A new poll reveals U.S. Rep Chris Murphy to be a strong favorite to win the November election to fill the Senate seat being vacated by U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman ’64 LAW ’67.

The poll, released this week by Public Policy Polling, shows Murphy leading former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz ’83 in the Democratic primary race by 49 percent to 32 percent.

The poll also gave wrestling magnate and former Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon a lead of 68 percent to 20 percent over former U.S. Rep Chris Shays in the race for the the GOP nod.

In the poll’s general election matchups, meanwhile, Murphy leads McMahon 50 percent to 42 percent, a gap that widened by a point since PPP’s last Connecticut poll 10 months ago.

Murphy may face trouble with the state’s independent voters, who favor McMahon to Murphy by a margin of 53 to 36 percent, according to the poll. But with 48 percent of voters holding an unfavorable opinion of McMahon and 19 percent of Republicans supporting Murphy, McMahon lacks strong support within her party.

Should Bysiewicz emerge from the Democratic primary race victorious, an outcome that appears unlikely, poll results suggest she would lead McMahon, but only by a margin of three percentage points.