In a Rasmussen Reports poll taken Sunday after their first debate, Democrat Chris Murphy led Republican Linda McMahon in the race for Connecticut’s open U.S. Senate seat, 51 percent to 46 percent.

The poll released today asked no questions about whether respondents had seen the debate broadcast on WFSB and C-SPAN, but no calls were made until after its completion, Rasmussen said.

Murphy held only a 46 percent to 45 percent lead over McMahon until undecided respondents were asked if they were leaning toward a candidate. When leaners were added, Murphy’s lead blossomed from one point to five points.

“This is consistent with the notion that the state’s underlying Democratic tilt will help Murphy in the final analysis,” Rasmussen said.

The poll of 500 voters 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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