Love, Hate in the Nutmeg State: Republicans, both Connecticut and otherwise, may not love Sen. Lowell Weicker but they sure do love his Senate seat. Thus, the latest poll by the University of Connecticut's Institute of Social Inquiry gives even party members who would most cordially welcome his personal departure severe heartburn.

Weicker, who has evinced a healthy disdain for his fellow Republicans in the past, is coming on the party activists in Connecticut this year like Tristan on Isolde, except that he has the power and perks of his office working for him. As a result of this uncharacteristic wooing, which one described as being as astonishing as seeing a cigar store Indian smile, he is expected to receive the party's Senate endorsement over Prescott Bush at the state convention next month.

Nevertheless, Bush will challenge Weicker in the September primary, and the poll shows that the vice president's brother leads the senator in a two-way race, 56 percent to 32 percent. However, in a two-way general election race against Rep. Toby Moffett, the Democratic candidate, the poll shows Bush losing badly, 48 percent to 36 percent.

But Weicker, running as a Republican, leads Moffett by 43 percent to 39 percent in a two-way race. He also wins a three-way race, running as an independent, with 31 percent compared to 28 percent for Moffett and 24 percent for Bush.

If the poll is right, the Republican regulars lose any way you cut it.