Our Slate Election Scorecard update yesterday focused on a new poll in Connecticut conducted by for the Hartford Courant by the University of Connecticut Hartford showing Joe Lieberman leading by an eight point margin (48% to 40%) over Democratic nominee Ned Lamont. Since that update went online, we learned of another new Connecticut poll from SurveyUSA showing Lieberman ahead by a larger margin (53% to 40%). The update makes reference to the results as tabulated by party, which are remarkably consistent across the various polls and tell the story of that race as it stands today.
I was able to gather results by party from four recent polls by Quinnipiac, Rasmussen, SurveyUSA and the Courant/U.Conn. poll (the latter appeared in The Hotline [$], but only for the tabulation without "leaners").
The results by party are remarkably consistent. Lieberman has become the overwhelming favorite of Republicans, receiving an average of 70% of their vote. Even among Republicans, their nominee Alan Schlesinger barely registers at an average of 11%. Remarkably, Democrat Ned Lamont runs ahead of Schlesinger among Republicans on all four surveys (a consistency that suggests statistical significance despite the small sample sizes involved).
With Lieberman winning so many Republican votes, Lamont's inability to get more than 60% of Democrats is what keeps this race from becoming more competitive. The challenge for Lamont in increasing his Democratic support is that many of Lieberman's Democratic supporters voted for him in the August primary. SurveyUSA reports that 80% of Lieberman's primary voters are sticking with him.
There is something about this race that almost defies gravity. With a tight national race for control of the U.S. Senate, two-thirds of Republicans are willing to support a candidate who describes himself as a Democrat who will "caucus with the Democrats," even if Democrats and Republicans split the Senate. And a third of Democrats are apparently taking Lieberman at his word despite his reliance on Republican money to fund his campaign.