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August 09, 2006

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Typical blogger rantings -- look, if the media says it's "meridian" then it's "meridian". That's what conventional wisdom is all about.

I guess this is now the active thread on all things CT, so I'll respond to some things in the previous thread.

DHinMI, I assume you're correct, that Lieberman's institutional party advantages gave him the boost they were supposed to, but Lamont's strengths in other areas were enough to offset them. You're also quite correct that those advantages now disappear, in a way with which I doubt Joe has truly come to grips. A problem a long-term incumbent like Joe has is a rooster-taking-credit-for-sunrise feeling of entitlement: the sense that all those union and interest-group people are with him because of his inherent goodness, when it's far more party-power/inertia. Some truly popular (but somehow trick-primaried) candidate could maybe pull this off, but for Joe, the signals of disenchantment have been out all year. Recall the convention, where even the party-loyalty card wasn't enough to keep 33% of delegates from defecting. Look at last night, where massive institutional support couldn't bring him to 50% (and compare it to how Hillary'll do next month against her challenger). There's every reason to believe that, freed of institutional imperative, huge numbers of these folk will drop Joe without a second thought.

The press is doing all it can to push Lieberman toward this second-matchup (the front page of the NY Daily News omitted Lamont entirely), and will no doubt argue "all Joe needs is to hold onto his vote last night, and pick up a bunch of Republicans to win". But there are many problems with this scenario, not least of which is the rather high percentage of Joe primary voters who are against his indie run -- a number that I think will grow as one seated Dem after another comes out for Ned (Evan Bayh leading the way was a real coup), and as groups like AFL-CIO and NARAL switch sides. There's also a real problem with Joe trying to siphon off GOP voters: the more obviously he's relying on that, the more he alientes marginal Dem voters, who are, overall, going to be casting anti-Bush/anti-war votes this November. (Worse come to worst, I could see a Lamont ad featuring the glowing endorsements from Coulter, Hannity et al.) A great politician might be able to pull off the delicate straddle...but I've seen nothing in the past two months (or ten years) to indicate Joe is such an animal.

And beyond all that, there's the arrogance of Joe, finally given full-throat last night (though it's been there a long time for many of us). His statement last night essentially amounted to, I'm sad to lose this primary, but even sadder at how dumb the voters are. (For those with long memories, it recalled Ed Muskie after George Wallace took the '72 Florida primary, where Muskie half-implied the voters were a bunch of ignorant crackers) For him to go off on this Al From screed -- wildly misrepresenting Lamont's positions, proclaiming his own minority views as somehow "the center" -- reinforces the idea that his view of the country is essentially GOP/Bush-ian, that he will not move from that, and that the welfare of the Democratic party is of virtually no concern to him. I don't see that view wearing well with soft-Dem voters.

Dem, what you quoted from Publius last night is something I see better in the light of day: winning IS everything (just look at what Bush has done with his 2.4% margin). I'd simply hoped a wallop of a Ned win would convince Joe not to pursue this indie strategy for even a day. But, perhaps he'll see the folly of it anyway, in the weeks to come (esp. if the first poll gives Ned a decent lead).

The Democratic Party (Reid, Schumer, DSSC) is coming on board for Lamont this morning. The real reason they have to get Lieberman out is that he steps on and undermines the Party message. At the very time that the party is trying to sharpen the distinction with Bush, because that is what voters want, there he is out there denouncing partisanship. Get the hook.

From CBS:

Lieberman’s relationship with President Bush was also a factor in the race. 59% of Democratic primary voters said Lieberman was too close to the President, while 41% didn’t think so. Those who said Lieberman was too close to Bush voted overwhelmingly for Lamont.

DO YOU THINK JOE LIEBERMAN IS TOO CLOSE TO PRESIDENT BUSH?
(Democratic Primary Voters)
Yes 59%
No 41

61% of voters rejected the notion of Lieberman running as an Independent candidate in the fall, something he has promised to do. 39% supported it. Moreover, one in five Lieberman voters does not think he should seek an Independent run in November.

SHOULD LIEBERMAN RUN AS AN INDEPENDENT IN NOVEMBER?
(Democratic Primary Voters)
Yes 39%
No 61
_________________________________________________________________________
The CBS News/New York Times exit poll was conducted among a random sample of Democratic primary voters in 25 polling places throughout Connecticut as they were leaving the polls. The poll includes 2654 voters, and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Alos see Mystery Pollster and Hotline for who voted for whom.

So 20% of Lieberman voters said he should not run as an independent. If they shift to Lamont, then Lamont has a base of 57% of the Dems, plus what he can get of the INds. How many R's are there in CT?

Registered Voters: 671,656 D (34.2%); 449,727 R (22.9%); 844,433 unaffiliated and minor parties (43.0%)

from WSJ:

"At a minimum, the Connecticut primary is likely to ensure that Democrats of all stripes -- those who initially supported the war and those who have opposed it -- take a more aggressive posture in combating the president and his policies at home and abroad," says the Washington Post.

"The Lamont victory represents a coming of age for the Democratic Party's online activists, who had yet to score a victory in backing antiwar candidates," says the Wall Street Journal, which also notes that Lieberman's decision to run as an independent should he lose the primary marked a "turning point" that "seemed to harden some voters' belief that Mr. Lieberman was more concerned with his position in Washington than representing his constituents."

``Not every pundit is an airhead.''

Just most of them :-)

So far as getting the independent voters, I suspect that many of them are the college educated upwardly mobile types who would naturally be drawn to Lamont, given his background. They will be comfortable with Lamont, I think. Perhaps the Lamont org should try asking about that in their private polling.

``Not every pundit is an airhead.''

Just most of them :-)

So far as getting the independent voters, I suspect that many of them are the college educated upwardly mobile types who would naturally be drawn to Lamont, given his background. They will be comfortable with Lamont, I think. Perhaps the Lamont org should try asking about that in their private polling.

Oops. Sorry about the double posting.

Is this true (as in, did someone actually see this on air)? -- there's a Kos-referenced report that George Stephanopolous reported, via a Lieberman aide, that Karl Rove has contacted the campaign and offered help. It's the kind of rumor you can imagine circulating on the net; for an ABC insider to put it on the air grants a whole other level of credibility -- and makes it a far biggerproblem. If Joe's team doesn't denounce this immediately, they could start hemorrhaging what support they have.

A theory put forth at Kos is that some of Joe's staffers actually believe in the party and are appalled at the indie move; this may well be their attempt to stave it off. (No doubt they're among the Kerry holdovers being let go -- this was certaily a nice parting gift)

Stamford is a little confusing too

tell the people of Stamford we're changing the name of their city to SANFORD

this will save the lazy media countless hours of corrections

who cares what the people of Connecticut think

I'm sure joezoe loserman supports the "rename stamford effort" (we sent him a nice FAT check ...)

It seems to me Lieberman lapsed in noticing his own intraparty constituency had shifted slightly. His candidacies and tenure long were way beyond centrist, admixed with a Rovian complement of hyperbolic issues as a garnish to assure election. There is a generation change, as well; he actually deserves a golden parachute for some of the efforts of value he contributed. For me, his playing to the conservative McCain apoliticals exposed how routine-ized his policymaking had become from his view. His contribution to helping the reactionary coterie within the Republican Party to shift longterm cyclic judiciary outlook way rightward was ill considered, and, likely, detrimental to a lot of the Meridan and Stamford folk who opted for his oponent. I, for one, would like to hear the creative suggestions for peace, instead of the passive framework conveyed by the moniker anti-war. Work toward peace takes understanding, and fair policymaking. I hope Lamont keeps waking that up. CT is full of expertise and involvement in civic values.
Instead of playing on a funny way people spoke about the town where I lived on the Yantic River, I will leave my congratulatory message at that. CT just helped a lot of places in the US, and moved us closer to a Senate that means more than nicely labeled bills which paper over the same quiet fiction.
I think CT is where the original good day for bannana fish was born. Nice place to reflect on events. Fishing.

Meriden. TypePad uploaded the draft. I look forward to Sara's next installment of the history of CT.

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