Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why Dick Blumenthal is losing this race

Ed Patru
Communications Director
Linda McMahon for Senate 2010

It’s Tuesday morning and momentum is in the air. One day after a Rasmussen poll showed Linda McMahon within five points of Dick Blumenthal, a just-released Quinnipiac poll shows Linda moving to within three points of the longtime Attorney General. Blumenthal’s campaign is expected to release internals today showing he leads Linda by 40 points.

Quinnipiac University Polling Institute reports that Linda, “propelled by Connecticut likely voters who say they are ‘angry’ with government,” has moved to within the margin of error and “now trails just 49 – 46 percent.”

Poll director Doug Schwartz sees undeniable momentum behind Linda:

With five weeks to go, the Connecticut Senate race is very close. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is ahead by only a statistically insignificant 3 points. Blumenthal has to be concerned about Linda McMahon's momentum. He can hear her footsteps as she closes in on him," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, PhD.

Blumenthal in January held what was seemingly an insurmountable 41-point lead:

Jan. 14
March 17
May 27
June 10
July 16
Aug. 4
Sept. 16
Sept. 28

Linda’s momentum in this race continues because she hasn’t deviated from her message of job creation since entering the race last September; on the other hand, Blumenthal has spent the last nine months running as though he’s campaigning for reelection to the office of Attorney General. He’s uncomfortable offering his support to Connecticut’s businesses, preferring instead to elaborate on his office’s latest lawsuit against Connecticut employers. After nearly four decades in government, he lacks a concrete record of job creation. To make matters worse, he seems wholly incapable of even explaining how jobs are created. He took a valiant stab at it earlier this year when he made the bizarre assertion that “our lawsuits, our legal actions, actually create jobs.”

He is finding himself forced to explain how his plan to raise taxes on small businesses will help create jobs. He is struggling to explain away his support for a national energy tax – legislation that even the President admits will cause electricity prices to “necessarily skyrocket”. As Kevin Rennie of dailyructions.com explains, Blumenthal is on unfamiliar ground:

Mr. Blumenthal has spent his long career in public life accusing, not explaining.

Of course, all of Blumenthal’s efforts to explain away his tax-and-spend policies are complicated by the fact that, increasingly, voters don’t trust him. He was untruthful about his military record. He misled voters about his PAC fundraising. He lied about a Vancouver fundraiser. And as recently as last week, he did it again, when he was caught on tape lying to a voter about his support for Cap-and-Trade – legislation that he personally lobbied the Senate to pass last year.

If Blumenthal’s response to voter anxiety is business-as-usual, his campaign seems equally tone deaf. In a late-night pre-response yesterday to today’s Quinnipiac poll, the campaign reacted predictably – completely out of touch with reality. CTNewsJunkie’s Christine Stuart reports:
Richard Blumenthal, the Democrat running for U.S. Senator Chris Dodd’s vacated seat, was trying to get a jump on tomorrow’s Quinnipiac University polls numbers by releasing some of his own. According to this memo from Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Research Group Blumenthal has a 12 point advantage over his Republican opponent, Linda McMahon. The poll of 606 residents was paid for by the Blumenthal campaign.

Some things never change.

Ed Patru

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