Lamont Closing Gap with Lieberman?

Underdog Ned Lamont is running neck-and-neck with Joe Lieberman in the latest Rasmussen poll.

Senator Joe Lieberman (D) might be better off skipping the Democratic Primary and running as an Independent this November. The latest Rasmussen Reports survey of the Primary Election shows Lieberman leading challenger Ned Lamont by just six percentage points, 46% to 40%. The survey was conducted Monday night, June 12.

These results should be viewed as a clear sign that Lamont is gaining traction. Our last survey found Lamont at the 31% level of support (that itself was a stunning figure at the time).

Still, some caution is in order. The sample is very small (218) meaning the margin of sampling error is very large (nearly 7 percentage points). Additionally, determining Likely Voters for a Primary is one of the most challenging tasks in the polling business. It is worth noting that the most likely of our Likely Voters were a bit more inclined to support Lamont than the overall sample.

In the General Election, Lieberman wins handily as either a Democrat or an Independent.

Indeed, if there is a 7 point MOE, this is a DEAD HEAT; conceivably, Lamont is actually ahead given a 6 point gap and a 7 point spread. Until I see a trend in other polls, though, I’m highly dubious of this result.

In any case, Lieberman may well be better off running as an independent. He’s already viewed that way by most people and he would look like a sore loser running as an independent after losing in a Democratic primary.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2006, Public Opinion Polls, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. The problem is that to run as an independent, he needs about 6K to 7K of voter signatures to be turned in the day after the primary. Lamont is calling on Lieberman to join him in a pledge to support whomever is the democratic candidate selected in the primary election (something is much more in Lamont’s interest than Lieberman). Gathering the signatures now makes him look like a) not a loyal democrat and b) running scared of Lamont.

    Then you get the whole issue of what he does if he goes to the senate as a independent. Does he organize with the democrats or republicans. He has much more in common with the democrats than the republicans. But the democrats are the ones who pushed him out and they can offer more being the party in the majority.

    So maybe your idea that he just ignores everything else and runs as an independent now makes sense, but it does open other cans of worms.

    Another thought struck me. The majority of the flack I hear on Lieberman is that he is for the war and not against it. Given that all but 6 of the democrats just voted in favor of this position, why is he considered out of the democratic mainstream?

  2. Brian says:

    Yetanotherjohn-The knock on Lieberman isn’t for any one particular view (though the war comes closest). The biggest issue liberals have with him is his tendency to badmouth the party constantly in the media. It is very similar to John McCain, a conservative man who is very loud in his few disagreements with the party. But you are correct in your assessment that Lieberman has much more in common with Democrats than Republicans. If he won as an independent, I would expect him to caucus with the Democrats, as national figures have been very supportive of his reelection bid.

  3. Brian,

    I agree with your assessment as well. I agree with both of you that he is really a Democrat. He’s just getting flack from the left in his party, and will caucus with Dems regardless when January comes.