by Charles A. Monagan
Sep 16, 2011
09:11 AM
On Connecticut

Poll Dancing


If you casually peruse Connecticut media sites on a daily basis, you probably would've noticed this morning that the top headline for many of them concerned the results of the most recent Quinnipiac University Poll, showing that Senate hopeful Linda McMahon leads former congressman Christopher Shays in the race for the Republican nomination for the seat currently held by Sen. Joe Lieberman. The poll also shows that on the Democratic side, U.S. Rep. Christopher Murphy is ahead of former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz for that party's nomination.

Of course, the actual election is still over a year away. Almost 14 months, really. A lot can happen in that time, as past elections have shown us, making such early polls—no matter how studiously the information is collected (and it is very studiously collected by the Quinnipiac polling operation, one of the very best in the business)—almost worthless.

Actually, you don't need to look back any farther than the last senatorial contest as a reminder. A Quinnipiac University survey released almost exactly two years ago today—and over a year before the last senatorial election—offered the following tidbits:

  • Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd trailed former Republican U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, 44-39 percent.
  • Simmons lead all GOP challengers with 43 percent of the vote, with no other announced candidate getting more than 5 percent of the vote.
  • Dodd's next closest Democratic challenger was businessman Merrick Alpert, whom only registered 13 percent of the potential vote to Dodd's 56 percent.

The most striking thing about this well-researched, expert survey is that the two main candidates who actually wound up squaring off for the seat—Democrat (and eventual winner) Richard Blumenthal and the aforementioned McMahon—appeared nowhere in the conversation. It also didn't foresee that both Dodd and Simmons would drop out of the race, maybe in response to poll results like this.

So although the current survey provides a nice snapshot of right now, keep in mind that it may not be anywhere near right later.

Poll Dancing

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