Republican voters in the Nutmeg State of Connecticut on Tuesday could send the defeated 2010 Senate candidate back to the general election, and polls are showing that very well could happen.
Linda McMahon, past Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment chief, is favored for nomination over former ten-term Rep. Christopher Shays. ¬†Two years ago, McMahon spent an estimated $50 million‚??almost all of it her own‚??lost a hard-fought Senate race to Democrat Richard Blumenthal. ¬†Most of her supporters believe her loss was due to the adverse publicity about the wrestling business she made her money in and that, with all of that out in the open, she will be stronger this time.
McMahon is a self-styled ‚??moderate on social issues, conservative on economic issues,‚?Ě while Shays is considered less conservative than most Republicans. The most recent poll, conducted by the Democratic-leaning PPP at the end of July, shows the 2010 Republican nominee with a double digit margin over Shays. If it is to be Shays or McMahon, the general election in November will provide a stern test for the Republican nominee. At this point, Susan Bysiewicz, the Democratic secretary of state, and current Rep. Chris Murphy, are both polling slightly ahead of McMahon or Shays.
In the open 5th District, five candidates are vying for nomination to succeed Murphy. ¬†But the two front runners are liberal State Sen. Andrew Roraback and conservative Justin Bernier, a U.S. Navy lieutenant and former executive director of the state Department of Military Affairs. Rated 100 per cent from the National Abortion Rights Acton League and ‚??D‚?Ě by the National Rifle Association, Roraback has the blessings of party leaders. In contrast, ¬†the 36-year-old Bernier is strongly pro-life and campaigns on an agenda of making ‚??an American tax haven,” specifically, the conservative hopeful supports eliminating the estate tax, lowering the capital gains tax, and lowering the corporate tax by at least 10 percent.
The winner will likely face state House Speaker Chris Donovan, a key player in the tax increases that are a part of the agenda of the increasingly unpopular Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy.