Lamont-Lieberman Exit Poll Results

Taegan Goddard has obtained the CBS/NYT exit poll results from the Lamont-Lieberman race. The results are somewhat surprising.

Overall, 78% disapproved of the decision to go to war in Iraq and, of those, 60% went for Lamont. Going in, I’d have guessed both numbers would be higher, especially the second. That Lamont only got 60% of the anti-war vote explains the closeness of the vote.

Most interesting for the future:

61% of voters rejected the notion of Lieberman running as an Independent candidate in the fall, something he has promised to do. 39% supported it. Moreover, one in five Lieberman voters does not think he should seek an Independent run in November.

Does that actually translate into behavior, though? Will some significant percentage of Lieberman primary voters abandon him in November out of party loyalty or “no sore losers” principle?

UPDATE: Several more bits of data are coming in.

Mark Blumenthal compares the results to the pre-election polls and tries to explain why Lieberman finished closer than expected, focusing mostly on turnout differentials.

Charles Franklin provides plenty of interesting graphical analysis.

Hotline’s Jonathan Martin focuses on demographics and notes that it was the wealthy voters going for Lamont and the working class going for Lieberman:

If there was a way to obtain the per capita income and racial demographics of each Connecticut town, some politico cartographer wizard out there could have a field day portraying the economics and ethnicity of this race. Ned Lamont, scion of the Eastern Establishment, rolled up staggering margins in those places most likely to include his fellow anti-war WASPs. Joe Lieberman, son of a Stamford liquor store owner, won the workaday towns most likely to include other ethnic voters less motivated by opposition to Iraq.

That’s pretty amusing given the “power to the people” mantra of the anti-Lieberman crowd. More amusing is the parting shot: “If it was, as Mike Barnicle put it on Hardball, a battle between Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks, the folks holding the soy lattes won.”

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. legion says:

    Lieberman’s a complete a**hat. In his concession speech, he railed about the ‘fringe of the party’ trying to derail him in the primary. Ummm, Joe? I don’t know what the final turnout was, but yesterday they were estimating 50-55%. This wasn’t the ‘fringe’ of the Democratic party, this WAS the Democratic party. And your only defense is to say that the voters are all wrong. Sheesh.

  2. These numbers seem entirely consistent to me. Lieberman got 48% of the vote. 20% (1 in 5) of those Lieberman voters don’t think he should run as an independent. It would be logical to conclude that 80% (4 out of 5) Lieberman voters don’t agree with that 20%. 39% of the voters support his running as an independent. So 80% of 48% is awfully close to 39% to me.

    If you look at the broader picture that would indicate that lieberman would get about 40% of the 30% of CT voters who are democrats (12% of all voters). Lamont gets the other 60% of democratic voters (18% of all CT voters).

    The quinnipiac poll shows the general election split as 51% Lieberman, 27% Lamont and 9% Schlesinger (the repulican candidate). This would mean that Schlesinger is pulling less than half the republican vote which the other half is not likely to go to Lamont. So going into the decisive group, the independents, Lieberman has 33% of the vote (12% from democrats and 11% from republicans) and Lamont has 18% of the votes (all from democrats). Maybe there is 1% of the total vote that is republican in CT and would vote for Lamont, but I seriously doubt it.

    So if the independents break 1 out of 3 for Lieberman (aka 2 out of 3 votes for Lamont), Lieberman still wins (at least as the race looks now). Since the independent vote is not likely to be more left leaning than the CT democratic vote, it is more likely that the independents will at worst split 50-50 and at best follow the democratic 60-40 split.

    Add into this that Lamont in June Lamont had a double digit lead that fizzled to a 4% lead and you can see that the polling arc for Lamont looks like he peaked already.

    An internal party movement that can narrowly defeat an opponent in the primary but is not likely to win in the general election is not a sign of strength for that party.

  3. Bithead says:

    Kinda makes you wonder about that suppsedly massive lead, doesn’t it?

  4. Louis Villani says:

    It started off as people saying Lamont who? Now after Lieberman lost to an unknow in the primary, which he claims was because of the extreme left wing fringe of the party, he wants to have all of the voters in Connedticut decide if he should no longer be a Senator. Since he is a three term senator, he believes there is a great deal of support for him in the State (if you take into consideration Republicans and Independent voters).

    According to “Rasmussen Reports”, this is not the case. The poll that they have taken shows that he only has a 5% advantage in a three way race. Not a great percentage for a well know senator who did not have to campaign in his state in 2000 to win his third term.

    Connecticut Senate: Two Days After Primary,- August 12, 2006
    Lieberman Ahead by 5
    Lieberman 46%, Lamont 41%

    Survey of 500 Likely Voters
    August 9-10, 2006
    Election 2006: Connecticut Senate
    Joseph Lieberman (I) 46%
    Ned Lamont (D) 41%
    Alan Schlesinger (R) 6%

    Senator Joe Lieberman’s decision to run as an Independent sets up a lively campaign season for Connecticut voters. In the first General Election poll since Ned Lamont defeated Lieberman in Tuesday’s primary, the incumbent is hanging on to a five percentage point lead. Lieberman earns support from 46% of Connecticut voters while Lamont is the choice of 41%