a coronation."

Murphy said McMahon doesn't want to campaign on the issues and her plan is "lifted" from right-wing Republican groups in Washington.

In a poll released by Quinnipiac University, the race for Senate is a dead heat.

Photos: Murphy, McMahon face off in first United States Senate Debate

The Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday said 70 percent of people would watch the debate. 

"I think debates are great," said Sherry Shield of North Haven. "You get to see who the candidates are."

"I think you familiarize yourself with the candidates, as personal as you can get," said Joann Fantarella of North Haven about debates.

According to the poll, 48 percent of the 1,696 likely voters that were contacted by telephone, support McMahon, a Republican, while 47 percent back Murphy, a Democrat.

Former CEO of WWE McMahon and Democratic U.S. Rep. Murphy are vying for the right to succeed Joe Lieberman in the U.S. Senate.

Connecticut has not had a Republican senator in more than 30 years.

McMahon and Murphy have been engaged in a tight race with several attacks ads. He is accusing her of using her millions to buy the election and end Social Security. She accused him of being a career politician, who does not show up for congressional hearings.

"I think these debates are more important than presidential debates," said Trinity Political Professor Kevin McMahon.

Murphy and McMahon are scheduled to appear in another debate at the University of Connecticut in Storrs on Thursday, and two more have been scheduled for Oct. 15 and Oct. 18.

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

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