Poll: Murphy expands lead over McMahon in Connecticut Senate race

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Murphy now leads with 48 percent support to McMahon's 42 percent support, according to the survey from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling. A month ago, Murphy's support was the same, but McMahon posted 44 percent support in the state.

It seems, however, Republican attacks on Murphy are taking a toll on the candidate -- 44 percent of voters say they view him unfavorably, compared to 31 percent who said the same of him last month.

The percentage of voters viewing him favorably remains largely unchanged, indicating that as voters have gotten to know him, they've acquired a negative opinion of him, likely due in part to the barrage of ads released by the McMahon campaign targeting Murphy's missed rent payments and what her campaign is characterizing as a sweetheart loan deal he received in 2008.

McMahon's favorability has largely stayed the same since last month, and she remains underwater, with 49 percent of voters seeing her unfavorably to 42 percent of voters who see her favorably. That may be due in part to the tough campaign she fought against Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in 2010, but it may also be the result of Democratic attacks on her record as CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment.

The Connecticut Democratic Party has been pushing particularly salacious clips of WWE wrestlers engaging in simulated sex acts and abusing each other in an attempt to cast doubt on McMahon's character. And the PPP poll reveals that 51 percent of voters in Connecticut have a negative opinion of WWE, indicating this is an attack Democrats are unlikely to drop in the coming weeks.

A spate of recent polls have given Murphy and McMahon alternating leads, indicating the race is neck-and-neck -- but that may mean the advantage is McMahon's. She's running in a far closer race than 2010, and in a state that cut for President Obama by more than 22 points in 2008.

The poll was conducted among 801 likely Connecticut voters from Sept. 24-26 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.