Blumenthal's image taking hit, poll shows

John O'Brien May 20, 2010, 1:22pm


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's senatorial campaign is losing steam, a Rasmussen Reports poll shows.

A survey of 500 likely voters released Wednesday shows Blumenthal with only a 3 percent lead over primary opponent Linda McMahon. A recent New York Times report showed that Blumenthal had lied about serving in Vietnam.

McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, trailed Blumenthal by 13 percent two weeks ago. The poll was conducted the day after the New York Times story.

Monday's Times report said Blumenthal obtained five deferrals that kept him from being sent to Vietnam. Those deferrals allowed him to continue his schooling and begin his professional career.

The report notes remarks made by Blumenthal at a 2008 ceremony for veterans and senior citizens who sent presents to soldiers.

"We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam," Blumenthal said.

"And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it - Afghanistan or Iraq - we owe our military men and women unconditional support."

The report adds that at another rally in 2003, Blumenthal said, "When we returned, we saw nothing like this. Let us do better by this generation of men and women."

The poll gives Blumenthal a 48-45 edge over McMahon in the Democratic primary and a 50-39 lead over potential general election opponent Rob Simmons, a former Congressman.

Blumenthal's lead over Simmons had been 23 percentage points two weeks ago.

Blumenthal said he simply "misspoke" when making the comments.

"As someone who served, I respect Richard Blumenthal for wearing the uniform, but I am deeply troubled by allegations that he has misrepresented his service," Simmons said.

"Too many have sacrificed too much to have their valor stolen in this way. I hope Mr. Blumenthal steps forward and forthrightly addresses the questions that have arisen about this matter."

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