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Lieberman Remains Undecided as Blumenthal Maintains Lead in Connecticut Senate Race

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) told Politico today that he remains undecided on who he will support in the race for the state’s open Senate seat, even as a new poll showed his erstwhile party’s candidate leading substantially despite a recent Vietnam service flap.

Lieberman said he was open to supporting former WWF CEO Linda McMahon, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in the race.

“I said I’m open,” Lieberman told POLITICO. “Is it theoretically possible? Yes. I probably know Blumenthal better, but I know Linda McMahon – she was on the state board of higher education, and I met with her a couple of times in that capacity. This is the great privilege that voters of Connecticut gave me in 2006 as an independent. Wait and see.”

Lieberman’s comments came as a new Quinnipiac University poll showed state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) leading McMahon 56-31 percent despite the recent controversy. This represents a drop in support — he led McMahon 61-28 in Quinnipiac’s March 17 poll — but the drop is far less severe than the one indicated by a Rasmussen Reports poll earlier this month that showed Blumenthal’s lead dropping by 10 points.

The Vietnam incident appears to be less of an issue in the campaign than was generally believed, as 61 percent of people in the poll said Blumenthal’s flap made no difference in whether they would vote for him. Thirty-three percent said it made them less likely to vote for him. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed said they were satisfied with Blumenthal’s explanation.

“It looks like Connecticut voters forgive Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, or feel that there is nothing to forgive in the Vietnam service flap,” Quinnipiac Poll Director Douglas Schwartz said in a press release on the poll results. “While he has taken a hit with voters, his poll numbers were so high to begin with that he still maintains a commanding lead over Linda McMahon.”

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