Connecticut exit poll's surprising results

Exit polling reveals some interesting and surprising facts about the Lieberman defeat.

Published August 9, 2006 4:44PM (EDT)

A Connecticut exit poll, conducted by CBS News and the New York Times and obtained by Political Wire, supports some important (preliminary) conclusions, including several that conflict with the emerging conventional wisdom:

1) Seventy-eight percent of primary voters opposed the decision to go to war in Iraq -- no surprise there. But of those, only 60 percent cast their votes for Lamont, which means that 40 percent of war opponents voted for Lieberman. That fact, by itself, demonstrates that the Lamont win (and the Lieberman defeat) is hardly due exclusively -- or even primarily -- to the "single-issue" anger over the war, given that four of 10 war opponents voted for Lieberman.

2) Apparently, a more significant factor than the Iraq war was opposition to President Bush generally. Fifty-nine percent of all voters said that Lieberman "was too close to the President," and although no exact numbers are provided, it was that group which "voted overwhelmingly for Lamont." The most reliable factor in the Lamont win seems to have been not opposition to the war specifically, but a more generalized disapproval of President Bush and of Lieberman's support for the president.

3) Sixty-one percent of voters "rejected the notion of Lieberman running as an Independent candidate in the fall." That number is sure to grow as a) the image of Lieberman as the loser seeps in and b) most of the Democratic establishment abandons him and actively supports Lamont.

By Glenn Greenwald

Follow Glenn Greenwald on Twitter: @ggreenwald.

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