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Lieberman's primary loss does not necessarily mean defeat

By Mark Preston
CNN Political Editor


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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Despite losing the Democratic primary earlier this month, Sen. Joe Lieberman (D) holds double-digit leads over his two November opponents, a new Quinnipiac University poll released this morning shows.

Lieberman gets support from 53 percent of likely voters, while Democratic nominee Ned Lamont receives 41 percent and embattled GOP nominee Alan Schlesinger registers only 4 percent.

Lieberman has launched an independent bid for re-election after losing to Lamont in a race that was largely about the incumbent's support for the Iraq war. Lieberman has come under fire for his continued support of the Iraq war, an issue Lamont was able to seize on and ride to victory in the Democratic primary.

But the Quinnipiac poll shows that Lieberman's political appeal extends far beyond the Democratic base, support that he will need to win a fourth term.

"Sen. Lieberman's support among Republicans is nothing short of amazing," Quinnipiac Poll Director Douglas Schwartz said in a statement accompanying the release of the poll. "It more than offsets what he has lost among Democrats. As long as Lieberman maintains this kind of support among Republicans, while holding onto a significant number of Democratic voters, the veteran senator will be hard to beat."

Several of Lieberman's Democratic colleagues, though, are trying to do just that. Sen. John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) sent out an e-mail to his financial supporters Wednesday asking them to donate to Lamont's campaign. Today, former Sen. John Edwards (D-North Carolina) heads to New Haven, Connecticut to attend a campaign rally for Lamont. Other Democrats such as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (New York) have cut checks to Lamont. As for Schlesinger, he has been unable to attract support from Republican Gov. Jodi Rell or the White House.

Clinton's on the air

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is headed to an easy re-election in November, but the New York Democrat has decided to purchase air time for a 60 second commercial running on upstate and suburban cable television stations. Clinton, who is eyeing a potential presidential bid, relies on constituents to sing her praises for her work on issues ranging from trying to help revive the economy in the upstate to her successful effort on behalf of a family to receive life saving treatment for their son.

"New Yorkers took a chance on me in 2000, and I have worked hard every single day to deserve that chance," Clinton says in the ad. It can be viewed here.

Photo-op of the day

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) heads to Santa Monica today and stands with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) to urge California voters to support Proposition 83 -- Jessica's Law.

The human cost of war

The Lebanese death toll surpassed 1,000 as Israel slowly relinquished its power of territories in Lebanon after Monday's U.N.-sanctioned cease-fire, the Lebanese Internal Security Forces said Thursday.

More than 4,000 Lebanese have been wounded in the fighting between Israeli forces and Hezbollah that began July 12.

The Israeli death toll stood at 159, including 41 civilians killed in Hezbollah rocket attacks on northern Israel Wednesday, according to the Israel Defense Forces. The IDF reports more than 1,000 wounded, including 600 civilians.

IDF said about 4,000 Hezbollah rockets have hit northern Israel since July 12. Of those, more than 900 have hit populated areas, including the worst-hit cities of Kiryat Shmona and Nahariya. IDF said 242 rockets hit Kiryat Shmona, and 180 hit Nahariya.


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