Some very bad news for Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R) of Rhode Island ...
An independent poll - specifically, the Brown University poll -- shows potential challenger, Rep. Jim Langevin (D) beating Chafee 41% to 27%.
What catches my attention is that the sample size is small -- 384 voters. And, of course, you're almost two years from an actual vote.
Still, by definition, an incumbent senator who can't crack 30% is deep, deep in it.
Says the poll's director, Brown Professor Darrell West: "Langevin did very well because he has very few negatives and Lincoln Chafee's negatives are starting to rise. Chafee has alienated part of his Republican base but not yet won over Democrats so he's trapped between the left and the right."
(Obscure TPM Trivia: I once tried to install a modem in Professor West's home computer -- if memory serves, unsuccessfully. Long story -- one of my angles to use individual initiative to overcome graduate student poverty back in the day.)
If anything, I would think such bad numbers would push Chafee toward some conspicuous bucking of his party and president - presumably on Social Security.
But, honestly, with numbers so poor, it's hard to say. I think West has it right: he's trapped.
Is the Jeffords option the only answer?