Lieberman More Popular With Republicans Than Democrats

Gallup analyst Lydia Saad looks at a poll taken last week that shows Joe Lieberman is more popular with Republicans than Democrats, not only in Connecticut but nationally.

U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman has faced mounting difficulties among fellow Democrats in his home state of Connecticut over his pro-Iraq war stance, possibly culminating in his defeat in the Connecticut Democratic primary election for his seat that takes place on Tuesday. Local polling suggests he may very well lose that election to ardently anti-war challenger Ned Lamont. Although many pundits insist all politics is local, new Gallup polling shows that Lieberman’s reputation has been sinking among Democrats nationally, not just among those from his home state.

The latest USA Today/Gallup poll finds Lieberman with the worst ratings from Democrats nationally since Gallup first measured his image in 2000. As a result, he is now more popular with Republicans than with supporters of his own party. Among Republicans and Republican “leaners,” a plurality of 46% view Lieberman favorably, while 27% view him unfavorably. Democrats are more evenly divided in their attitudes, with 38% viewing him favorably and 32% unfavorably.

Essentially, Lieberman’s numbers have been plummeting among Democrats and staying flat among Republicans. That’s not terribly surprising.

Perhaps this is: Despite the Iraq War seeming to be the issue that has earned Lieberman so much enmity among his partisans,

The poll shows Democrats who oppose the Iraq war are not much more negative about Lieberman than the relatively small percentage of Democrats who support the war.

Chart Gallup Poll Lieberman More Popular With Republicans Than Democrats

The small sample sizes involved in this analysis do not provide the ability to draw firm conclusions about the factors underlying Lieberman’s image. That a large proportion of both pro- and anti-war Democrats have no opinion about Lieberman suggests they are not highly familiar with the senator or his issue positions, and casts doubt on the notion that his problems are specific to Iraq and not also based on more general factors.

Well, at least the “Favorable” ratings between those groups are roughly similar. The “Unfavorable” ratings are more than 50% higher among the anti-war group.

It should be noted, however, that this was a sample of “1,007 adults” rather than likely voters. Presumably, the percentage of people who actually vote who have no opinion on Lieberman would be drastically smaller.

Full disclosure: Saad is a longtime friend of my wife’s and we had dinner with Saad and her husband during our recent visit to Connecticut. I stumbled upon the piece via Memeorandum, however.

FILED UNDER: 2006 Election, 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. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Sammy says:

    Joe Lieberman is more popular with Republicans than Democrats

    What happened to the “Sore Loserman” crowd?

  2. James Joyner says:

    It was a natural play on “Gore-Lieberman.” The latter wisely largely stayed out of the controversy, since he hoped to get the nomination in 2004.

    Plus, he’s certainly earned a lot of brownie points with Republicans for his loyalty on the war.

  3. Steven Plunk says:

    A moderate politician that acts with dignity. Even if you disagree with him (which I do on many topics) you should respect the man as a civil human being.

    He has basically earned his respect through his actions.

  4. Michael says:

    He’s also earned the disrespect through his actions.

  5. MT says:

    … and do you think that McCain would poll higher with Democrats than with Republicans? Probably pretty close. The true “moderate/centrist” campaign of McCain-Lieberman ’08!

    Interesting question… would they win over two other tickets of say Clinton-Warner and Gingrich-Allen? Who would take votes from who?