Senior Likud party officials tell Haaretz, polls will be taken this week to determine whether Lieberman will remain at the forefront of the campaign or be kept in the background.
"If the status quo of 39 Knesset seats in the polls holds up, we can assume that the investment in merging with Lieberman has paid off," said a senior Likud official. "If we see that we're losing Knesset seats, then [campaign strategist] Arthur Finkelstein will keep him out of the public eye."
Lieberman or no Lieberman, the Likud official believes the merger with Yisrael Beiteinu was a good move for Netanyahu.
"The joining of Yisrael Beiteinu to the Likud produced some significant assets for Netanyahu," he said. "It added ridiculous sums of money to our campaign, while in the center bloc that is competing with us the parties are divided and poorly funded; it also gave Netanyahu a lot of 'yes-men' on the list who won't freak out on him in the Knesset after the election. From that perspective it would be better for Bibi if Lieberman is convicted, because it would leave him with a very comfortable list in the next Knesset."