Quinnipiac: Blumenthal up 12, Malloy up 5

With a week until election day, Democrat Richard Blumenthal is maintaining a 12-percentage point lead in the U.S. Senate race and Democrat Dan Malloy is up 5 points in the contest for governor, according to the Quinnipiac University poll.

The poll of likely voters released today showed little movement from Quinnnipiac’s previous survey a week ago, when Blumenthal led Republican Linda McMahon by 11 points and Malloy was up 7 points over Republican Tom Foley.

“The vote for Connecticut governor and senator is solidifying. There has been little movement in either race in the last two weeks,” said Douglas Schwartz, the poll’s director.

Blumenthal leads 54 percent to 42 percent, a spread similar to a Rasmussen Reports survey released Monday. A week ago, Quinnipiac had him ahead, 54 percent to 43 percent.

Quinnipiac found only 3 percent undecided and 6 percent who say they could change their minds before next week’s election to choose a successor to five-term Democrat Christopher J. Dodd.

Schwartz said McMahon’s saturation advertising attacking Blumenthal, the state’s longest-serving attorney general, seems to have failed.

“He remains popular, but McMahon’s own negatives have risen above 50 percent. One has to wonder if over the last few weeks McMahon would have been better off spending more of her millions on positive ads,” Schwartz said.

By a margin of 55 percent to 39 percent, voters have a favorable opinion of Blumenthal. McMahon, a former World Wrestling executive seeking office for the first time, is seen favorably by 43 percent and unfavorably by 51 percent. Two weeks ago, her favorable-unfavorable rating was evenly divided.

Blumenthal leads 61 percent to 35 percent among women. Men are split, with 49 percent for McMahon and 47 percent for Blumenthal. His lead among unaffiliated voters is 16 percent.

Ed Patru, McMahon’s communication director, issued a statement reminding reporters that a attorney general in neighboring Massachusetts saw a big lead disappear in a special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat.

“It’s worth remembering that earlier this year, polling showed Democrat Martha Coakley with a growing 15-point lead over Republican Scott Brown, 50-35, just nine days before the election,” Patru said.

The governor’s race is tighter and potentially more volatile.

Malloy’s lead over Foley is 48 percent to 43 percent, down from 49 percent to 42 percent a week ago. A Rasmussen Reports survey also released Tuesday shows Malloy with an even narrower lead, 49 percent to 46 percent.

Seven percent in the Quinnipiac poll say they are undecided and 11 percentage say they could change their mind.

But Schwartz said the race to succeed Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell also has shown little movement, despite the two major candidates being lesser known than the Senate candidates.

“Throughout the fall campaign Democrat Dan Malloy’s share of the vote has been between 45 and 50 percent, while Republican Tom Foley’s has been stuck between 41 and 43 percent,” Schwartz said.

Malloy is the former mayor of Stamford. Foley is a businessman seeking office for the first time.

As in the race for Senate, the governor’s contest has been dominated by negative ads, which seem to have hit Malloy harder.

Malloy’s unfavorability rating has jumped five points, from 29 percent to 34 percent in in a week, while those viewing him favorably have remained steady at 47 percent.

Those who view Foley unfavorably remained unchanged at 33 percent, while his favorable rating has increased four points to 45 percent.

Malloy leads among women, 52 percent to 41 percent. Men are split, 46 percent for Foley and 45 percent for Malloy. And the Democrat leads among unaffiliated voters, 50 percent to 41 percent.

The poll was based on a telephone survey of 702 likely voters from Oct.18 to 24. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.