Thursday, June 01, 2006

Lieberman Headed for Defeat?

Joe Lieberman is in deep trouble in Connecticut. His overall approval rating according to SurveyUSA is a healthy 59%, compared with 37% disapproving. While Sen. Lieberman should have little trouble with those numbers in the general election, he is the rare senator who seems likely to lose in a Democratic primary. Lieberman actually has lower support among people who identify with his party (56% approve, 40% disapprove) than among the general population. Even these numbers may not sound too distressing as he still has a solid approval rating among Democrats. However, Lieberman faces a severe challenge with the voters most likely to show up in Democratic primary: liberals. Among liberals, only 48% approve and 50% disapprove of his performance in office.

Lieberman better figure out how to reconnect with his party's base quickly if he wants to defeat antiwar candidate Ned Lamont in the primary. Lieberman has been labelled a DINO (Democrat in Name Only) on a variety of liberal blogs, such as the Daily Kos, which are cheering for his defeat not only because of his continued support of the Iraq War but because of his willingness to criticize other Democrats. It increasingly looks like they may get their wish and Lieberman will become the first senator to lose a primary since Cuckoo-For-Cocoa-Puffs New Hampshire Republican Smith, who left his party for a period and lost the support of the Bush White House.

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