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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

CT-Sen: Lamont-Lieberman vs. Toomey-Specter, Revisited

Posted by DavidNYC

A while back, I compared Ned Lamont's primary challenge against Joe Lieberman to Rep. Pat Toomey's somewhat similar challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter in the PA-Sen GOP primary two years ago. Now, the two races are by no means identical, but they do, as Mark Twain might say, rhyme. (For a full account of the differences, please read the older post.)

That rhyme got a bit more distinct last week, as Quinnipiac released a new poll on CT-Sen. Quinnipiac also surveyed PA-Sen in 2004, so we have some nicely comparable polls. Anyhow, check this out:

63 days before CT-Sen primary
Lieberman: 55
Lamont: 40

23 days before PA-Sen primary
Specter: 52
Toomey: 37

Now ain't that somethin'. Both incumbents show identical leads of 15 points among likely primary voters. And as you know, Toomey came within two points of winning - different weather that day, and Arlen Specter is prematurely retired. On the flip-side, as you may also know, most of the key differences between PA-Sen and CT-Sen relate to the fact that Toomey was in a stronger position than Lamont is.

But look at the linked lines in that blockquote. The CT-Sen poll concluded 63 days before the primary - a full two months. The comparable PA-Sen poll was taken just three weeks before the primary there. If Pat Toomey, with all his advantages over Lamont, could close a 15 point gap in just 23 days, then it's starting to look quite plausible that Ned Lamont could close a 15-point gap in 63 days.

Again, the odds still favor Lieberman - the odds almost always favor the incumbent. But these Q-Poll results show us that at least we've got a serious race on our hands.

Posted at 12:50 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Technorati

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A rassmussen poll just came out showing us only 6 behind (46-40) we are in great shape for August.

Posted by: D in FL. [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 14, 2006 07:29 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

But it looks like Lieberman's almost certainly going to have another spot on the ballot, so Lamont's probably still in awful shape for November.

Posted by: DemocraticLuntz [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 14, 2006 09:07 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Specter also had two prominent figures popular with the Pennsylvania Republican base in 2004 (Bush and Santorum) practically carry him around the state on their shoulders.

It does seem like Lieberman is going to go independent. At that point, Lamont has a long road. But I also never thought he'd make it to this point, so there's that.

If Lamont is the nominee, I hope Democrats will unite behind him. Lieberman's word can't be trusted.

Posted by: bosdcla14 [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 14, 2006 10:38 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Don't forget that the polls which show Lamont trailing Lieberman badly where Lieberman runs as an independent are predicated on Lamont's presently low name rec. If Lamont wins the primary, or even if Lieberman drops out and goes indy, Lamont's name rec will soar.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 15, 2006 12:31 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Exactly; Lieberman jumping to the Independent line may seem like a sure-winner now, but it'll also damage him further by giving a huge boost of credibility to the Lamont campaign (ie. this Lamont guy scared Joe Lieberman out of the Democratic primary--he must be doing something right!).

There are so many unanswered questions, though. Will the Democratic pols in CT take Lieberman's move as a chance to finally distance themselves from him? Or will they still want to maintain their alliance with him?

Posted by: James L. [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 15, 2006 12:44 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

What you guys fail to realize is that Lieberman still gets half of the Democratic support in those polls which show him doing well as an independent. I think a great many Democrats may be offended by Lieberman's decision to leave the party and would stop supporting him.

It would also give Lamont something to get the Democrats to rally around. Lamont needs only to win back the Lieberman Democrats and let Lieberman and the other Republican split the independent and republican vote. Second, it's likely that the Republicans (smelling an opening and needing something for the midterms) will smell an opening here and put money in this race believing it can be won. If that's true, Lieberman will lose support on both fronts.

Then those leads will begin to plummet.

Posted by: jackbourassa [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 15, 2006 06:24 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

True, and if the RSCC dumps money into this race, Lieberman would be less inclined to caucus with the Republicans, as some fear he might. On the other hand, if they quietly stay out...

Posted by: James L. [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 15, 2006 10:33 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I just checked out Schlesinger's website (the Gop candidate). Looks like s moderate and, not a word about the Iraq War. I take it this guy is not a rightwing nut job?

Posted by: Predictor [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 15, 2006 11:55 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

You can't tell where anyone stands untill they are elected. It is so easy to say one thing and do another.

Posted by: D in FL. [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 15, 2006 03:59 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Check out Democracy for America's new petition.
It's an open letter that calls for Lieberman and the DSCC to support whoever wins the August 8 primary—the way the party is supposed to. I hear DFA Chair Jim Dean will hand deliver the signatures to Joe Lieberman.

Posted by: JMar [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 15, 2006 04:19 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Granted DinFL but he's an Ex State Rep & Mayor, so he's got a track record.

Posted by: Predictor [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 15, 2006 04:23 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Doesn't anyone think this quest for ideological purity is self defeating in the long run? Senator Lieberman is a reliable Democratic vote and the former Vice Presidential standard bearer for the Party. His only transgression seems to his opposition to immediate withdrawl from Iraq. The ridiculous litmus tests that the true believers constantly hoist upon the Party only weaken Democrats and marginalize their electoral chances. Sure, Connecticut's Senate seat is safe from the Republicans this cycle. But what happens if in 6 years Connecticut's extremely popular Republican Governor, Jodi Rell, decides to try her hand at winning a Senate seat? And instead of having to battle an institution in the state like Chris Dodd or Joe Lieberman she is confronted by freshmen Senator Ned Lamont? I guess it's too much to hope that the Left will allow for a difference of opinion on one issue, even though they agree with the Senator on everything else.

Posted by: wjpugliese [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 16, 2006 06:40 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Nothing is certain in politics but I don't think Rell will be as popular 6 years down the road. And another personal reason for me to see Lieberman go down is because he is the RMM of the Governmental Affairs commitee which could have say investigated Halliburtion or something of that nature but I'm almost certain that Lieberman is the reason none of that has happened and if he holds that seat when we get into Majority it will be even worse. If he loses much more Progressive Dem. can take that spot.

Posted by: D in FL. [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 16, 2006 07:43 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

wjpugliese, if it were only about Lieberman's position on Iraq, there would be quite a few more Democrats with primary opponents. This isn't a litmus test about the war. It's about Lieberman's being Bush's best friend among Democrats, always ready to lend a veneer of bipartisanship, trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by looking for a "compromise" on Social Security, slamming Howard Dean and other Democrats with Republican talking points every chance he gets, refusing to denounce Bush's lies when he was first in line to attack Clinton's behavior. This isn't about "true believers" -- Lieberman brought it on himself.

Posted by: KCinDC [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 17, 2006 10:47 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

wjpugliese, republicans beat us with nuance, distortion, tactics ... lieberman, in providing selective support for them, has undercut democrats' sense of groundedness. we look in the mirror and wonder if we are out of our minds, or a majority of voting americans are out of their minds. then the democratic vp candidate in the first of what were probably two stolen elections shows affinity, respect, sympathy and support for these people. the discipline is to punish someone who is handed the mantle and spits on it. the other discipline is to do it always with winning in mind. letting connecticut voters vent their frustration and, in the process, scare the heck out of republicans while intimidating passive minded democrats, doesn't detract from the latter and accomplishes the former. this is not the same as voting for nader in 2000. and, much more significantly, you need to wake up with regard to what lieberman is about.

Posted by: GeoffK [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 3, 2006 07:07 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment