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Lieberman Helps Democratic Ticket For Speaking Out Against Clinton Two Years Ago (Released: 7/ /00)

Office of University Communications

The following press release is based on a national survey of registered voters, conducted by the Center for Survey Research and Analysis (CSRA) at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn. The survey was conducted by telephone with a scientific sample of 502 voters from across the nation. Interviews were conducted from Monday August 7 through Wednesday August 9, 2000. Sampling error is 4% at the 95% level of confidence. Attached to this release is the questionnaire used for the survey.

A new national survey of voters, conducted since the announcement that Sen. Joe Lieberman will be the vice presidential candidate on the Democratic ticket, finds that Republican George W. Bush now holds a 5-point lead over Democrat Al Gore in the race for president. Forty-three percent say they will vote for Bush, 38 percent pick Gore, 4 percent intend to vote for Green Party candidate Ralph Nader, and less than 1 percent support Pat Buchanan, a possible Reform Party candidate. Ten percent of voters are undecided on how they will vote.

Among independent voters, Bush is favored with 38 percent of the vote, Gore with 27 percent, and Nader with 9 percent.

At this point in the campaign, Bush has more support from Republican voters than Gore has among Democratic voters. Fully 87 percent of Republican voters support Bush, whereas 76 percent of Democrats support Gore.

"The double-digit lead that George W. Bush enjoyed as a result of the bounce from the Republican convention is now a single-digit lead," said Dr. Ken Dautrich, Director of CSRA at the University of Connecticut. "The shift is from Gore's choice of Joe Lieberman as his running mate. The bump that the Democrats will get as a result of their convention next week will further tighten the race."

In the immediate days after the announcement that Senator Joe Lieberman would be the Democratic vice presidential nominee, 40 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of the Connecticut Senator, whereas 6 percent have an unfavorable opinion. However, 53 percent say they don't know enough about Lieberman to have formed an opinion.

"Lieberman is still largely an unknown to a majority of voters in this election. His role at the Democratic convention will have a potentially huge impact on how Americans view both him and the Gore/Lieberman ticket," commented Dautrich.

In contrast, 48 percent have a favorable opinion of Republican vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney, 15 percent have an unfavorable impression of him, and 33 percent of voters don't yet have an opinion about Cheney.

There is also evidence that the selection of Lieberman may be more likely to attract opposition party voters. For example, 45 percent of Democratic voters are unfavorable toward Cheney , whereas only 11 percent of Republican voters find Lieberman unfavorable. Among the key swing group of independen t voters, 21 percent find Chaney unfavorable, compared to 10 percent who are unfavorable toward Lieberman.

About one-third (35%) of voters say that the selection of Joe Lieberman makes them more likely to vote for the Gore/Lieberman ticket. The same number of voters (35%) say that Cheney on the Republican ticket makes them more likely to vote for the Republican ticket in November.

However, at this point Cheney does more damage to the Republican ticket than Lieberman does to the Democratic ticket. Specifically, 26 percent of voters are less likely to vote Republican as a result of Cheney on the ticket, while 16 percent are less likely to vote Democratic as a result of Lieberman's presence on the ticket.

Among independent voters, 15 percent say they are less likely to vote for the Democratic presidential ticket with the choice of Lieberman as V.P., compared to 30 percent who are less likely to vote for the Republican ticket with Cheney as V.P.

In making direct comparisons between Lieberman and Cheney, voters are more likely to say Cheney is better qualified than Lieberman to be president by a margin of 34 percent to 20 percent. However, by a 35 percent to 17 percent margin, voters think that Chaney is more extreme in his political views than is Lieberman. Also, by a margin of 33 percent to 23 percent, voters are more likely to feel that Lieberman will place more emphasis on moral values in making decisions in office.

Neither candidate enjoys an advantage at this point on the issue of trustworthiness. Twenty-eight percent say that Cheney is more trustworthy, while 26 percent say Lieberman is more trustworthy.

Senator Leiberman's willingness to criticize President Clinton's behavior during the impeachment trial two years ago plays to his political advantage as a candidate in this race for president. Fully 55 percent of voters are more favorable toward Lieberman as a V.P. candidate as a result of his criticisms of Clinton, while only 18 percent say they are less favorable toward him because of this.

"Lieberman's outspoken criticism of Bill Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky makes him more popular to voters," said Dr. Sam Best of CSRA and co-director of the poll. "With Lieberman on the Democratic ticket, it makes it easier for Al Gore to distance himself from any negative baggage left over from the impeachment."

Lieberman's willing to criticize Clinton's behavior makes 68 percent of Republican voters have a more favorable opinion of Lieberman as a V.P. candidate. Fifty-five percent of independents and 47 percent of Democrats like Lieberman more as a result of his criticisms of Clinton's behavior.

Nearly half of American voters (45%) think the fact that Joe Lieberman is an Orthodox Jew makes no difference in how that might effect the outcome of the presidential race. The remaining half of voters are about split, with 26 percent saying that being Jewish increases the chances that the Democratic ticket will win and 24 percent saying that it decreases the Democrats chances of victory in November.

Among the key group of independent voters, 25 percent think that Lieberman being an Orthodox Jew decreases the Democrats chance of winning, while 17 percent think it increases the Democrats chances of winning the election.

"This finding suggests that the danger for the Democrat ticket may be greater from people believing Lieberman's faith decreases its chance of winning than from any religious bias." said Dr. Best.

The Questions
1. How likely is it that you will vote in the Presidential election in November - will you definitely vote, probably vote, probably not vote, or definitely not vote?

Definitely vote 81%

Probably vote 13%

Probably Not 3%

Definitely Not 1%

Don't Know 1%

Refused 0%

2. Now suppose that the Presidential election were being held today, and it included Al Gore as Democratic Candidate, George W. Bush as Republican Candidate, Pat Buchanan as Reform Party Candidate, or Ralph Nader as Green Party Candidate. Would you vote for Al Gore as Democratic Candidate, George W. Bush as Republican Candidate, Pat Buchanan as Reform Party Candidate, or Ralph Nader as Green Party Candidate?

Al Gore as Democratic Candidate 38%

George W. Bush as Republican Candidate 43%

Pat Buchanan as Reform Party Candidate 0%

Ralph Nader as Green Party Candidate 4%

Other 0%

Wouldn't vote (volunteered) 2%

Not registered/Won't register/Not eligible (volunteered) 0%

Don't know 10%

Refused 2%

3. The Democratic Vice Presidential candidate is Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman. Is your general impression of Senator Joe Lieberman favorable or unfavorable, or don't you know enough about him to have an impression?

Very Favorable 24%

Somewhat Favorable 16%

Neutral (volunteered) 1%

Somewhat Unfavorable 4%

Very Unfavorable 2%

Don't know enough about him 53%

Don't Know 0%

Refused 0%

4. The Republican Vice Presidential candidate is former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney. Is your general impression of Dick Cheney favorable or unfavorable, or don't you know enough about him to have an impression?

Very Favorable 25%

Somewhat Favorable 23%

Neutral (volunteered) 2%

Somewhat Unfavorable 7%

Very Unfavorable 8%

Don't know enough about him 33%

Don't Know 1%

Refused 0%

5. Does Senator Joe Lieberman on the Democratic Party ticket make you more likely or less likely to vote for Gore?

Much More Likely 14%

Somewhat More Likely 21%

Somewhat Less Likely 10%

Much Less Likely 6%

Don't Know 45%

Refused 5%

6. Does Dick Cheney on the Republican ticket make you more likely or less likely to vote for Bush? Would that be much (more/less) or somewhat (more/less) likely?

Much More Likely 13%

Somewhat More Likely 22%

Somewhat Less Likely 11%

Much Less Likely 15%

Don't Know 34%

Refused 4%

7. I am going to read some phrases tha t describe a candidate for Vice president. For each phrase I read, please tell me if you think it better describes Democrat Vice Presidential candidate Joe Lieberman or Republican Vice Presidential candidate Dick Cheney?

A. Trustworthy in public office?

Joe Lieberman 26%

Dick Cheney 28%

Neither (volunteered) 4%

Both Equally (volunteered) 14%

Don't Know 27%

Refused 1%

B. Qualified to be president?

Joe Lieberman 20%

Dick Cheney 34%

Neither (volunteered) 7%

Both Equally (volunteered) 11%

Don't Know 27%

Refused 1%

C. More extreme in their political views?

Joe Lieberman 17%

Dick Cheney 35%

Neither (volunteered) 9%

Both Equally (volunteered) 5%

Don't Know 33%

Refused 1%

D. Places greater emphasis on moral values in their political decisions?

Joe Lieberman 33%

Dick Cheney 23%

Neither (volunteered) 3%

Both Equally (volunteered) 10%

Don't Know 30%

Refused 0%

8. During the impeachment trial of President Clinton a few years ago, did you support or oppose Clinton's removal from office?

Support Removal From Office 43%

Oppose Removal From Office 50%

Don't Know 6%

Refused 1%

9. During Clinton's impeachment trial, Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Joe Lieberman was an outspoken critic of President Clinton's behavior. Does this make you more favorable toward him as a Vice Presidential candidate or less favorable?

Much More Favorable 28%

Somewhat Favorable 27%

Neutral (volunteered) 19%

Somewhat Unfavorable 11%

Much More Unfavorable 7%

Don't Know 8%

Refused 0%

10. As you may already know, Joseph Lieberman is currently running for re-election to the U.S. Senate for the State of Connecticut. If he is elected as both Senator and Vice President, he would have to resign from one of the positions. Do you think Senator Lieberman should stop running for the Senate if he accepts the nomination for Vice president, or do you think it's all right for Lieberman to run for both Senate and Vice-president?

Should Stop Running 54%

Okay to run for both 37%

Don't Know 8%

Refused 1%

11. Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Joe Lieberman is a practicing orthodox Jew. Do you think this fact increases or decreases the chances of Gore and Lieberman winning the presidential election?

Increases 26%

Decreases 24%

Don't Know 45%

Refused 4%

August 2000 Releases
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