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« Strategy Memo: The Bad News Boys | Blog Home Page | Boehner Hits West Coast »

Lieberman Favs Shellacked

Running as an independent after losing the Democratic primary in 2006, Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman did his best to avoid irritating the Democratic base in order to win at least some of their votes in November. Now, having so publicly backed John McCain, those who didn't abandon Lieberman that year are moving away from him, a Quinnipiac University poll shows.

The survey, conducted 6/26-29, polled 2,515 registered voters in the Nutmeg State for a margin of error of +/- 2%. And according to those respondents, the state's junior Senator has just a 45% approval rating, while 43% disapprove. That includes just 26% of Democrats saying they like the way Lieberman is handling his job, while 62% disapprove.

That's the lowest job approval rating Lieberman has ever had in the Quinnipiac poll, down from a high of 80% who said they approved of his job performance in September, 2000, as he was running for Vice President on Al Gore's ticket. His rating has dropped seven points since the last survey, in late March, while his disapproval ratings have gone up eight points.

Connecticut gave John Kerry a ten-point win in 2004, though neither of the campaigns put any significant effort into the state. And while John McCain's campaign has hinted that the state might be in play come November, few strategists actually think the state will deliver anything but a big win for Barack Obama.

So, will Lieberman continue running as an independent when he's next up, in 2012? If the Connecticut Senator continues to back McCain and goes so far as to speak at the Republican National Convention, a la Georgia Senator Zell Miller in 2004, Democrats may be less interested in his service as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, especially if the party picks up seats in November.

One thing is sure: A bigger Democratic majority that devalues Lieberman's vote as a quasi-Republican would mean left-leaning bloggers, who spearheaded the move to oust Lieberman in 2006, will put significant pressure on Senate Democrats to elevate someone new to the post of chairman.