A Rasmussen Reports survey released this afternoon has Democrat Richard Blumenthal leading Republican Linda McMahon in the U.S. Senate race, 53 percent to 44 percent.

Last month, Blumenthal led, 47 percent to 40 percent.

The new poll is the first in which Rasmussen includes “leaners,” people who express no initial preference until pushed. Without leaners, Blumenthal’s lead was 51 percent to 43 percent.

Blumenthal is also viewed more favorably than McMahon.

Blumenthal is viewed favorably by 62 percent and unfavorably by 38 percent, while McMahon’s is viewed favorably and unfavorably by an equal percentage of voters – 49 percent.

Thirty-one percent view Blumenthal very favorably, while 20 percent view him very unfavorably. McMahon is viewed very favorably by 19 percent, compared to 27 percent who view her very unfavorably.

The poll of 500 likely voters was conducted September 9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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