The Corner

Poll: Blumenthal Takes a Hit

It’s Rasmussen, but still significant:

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Connecticut finds Blumenthal with just a three-point advantage over Linda McMahon, 48% to 45%. Two weeks ago, he led the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment by 13 percentage points. The New York Times story broke late Monday; the survey was taken Tuesday evening.

When matched against former GOP Congressman Rob Simmons, Blumenthal leads by 11 – 50% to 39%. Two weeks ago, the longtime state attorney general held a 23-point lead over Simmons.

Blumenthal now leads Peter Schiff, a high-profile Wall Street investment banker, 53% to 37%. In the previous survey, he posted a 54% to 29% lead over Schiff.

Two further reasons to suspect Blumenthal will — incredibly — survive this theft of valor: the incident helped the opportunist McMahon camp more than it did decorated Vietnam vet Simmons; and just 26 percent of Rasmussed respondents say Blumenthal should withdraw.

Simmons responds to the poll here:

“Today’s Rasmussen poll demonstrates how quickly fortunes can change when an unvetted, untested candidate is finally exposed to scrutiny. Without spending a dime on advertising, Rob Simmons has slashed Blumenthal’s lead to nearly single digits, and in a general election where Rob’s record as a real Vietnam veteran is contrasted against Blumenthal’s fraudulent record, the choice will be clear.

“While Rob Simmons’ record has been subject to intense scrutiny over the course of several hotly contested general elections, the real Linda McMahon remains almost entirely unknown to the voters and the media, except for millions in her own uncontested ad spending. But as Dick Blumenthal has suddenly learned, one’s record has a way of catching up to you, and McMahon will not have airwaves to herself for much longer. Given what we know about Linda McMahon’s troubling record – from Congressional investigations to criminal prosecutions to, like Blumenthal, lying about her own credentials and record – Republicans should tread carefully and skeptically.

“Character is now an unavoidable issue in this race. Republicans should not believe for one second that extreme wealth will overcome the fundamental character defects that plague Linda McMahon. Republicans will be best represented and have their best chance for victory by nominating Rob Simmons, a decorated Vietnam veteran with the experience and character that money can’t buy.”

Meanwhile, the head of the Connecticut VFW takes Blumenthal to task:

“Mr. Blumenthal was considered one of the best friends a veteran could have in Connecticut. It is a true shame that he let a false claim of Vietnam service change that,” said Richard DiFederico, in a statement. “Those who served in uniform during the Vietnam era also deserve our gratitude, which makes Mr. Blumenthal’s claim to be something he is not so outrageous.”

Daniel Foster — Daniel Foster is a former news editor of National Review Online.

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