Tuesday, September 12, 2006

SurveyUSA: Lieberman by 13%

A new poll from SurveyUSA shows Joe Lieberman ahead of challenger Ned Lamont by 13%. The findings:
In an election in Connecticut today, incumbent U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, running as an Independent, defeats Democrat Ned Lamont and Republican Alan Schlesinger, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for WABC-TV New York. 8 weeks to the 11/7/06 general election, it's Lieberman 51%, Lamont 38%, Schlesinger 7%. Lieberman leads 6:1 among Republicans, 3:2 among Independents. Lamont leads 3:2 among Democrats. 83% of the Democrats who voted for Lieberman in the 08/08/06 Democratic Primary, which Lamont won by 4 points, stick with Lieberman as an Independent in the General Election. 16% of Democrats who voted for Lieberman in the Primary switch to Lamont in the General. 17% of Republicans support the Republican Party's nominee, Schlesinger. Of those who approve of President Bush's position on Iraq, 76% vote Lieberman. Among those who disapprove of Bush on Iraq, 59% vote Lamont. Of those who say "Terrorism" is the most important issue, 75% vote Lieberman. Of those who say "Iraq" is the most important issue, 73% vote Lamont. SurveyUSA asked voters whether they are voting "for" their candidate or "against" another candidate. 57% of those who vote Lamont say they are voting "against" another candidate. 60% of those who vote Lieberman say they are voting "for" Lieberman. For Lamont, there is solace in this one fact: of voters who in 2000 voted for Joe Lieberman both for Vice President of the United States and for U.S. Senator from Connecticut, half now vote for Lamont, half now vote for Lieberman. But that alone is not enough to elect Lamont.

The survey was of 527 likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 4.2%. Crosstabs are here.

A few separate polls now show Lieberman with a decent lead. There's a long time before the election, but Lamont has yet to lead in any poll, although he has come close.

Can he close the gap? His campaign pulled off a remarkable win over Lieberman by erasing a double-digit gap in the two months before the primary, but the general election is a different beast. What worked in the primary won't work again in the general.

...Right? Or is the electorate pissed off enough to kick Lieberman out?

SurveyUSA Poll 09/09/2006 - 09/11/2006. CT Senate. Released 12 September, 2006.


Anonymous said...

I think these polls are so all over the place you can't tell anything definitive.

Also, the gap is all over the place from the polls, with no clear trendline over time from any of them.

What will be interesting is the second poll from each of these outfits so we can see if they're all developing similar trend lines or continued to be scattered.

Chris MC said...

Right on the mark A11:13.

The trend is your friend at six weeks out. If Lamont continues to have momentum, anything can happen.

If at six weeks he's flat or lost a point or two, the free media will no longer be about his cinderella story or what a genius of a campaign he and his staff have run. It will be about "what happened to his brilliant campaign", which should be read as "oh sh*t".

At that point, Lamont either does something dramatic, Lieberman does something dramatic, or something outside the process happens to dramatically alter the dynamic.

Otherwise, Lamont loses momentum, and this is a momentum candidacy. Once you lose momentum, especially at this late hour, you're cooked.

justavoter said...

The only Poll that I will accept is the one at the Polling booth november 7th.Thats the one that counts.
All these polls are worthless.
When the voters in Connecticut cast there votes that will be the final Poll and Lamont will win.
Thats going to be the reality in the end

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised with the poll results considering the way Lamont has run his campaign in the last few weeks. Everyday it seems something new comes out to distract voters from his message. Time for a new campaign manager?

Chris MC said...

Just noticing some things about this poll.
2% Undecided. 2%? As in 98% of the people have made up their mind? We're eight weeks out.

Looking through the cross-tabs:
Lamont's support is somewhat tilted toward GenX & GenY.
Lieberman is decisively stronger amongst the Boomers and older people.
Advantage: Lieberman. Older people vote consistently better than younger people.

The For-Against:
Lamont's support is 31% for, 57% against.
Lieberman's support is 60% for, 31% against.
Advantage: Lieberman. His base is people who vote for Joe Lieberman. Ned's base is people pissed off at Joe Lieberman.

Lamont is favored by 58% of Liberals.
Lieberman is favored by 38% of Liberals.
Lamont is favored by 41% of Moderates.
Lieberman is favored by 51% of Moderates.
Lamont is favored by 12% of Conservatives.
Lieberman is favored by 69% of Conservatives.
Advantage: Lieberman. Assuming that the debate can even move beyond Iraq, IMO Lamont has a very tough row to hoe in convincing self-described Conservatives to go with him, without compromising himself with Liberals who are voting for him for reasons other than Iraq.

The comment on the cross-tabs page concludes with this:
For Lamont, there is solace in this one fact: of voters who in 2000 voted for Joe Lieberman both for Vice President of the United States and for U.S. Senator from Connecticut, half now vote for Lamont, half now vote for Lieberman. But that alone is not enough to elect Lamont.

The thing that stands out to me the most at the end is the 2% undecided. If accurate, and if nothing comes along to upset the status quo, is this already over?

Brian said...

The most important thing I can read into the poll that gives Lieberman his 12 point lead is the fact that a third of the voters in the sample are Republicans. While only 42 percent of the voters are Democrats, in which, Ned has a 3 to 2 advantage. There is no way in god’s mind that registred Republicans will represent a third of the voters in the general elcetion. It’s more realistic to say the Democrats will represent around 60% because these are the folks who want change most as well as the Indepedents. While Republicans who represent 20 percent of states voters will be closer to reflecting 15 percent of the total general election vote. I’m curious what people think about these ideas.

FatGuyinMiddleSeat said...

The cross-tabs have remained pretty consistent from the post 8/8 polls- at least directionally.

While the 83% Joe primary-voter retention rate is higher than my previously projected 75-80%- something roundly assailed on this site- I stand by my conservative estimate.

How many polls in a row does Joe have to win before we acknowledge that he is decisively ahead eight weeks out?

Again- name an incumbent who was ahead by 3 or more points in every poll leading up to an election (in the last 10 years, since polling proliferated)- and then lost.

I haven't heard an answer to that yet.

Genghis Conn said...

Gary Franks, 1996. See here. He was up by 19 in October, causing the national GOP to pull his funding. He then lost to Jim Maloney.

FatGuyinMiddleSeat said...

GC, finally an example, which is what I asked for. Thank you. That one is legitimate- but we did see polling around Halloween with Jim ahead. All credit in that race goes to Franks.

Given that, we must concede that the Franks effort in 1996 was probably the strangest one we've seen in this state in terms of candidate behavior. I'll lay down a bet we won't see that here.

Looking at NJ as an example, Menendez may have just lost a fairly consistent lead for good. A federal investigation can always mess up a race.

Again, I don't see bombshells here in CT-Senate, or amazingly awful behavior on the part of the two leading candidates. It looks like Joe by 4-7% right now. And consistently Joe. (Though I think this poll is awfully generous.)

If I see a poll go for Ned, I'll start to alter course on my prediction.

Genghis Conn said...


You have to admit that Lieberman's behavior was pretty erratic in the month or so leading up to the primary--he did a lot of damage to his image by being angry, aggressive and petty. Whether it compares to Franks... I don't know, but it was close.

Lieberman does seem to have things under control now, and he'll almost certainly be a lot more consistent from now until the end of the campaign. He'll be much, much harder to beat.

FatGuyinMiddleSeat said...

Yes, GC, I agree- Joe was blindsided and clueless before the primary. But Franks was not only behaving bizarrely- he did not have the deep-rooted loyal base in his district that Joe has statewide.

But post 8/8, he has been running a proper campaign for someone in his position, as I think you would agree. There will be missteps by Joe and Ned- but with this kind of consistent lead, Joe would need a big stumble in the general.

justavoter said...

I don't see Lieberman winning at all.
Polls there are some Polls that have this race at almost a dead heat and others then have Lieberman winning depending on the Poll you read.
The bottomline is on election day when voters not pollsters go to the voting booth they will vote for ned Lamont and the Pollsters will eat there Polls and not know what to do.
So just wait and see what happens November 7th all of the Republicans voting for Joe and some Right Wing Democrats will not be enough for Lieberman to win another backfire will be that now in the press the other day it comes out Joe missed 31 of 61 Senate Votes.
Not good for a person claiming to represent Connecticut and its voters.

Scooter McGavin said...

Lieberman will win The Polls actually have one correct for a change.

Lamont stays a Private Citizen and you Lamontistas will be neutralized and can go back to your communes and shantys.

Grumpy said...

Chris MC,

The poll shows only 2% undecided because the question forces respondents to choose. SurveyUSA treats undecideds as being solidly in the column of the candidate towards which they are currently leaning. Lieberman probably gets the most boost from this methodology.

The poll does confirm the obvious. Lieberman came out of the primary with a solid lead over Lamont. (I agree with FatGuy that the margin is probably 4-7%.) Over the last month, Lamont did nothing to close the gap and Lieberman took advantage of the opportunity to partially repackage himself and shed the angry, self-centered image he stupidly cultivated during the primary campaign.

Ideological partisans on both sides of the Iraq issue, while defining the battle lines in the CT Senate race, are not going to decide the outcome. Rather, it will be, as usual, the non-ideological moderate unaffiliated voters who determine the winner just as they did in yesterday's RI GOP Senate primary. There are a lot more of these voters who are undecided than reflected in the SurveyUSA poll. They are not single-issue voters. Therefore, Lamont's latest anti-war commercial probably missed the mark and won't swing too many of these votes his way. On the other hand, Lieberman's new "people not politics" commercial hit the bullseye.

Chris MC said...

Makes more sense now Grumpy, thanks. I read the methodology and didn't see what you're saying. (How do you know that?)

My gut sense of it is in line with what you and Fat Guy are saying as well.

As I said earlier I also think Lamont has a limited window to sustain his momentum. If Lieberman can blunt that, I think he's done.

Grumpy said...


SurveyUSA doesn't reveal it in their methodology statement. You need to look at the wording of their questions to get how they do this. In this poll, the question was "If the election for United States Senator from Connecticut were today, and you were standing in the voting booth right now, who would you vote for? Republican Alan Schlesinger? Democrat Ned Lamont? Independent Joe Lieberman? Or some other candidate?"

The question is worded to strongly push the respondent to make a choice and not provide an undecided or weak-support response. There are no follow up questions to guage how committed the respondent is to their choice, etc. (In similar polls, I've seen the callers directed to respond to undecided responses by repeating the "if you had to choose now" portion of the question.)

The result is a poll that produces a blurry snapshot of the horserace. It doesn't provide information that is all that useful weeks, or months, prior to Election Day.

Which all makes sense when you consider that SurveyUSA's clients are typically local network TV affiliates looking for a nice sexy "so and so ahead by X% in the horserace" angle for a 10 second spot on the evening news.

Chris MC said...

Very clear, excellent! Thanks very much Grumpy.

This will be helpful for a future post as well.

If you are so inclined, I'd welcome anything further you can offer toward that effort.

Anonymous said...

The number that stands out is Schlesinger at only 7%. Is it plausible that he will get so very few votes or will his spot right next to Rell guarantee him 20 - 30% of the vote at least? Every vote Schlesinger gets comes from Lieberman and if Schlesinger gets 30%, Lieberman can't win.

Fair and Balanced said...

I would rather see Alan Schlesinger elected US Senator If Joe Lieberman cant be elected.

Because Ned Lamont should not be rewarded for bad behavior by his supporters Yesterday's attempt by GC to bring all sides together yet again shows the Lamont Supporters are unwilling to do the right thing and they continue to be so nasty and vindictive.

All I said is they should drop the "Bad Democrat" and "you don't belong in our party if you support Joe" attack dog effort.

It isn't working and it is a big turnoff But hey I've been around CT Politics for 25 years what do I know.

Les Nessman said...

The Bad Democrats have voted and Ned Lamont is the absolute worst Candidate in The History of the State of Connecticut.

Ned's Campaign is on life support His Campaign is going to be so sad when their rich liberal icon doesnt win on November 8th.


Bluto Blutarsky said...

Dictatorship for America is going to be extinct after November 7th Thanks to Ned Lamont's poor election results.

It is a No Brainer Joe Lieberman will be your US Senator on November 8th and you Liberals will have to watch Fox News to see how to do things the right way.

Dictatorship for America and Jimmy Dean will have to close down due to a bunch of Anti Americans crying about the Iraq war for a year and in the end their organization was all the while a front for keith Crane and his propaganda Ministry to operate that sleazebag dumpjoe.com website.

I wonder what happened to the loudmouth Not so talkative when challenged by the Conservatives I guess he is just a big bag of wind who will just disappear when his cause is over when Lamont Loses on November 7th.