A new survey of Connecticut by Public Policy Polling (D) provides a fascinating look into the possible future of independent Sen. Joe Lieberman. To be exact, the former Democrat is incredibly unpopular with most voters — and only marginally popular with Republicans — and would have a hard time avoiding a landslide defeat should he run again in 2012.
[TPM SLIDESHOW: Broken Promises: The Story Of Joe The Democrat]
Lieberman’s political journey over the last four years has sure alienated a lot of folks. After he lost the 2006 Democratic primary, he was then re-elected as an independent with unofficial Republican support. He then campaigned aggressively for John McCain for president in 2008, and spoke at the Republican National Convention — but after McCain lost, he settled back into place in the Democratic caucus. Then he helped to stop the public option during the health care debate, promising to support a Republican filibuster, but also voted for final passage of the eventual law sans public option.
Lieberman’s approval rating stands at only 31%, with 57% disapproval — even lower than the 36%-54% for Sen. Chris Dodd, who is retiring. Broken down by party, Lieberman’s rating is 20%-69% among Democrats, 46%-41% among Republicans, and 31%-56% among independents.
Respondents were also asked this question: “Generally speaking in 2012 will you vote to reelect Joe Lieberman or would you rather replace him with someone else?” The answer was only 24% to re-elect him, against 66% who would vote to replace him.
PPP also tested three-way race for Lieberman, Rep. Chris Murphy as the Democratic nominee and Republican financial commentator and Ron Paul activist Peter Schiff (who recently came in third place in the Republican primary for Senate) as the Republican candidate. The result was Murphy 39%, Schiff 25%, and Lieberman 19%.
Another three-way race put in Gov. Jodi Rell, who is retiring this year with relatively decent approval ratings, as the Republican candidate. This time it’s Murphy 37%, Rell 29%, and Lieberman 17%.
In a direct two-way match, Murphy leads Lieberman by 47%-33%.
“Democrats, Republicans, and independents in Connecticut agree on one thing: they want Joe Lieberman replaced in the US Senate,” writes PPP president Dean Debnam. “His path to reelection, at least at this point a couple years away, looks extremely difficult.”