There's one thing Democrats, Republicans, and independents in Connecticut agree on: they want this to be Joe Lieberman's last term in the US Senate. Only 24% of voters in the state say they would vote to reelect Lieberman in 2012 to 66% who say they will vote to replace him. Majorities of Democrats (72%), independents (63%), and Republicans (61%) alike say it's time to swap out Lieberman for someone new.
Lieberman is one of the most unpopular Senators in the country, with only a 31% approval rating and 57% of voters disapproving of his job performance. He's on slightly favorable ground with Republicans at a 46/41 approval rating. But he's lost virtually any remaining support he had with Democrats at a 20/69 approval and independents are against him as well, by a 31/56 spread.
Lieberman doesn't just lose to hypothetical opponents. In a three way with Chris Murphy as the Democrat and Peter Schiff as the Republican he gets only 19% to 39% for Murphy and 25% for Schiff. If you substitute in Jodi Rell for Schiff as the Republican Lieberman's support drops even further to 17% with Murphy still leading at 37% and Rell at 29%. And in a direct head to head with Murphy Lieberman trails by a 47-33 margin.
Lieberman finishes in last place with independents in both possible three way contests. That's quite a contrast from 2006 when exit polls showed Lieberman winning a clear majority with them. Taking 70% of the Republican vote was also a key component of Lieberman's victory then but it looks like GOP voters would rather support one of their own candidates in 2012 than allow Lieberman to be their de facto party nominee. And while Lieberman still had enough favor with Democrats in 2006 to get a third of their votes that support's been cut in half to the point where he gets only 14-17% his former party's vote in these match ups.
One interesting thing to note in these numbers is Rell's perhaps surprisingly tepid numbers as a potential US Senate candidate, given that she's one of the most popular Governors in the country. That's a reflection in reverse of the same thing giving Joe Manchin problems in the West Virginia Senate campaign- a Democratic state electing a Republican as Governor is one thing, a Democratic state electing a Republican to the Senate is quite another.
It also seems quite possible Rell would be a victim of the Tea Party movement if she did decide to pursue a Senate bid. Her 64/26 approval rating with Republicans compares unfavorably to the 69/24 spread Mike Castle had within his party the first time we polled him this election cycle, back in March of 2009.
A lot can change in two years. But for now Lieberman's path to reelection looks extremely dicey.
Full results here