updated 11/1/2006 7:39:37 AM ET 2006-11-01T12:39:37

Democrat Ned Lamont has narrowed his deficit with Sen. Joe Lieberman, but the three-term incumbent still holds a 12-point lead as their race heads into the final stretch, a poll released Wednesday shows.

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Lieberman had a 49-37 percent advantage over Lamont, according to a Quinnipiac University survey of likely voters. Republican Alan Schlesinger trails with 8 percent, and 5 percent are undecided.

An Oct. 20 poll by Quinnipiac had given Lieberman a 17-point advantage, 52-35 percent. Schlesinger was at 6 percent in that survey.

“The good news for Lamont is that he has cut Lieberman’s lead by 5 points,” said Quinnipiac University Poll director Douglas Schwartz. “The bad news for Lamont is that he still trails by 12 points. ... If Lamont has an October surprise, he’d better check the calendar.”

Lieberman, the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2000, is running as an independent after losing the Democratic primary in August to anti-war challenger Lamont.

The poll was conducted from Oct. 24-30 among 926 likely voters and has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

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