CT Capitol Report released a new poll today in which Republican challengers Dan Debicella and Sam Caligiuri lead incumbents Rep. Jim Himes and Rep. Chris Murphy by slim margins:
In the survey, Representative Himes has 46.1 percent to Debicella’s 48.0 percent and Representative Murphy has 45.5 percent to Caligiuri’s 46.9 percent. . . .
Matthew Fitch, executive director of Merriman River Group, which conducted the poll, analyzes Debicella’s race:
“Representative Himes fares well among women and the highly educated. He is struggling to win over male voters, and people who identify with the Tea Party are giving Himes the most trouble. Dan Debicella is winning Tea Party voters by a 10-1 margin, while Himes leads everyoneelse 56-39. One troubling sign for Himes is his poor showing among Catholic voters.They are apt to be a swing group with a slight Republican lean in most races this year and they are breaking heavily for Debicella by a 60-34 margin.”
“It appears that Representative Chris Murphy has closed the gap in recent days. That’s a difficult feat for an incumbent to do, but he has yet to break 50% at any point in our polling and time is running out. There are some encouraging signs for Representative Murphy: as with most Democrats, he holds a sizable lead among the most educated voters, but he is also winning those voters with a high school education or less, and this is a district where blue collar voters are essential to a Democratic coalition. On a negative note, he doesn’t enjoy the sizable lead among women voters that many Democrats are seeing this year. He leads Sam Caligiuri by a relatively close 7.5 points among women. Further, he won’t get much help at the top of the ticket: the fifth is the only district where McMahon leads Blumenthal and it is by far Malloy’s worst district. The President’s approval rating remains the clearest indicator: supporters of the President are backing Murphy 86-6, while opponents are supporting Caligiuri 84-10.”