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Obama Gets Behind Blumenthal

U.S. Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal will get high-profile support Thursday evening when President Barack Obama appears at a Stamford fundraising dinner for Blumenthal's campaign. The president is scheduled to speak at the event, to be held at the Marriott, at approximately 6:15 p.m. He'll then move on to Greenwich, where he will attend a private Democratic National Committee fundraiser.

Blumenthal, the state's attorney general, is the Democratic Party’s  candidate for the seat being vacated by Sen. Chris Dodd. He’s  running against Republican Linda McMahon.

The president's visit comes two days after a Quinnipiac University Poll showing Blumenthal leading by a mere six points, 51 percent to McMahon's 45, among likely voters. Three percent say they are undecided.

Almost half of those backing McMahon -- 47 percent -- say their vote is more anti-Blumenthal than pro-McMahon.

"For Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, an elected official with a 70 percent approval rating, this race is surprisingly close," said QUP Director Douglas Schwartz in a statement. He added, "The question is whether Linda McMahon can ride the anti-establishment, anti-Democratic wave to victory in blue Connecticut, a state that hasn't voted for a Republican for Senator since Lowell Weicker in 1982."

The president's visit may add to Blumenthal’s campaign coffers, but it may not boost his numbers.

"President Barack Obama appears to be a drag on Blumenthal," said Schwartz, "even in Connecticut [which heavily favored  Obama in 2008], where the president's job approval rating is a negative 45 to 52 percent."

Meanwhile, streets around the Stamford Marriott are expected to be closed to traffic while the president is in town. Motorists should expect closure and/or delays in the Tresser Boulevard-Canal Street-North State Street area between 4:45 and 8 p.m.

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