- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sen. Joe Lieberman, running for re-election as an independent in Connecticut, holds a commanding lead over anti-war candidate Ned Lamont, who last week toppled Mr. Lieberman in the Democratic primary, according to the latest poll.

In a three-way race, Mr. Lieberman holds a 53 percent to 41 percent lead over Mr. Lamont, according to the poll released yesterday by Quinnipiac University. The Republican candidate, Alan Schlesinger, netted just 4 percent.

The numbers suggest that Mr. Lieberman maintains much of his support from the primary and would collect most of the Republican and independent vote in November’s general election.

On Aug. 8, Mr. Lamont beat Mr. Lieberman 52 percent to 48 percent for the Democratic nomination. His campaign was fueled by liberal Internet bloggers and anti-war advocates from across the country. While virtually the entire Democratic leadership quickly abandoned the three-term incumbent in favor of the party’s new nominee, it remains uncertain how enthusiastically Democrats will campaign against their former colleague.

Earlier this week, Sen. John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat who was his party’s presidential nominee in 2004, began an online fundraising effort for anti-war candidates such as Mr. Lamont.

“In the Senate, Ned Lamont will go head to head with Don Rumsfeld, and our troops will benefit from Lamont’s leadership,” he wrote to some 3 million supporters. “He knows that patriotism isn’t reserved for those who defend a President’s position; patriotism is doing what’s right for our troops and our country.”

Republicans, meanwhile, have been quick to back Mr. Lieberman. Published accounts quote Republicans willing to donate to the former Democrat and groups such as the National Republican Senatorial Committee have said they won’t do anything to help Mr. Schlesinger, the party’s nominal candidate.

The recent Quinnipiac poll found that among likely Republican voters, Mr. Lieberman trounced his opponents with 75 percent of the vote, compared with Mr. Lamont’s 13 percent and Mr. Schlesinger’s 10 percent.

“Senator Lieberman’s support among Republicans is nothing short of amazing,” said Douglas Schwartz, the university’s polling director. “As long as Lieberman maintains this kind of support among Republicans while holding on to a significant number of Democratic votes, the veteran senator will be hard to beat.”

But Mr. Lamont insisted yesterday that “I’m not going to change my issues at all. I’m going to keep talking the same way I have.”

The poll of 1,319 registered Connecticut voters was conducted Aug. 10-14 and has a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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