July 25, 2006

CT Congressional Dems All Backing Joe

I had already known that Sen. Chris Dodd has endorsed Lieberman but the State's two Congressional Dems - Rep. John Larson (CT-1) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) are also backing the incumbent Senator.

The nutroots will say "yeah, sure but wait until after Lamont wins the nomination, then they'll go with the party!".

Wishful thinking on their part.

The Dem leadership - Reid, Pelosi and their ilk - might. They have a lot to lose by pissing off the Left. But Dodd, DeLauro and Larson understand that - one way or another - Joe will be serving his fourth term starting next year. He may not be in their party anymore but they know who they're going to be working closely with for the next six years.

And Dodd, DeLauro and Larson don't have to worry about a backlash from the anti-war Left. Their seats will be safe - especially after Lieberman shows he can win without them.

Hat Tip: CT-CIA

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July 24, 2006

Weird Karma In CT Politics

In all the hullaballo with Joe Lieberman and the Democrats, there are some interesting historical parallels that many have overlooked. Peter Brown of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute (the polling organization in CT) looks back at the last time the anti-war faction of the Democrat party ate one of their own:

Connecticut Democrats have been down this road before. In 1970, anti-Vietnam War candidate Joseph Duffy knocked off incumbent Thomas Dodd, who had been a supporter of Democratic President Lyndon Johnson's policy. Dodd's son Chris Dodd is now Connecticut's other U.S. senator.

But the anti-war wing, although powerful within Democratic primaries, did not represent the political mainstream in 1970. Duffy lost the November election to Republican Lowell Weicker, who is backing Lamont against Lieberman, who defeated him in 1988.

So in 1970, you had a Democrat Senator from CT who was driven off the ticket by the Left for supporting his own party's President. The result was a net loss of one Senate seat for the Dems. The winner of that race becomes a "maverick" and a thorn in the GOP's side for eighteen years and is eventually beaten out by Joe Lieberman for the seat.

Flash forward thirty-six years. Joe Lieberman is being driven off the Dem ticket by the Left for supporting the opposing party's President. The result will likely be a net loss of one Senate seat for the Dems. Lieberman, as an independent, has the capacity to be a "maverick" and a thorn in the Dems' side for the foreseeable future.

Thomas Dodd's son, Chris Dodd, is now CT's senior Senator. Lowell Weicker, who defeated Dodd now supports Lamont. And in both 1970 and 2006, the big loser as a result of the Left's actions is...the Democrat Party.

You just can't make this stuff up.

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July 20, 2006

Joe-Mentum Seems To Have Lost It's Steam

According to a new Quinnipiac poll, Ned Lamont has actually pulled ahead of Lieberman for the Aug. 8 primary race (which is within the margin of error). While I am a bit surprised, it does seem like timing is everything. Lamont has been filling the TV and radio airwaves with ads and - among Democrats - they seem to be having the desired effect.

There are less than three weeks remaining until the primary and , unless Lamont is peaking too early, he very likely may end up with the nomination. This would push Lieberman into an Independent candidacy. While the nutroots are all a-twitter with the news, such a scenario doesn't help the Democrats in the Senate as Lieberman would certainly attract enough independents and Republicans to carry him to victory in November anyway. The only difference is that he wouldn't have a (D) after his name.

"The poll shows [Lieberman] leading a three way race with the support of 51 percent of likely voters, compared to 27 percent for Lamont and 9 percent for Republican Alan Schlesinger."
If Democrats think the three-term Senator is a thorn in their sides now, wait until they get a load of Joe v.2.0 - the one who doesn't need support from the continually marginalized Left.

Capt. Ed weighes in:

A Lieberman primary victory would be the best outcome for the Democrats; it would keep the state's party from fracturing in the general election. It doesn't look good for that result at the moment. Lamont may well top Lieberman in the first round, but an eventual Lieberman victory looks all but assured. That means that the national party leaders will have to be very careful in how they support Lamont, if they decide to do so at all. If they antagonize Lieberman enough, he may give Democrats a few more headaches in the next session of Congress.
And if they antagonize the Kos-sacks, they have to deal with a different set of headaches.

John Hawkins makes this observation:

So, if Joe loses as a Democrat, but wins as an independent with lots of Republican and Independent support, what does that mean?

Well hopefully, it'll mean that the "Harry Truman Democrats" will realize that if they're serious about defending America, they're in the wrong party. Could it mean that some Jews, who vote Democrat 2 to 1, might get the message that they're in the wrong party? Sure. Could we see Joe Lieberman become a true centrist in the Senate in order to better represent his much more Republican and independent base? Sure.

And all the while, Kos and Company would be crowing about the huge "victory" they've won. It sounds like a real Pyrrhic victory to me.

In other words, the GOP - who had no shot to pick up this seat - will end up with the next best scenario: one less Senate Democrat in their minority caucus.

Lieberman still has one big weapon left in his arsenal. According to his campaign, Bill Clinton will be coming to Connecticut to campaign for him and, these days, the former President is probably the most popular and influential Democrat alive. But time is running out.

Be careful what you wish for, guys...

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July 11, 2006

Joe Hedges His Bets

With less than a month to go until primary day, Sen. Joseph Lieberman has bitten the bullet and registered to run as an independent should he be defeated by Ned Lamont for the Democratic nomination.

Actually, he's gone that route one better by registering a new party: Connecticut For Lieberman. This way as long as he secures the necessary petition signatures, his "party" will appear higher up on the list in that voting machine than if he just ran as an individual.

Cynical, perhaps. Why does a guy with so much name recognition need to be higher up than, say, Waldo Whats-his-name or some other nitwit who gets on the ballot? He really doesn't. I think the key here is that if he has to pursue this avenue he can craft his campaign in a way that enhances the name recognition and attracts more independents and Republicans his way. I don't know just how many more, but hey every advantage helps.

Lamont's campaign tipped its hand a little too early when it tried to force Lieberman into a corner by looking for a pledge to back Lamont should he win the nomination. Had they kept their powder dry and waited for this exact moment, they could have pounced on the three-term Senator as being disloyal to his party and hammered that home for three plus weeks.

Even though Lamont and the LoseOn.org crowd will adopt that strategy anyway, it will probably be less effective since they've already tried it. Lieberman's internal polls must show that this tactic has done all the damage that it's going to do already. And published polls show that Lieberman would win bigger as an independent than as a Democrat anyway. If you're a registered Democrat (not affiliated with the nutroots) who has paid very little attention to this whole brouhaha, who are you more likely to be motivated to come out on election day for? A known quantity like Lieberman or some guy you've never heard of like Ned Lamont, who happens to have a (D) next to his name?

I still think Lieberman will win on August 8th. But there are so many variables here - summer vacations, low turnout, apathy - that this move is the smart one. Whether or not it will be necessary remains to be seen.

Posted by: Gary at 02:25 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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