GOP voters keep Lieberman in the lead

Seventy-five percent of likely Republican voters in Connecticut say they stand with Joe.

Published August 17, 2006 1:30PM (EDT)

Thanks to overwhelming support from Connecticut Republicans, Joseph Lieberman comes out on top of a new Quinnipiac University poll out today.

Among likely voters, Lieberman leads Democratic nominee Ned Lamont and Republican candidate Alan Schlesinger 53-41-4 percent. It seems that all those Republicans who aren't backing Schlesinger are standing side by side with Lieberman instead. Lieberman, elected three times as a Democratic senator, gets the support of 75 percent of the likely-voting Republicans in Quinnipiac's poll.

"Sen. Lieberman's support among Republicans is nothing short of amazing," said Quinnipiac poll director Douglas Schwartz. "It more than offsets what he has lost among Democrats. As long as Lieberman maintains this kind of support among Republicans, while holding onto a significant number of Democratic votes, the veteran senator will be hard to beat."

That explains why Lamont is working hard to expand his base of support: In an Op-Ed piece in the Wall Street Journal this week -- not exactly required reading for the "angry left" -- Lamont argued that his " career in business" shaped his outlook and prepared him well to serve in the Senate.

Is there time for Lamont to overtake Lieberman? Sure. The November vote is nearly three months away. As CQ Politics noted the other day, only 9 percent of Connecticut voters had heard enough about Lamont to state an opinion about him three months before he beat Lieberman in the Democratic primary. And indeed, Lamont has already made up quite a bit of ground in the three-way race. In Quinnipiac's July poll, Lieberman led Lamont by 24 points in the three-way matchup with Schlesinger. With today's poll, Lamont has cut that lead in half.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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