A poll released Tuesday has bad news for former Rep. Chris Shays and shows  Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy would have a comfortable lead if he’s matched up against Republican Linda McMahon in the general election for a Connecticut Senate seat.

The survey, by Public Policy Polling, said “the Republican contest is pretty much over,” with McMahon leading fellow Republican Shays by a “remarkable” 48 point margin, 68-20 percent.

“GOP voters flat out dislike Shays, with only 37 percent rating him favorably to 40 percent with a negative opinion,” the poll determined. That’s pretty unusual to see in a primary.”

Both Shays and McMahon are running for retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman’s Senate seat.

On the Democratic side of that Senate race, Murphy has a 17-point lead against his rival Susan Bysiewicz, 49 -32 percent.

The Democratic and Republican primaries will be held Aug. 14.

If Murphy faces off against McMahon in the general election, he would have a 50-32 percent advantage, the poll says.

The pollsters also determined that among independent voters, McMahon leads Murphy, 53-36 percent; but she is getting only 74 percent of the Republican vote, with 19 percent of  GOP voters crossing over to support Murphy.

“It’s an indication that McMahon is simply unacceptable to some voters within the party,” the pollsters said.

By comparison Murphy is receiving the support of  82 percent of Connecticut’s Democrats and his backing is strongest among young voters.

Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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