New Weicker-Lieberman poll gives Joe reason to worry
Rasmussen just came out with a very interestinng poll regarding the possibility of a race between Joe Lieberman and Lowell Weicker. Although it has Weicker losing to Lieberman, if you read the poll questions carefully and with a year to go till the election, Weicker has a realistic chance to improve and make this a extermely close race.
From Rasmussen Reports:
A Rasmussen Reports survey shows that a Weicker candidacy might create serious problems for the incumbent Democrat. In a head-to-head match-up with no Republican candidate, Lieberman leads Weicker 54% to 32%.
However, running as an Independent, Weicker attracts 37% of votes from Democrats in the state. He is essentially tied with Lieberman among Connecticut liberals, among those who say getting troops home should be our top priority in Iraq, and among those who say the President is doing a poor job handling the situation in Iraq.
It is also interesting to note that, with no Republican candidate in the survey, Lieberman attracts support from a majority of GOP voters. Without those Republican votes, Lieberman's level of support would be under 40% statewide.
This election poll did not include a Republican candidate because it was designed to measure the potential of a Weicker challenge. In 2006, other possible match-ups will be explored. At this time, however, it appears that a Weicker independent challenge could put the Connecticut Senate seat in play next November.
Forty-eight percent (48%) of Connecticut voters say that getting troops home as soon as possible is the top priority in Iraq. Forty-three percent (43%) say finishing the mission is more important.
A full report is available for paid members but I don't think you need to pay to see that Lieberman is in some trouble if Weicker jumps into the mix.
Having 32 percent of the votes with a year to go isn't really that bad for someone who hasn't announced that he's running yet and liberals (who are very upset with Lieberman right now) can be swayed to vote for Weicker if he makes his case. I think it's safe to say that the 48 percent of Connecticut voters saying that they want the troops home ASAP can be swayed to cross over to Wiecker's camp if he explains how he would work to bring the troops back home if elected senator while showing why Lieberman is out of touch with Democrats in Connecticut. Add that with just about every liberal group running ads linking Lieberman to President Bush and you'll have Weicker in a position to possibly pull an upset.
Another thing to consider is what would happen if you add a Republican to the race. Since it's obvious that Lieberman would lose more Republican votes than Weicker, the race would get even tighter between the two because a Republican should be able to pull anywhere between 28-35 percent of the vote (click here for the 2000 senate results, scroll down to Connecticut, and you'll see what I mean). The Republican challenger could get Gov. Rell's support and ride on Rell's popularity. This would translate into less Republican votes for Lieberman while helping Weicker, a person who isn't that popular with Republicans in Connecticut.
This means you can have an election in which all the candidates are about even (if you add a Republican into the race) so it might all comes down to the undecided voters so Weicker HAS to can sway more liberal Democrats vote to his camp. I didn't even get into the fact that there might be Democrats who won't vote for Lieberman (closeness to Bush) or Weicker (state income tax) and decide not to vote at all...
Everything is up in the air rigght now but given this poll, it seems like the Weicker challenge has all the elements of the perfect political storm and I'll bet the house that Lieberman's camp is concerned.
Oh, it's great to be a Connecticut political junkie right now!