Buoyed by new poll numbers showing him a stronger candidate in the general election than Linda McMahon, former congressman Christopher Shays said tonight he will defeat the 2010 nominee at the state GOP convention in May, and then beat her in the primary in August.
During a taping of Face the State with Dennis House, set to air Sunday on WFSB Hartford, Shays called McMahon’s last campaign a “miserable failure,” and blamed her for dragging down the GOP ticket. He said Republicans will start to desert McMahon because of the new Quinnipiac University poll numbers. The poll found McMahon leads Shays 51% to 42% in the race for the primary, but in the November election matchups, Shays runs neck and neck with either former secretary of the state Susan Bysiewicz or congressman Chris Murphy, while McMahon loses to both by double digits.
“The reason I can win this, is because Republicans want this seat. They haven’t had it in 30 years. They know I can win, they know she can’t win. ” Former U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays (CT-4) on Face the State with Dennis House
Shays told me among those who are telling him McMahon can’t win, are those who have already endorsed her. The two, along with the other Republicans, will face off in a debate on April 22, to be seen right here on Channel 3.
The last Republican elected to represent Connecticut in the U.S. senate was Lowell Weicker. The only other Republican elected in the past 50 years was Prescott Bush. Shays also talked about voters in Connecticut tiring of one party rule.
You can watch the entire interview with Shays this Sunday morning at 11, and we also have analysis on the race from Rick Green of the Hartford Courant and Ray Hackett of the Norwich Bulletin.
UPDATE: Here is the interview with Christopher Shays http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=6876125
Analysis from Rick Green and Ray Hackett: http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=6876131