Poll: 81 percent of Dems want Lieberman punished for healthcare stance

A large majority of Democrats want Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) stripped of his leadership post if he joins a Republican filibuster of healthcare reform legislation, according to a recent poll.

81 percent of Democratic voters polled in a recent Research 2000 survey said they would like Lieberman to lose his chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. 43 percent of independents said that he should lose the post versus only 10 percent of Republicans.

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The poll was commissioned by two liberal groups, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America. Research 2000, which is considered a neutral pollster, also does polling for the liberal blog Daily Kos and a number of daily newspapers. 

Lieberman, a centrist who caucuses with the Democrats, has drawn the ire of liberals for his continued opposition to healthcare reform legislation. 

The Connecticut independent has voiced his quarrels with several core provisions of the healthcare bill, including the public health insurance option and the proposed Medicare buy-in for people between the ages of 55 and 64. Lieberman repeatedly has said he would filibuster the bill.

With no Republicans indicating support for the bill yet, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) may need all 60 Senate Democratic caucus members to vote for the bill to break a GOP filibuster. 

The poll was taken between Dec. 11 and 13.

Lieberman came at risk of losing his leadership post last fall when he endorsed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for president over then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) Senate Democratic leaders ultimately allowed Lieberman to keep his post.

McCain rushed to Lieberman's defense earlier on Monday, calling liberal attacks on him a "disgrace."

802 voters were polled by telephone. The margin of error is 3.5 percent overall and 6 percent for Democratic numbers specifically.