Early poll for U.S. Senate: Blumenthal favored over all Republicans

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An early public survey from Emerson College Polling finds that second-term U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Greenwich is likely to defeat any of the three Republican challengers who may win the nomination after the Aug. 9 primary.

The May 10 and 11 survey of 1,000 Connecticut voters indicates that Blumenthal would get 50.4 percent of the vote to 39.9 percent for Themis Klarides of Madison, the former state House minority leader. If the GOP challenger were Leora Levy of Greenwich, Blumenthal would win 52.2 percent to her 36.4 percent.

And if Peter Lumaj of Fairfield were to get the nomination, he would receive 35.1 percent to Blumnthal’s 51 percent.

Blumenthal’s campaign said that the poll, done in cooperation with The Hill and WTNH-News 8, might reflect the confidence that the senator and former long-time state attorney general has earned.

“Polls may rise or fall, but Sen. Blumenthal is focused on working for the people of Connecticut and delivering results,” the campaign said in a brief statement Thursday. “His double-digit lead in this poll reflects that service.”

“Every poll is a snapshot in time,” Klarides said. “I'm encouraged by the support I'm receiving across the state from voters who are sick and tired of Sen. Blumenthal's failed policies that have made life in Connecticut even more unaffordable.”

“I am not a lifelong politician like others in this race, but I am someone who gets things done,” Levy said in a statement. “Talking to voters across our state over the past few months, it’s clear they are fed up with skyrocketing inflation. Failed Democrat policies under Biden and Blumenthal have left many struggling to afford necessities like food for their table and gas in their car.”

Gary L. Rose, professor and chairman in the Department of Government in the College of Arts & Sciences at Sacred Heart University, said Thursday he believes that the poll has Klarides, who recently won the GOP convention endorsement, in good shape this early in the campaign, as she hopes that Lumaj and Levy split the conservative vote in the primary.

“Ten points suggests to me that Themis is doing fairly well with unaffiliated voters and moderate Republicans,” Rose said in a phone interview. “It’s not surprising to me that Blumenthal is ahead, for someone with his name recognition, whereas Themis hasn’t really run ads yet. I’d say she’s in striking distance. I think that is a very positive development for her. Whether she wins the primary is another matter. She is more electable in a general election, because she can draw from other voters.”

Rose said that in recent years, Connecticut’s Republican Party has shifted a little to the right, while Klarides is a moderate. “The more people listen to her and see her, Themis will become more-viable and able to build a coalition,” Rose said. “The convention nominated someone who can forge a broader coalition than Levy and Lumaj.”

Voters who responded to the included 9.8 percent who said they were undecided between Blumenthal and Klarides; 11.4 percent undecided between Blumenthal and Levy, a member of the Republican National Committee; and 13.9 percent undecided in the matchup with Lumaj, a lawyer and immigration adviser.

The poll indicates that Blumenthal’s projected margin would be similar to a potential rematch this fall between Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, who has a 51 percent to 38-percent edge over his predecessor. Gov. Ned Lamont has a nearly identical 50.5 percent to 38 percent margin in a rematch with Republican Bob Stefanowski of Madison.

The ethnic data of the survey included 7.8 percent who identified as Hispanic or Latino; 70.8 percent white; 10.4 percent Black; 4 percent Asian; and 7 percent in the category of other. The gender breakdown was 47.7 percent male; 49.4 percent female and 2.9 percent nonbinary.

As of October, 2021, there were 463,656 Republicans, 825,286 Democrats, 930,963 unaffiliated voters and 37,633 enrolled in minor parties, according to data from the Secretary of the State.

kdixon@ctpost.com Twitter: @KenDixonCT