Posted by Kyle Trygstad, RealClear Politics
“I’m Rob Simmons, I’m still on the ballot, and I approved this message.”
That’s a quote from an ad the former congressman is getting set to air in Connecticut, less than three weeks before the Republican Senate primary and two months after he suspended his campaign. With a severe monetary disadvantage to Linda McMahon, Simmons dismissed his staff and suspended his campaign May 25 — just days after the state party endorsed McMahon — though his name remained on the Aug. 10 primary ballot and Simmons declined to endorse McMahon.
The Simmons campaign spent months before the May convention knocking McMahon’s record as chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment, so his lack of endorsement was no surprise. But after two months of campaign dormancy, Simmons is turning some heads as he simply “reminds voters about my placement on the Republican Primary ballot,” as he wrote in an e-mail to supporters.
The McMahon campaign accused Simmons of, once again, going back on his word not to continue his campaign if he lost the state party’s endorsement.
“Rob Simmons has said many times he’s a man of his word, and we take him at his word. Should he decide to officially un-curtail his campaign, we’re prepared for that, as we have been since September 2009,” said McMahon spokesman Ed Patru. â€œUntil that happens, following Rob Simmons’ on-again, off-again campaign is a little like trying to keep up with an Abbott and Costello routineâ€¦ Who’s on first?â€
Because he remains on the ballot, Quinnipiac University has continued to include Simmons in its polls. Its latest poll, released Friday, found McMahon taking 52 percent and Simmons 25 percent. Only a plurality is needed to win the nomination.
The winner will likely take on Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who led McMahon by 17 points in Friday’s poll and Simmons by 20 points.
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