Log In

Reset Password

Polls Show Murphy, Farrell With Slight Leads Over Republicans



Text Size

Polls Show Murphy, Farrell With Slight Leads Over Republicans

 By Susan Haigh

AP Reporter

WATERBURY — Popular Gov M. Jodi Rell rallied support for Republican US Rep Nancy Johnson on Monday as a new nonpartisan poll in the Fifth Congressional District showed the 12-term congresswoman slightly behind Democrat challenger Chris Murphy.

The district is one of three in Connecticut that Democrats are targeting as they try to gain the 15 seats they need to regain a majority in the US House of Representatives.

Another new poll shows Democrat Diane Farrell four percentage points ahead of US Rep Chris Shays, R-Conn., in the Fourth Congressional District, where previous polls have showed a very close race.

The Hartford Courant-University of Connecticut poll in the Fifth District shows Murphy with support from 46 percent of likely voters, compared with 42 percent for Johnson. Nine percent were undecided.

“We knew this would be a different race,” Johnson said at a rally that drew about 60 people to Waterbury on Monday. A second rally was planned in Danbury. “We knew that this would be a challenging race.”

She said her campaign’s internal polls show a closer race, but she would not say whether those polls show her ahead or behind.

“I’m optimistic,” she said. “I have a smile on my face.”

Rell, who was 26 points ahead of Democratic New Haven Mayor John DeStefano in the latest poll on her race, said she is also hopeful Johnson will win.

“When the ballots are cast, people will recognize that Nancy has been a true public servant to the people of the Fifth District,” she said.

Murphy said momentum has been building in his favor, especially in the last week since Johnson has run a TV ad featuring an actor spoofing Murphy.

“I think this last week was a game-changing week,” he said. “There really just has been a palpable sort of cry for change that our campaign has met.”

The telephone poll of 762 likely voters was conducted by UConn’s Center for Survey Research and Analysis between October 24 and October 28, just after Johnson and Murphy completed their debates. It has a sampling error margin of 3.6 percentage points.

“These results paint a picture of a very vulnerable incumbent,” said Monika McDermott, the UConn poll’s research director. “Likely voters aren’t happy with Johnson’s performance, and they say they’re ready for a change.”

Murphy enjoys a similar lead in a different poll released Monday by The Day of New London. Results, reported on the newspaper’s website, give Murphy 46 percent of the vote compared with Johnson’s 43 percent. Eleven percent of those polled said they were undecided.

The poll of 600 respondents, conducted by Research 2000 of Rockville, Md., between Friday and Sunday, had a sampling error margin of four percentage points.

The Fourth District poll, also conducted by Research 2000, was sponsored by The Day and the Journal Inquirer of Manchester. The telephone survey of 600 likely voters shows Farrell leading Shays 47 percent to 43 percent, with 10 percent undecided. The war in Iraq was the most important issue in the race, cited by 33 percent of respondents.

Fifty-three percent of those polled said they had a favorable opinion of Farrell while 51 percent said they had a favorable opinion of Shays.

“They like Chris Shays, and he does reflect their views for the most part, but this war is the albatross around his neck right now,” pollster Dell Ali told the Journal Inquirer. “The good news is that the results are within the margin of error.”

The survey was conducted between Thursday and Saturday and has a sampling error margin of four percentage points.

Recent polls also show a close race in the Second District, between Republican incumbent Rob Simmons and Democrat Joe Courtney.

“I think all three of them are great shots. I’m really excited about all three races,” said State Democratic Chairman Nancy DiNardo, adding that Republicans thought Johnson was the safest of the three targeted incumbents.

“Any Republican incumbent is being attacked and tried, not on their own record, but on the dissatisfaction the public may have with certainly an unpopular war,” said Waterbury Republican Town Committee Chairman Chuck Stango, who attended the rally Monday. “But there’s no substitute for experience.”

Comments are open. Be civil.

Leave a Reply