CT-Senate: Lieberman's Number Sunk During 2003 Campaign for President

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From the subscriber section of polling report (sign up here), check out these long-term trends in Lieberman's approval rating in Connecticut according to the Q-poll:

Quinnipiac University Poll. Jan. 4-9, 2006. N=1,369 registered voters statewide. MoE ± 2.7 (for all registered voters).

"Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joseph Lieberman is handling his job as United States senator?"

              Approve      Disapporve      Unsure
1/4-1/9         62            24             13

Looks pretty solid, right? Well, if you go back over the last two years, it is pretty solid:

             Approve      Disapporve      Unsure
Jul            67            23             11
Mar           67            22             11
Feb         69            20             12
Jan          73            15             12

              Approve      Disapporve      Unsure
Nov           71            23             12
Sep          66            22             12
Aug           66            20             13
Jun             66            15             12
May             63            24             14

Lieberman's approval rating does seem to be slowly sinking from its high point in early 2005, but certainly not at a rate that will make him vulnerable within the next few months. For Lieberman to be in trouble, there needs to be another catalyst that would cause his numbers to drop at a faster rate.

Ladies and gentlemen of the netroots, that catalyst would appear to be an actual campaign. During 2003, when Lieberman was running for President, it would appear that the larger news profile that came with him running for President caused his numbers to sink rapidly:

              Approve     Disapporve     Unsure
11/03           52            36           12
10/03           54            34           12
7/03            51            33           17
4/03            53            25           22
3/03            60            28           12
9/02            58            29           13
7/02            64            26           10
5/02            65            23           10
2/02            64            21           15
12/01           71            19           10

Before he ran for President, Lieberman's approval rating was in the high sixties. However, during his campaign, it crated into the low fifties. The more people saw of Lieberman, the less they liked him. Those of us who closely watched primary polls in 2003 saw this happen in state after state. In almost every state, Lieberman started with a big lead. However, as the campaign went on, he crated and eventually fell behind almost every other candidate in almost every single state. The more people saw of him, and the more people saw alternatives to him, the less they liked Lieberman.

Given all of this, I submit that Lieberman's approval rating is very soft. If he were subjected to an actual campaign, I am confident that his numbers would take a sharp, sudden tumble.

I know we can give Lieberman a real campaign, too. Already Democratic committees in Connecticut are rebuking him. MoveOn might come in with a million dollars. We need to provide the 1,000 volunteers that will push Lamont past the exploratory phase. Sign Up for Ned Lamont now. Watch Lieberman's numbers tumble when he is finally exposed to sunlight.

Tags: 2006, Activism, Connecticut, Democrats, Lamont, Lieberman, netroots, Primaries, Senate (all tags)



Re: CT-Senate:

Or, it could just be that Nutmeggers like having Lieberman as their Senator, and didn't want to see him on a quixotic quest for President.

It's only nerds like us who pay attention to IA/NH until a month in advance.

Also, it's not like anyone was running against Lieberman -- they were pretty much ignoring him.

by Adam B 2006-02-06 12:02PM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Senate:

Either way, during 2003, all of the following happened:

  • Lieberman was in the news a lot more because he was running for President.

  • Lieberman's numbers dropped.

While a simple syllogism would indicate that Lieberman getting more press = Lieberman's numebrs drop, it is true that there is no way to elimate all of the other possible factors at the time. However, to argue that people in CT were angry with him for potentially leaving is ridiculous. The last time I checked, CT is in America, and he's be President of CT too were he in the White House.

by Chris Bowers 2006-02-06 12:12PM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Senate:

One problem. Check the crosstabs on those polls.

At his low-water mark of 51% approval, the drop in Lieberman's approval numbers is almost entirely due to his decreasing support among Republican (41%-43%) and Independents (53%-32%) Democrats still gave him 59% approval to 23% disapproval.

I think a more likely hypothesis is that during his Presidential run, his approval rating was affected by increased partisanship, not increased exposure. Lieberman was more partisan than he is currently. Not much maybe, but in making a case that he should be President, he had to say that Bush was doing a poor job.

That drove down his support among Republicans and Independents who supported the President. On the other hand, his support among Democrats was higher then than it is currently (55%-29%).

I'm not sure these numbers are relevant to the primary campaign; I do think that increased exposure to Joe's record among Democrats will cause his approval to fall if accompanied by a primary challenger from the left. Still, the numbers you're using don't show what you say they show.

by Matthew Gertz 2006-02-06 12:27PM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Senate:

59% approval among Demcorats is still lower than he was getting before he campaigned. and, as I note below, CT dems clearly liked other Dems better when they were given the chance to look around.

by Chris Bowers 2006-02-06 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Senate:

I disagree.  the question quite specifically is what the subjects think of "the way Joseph Lieberman is handling his job as United States senator".  if they think, for example, that he's spending too much campaigning and not enough time discussing legislation, they'd think less of him, without its having anything at all to do with disagreeing with his stances or disliking the greater press scrutiny...


by redfox1 2006-02-07 10:47AM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Senate:

Also, I just check the subscruiber section of polling report for info the CT primary in 2004. A full week before Leiberman dropped out, Kerry was leading Lieberman 43-18 in the CT primary among Democrats.

Hell, in April of 2003, Lieberman led Dean 46-6 in the CT primary. In November, he only led 28-23. Now tell me again that CT Dems wouldn't prefer someone else, unless you still want to chalk up Lieberman's hopornedous campaign performance to nutmeggers loving him so much.

by Chris Bowers 2006-02-06 12:24PM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Senate:

In April 2003, no one knew who Dean was, IIRC.  That Lieberman was still beating Dean at the height of Dean's popularity should tell you something about Connecticut.

by Adam B 2006-02-07 05:00AM | 0 recs
It's absolutely ridiculous to spend

1 million bucks on ousting a Democrat when that money could be spent on taking on the GOP. I dislike Lieberman as much as the next guy but this is sheer madness. Sure, spend some money but not 1 million please...

If MoveOn does this I will hesitate before donating money to them again.

by Populism2008 2006-02-06 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: It's absolutely ridiculous to spend

Absurd and single-minded. The only problem Democrats face is not Republicans. To argue that Demcorats should only and ever spend money to defeat Republicans ignores the wide variety of other problems facing the party, including the media, poor on the ground organizing, ineffective advocacy groups, and Democrats who repeat Republicna taling points.

You need a more expansive strategic view.

by Chris Bowers 2006-02-06 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: It's absolutely ridiculous to spend

You said what I would have said, without the epithets....

by Matt Stoller 2006-02-06 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: It's absolutely ridiculous to spend

Its frustrating seeing Lieberman apologists always making the same argument: "any Democrat is better than any Republican, dont spend money risking a safe Dem seat."  For me, the issue is not one of party loyalty or party purity.  It is about opposing an immoral war.  I want to work hard to remove a Senator who not only whole-heartedly supports the war, but who also, as a member of the opposition party, provides political coverage for its chicken-hawk architects.  The Lamont-Lieberman election maybe the race I get most caught up in this year.  

by Winston Smith 2006-02-06 01:17PM | 0 recs

Given all of this, I submit that Lieberman's approval rating is very soft.


The evidence you've presented amounts to showing that Lieberman may may be vulnerable, because his approval numbers are, let's say, softish.  It's far from concrete proof that his approval rating is "very soft."

He's worth going after, I agree, and your analysis shoudl give us more hope, but I think it's better not to overstate the case.

by Ed Fitzgerald 2006-02-06 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Senate: Lieberman's Number Sunk

Meet Ned Lamont in Los Angeles on Tuesday February 7th (tomorrow). We're having a Fundraiser / Meet & Greet at 7pm in the Crescent Heights/Pico area. Suggested donation is $100 for high rollers, $50 for grassroots activists. RSVP to ssavage@couragecampaign.org

by Lemonsquare 2006-02-06 02:00PM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Senate: Lieberman's Number Sunk

Ned shouldnt be attending fundraisers until he declares his candidacy.  This "I need 100,000 supporters nationwide, and 1,000 committed CT Dems to start working for me on the ground, or I wont run" bullshit is starting to piss me off.  

by Winston Smith 2006-02-06 02:39PM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Senate: Lieberman's Number

I've debated this ad nauseam with all of you here, and everyone knows where I stand on this. I just want to make one point: the Congress is considering an immoral budget, with massive cuts in social programs and things like student loans. This year, we will fight numerous battles on health care, education, the environment, taxes, and government reform. We will need all the votes we can get, and Lieberman will vote with us 70-80 percent of the time. How many votes will we have on Iraq, besides spending bills? I understand that there are times when votes are not the most important thing, but when it comes down to it, nothing gets done without votes. The more D votes we have, in places like OH, MT, MO, PA, TN, AZ, and others, the less it matters what Lieberman does.

by bluenc 2006-02-06 04:46PM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Senate: Lieberman's Number

I agree. Instead of a circular firing squad our efforts could better be directed at AZ, MO, MN, NV and a few other places where we could increase our numbers. I don't much care for Joe's votes but he's a damn sight better than my Ben Nelson and I don't see petitions against him. Those purists wanting to eviscerate Joe assume Lamont would be a shoo-in. All I can say to that is two words: Jodi Rell. Lamont is untested and unlike Joe is certainly not a lock for election next November.

by NebraskaDem 2006-02-06 11:14PM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Senate: Lieberman's Number

Part of the reason why Lamont is going after Lieberman is that Joe is to the right of not just the Democratic Party, but the State of Connecticut on the war.  Ben Nelson is from a deeply red state, so we are willing to have him out there, to the right of the party.  We also don't see him bashing the party on a regular basis like Joe Lieberman does.  Governor Rell won't get into the Senate race, I'm sure she will stay in Hartford, after she sails to reelection in the fall.  The GOP doesn't have any candidate for Senate, I think Lamont could also win easy election.

by Max Friedman 2006-02-07 11:47AM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Senate: Lieberman's Number

But here's my question: how many votes will we see on the war? How many on issues like budget and environment? If Lieberman is out of the race, you can be sure that the CT GOP will find a candidate (Shays, anyone?) and we could lose a seat. If CT dems want to go after Lieberman, that's their choice, but I think the netroots should focus on beating Republicans.

by bluenc 2006-02-08 06:34AM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Senate: Lieberman's Number

We'll probably be seeing more confirmations battles like that of attorney general gonzalez and more legalization of torture amendments like the one introduced by Lindsey Graham.  The republicans are clearly trying to start a war with Iran, and Lieberman will vote for it whether there is any good evidence supporting it as he did in the past. We are better off with Lamont.

by Dameocrat 2006-02-12 09:36AM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Senate: Lieberman's Number

He is not in any way shape or form reliable on those issues, and that is the problem. I disliked him long before the war.  Lamont will be better.

by Dameocrat 2006-02-12 09:30AM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Senate: Lieberman's Number Sunk

It's taken more than a week, and he's not there yet.

by Adam B 2006-02-07 05:01AM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Senate: Lieberman's Number Sunk During 2003
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