From Tom Jensen at Public Policy Polling’s blog:
There’s one thing Democrats, Republicans, and independents in Connecticut agree on: they want this to be Joe Lieberman’s last term in the US Senate. Only 24% of voters in the state say they would vote to reelect Lieberman in 2012 to 66% who say they will vote to replace him. Majorities of Democrats (72%), independents (63%), and Republicans (61%) alike say it’s time to swap out Lieberman for someone new.
Lieberman is one of the most unpopular Senators in the country, with only a 31% approval rating and 57% of voters disapproving of his job performance. He’s on slightly favorable ground with Republicans at a 46/41 approval rating. But he’s lost virtually any remaining support he had with Democrats at a 20/69 approval and independents are against him as well, by a 31/56 spread.
Lieberman doesn’t just lose to hypothetical opponents. In a three way with Chris Murphy as the Democrat and Peter Schiff as the Republican he gets only 19% to 39% for Murphy and 25% for Schiff. If you substitute in Jodi Rell for Schiff as the Republican Lieberman’s support drops even further to 17% with Murphy still leading at 37% and Rell at 29%. And in a direct head to head with Murphy Lieberman trails by a 47-33 margin.
Lieberman finishes in last place with independents in both possible three way contests. That’s quite a contrast from 2006 when exit polls showed Lieberman winning a clear majority with them. Taking 70% of the Republican vote was also a key component of Lieberman’s victory then but it looks like GOP voters would rather support one of their own candidates in 2012 than allow Lieberman to be their de facto party nominee. And while Lieberman still had enough favor with Democrats in 2006 to get a third of their votes that support’s been cut in half to the point where he gets only 14-17% his former party’s vote in these match ups.
Peter Schiff, it may be recalled, has his own interesting family history with the Libertarian Party. I am a bit surprised that PPP did not do a direct head to head between Murphy and a Republican other than Lieberman, but that is likely due to the fact that Lieberman iswidely anticipated to run for re-election in 2012.
Lieberman knows he will have a tough shot to win re-election. If he truly is reaching the end of his career, one available option could be to run as an Independent for President. While he would probably have a better shot running for a Senate seat in a state he has lived in for years than President, looming DOA status can make a politician very unpredictable.