Dem Challenger Would Face Uphill Climb
A Quinnipiac poll released this morning shows Joe Lieberman still in good position to win re-election, but his support among Democrats seems to be slipping. Here are some useful numbers:
Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joseph Lieberman is handling his job as United States Senator?
Yes: 55% (62%)
No: 29% (24%)
Q. Looking ahead to the 2006 election for United States Senator, do you feel that Joseph Lieberman deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
Yes: 59% (64%)
No: 29% (24%)
Q. Would you like to see the Democrats nominate Joseph Lieberman for United States Senator or would you rather see the Democrats nominate someone else?
Lieberman: 52% (57%)
Someone Else: 39% (33%)
Lieberman only has a 50% favorable rating among Democrats, and only 53% approve of him overall. These are his weakest numbers. However, in a hypothetical matchup with Lowell Weicker (the poll was conducted before the Ned Lamont rumors began to circulate), Lieberman would win 65-21.
In thinking of a probable Democratic primary, 35% of Democrats say they would vote against Lieberman because of his stance on the war. 33% of Democrats disagree, but would vote for Lieberman anyway.
This poll shows what we already knew, that a vocal minority of the Democratic Party wants to replace Joe Lieberman because of his support for the Bush Administration. Whether this minority can become a majority of primary voters is unclear, at best. The poll also shows that a single-note candidacy focused exclusively on the war may not be viable, but the fact that 68% of Democrats don’t agree with Lieberman’s position on the war is very interesting.
What this means for Ned Lamont, should he run, is that he would have a solid base of support on which to run. Expanding that base will be a challenge, however, and probably can’t be done by focusing exclusively on the war.
Quinnipiac Poll January 11, 2006