If Democrats in Washington are getting nervous about Richard Blumenthal’s shrinking lead in Connecticut Senate contest, they’re putting on a good game face for now.
Blumenthal’s edge over rival Linda McMahon, the GOP-endorsed nominee who still faces a primary next week, has inched down steadily in recent months, from a 25-point lead in May to a 10-point advantage in the latest Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.
Retiring Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., the man Blumenthal is hoping to succeed, said he attributes the shift to one thing: “Money.” He joked that McMahon’s $22 million contribution to her own campaign so far is “more than I’ve spent in five Senate races over a 30-year period.”
Asked if Blumenthal needs to ramp up his campaign strategy, Dodd said no.
“Dick will have resources, but he’s saving them for the time when most people will make up their minds,” Dodd said. “Obviously he’s feeling a little naked I’m sure right now,” Dodd added, but “I’m still very confident” he will pull out a victory in November.
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, similarly noted that Blumenthal is holding back until the GOP primary is over.
“The reality is he hasn’t been spending money on being able to define her yet,” Menendez said Thursday. “So when he does that, if she wins, … I think there’s going to be a lot of disgust, even among Republican moderates who are going to say ‘You know, Linda McMahon is not the type of candidate I want.’ And Blumenthal should be able to do very well.”
But Menendez demurred on one of the biggest questions–one Blumenthal himself may be wondering about: How much help might the national party provide, given that so far, McMahon has only spent about half of the $50 million she has vowed to use for her campaign.
“I don’t telegraph where I’m sending my resources, how much, or when,” Menendez said.