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CT-Sen: Another Poll Confirms Wide Blumenthal Lead

by: James L.

Fri May 28, 2010 at 2:00 PM EDT


Research 2000 for Daily Kos (5/24-26, likely voters, 1/11-13 in parens):

Richard Blumenthal (D): 52 (56)
Linda McMahon (R): 33 (34)
Undecided: 15 (10)

Richard Blumenthal (D): 52 (54)
Rob Simmons (R): 37 (35)
Undecided: 13 (11)
(MoE: ±4%)

It was looking pretty dicey for a couple days for Dick Blumenthal, but we now have our second consecutive poll showing the state AG remaining remarkably unscathed by the brouhaha surrounding his Vietnam flap. (Quinnipiac gave Blumenthal a 25-point lead yesterday.)

His favorables are at a respectable 53-35, while McMahon only has a 31-37 rating -- not the place you want to be for a challenger. Maybe Rob Simmons was right? And speaking of Simmons, R2K also tested the Republican primary, finding McMahon ahead of Simmons by only 48-44. I'm not sure if Simmons would have dropped out if his own polling concurred with that result, but who knows. Quinnipiac pegged the primary at 43-29, but keep in mind that half of that sample was called on the day that Simmons dropped out.

James L. :: CT-Sen: Another Poll Confirms Wide Blumenthal Lead
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Nikki Haley
must be hoping things work out half as well for her.

I think Simmons' decision was based on things other than polling......
I think polling mattered only to the extent that he clearly was trailing, even if by only a little.

But he knew he couldn't raise and spend McMahon's millions in a primary, and his resume while clearly superior to hers also wasn't a slam dunk for voters in its own right.  He's not Blumenthal, a sitting elected officeholder who is within his own party.

So I think Simmons just decided winning the primary would be too hard and even if he pulled it off, the late primary meant he'd have little time left to restock cash and make the general election competitive.

Also, that the GOP has such a big playing field this year actually would've worked against Simmons.  They have to pick and choose where to spend money, and there are just so many other places to play that CT probably would've been far down the list to help Simmons.

I don't doubt Simmons spoke his head and heart when he said McMahon can't beat Blumenthal.  He's right.  This is safe Dem.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10


I wonder if SImmons was offered something.
A cleared field in 2012 to run against Lieberman?

[ Parent ]
All that would accomplish would be ensuring Lieberman loses
and a Democrat is elected to the seat.  The GOP knows their best scenario is nominating another zero and keeping Joe in the Senate.

[ Parent ]
I'm on record as believing Lieberman runs as a Democrat......
I could be wrong, but the only politically smart path for Lieberman in 2012, if he doesn't retire instead, is to run for the Democratic nomination.

The 2006 election was all about Iraq, on both sides.  Democrats abandoned him over it, and Republicans embraced him over it.  He won because enough Democrats and independents decided they didn't care enough about Iraq as an issue to vote against him over that when they agreed with his other politics.

Republicans have soured on Lieberman since 2006.  He's caucused with Democrats, and the headaches he's caused us haven't been to Republicans' benefit.  Yes he endorsed McCain, but it didn't win McCain a single vote, Lieberman's GOP convention speech fell flat, and since 2008 Lieberman has voted with Democrats on everything on the floor.

So I don't think rank-and-file CT Repubs would go with Lieberman again.  There's no issue where he's allied with them over Democrats that matters in 2012, like Iraq in 2006 or McCain in 2008.  And a sacrificial lamb as bad as Alan Schlesinger is unusual.

So I think Lieberman is going to see the landscape come late 2011, and he's going to try to make amends with his party's voters.  It's just easier to do that then win the GOP nomination, which even if he accomplished it would leave him badly exposed to a big defeat since he's become so much more disliked the past few years.

And running as an indy just won't work again.  Lieberman won't again pull in one-third of Democrats, especially since serious Democratic candidates who are proven vote-getters are going to be hungry to fill the void on the Democratic line--we won't again be stuck with someone like Ned Lamont with such a thin public resume (although his good entrepreneurial business resume and Senate run obviously made him a serious gubernatorial candidate).

So I think Lieberman is going to see the field and decide his best bet is to fight for the Democratic nod, which is easier for him to win than the formal GOP nod, and if he eeks out a primary win then he coasts in November.

I posted all this last year, and as much as I DESPISE Lieberman, I stand by it that that's what he does.  Whether he can win a Democratic primary, I'm less confident of that then in my argument last year.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10


[ Parent ]
The Republicans may be the elephant party
But Democratic primary voters don't forget. Besides, it is far more than just Iraq now. And he seems to relish it.

[ Parent ]
There's no way Lieberman is planning to go back to
the Democratic Party.  He's done absolutely everything he can to poke the Democratic base in the eye since 2006.

[ Parent ]
Agreed
I still think he'll run Indie again, but if not, he'll surely cross the aisle. Truthfully, I think we'll know where he stands with his Senate endorsement in this cycle. If it's McMahon, he ain't going Dem again.

For daily political commentary, visit me at http://polibeast.blogspot.com/ and http://twitter.com/polibeast

[ Parent ]
I agree
Indie or retire.

[ Parent ]
Agreed
No way he can win a Dem primary now.

[ Parent ]
here's the question
Who would primary Lieberman in 2012?  Assume Blumenthal either is a Senator or has given up on that, and Lamont either is Governor or done with running.

[ Parent ]
Murphy
Most likely Chris Murphy, or even Susan Byseiwich (sp?) since her promotion got screwed up.  

[ Parent ]
That very question, Adam, is part and parcel of my argument above......
That's just it, if Lieberman goes for the Dem nod, it's not a slam dunk that just any Democrat will beat him.  Lieberman still will have money, and he'll have voted with his party on just about everything for the previous several years, including stuff the GOP hates like the stimulus and health care.  He wants a global warming bill, he's a true environmentalist and always has been.  He's pro-choice and would have supported all of Obama's judicial nominees.  He will have been at the forefront of DADT repeal.  Iraq will be loooooong dead as a voting issue.  Afghanistan is more a wildcard, but personally I doubt Obama will allow it to become the same deadly quagmire as Iraq, he'll demand fast progress or immediate withdrawal before that happens, and loooong before 2012.

And regarding Lieberman's endorsement of McCain, he'll erase that issue by endorsing Obama in 2012!

So if you're a Connecticut Democrat with a serious electoral career, do you go against such a formidable incumbent?  No one did in 2006, which is why we had Ned Lamont, a guy with nothing to lose.  And even in defeat, Lamont made himself a credible candidate for Governor!  But does Chris Murphy or someone else of a serious public stature want to give up a safe House seat for a risky primary fight where victory is far from assured, and defeat seriously derails his career?

Oh, and on top of all this, I don't think CT has runoffs!  This means that if multiple Dem challengers get greedy, Lieberman skates to the nomination with a plurality.  And Lieberman appearing more vulnerable than in early 2006 when Lamont jumped in, only makes more Democrats eager to jump in rather than clear the challenger field for one candidate.

None of the above is to argue Lieberman coasts to victory.  If he runs in a Democratic primary, I think at best he wins only narrowly even against relatively weak competition.  But the fact he CAN win that way distinguishes the path from the much more difficult paths fo another indy run or a full-blown party switch.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10


[ Parent ]
What did his favorables look like
In the latest Q poll? I seem to remember they were in the toilet at the height of the HCR debate but he may have recovered since then. Still, I think there is a strong case that can be made against him despite the issues you cite. Not least the fact he bolted the party to save his career and now seems to relish the fact he gets up peoples noses on our side of the aisle.

[ Parent ]
36-56 negative in this poll
Which is worse than Dodd (41-53). 25-69 unfavorable with Dems, 33-58 with indies yet 59-32 favorable with Republicans. Could he win a GOP primary. I still doubt it.

[ Parent ]
With those indie numbers
He would lose whatever banner he ran under.

[ Parent ]
I really think you're overestimating his chances
of making good with the CT Democratic establishment/organization.  They were on his side in 2006; now they're spitting blood.  

[ Parent ]
His chances are better that way than as a GOPer or an indy......
I don't actually disagree with you, I indicated above that I've changed my mind about Lieberman's chances of winning a Democratic primary.  But I stand by it that his chances are better that way than any other way.

As an indy, he's toast.  Republicans just won't back him again.  Indeed, they're going to see his poor job approvals and interpret the situation as an opening to get a Republican elected in a 3-way.  That just wasn't foreseen in 2006, so rank-and-file Republicans went along with an incumbent who was not the Democratic nominee and was backing Bush in Iraq, the issue of that election.  But in 2012 Republicans will run their own candidate.  Maybe it'll be a rich unknown who can self-fund like Linda McMahon, or maybe a more establishment figure like Simmons.  But either way, it won't be a 10%er like Alan Schlesinger.

Maybe Lieberman likes his chances in a Republican primary, but the field won't be cleared for him, and the ads against him write themselves with his apostasy against conservatives on 90% of policy matters.  And Lieberman as a Republican nominee isn't going to win a one-on-one vs. a Democrat, all his Democratic support would evaporate in favor of the Democratic nominee.  Independents are liberal leaning, and Lieberman simply needs much stronger job approvals with them than he's had in a long time to survive that way.

But run as a Democrat, and he's got a shot.  Again, it's about knowing and using the advantages you have under the rules as they are, and Lieberman has plenty of advantages that would let him ensure a large plurality of the primary vote.  He's not going to lose a one-one-one 80-20 in a primary, he'll do better than that as an incumbent.  If he can just pull in 35% against a 3-or-more-candidate field, he's got a shot.  If he can pull in 40% in such a field, he wins.  And his vulnerability tempts more Democrats to get in, making it harder to clear the field for a single challenger.  Remember there's no runoff in CT.  And remember that Lamont enjoyed a one-on-one solely because no one viewed Lieberman as vulnerable in a primary, and therefore it was pulling teeth getting just one guy to wage a serious challenge.  And unlike running as a Republican, if Lieberman somehow pulls out a primary win, he coasts in November.  The Democratic establishment gets his back as the primary winner no matter how much they hate it, and the Democratic base hold their noses and vote for him because they'll realize punishing Lieberman in November means unbearably punishing themselves with 6 years of Senator Simmons or, God forbid, Senator McMahon.

It's fun gaming out Lieberman's doings in 2012, but everytime I think about it, I always end up in the same place.  His odds are better as a Democrat than as anything else.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10


[ Parent ]
What
about his crappy performance when it came to HCR? Are you telling me that didn't help the GOP? Surely his attitude during the HCR debates will not be forgotten by then.  

Proud member of the Indiana Democratic Party from IN-9.  

[ Parent ]
The GOP should be fawning over him
That man single handedly brought HCR in the Senate crashing down and is what made the whole thing such a fucking disaster.  If he had just shut his mouth, the other Lieberdems would have as well (Lincoln, Landreiu, Nelson) and it wouldnt have dragged on for months and months and months.

[ Parent ]
He'd be kinda old then
He'll be 69 in 2012.  

[ Parent ]
Mike Castle is 70 right now. NT


[ Parent ]
Bit different
Considering the AL seat and he has been elected statewide multiple times.

[ Parent ]
Shorter term
Mike Castle is running for a term that ends in 2015. Simmons would be running for a term that would end in 2019.  

[ Parent ]
That too
Though if Castle's health holds up I'm far from convinced he wouldn't run again for a full term.

[ Parent ]
He's had health problems
for years though. This is his hail mary, his final office and political victory. He'll retire after just the four year term.  

[ Parent ]
That was the assumption
He wouldn't run now. As I said, far from convinced.

[ Parent ]
he's fully recovered from the stroke, right? nt


[ Parent ]
So he says
Would he be running if he hadn't?

[ Parent ]
who knows?
But if he weren't healthy, a stroke's the kind of thing which makes its effects evident.

[ Parent ]
Especially if he get to be a power broker
as a moderate GOP Senator along with Snowe, Collins, and Brown.  Assuming all of these people manage to keep winning.  And the Senate could be a way different composition by 2014, maybe majority will be up for grabs and he'll be pressured to stay because Biden (gag) is waiting in the wings.

[ Parent ]
Let me guess
Charlie Cook won't be running to the barricades to change his rating on this race even after what, 3 polls showing Blumenthal up 15+?

Yet he changes Oregon-GOV to Lean D after ONE!...SHADY!!...RASMUSSEN!!! Poll that showed Dudley tied with Kitzhaber.  

I've been pretty ambivalent towards Cook so far this cycle, but as far as I'm concerned he's shown just how far out of touch with reality he really is.  Do you guys realize that, according to Cook's ratings, Richard Blumenthal is in roughly the same position as BLANCHE LINCOLN?!!

Sorry for the capitals, but I'm in a bad mood today and I need to rant about something.

23, Male, Democrat, OH-13


He keeps making knee-jerk assumptions
He should have learned from PA-12.

[ Parent ]
And if he had just moved it to leans
As we argued at the time he could plausibly now leave it there. Now he looks silly. Can't say I'm bothered about that.

[ Parent ]
Simmons
I wonder if there's a chance Simmons gets back in the race, especially if McMahon doesn't get any traction.  I cannot imagine anyone believing she is a better candidate than him, except for the money thing.

Except the $$$ part is huge, esp. considering the financial drout Simmons was in


For daily political commentary, visit me at http://polibeast.blogspot.com/ and http://twitter.com/polibeast

[ Parent ]
After he's spoken his mind
It's even less likely that he could get back in the race than if he had shut up.

But McMahon seems to be very committed to this race, traction or not.

By the way, I'll go on record as saying that Lieberman will not win a Democratic primary. I think there's some likelihood he will retire and get rich as a sleazy lobbyist or consultant for insurance companies or a neo-conservative foreign policy think tank or something.

"I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat!"
--  Will Rogers  


[ Parent ]
Wouldnt be surprised
if he immediately got a job with AIPAC.  Or maybe he'll just say, peace out, Im moving to Florida.

[ Parent ]
Florida
the irony of it....

19, Male, Independent, CA-12

[ Parent ]

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