(CNN) - Just a few hours before President Barack Obama heads to Connecticut to try and help keep a Senate seat in Democratic hands, a top non-partisan political handicapper is now describing the contest as up for grabs.
The Cook Political Report Thursday moved its rating from "lean Democrat" to "toss up." Later Thursday the president's scheduled to headline an event in Connecticut for state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, the party's Senate nominee. Blumenthal will face off in November's midterm elections against Republican nominee Linda McMahon. The former pro-wrestling executive has pumped millions of dollars into her bid for the Senate.
(CNN) – Ex-wrestling executive Linda McMahon continues to close ground against Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal in the state's increasingly contentious Senate race, a new poll indicates.
The latest poll by Quinnipiac University shows that McMahon has come within six points of Blumenthal, a development that is "surprisingly close" given Blumenthal's 70 percent approval rating as the state's attorney general, said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz.
According to the poll released Tuesday, Democrat Richard Blumenthal leads Republican Linda McMahon 51 to 45 percent among likely voters in the U.S. Senate race. Three percent of likely voters are undecided, and 11 percent say they could change their mind by Election Day, according to the poll.
(CNN) - CNN's Dick Uliano talks to Candy Crowley about this week's primary election results with a close look at Connecticut Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon.
(CNN) – Democrats may be salivating at the opportunity to take on Linda McMahon - the former World Wrestling Entertainment executive who captured Connecticut's GOP Senate nomination Tuesday night – but the ex-wrestling CEO tells CNN she welcomes a fight about her colorful past.
"As my opponents talked more and more about the WWE and issues that may have been relative to programming content ...instead of focusing on the issues, I talked about issues and continued to gain momentum," McMahon told CNN Wednesday morning.
"If my opponents want to talk about soap opera content instead of focusing on issues, I will win again in November," she added.
(CNN) - A new poll indicates that the battle for Connecticut's open Senate seat is becoming more competitive, as is next week's Republican Senate primary.
According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday, 50 percent of Connecticut voters say they back longtime state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, the presumptive Democratic nominee, with four in ten supporting former professional wrestling executive Linda McMahon, the leading GOP Senate candidate, and seven percent undecided.
Blumenthal's ten point advantage is down from a 17 point lead in a Quinnipiac poll from last month and a 20 point margin from June.
"The McMahon-Blumenthal Senate race in Connecticut could be a real smackdown, as the Republican has the money and momentum, cutting into Blumenthal's lead month to month," says Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz. "Independent voters, the largest bloc of voters in Connecticut, are for the first time evenly divided between Linda McMahon, who gets 46 percent, and Richard Blumenthal, who gets 44 percent. Blumenthal led 54 – 35 percent among independent voters just three weeks ago."
(CNN) - Nearly two months after the revelation that he inflated his military record as a Vietnam War veteran, Connecticut Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal still holds a large lead over his presumed Republican opponent.
According to a Quinnipiac University poll released Friday, Blumenthal, Connecticut's attorney general, leads former World Wrestling Entertainment executive Linda McMahon by 17 points.
The gap represents the smallest lead Blumenthal has held over McMahon since Quinnipiac's polling began. He held a 41-point lead in January and a 20-point lead in June.
"Ms. McMahon [...] has the momentum, even if the latest movement is only a small three-point change," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz. "She is inching up on Blumenthal.
"She still has a long way to go, but she has a lot of time and a lot of money," Schwartz said.
(CNN) - Connecticut Senate candidate Linda McMahon is up with a new ad - the first in which she acknowledges her 30-year tenure as CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment.
"Before I decided to run for the Senate, I had a regular job," McMahon says before a string of hard-hitting wrestling footage is shown. "Okay, maybe not a regular job. I was the CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, a soap opera that entertains millions every week."
A few more bodies are thrown around, followed by a clip of McMahon in the ring with a wrestler. The Republican candidate returns to break the news to voters: "That isn't real, but our problems are."
(Updated with WWE response)
(CNN) – Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon, the former Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment CEO, is facing a lawsuit over her former company's alleged promotional use of a wrestler who died more than a decade ago.
In a lawsuit reportedly filed in the U.S. District Court in Hartford, Connecticut, the widow of deceased WWE wrestler Owen Hart says the company is continuing to use Hart's image in promotional materials even though it agreed not to do so after Hart's 1999 death.
Hart, among the most successful professional wrestlers in the 1990's, died after an equipment malfunction during a wrestling event led him to fall more than 80 feet from ceiling rafters. Hart's widow was later awarded $18 million in a wrongful death suit against the WWE (then called the WWF).
Hart's widow is now alleging WWE, and the McMahons specifically, violated the terms of the settlement by using Hart in promotional videos.
"In the 11 years since Owen's tragic and avoidable death, I have worked tirelessly to disassociate Owen's name and likeness from anything related to WWE in order to protect our children from any reminder of the circumstances surrounding their father's death, and to avoid any misplaced perception that I endorse WWE," Mary Hart said in a statement.
News of the lawsuit could be a setback for McMahon's campaign, which has downplayed the candidate's association to the more controversial aspects of the lucrative business she and her husband ran for close to three decades.
Ed Patru, McMahon's communications director, told CNN he "assume[s] the company will be responding at some point today."
Washington (CNN) - Three weeks after acknowledging he had misstated his military record during the Vietnam era, a new poll suggests Richard Blumenthal maintains a large lead in the Connecticut Senate race.
But the Quinnipiac University survey shows that the Democratic Senate candidate's lead has been cut by 13 points since his public apology for previous suggestions he had served in the Vietnam War. Blumenthal served in the Marine Corps Reserves during the war and was stationed stateside.
Blumenthal, the state's attorney general, holds a 20 point lead over likely Republican rival and former World Wide Wrestling CEO Linda McMahon in the new survey, 55 percent to 35 percent. That compares to a 56-31 percent lead in a similar survey conducted in late May.
The survey also shows Blumenthal leading former Rep. Rob Simmons, who has suspended his campaign, by a 54-33 percent margin and businessman Peter Schiff by a 56-29 percent margin.
"Blumenthal has lost a little more ground to Linda McMahon, but he still has a comfortable lead," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz. "Prior to the Vietnam controversy, Blumenthal led by 33 points. A week after the controversy, his lead was 25 points. Now it's down to 20 points.
The poll, conducted from June 2-8, interviewed 1,350 registered voters in Connecticut and carries a sampling error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.
(CNN) - A new poll suggests that the controversy surrounding Democratic Senate nominee and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's misstating of his military record during the Vietnam War does not seem to be hurting him with most state voters.
A Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday indicates that more than six out of ten Connecticut voters say the controversy doesn't make a difference to their decision in the Senate election, with a third questioned saying it makes them less likely to vote for Blumenthal.
According to the poll, 56 percent say they back Blumenthal, with 31 percent supporting former professional wrestling executive Linda McMahon, in a likely general election matchup. One in ten were undecided. Blumenthal's 25 point advantage is down from a 33 point lead in a March poll conducted by Quinnipiac University.
"It looks like Connecticut voters forgive Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, or feel that there is nothing to forgive in the Vietnam service flap. While he has taken a hit with voters, his poll numbers were so high to begin with that he still maintains a commanding lead over Linda McMahon," says Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz.