The XX Factor

Linda McMahon Is Catching Richard Blumenthal

My state of Connecticut has no primary tomorrow, so I should get out of the way for KJ and everyone else watching Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire . (Will they be more proof of the power of a Sarah Palin endorsement?) But here’s the news from the Connecticut Post today : “Republican Linda McMahon has virtually erased a once-daunting lead held by Democrat Richard Blumenthal , closing to within 6 points in their U.S. Senate race, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday morning.”

The Post observes that “some Democrats have expressed frustration at what they’ve seen as Blumenthal’s timid and defensive campaign, and they wonder if years of easy electoral triumphs have left him unprepared for a gloves-off brawl.” Indeed. I have been puzzled for weeks (months?) by Richard Blumenthal’s lackluster campaign. He was 20 points ahead early in the summer. Now McMahon is close enough to breathe down the back of his neck, with 3 percent of the poll respondents undecided and 11 percent saying they could change their mind by the election. The worst sign for Blumenthal is that he and McMahon are virtually tied with independent voters, 47 percent to 46 percent, in a state with more independents (831,000) than registered Democrats (743,000) or Republicans (413,000).

Forgive me for stating the glaringly obvious, but if Connecticut is in play, the Democrats have not a prayer of holding onto their majority in the Senate. McMahon and Blumenthal have a debate scheduled in Hartford on Oct. 4, her campaign says. He better act like he’s the one on the ropes and come out swinging.