Friday, August 25, 2006

# Posted 12:39 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

SENATE WATCH 2006: This post begins with a shout out to jediflyer, whose corrected my statement that Lieberman is well ahead of Lamont in the Connecticut polls.

Now, given how many mistakes I make, correcting me isn't a big deal. However, jediflyer's comment reminds me just how long it's been since I visited RealClearPolitics, which I read at least twice a day in the fall of 2004. Then as now, RCP is a damn impressive combination of exhaustive polling data and sharp analysis of it.

Getting back to Lieberman and Lamont, my initial statement was based on what I heard from the Sunday talk shows. And as of Sunday, the shows were right. A Quinnipiac poll had Lieberman up by 12 and a Rasmussen poll had him up by 5.

What I forgot to check was the results of two new polls that came out on Monday, in between the Sunday shows and my post about them. As jediflyer pointed out, an ARG poll put Lieberman up by only 2, a statistical tie.

But that was ARG's first poll in Connecticut, as I learned from RCP. However, Rasmussen also came out with a poll on Monday that showed Lieberman up by only 2. So now it's Quinnipiac that looks like the outlier. Even so, RCP thinks Lieberman has the edge:
Our reason for focusing on Lieberman’s distance from 40% in the primary results was his need to retain roughly a third of Democratic voters to prevail in the general. That analysis counted on Schlesinger doing considerably better than the 5% he is currently polling. If Schlesinger can be kept in the single digits, Lieberman can win with less than a third of Democratic support, which is why he has the edge.
But how much less than a third? ARG says Lieberman gets 30% of Dems and is ahead 48-38 among independents. (Rasmussen data is only available to subscribers.)

But how stable are those numbers? Without a sudden discovery of charisma, I don't expect Lieberman to stop Lamont from pulling ahead further among Democrats. Yet ARG shows that 71% of independents have a favorable view of Lieberman, compared to 43% for Lamong. Strangely, ARG also indicates that 18% of Republicans still intend to vote for Lamont.

What does all of this mean? Heck if I know.
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