Former wrestling magnate Linda McMahon is ahead in the Republican primary for the Senate seat in Connecticut, but would have a tougher time in the general election, a poll out Friday shows.

The Quinnipiac University poll has McMahon beating former Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.) 50-35, but losing in a matchup with two Democratic candidates, Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz (D).

In a general election, the poll showed, Bysiewicz would lead McMahon 46-38, and Murphy would beat her 49-38.

McMahon left her position as the head of World Wrestling Entertainment to run for Senate in 2010, but was defeated by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) by 11 points. She is said to be planning a second go in 2012, this time for the seat left open by Sen. Joe Lieberman's (I-Conn.) upcoming retirement.

McMahon would be the state's first female senator if elected, but the poll found women are less likely to have formed an opinion in the Republican primary. McMahon is ahead of Shays 54-37 among Republican men; among women, it's 47-32.

President Obama gets mixed reviews from Connecticut voters, with 48 percent approving of his job performance and 48 percent disapproving. But matched up leading GOP presidential candidates, Obama leads Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) 52-33 and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) 49-36.

The poll of 1,230 registered voters was conducted Sept. 8 to 13 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.6 percentage points.

- This post was updated on Sept. 21 to correct a figure.