updated 10/20/2006 9:40:50 AM ET 2006-10-20T13:40:50

Sen. Joe Lieberman has built a 17-point lead over Democratic challenger Ned Lamont, according to the first Quinnipiac University poll since the two faced off in a debate this week.

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Lieberman, running as an independent after losing the Aug. 8 Democratic primary to Lamont, leads the Greenwich businessman 52 percent to 35 percent among Connecticut likely voters in the poll released Friday. Republican Alan Schlesinger trailed with 6 percent, and 7 percent were undecided.

A similar poll released on Sept. 28 showed Lieberman with a 10-point lead.

The debate between Lieberman and Lamont on Monday was their first since the August primary. Among those in the poll who watched the debate or read or heard about it, only 3 percent said it changed their minds.

“Ned Lamont needed to score a knockout in the debates to catch Sen. Joseph Lieberman, but he apparently didn’t lay a glove on him,” poll director Douglas Schwartz said.

The poll suggested that Lieberman’s support among Republicans and independent voters was substantial.

Lieberman leads Lamont 70 percent to 9 percent among likely Republican voters, with 18 percent for Schlesinger, and 58-36 among likely independent voters. Likely Democratic voters back Lamont, 55 percent to 36 percent.

The poll of 881 likely Connecticut voters, conducted from Oct. 17-19, has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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