Connecticut Archive:

Monday, October 16, 2006

CT-Sen: Schlesinger (R) Hits it Out of the Park

Posted by James L.

Or, at least, that's what I've been hearing about today's three-way debate between Ned Lamont, Joe Lieberman and Republican stalwart Alan Schlesinger. I was in class, but all of the post-debate reports I've read have said that Schlesinger projected intelligent, principled conservative ideas, genuine emotion, and spirit. If I were Joe Lieberman, I'd start getting nervous about chunks of Republicans returning home to vote for the principled conservative of this race: Alan Schlesinger.

Posted at 03:40 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, October 09, 2006

CT-05: Nancy Johnson = Pure Evil

Posted by James L.

It's a tough call, but for some reason, Connecticut's Nancy Johnson is the Republican House member I despise most. I'm not talking about ordinary, banal Republican evil. I'm talking about Satan's stooge-type evil. Maybe it was her tasteless campaign commercial that re-enacted a 9/11 funeral service, or maybe it was her disgustingly misleading campaign ad saying that because Chris Murphy opposes illegal wiretapping, he also opposes prompt surveillance of terrorist communications. (It's a totally ludicrous claim, of course--there's no stopping warrants from being sought AFTER the wiretap was conducted.) But this statement from Johnson on the House Republican cover-up of the Mark Foley scandal takes the cake:

If any leader from either party tried to cover up this information at the expense of the safety of our children, then they should resign their position immediately.

It would be reprehensible if any Republican leader intentionally covered up the full facts of the case, and it would be equally reprehensible if Democrat leaders sat on this information for a year in order to release it 30 days before an election.

I want an investigation to go forward to find out answers to these questions.

There are probably a dozen ridiculous things about this statement, but let's point out the obvious ones. As ctblogger notes, Johnson throws out a completely baseless insinuation that Democrats had access to Mark Foley's predatory e-mails and IMs, when there is no evidence of the sort. Where does she get off throwing her party's dirty laundry into the Democrats' backyard? Completely despicable. Secondly, Nancy Johnson knows goddamn well that Democrats didn't leak Foley's e-mails to the media; Republican sources did, according to both The Hill and ABC's Brian Ross. So Nancy Johnson gets to lie through her teeth merely by "raising the question" of whether or not "Democrat leaders" leaked this information for electoral purposes. And to top it all off, she spits all this bile while somehow clinging to a "grandmotherly" image of care and moderation.

It's a good thing none of Johnson's TV ads show her facing away from the camera--otherwise her demonic horns might have been revealed.

Posted at 01:02 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Connecticut | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

CT-Sen: Cutest Ad Ever

Posted by James L.

Just watch:

Ain't nobody who can do it like Hillsman can.

Posted at 11:06 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

CT-Sen: PFAW Endorses Lamont

Posted by DavidNYC

The People for the American Way just endorsed Ned Lamont. They sum up the case for him - and against Joe Lieberman - with devastating brevity:

“Ned Lamont strongly backs public schools, while Joe Lieberman has voted for vouchers,” Collins said. “Ned Lamont fully supports privacy rights, while Joe Lieberman said legislative intervention was appropriate in the Terry Schiavo case. Joe Lieberman voted to confirm John Roberts to the Supreme Court and voted against a filibuster of the Samuel Alito nomination; Ned Lamont would forcefully oppose far-right nominees. And on other issues, from church-state separation to marriage equality to demonstrating a willingness to stand up to President Bush, Ned Lamont is clearly the better choice.”

It's heartening to see a progressive interest group understand the importance of caucus unity. I'm sure it must be tempting for many organizations to endorse "independent" Joe Lieberman to prove their foolish "non-partisan" credentials, so I'm glad to see that PFAW did not take the bait.

Ned Lamont, netroots candidate!

Posted at 03:56 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

CT-Sen, TN-Sen: New SUSA Polls

Posted by James L.

SUSA just released two new Senate polls today, one on the Tennessee Senate race (likely voters):

Harold Ford, Jr. (D): 48
Bob Corker (R): 45
MoE: ±4%

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first SurveyUSA poll of the Tennessee Senate race, so I don't have any trendlines for you, but this confirms the general tightening of the race shown in the (far less reliable) Rasmussen and Zogby Interactive polls, as well as Ford's own internals. Like I've said before, Democrats have a silver bullet that they can use against Corker--namely, the fact that he's completely unfit to hold public office after his abysmal record on providing emergency services as mayor of Chattanooga came to the fore. The Ford campaign and the DSCC should drive this theme hard, because America can ill-afford someone as irresponsible and reckless as Bob Corker in the Senate.

The second poll is far less heartening, but unsurprising:

Ned Lamont (D): 38
Joe Lieberman (Con. for Lie.): 51
Alan Schlesinger (R): 7
MoE: ±4%

Lamont allowed Lieberman to shape the post-primary narrative by taking a week off for a family vacation. While I'm sure Ned was exhausted, I'm afraid that this wasn't a tactically smart move. Ned has some catching up to do. Here's some key data:

Lieberman leads 6:1 among Republicans, 3:2 among Independents. Lamont leads 3:2 among Democrats. 83% of the Democrats who voted for Lieberman in the 08/08/06 Democratic Primary, which Lamont won by 4 points, stick with Lieberman as an Independent in the General Election. 16% of Democrats who voted for Lieberman in the Primary switch to Lamont in the General. 17% of Republicans support the Republican Party's nominee, Schlesinger.

It's been suggested on DailyKos and elsewhere that Ned should offer Schlesinger the chance to debate. At this point, why not? Anything to build up Schlesinger's profile and raise awareness of his conservative stances in order to shave off some support for Lieberman from his right flank would go a long way towards helping Lamont right now. I'm sure Schlesinger would jump at the chance (he needs all the free media he can get), and Lamont could bill it as a "major parties debate" separate from the three-way debates with Lieberman that should come later.

Posted at 06:59 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut, Tennessee | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

CT-Sen: It's a Trap!

Posted by DavidNYC

Turns out old Admiral Ackbar was right.

"It's a trap!"

From the LieberBlog (no link, find it yourselves):

Democratic deliberation

Is this the Lamont campaign's idea of civil discourse?

[Some snarky comment.]

(Posted in our comments by LiebermanForLieberman at 1:23 pm on 09.06.06 - )

So predictable, those Con-for-Lie folks.

Posted at 06:52 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

CT-02: DCCC Poll Shows a Dead Heat

Posted by James L.

These numbers are from a Joe Courtney press release courtesy of the DCCC. I don't know the MoE, I don't know the polling firm, I don't know whether these are likely or registered voters, and I don't know the trendlines (if any). But, this poll is DCCC-commissioned, and they don't mess around with things like these. So I suspect the numbers are reliable:

Joe Courtney (D): 41
Rob Simmons (R-Inc.): 40

For those who may not remember, Simmons is the House Republican incumbent who holds the single most Democratic seat among the entire GOP caucus. Cook ranks CT-02 as D+7.6, and Kerry outperformed Bush by 10 full points on this ground in 2004. At the same time, however, Simmons edged his Democratic opponent, Jim Sullivan, by 8 points. Simmons has been an annoyingly tough nut to crack for Connecticut Democrats, so a poll showing the incumbent at 40 points should seriously start to make him sweat, if he hasn't been already. If I were Simmons, or any other northeast Republican incumbent, I'd be very much disturbed by tremors like these. The earth just may fall beneath their feet on November 7.

UPDATE: I managed to grab some info on this poll. It was conducted from August 28-30 by Grove Insight, with a sample size of 400, and it's measuring likely voters.

Posted at 04:35 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Connecticut | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

CT-Sen: Avoid the Noid

Posted by DavidNYC

Joe Lieberman's new blog is supposedly going live tomorrow - but given their success with matters technical, I'll take the over on this one. Anyhow, as soon as I heard about this bold new venture from Joementum, I figured it had to be a set-up, some kind of rope-a-dope. Atrios has already explained why, so I'll let him take it:

It's basically going to be a trap to entice people to say mean things about the Last Honest Man so they can go whine to the press about how mean everyone is unlike Stay the Course Joe. I give it about 36 hours until they send out a press release along those lines. I don't know why they're obsessed with pointing out how nobody likes Joe, but it seems to be their campaign strategy for some reason.

Exactly right. So please, please don't feed the trolls. Or, as Domino's Pizza used to say back in the 80s, Avoid the Noid. There are a thousand other blogs where we can spend our time - we don't need to take the bait and wallow in the inevitable muck of the LieberBlog. Just stay away. You'll be much happier that way. I promise.

Posted at 12:16 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, September 01, 2006

CT-Sen: Lieberman Respected Primaries... Six Years Ago

Posted by James L.

Via CT Bob:

From an appearance on CNN'S Larry King on October 31, 2000, immediately before the 2000 election. Hat tip to UptownNYChick on FDL.

Larry asked Joe about the fact that he was running for Senate reelection and VP simultaneously. Here's the transcript:

KING: Any second thoughts on staying on the ballot in Connecticut for the Senate?

LIEBERMAN: No, it's over. I did what the folks in the Connecticut Democratic Party who nominated me asked me to do. I will abide by the decision of the people of Connecticut.

So what's changed in the past six years that has made you lose respect for the people of Connecticut, Joe?

Meanwhile, SSP alumnus Tim Tagaris at the Official Lamont blog shares a giddy Fox News clip about Joe Lieberman's ass-headed campaign that's attempting to boost GOP incumbents statewide:

My favorite part: Lieberman whispering in Republican Congressman Chris Shays' ear to hold off from slipping him the tongue in front of the cameras. Gross.

Meanwhile, populist progressive Democrat Ned Lamont continues to show why he's a party builder by sending out a fundraising appeal for CT-05 Democratic challenger Chris Murphy.

Posted at 03:33 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

CT-Sen: ARG Shows a Tight Race

Posted by James L.

Great news for Netroots candidate Ned Lamont: a new American Research Group poll shows Lamont and Lieberman neck-and-neck in the general election, contrasting with the latest QPoll that showed Lieberman up 53-41. From the ARG (August 17-21, likely voters, no trendlines):

Ned Lamont (D): 42
Joe Lieberman (I): 44
Alan "Gold" Schlesinger (R): 3
Undecided: 11
(MoE: ±3.5%)

ARG shows Ned's favorability rating at 47-34, and Lieberman's at 56-41. More interestingly, Lamont is picking up 18% of Republican voters (to Lieberman's 57%), while Lieberman's edge among independent voters is only 10 points (48-38)--not a daunting edge at this stage of the game.

Word on the street says that these numbers closely mirror the latest Rasmussen poll, which also shows a narrow two-point lead for Lieberman. Not that I put much stock in Rasmussen, but two nearly identical polls can't be discounted completely. If anything is clear right now, it's that the Connecticut Senate race is still well within reach for Lamont, and Lieberman's much-vaunted general election invincibility is nothing more than a myth.

Support Ned Lamont and the Netroots candidates today.

Posted at 11:16 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, August 18, 2006

CT-Sen: Lieberman Hires Democrat Slayer

Posted by James L.

From the Hotline:

Joe Lieberman's indie CT SEN campaign sent out a release to announce the hiring of two new consultants: media/direct mail consultant Josh Isay and pollster Neil Newhouse. Isay mostly works with Dems, with his most prominent former employer being Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the current DSCC chair...

The more curious hiring, of course, is Newhouse, a partner in one of the most prestigious Republican polling firms in the country, Public Opinion Strategies. On the merits, Newhouse is a great hire as he and his firm have one of the best reputations in the business, both with their clients and with the media, including us. But what makes the hiring curious is that Newhouse is a Republican and has a slew of clients who will likely raise the ire of Democrats, particularly activist Democrats.

This cycle, Newhouse's most notable client is PA Sen. Rick Santorum. (Subscribers, click here of The Hotline's consultant scorecard.) The Lieberman release, of course, makes no mention of Santorum, but does note Newhouse's client relationship with the very popular GOP CT Gov. Jodi Rell. Newhouse is also the chief pollster for one of the Democrats' top House targets, CT 02 GOP Rep. Rob Simmons.

In '04, the firm worked for the biggest Dem killer of the cycle, John Thune, who knocked off Tom Daschle. And in '02, the firm's biggest name client? None other than a Bush, Jeb Bush, that is, in FL.

Unbelievable. For a full list of Public Opinion Strategies' clients, see here. You'll instantly notice that there are no Democratic clients to be found. What you will find is a laundry list that includes some of the most odious Republicans of our times: Sen. Saxby Chambliss (the guy who smeared triple-amputee Max Cleland as Bin Laden enabler), creaky old bigot Sen. Jim Bunning, and of course, Sen. Rick Santorum and Sen. John Thune (the Daschle slayer).

The most troubling bit about the news may rest in the fact that Newhouse's other Connecticut client is Rep. Rob Simmons, who is a top target of the DCCC and Joe Courtney. Lieberman is now essentially using Republican tools, Republican capital, and Republican consultants to mobilize the same Republican voters that Courtney and the other Democratic challengers need to de-energize in order to win. The pure gall of this move is disgusting, and it paints a sharp picture that Lieberman is for himself and himself only. He doesn't care about electing three new Democrats to the House--he's more than willing to toss them overboard if it means he can work the Republican field and win.

I wonder how Lieberman's Senate Democratic colleagues feel now that they know that Lieberman is paying the same guy who ended the political careers of Tom Daschle and Max Cleland. I wonder if they feel as good about letting Lieberman keep his seniority and committee assignments.

Posted at 04:19 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

WA-08: And So Do We

Posted by James L.

Here's the first sign that Ned Lamont's media campaign is gaining notice and respect from other political ad firms: check out Netroots candidate Darcy Burner's first tv ad (60 seconds, WMV). Wait for the end and try not to do a spit take.

Posted at 03:12 AM in 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut, Washington | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, August 17, 2006

CT-Sen: Q-Poll Shows Lieberman Up Twelve

Posted by DavidNYC

Quinnipiac's latest (likely voters w/leaners, no trendlines):

Lamont (D): 41
Lieberman (I): 53
Schlesinger (R): 4
(MoE: ±3%)

Quite clearly, Lieberman is the GOP candidate at this point - at least, from the perspective of Republican voters. Even the pollster agrees:

"Sen. Lieberman's support among Republicans is nothing short of amazing. It more than offsets what he has lost among Democrats. As long as Lieberman maintains this kind of support among Republicans, while holding onto a significant number of Democratic votes, the veteran Senator will be hard to beat," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D.

But note this: Among registered voters (as opposed to likely voters), Lieberman's lead is similar (49-38). Yet just a month ago, it was 51-27. That's some serious shrinkage. The good news for Lamont: 32% of respondents still hadn't heard of him at the time the survey was conduct, so he has more room to grow.

The bad news: His favorable-unfavorable rating stands at 23-27. You never like seeing a challenger in negative territory. Meanwhile, Joe's is 43-28. But that's actually not especially good news for Lieberman: At the start of the year, he was at 53-14 - he's been sliding downward ever since. The question is, does he have much further to go? Or will CT Republicans and right-leaning indies prop him up from this point forward? If the latter (and I worry that might be the case), then Lamont has to be able to up his favorables in order to win - again - this fall.

Posted at 02:13 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

CT-Sen: Earth to Biden

Posted by James L.

From a Hardball interview with Joe Biden:

Asked where he stands on the CT SEN race: "Well, I stand for the Democratic candidate. Joe is my good friend. I told Joe when I went up there campaigning for them, I want to lead the Democratic Party. I've got to abide by the Democratic Party's ruling."

Asked if he will take "any active role" in getting a Dem elected in CT: "Yes, but I'm not going to take an active role by being against Joe. I'm not going to take an active role by discouraging any of Joe's friends. I'm going to take an active role in trying to elect the Democrat" (MSBNC, 8/16).

You are not taking an "active role in trying to elect the Democrat" if you do not do all in your power to discourage Joe Lieberman and his Republican lobbyist "friends" from running a kamikaze race against the Democratic nominee. Plain. And. Simple.

If Biden can't be serious about standing up strongly for good Democrats nationwide, he can't be trusted as Presidential material.

Posted at 11:06 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

CT-Sen: Don't Forget What Jake Javits Did

Posted by DavidNYC

Via Political Wire, Ken Rudin makes the following observation:

For the record, 24 senators have been denied renomination in the past half-century; only one, Jacob Javits (R-NY), attempted to keep his seat in November, and he didn't come close.

Javits lost to Al D'Amato in the Republican primary in 1980. Old, sick, suffering from ALS (aka Lou Gehrig's disease) and badly out of step with the increasingly conservative GOP, Javits was handily dispatched (56-44) by the upstart D'Amato, who was as much a nobody then as Lamont was in January. Javits went on to get crushed in a three-way race in November, running on the now-defunct Liberal Party's line.

But that only tells half the story. Take a look at the results for the senatorial general election in New York in 1980:

Al D'Amato (R): 44.88%
Liz Holtzman (D): 43.54%
Jacob Javits (L-inc.): 11.05%

There is pretty much no question that Jake Javits played the spoiler for Elizabeth Holtzman here. Though he was indeed a member of the GOP, Javits was also a member of that dying (and now fully dead) breed: The liberal Rockefeller Republican. While the ostensibly left-wing Liberal Party had a long history of betrayal which included giving its line to decided non-liberals like Rudy Giuliani, most of the people who actually pulled the Liberal lever would have otherwise ordinarily been voting for Democrats.

In other words, if Javits hadn't run in November, most of his votes would have gone to Holtzman. And as you can see from the percentages alone, that would have pretty much guaranteed victory for the Democrats. If you have any reason to doubt that, spend a few minutes perusing the Lexis archives. You'll see that Democrats - not Republicans - were pleading with Javits to drop out.

Now, all that said, I absolutely don't think that Joe Lieberman could throw the election to Republican Alan Schlesinger, who by all accounts is, charitably, a C-list bum. But he could still screw us by complicating things for CT's three Democratic House challengers. For one thing, the Republican incumbents can simply endorse Lieberman and look like "centrists." For another, he turns what should be a cakewalk election for Lamont into a relatively serious contest, drawing money, time and resources away from other races (including, again, our three House pickup opportunities). I'm sure you can think of other sorts of unpleasantness likely to flow from an indy Joe run.

My point, ultimately, is that, like Jake Javits, Joe Lieberman could and probably will wind up hurting the Democratic Party in the fall if he continues his third-party bid. Of course, Jake Javits was a Republican and owed us nothing. Lieberman, if he has even a shred of dignity left, will drop out for the greater good.

Posted at 06:58 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (25) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

CT-Sen: Schumer and Reid Back Lamont

Posted by DavidNYC

Joe's row just got a lot tougher to hoe. Statement by Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer (via e-mail):

“The Democratic voters of Connecticut have spoken and chosen Ned Lamont as their nominee. Both we and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) fully support Mr. Lamont’s candidacy. Congratulations to Ned on his victory and on a race well run.

“Joe Lieberman has been an effective Democratic Senator for Connecticut and for America. But the perception was that he was too close to George Bush and this election was, in many respects, a referendum on the President more than anything else. The results bode well for Democratic victories in November and our efforts to take the country in a new direction.”

The language in the second paragraph echoes Rahm's combative rhetoric from last night, albeit in much more muted form. The more I think about it, though, the smarter I think it is, both what Rahm said and what Chuck and Harry are saying here. The GOP can make big ugly noises about how Lieberman's loss means the Dems "aren't serious about national security." Yawn.

But individual Republicans know that they have to run away from Bush this year. The fact that even a Democrat could lose for being too close to Bush must scare the pants off of them. Rahm & Co. are smartly blunting the GOP's predictable line of attack, and rank-and-file Republicans must realize there is a lot of truth to what they're saying.

UPDATE: As I expected, Howard Dean also just came out for Lamont. Schumer, Reid, Rahm, Dean - getting those four to agree on anything is pretty amazing.

Posted at 10:40 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (9) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

My Tuesday Primary Review

Posted by RBH

Clearly we know about the biggest news of the night. Despite all the advantages of incumbency, Joe Lieberman was unable to win the primary tonight. Lawmakers who had either supported Lieberman or had stayed neutral are also turning their support to Ned Lamont. Including Evan Bayh and Hillary, and more people will likely speak up soon.

When it comes to the effects of a Lieberman candidacy in November. I still think that people overrate his chances in November. Money just doesn't come out of nowhere. And Lieberman will need money in order to help himself out in November. While Ned Lamont would need some help to get himself on solid ground, he'll also get a lot of things which he did not have for today.

Joe Lieberman's main source of new money will likely come from people who are donors to Republican candidates. The Republicans will be the ones supporting Lieberman, and money that could have went to Shays, Johnson, or Simmons, will be going to Lieberman. That's only a subtle favor, not any sort of big victory for the Democratic candidates running in those districts.

But I'd rather armwrestle Hulk Hogan than get into a money war with the Republicans. There's legitimate reason for concern when it comes to the Democratic challengers in all the purple districts.

I would certainly hope that Joe Lieberman rethinks his plan to run as an Independent, but I'm not expecting a change in his plans for September and October. I would also hope that those people who gave money to Joe Lieberman and who disapprove of his independent candidacy would ask for a refund or return of their contribution.

As for the other races, here are the highlights:

Colorado: Jeff Crank and Doug Lamborn are the frontrunners in CO-05. The winner faces Jay Fawcett. Ed Perlmutter defeats Peggy Lamm in CO-07.

Georgia: Hank Johnson defeats Cynthia McKinney in GA-04. Expect Cynthia to release the official list of people "to blame for Johnson winning" soon, odds are that "Republicans" will top that list. Ha Ha.

Michigan: Joe Schwarz loses to Tim Walberg. Mike Bouchard looks like the winner in the Republican Senate primary. Knollenberg wins 69-31.

Missouri: Lots of Democrats voted, Lots of Republicans voted, but there weren't a lot of close federal races. Over 80% of precincts are in. Akin rolls over Parker (87-13). No word on who'll face Akin, but the frontrunners are Charles Karam and George Weber. Alan Conner, who spent $246K to try and win the MO-04 nomination, lost by 22 points to Jim Noland, who hasn't filed with the FEC, and who has lost three straight elections to Ike Skelton. Noland's wife suing Conner was probably not helpful to Conner's campaign. This should tell you that there's some things that money can't buy. Sara Jo Shettles and Duane Burghard were both uncontested in their primaries to face Sam Graves and Kenny Hulshof. They also outpolled their opponents. Although in the case of MO-09, that's not exactly a feat of strength, but it's a pretty good sign. And yes, I just gave the longest writeup to my own state. I have the keyboard here, after all.

Any night where three incumbents go down is a night of pretty big activity. It should be a sign that being an incumbent in November is not going to be a pleasant thing.

That's my analysis of the night's events. I'm sure that one of the regulars (who isn't on vacation) will have something to say as well.

Posted at 01:43 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

CT-Sen: Love Child

Posted by DavidNYC

Rahm wastes no time in harshing on Joe:

“This shows what blind loyalty to George Bush and being his love child means,” said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, the leader of the Democratic House Congressional campaign. “This is not about the war. It’s blind loyalty to Bush.”

Calling an ex-Democrat sitting senator George Bush's "love child" is the tradmed equivalent of dropping an f-bomb. Rahm doesn't want Joe messing up our chances of taking up to three CT House seats from the GOP. He wants Joe to be forgotten like a bad hangover. With Hillary reportedly throwing down in favor of Lamont, Lieberman is going to find himself almost friendless by the end of the week. He may yet soldier on, but it's going to be very tough going indeed.

Posted at 01:15 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, August 07, 2006

CO, CT, GA, MI, MO: Tuesday Primary Election Preview

Posted by RBH

Here's the rundown of the elections which will likely produce news tomorrow.

Starting off first in Colorado where the biggest races are the Republican Primary in the 5th District and the Democratic Primary in the 7th District.

In the 5th district race, the winning Republican will likely face Jay Fawcett (who is the frontrunner in his primary). From a short combing though Google News, we find that Doug Lamborn has the Club for Growth supporters with him, Hefley supporters are apparently supporting Crank. Basically the entire primary could end with the winner recieving a very low percentage of the vote, under 40%, maybe under 35%. But right now, the winner is anybody's guess. I should note that Anderson (who is running as pro-choice, which means "pro-choice compared to other Republicans), Bremer (Paul Bremer's brother), and Rayburn (retired Air Force General) are all wildcards and they could get a surprising number of votes.

In the 7th district, the favorite to face Rick O'Donnell appears to be Ed Perlmutter. Ed has had a pretty solid lead in SurveyUSA polls over Peggy Lamm. But then again in an election like this, surprises will occur.

Moving on to Connecticut.

The big race is between Joe Lieberman and Ned Lamont. It appears to be a pretty big deal. Basically the results could go either way, although Lamont is going into the election with a 6 point lead in the latest Quinnipac poll. I'm pretty sure that this race will be the top attraction, and also the one race which does not require a long explanation.

In Georgia, the big election is between Cynthia McKinney and Hank Johnson in the 4th district. McKinney had a plurality last time, but for this election, it could go either way.

In Michigan, the biggest race will be in MI-07 between Congressman Joe Schwarz and Tim Walberg. Schwarz is under fire from the right in this campaign and could be on the way out of Congress. The likely Democratic nominee is Sharon Renier. In other races, I'm expecting Keith Mike Bouchard to win the Republican Senate primary and I wouldn't be stunned if Patricia Godchaux got around 1/3rd of the vote in her primary against Congressman Joe Knollenberg.

In Missouri, no major races will occur in the primaries. The closest primary race will probably be in MO-02 between Akin and Sherman Parker, and that's probably not due to be close at all. Claire McCaskill and Jim Talent are expected to cruise over their unknown opponents.

So, on this election day, there's one more question: What Races Are You Interested In?

Posted at 11:48 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Colorado, Connecticut, Democrats, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Netroots, Republicans | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, August 05, 2006

CT-Sen: Sad

Posted by DavidNYC

Oh man, this is just sad:

Joe Lieberman, to sullen youth wearing headphones in the lobby of the New London (Conn.) Senior Center: "So, what are you hearing?"

Sullen youth: [pause] "Rap."

Joe: "Ah. [chuckle] That's what I do a lot. I rap."

Sullen youth: [silence]

Joe: [turns toward reporters, gives thumbs-up, heads for the door to find older people]


You sure do, Joe. You sure do.

Posted at 04:09 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, August 03, 2006

CT-Sen: Lamont Widens Lead in New Q-Poll

Posted by DavidNYC

Quinnipiac's newest poll (likely voters, July 20 in parens):

Lamont: 54 (51)
Lieberman: 41 (47)
Undecided: 5 (2)
(MoE: ±3.3%)

You can feel the Nedmentum, but what really matters is whether Quinnipiac's likely primary voter model is up to snuff. As people have often noted, predicting turnout in a weird mid-summer primary is tough business. Remember all those polls which showed Busby leading in CA-50, which was a similarly unusual election?

I've heard a rumor that Quinnipiac might try to squeeze in yet one more poll between now and election day, but that would involve weekend polling, which as you may know is considered less reliable than weekday polling. I'm also not sure it would even add much to our understanding at this point.

The bottom line is that it would be a mistake for Lamont or any of his supporters to act like this thing is already won. A lot can happen in five days. (Again, remember Busby's "you don't need papers to vote" gaffe?) Quinnipiac could be wrong. Joe could find a way to turn it around. What's more, the bigger the victory, the greater the pressure there will be on Lieberman to drop his indie bid. If he loses 51-49, he can make a good whiner's case. But if he gets thumped, then only the worst bitter-enders will continue to support him.

So let's win, and win big.

P.S. If you are in the area, please consider heading up to CT for a day to help out. Everything you need is here.

Posted at 11:06 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, July 31, 2006

CT-Sen: Crunch Time

Posted by James L.

So Lieberman's going to hire 4,000 paid field workers by August 8th. Holy crap. Do you realize that the only way Lieberman could have a bigger field organization is to hire every registered voter in Connecticut?

Kidding aside, that's a huge freakin' ground game that Lieberman's assembled at the 23rd hour. The only way we're going to combat this is through grassroots engagement. Fortunately, the Lamont campaign has a great tool that I hope you've all signed up for: the Family, Frends and Neighbors program. You can look up any registered voter in the state and send them a personalized postcard encouraging them to lend their votes to Ned on August 8. It's exceptionally quick and painless. You probably know someone from Connecticut, or at least know someone who knows someone who does (my girlfriend sent cards to eight of her friends on the weekend using this tool, for example). It's important to make as many personalized contacts as possible, and to get the word out beyond our blog bubble, so invite your friends to look up their family, friends and neighbors and get them on board the good ship Lamont. I cannot emphasize enough how important this is: you have until Thursday to use this tool.

What are you waiting for? Spread the word!

Posted at 10:43 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, July 20, 2006

CT-Sen: Lamont Surges Ahead of Lieberman

Posted by James L.

Just a quick update before I start my work day. The latest Quinnipiac poll on the Connecticut Democratic primary is out, and it looks very ugly for Lieberman (likely voters, June in parens):

Ned Lamont (D): 51 (40)
Joe Lieberman (D-Inc): 47 (55)
MoE: ±3.8%

Lamont has made major gains over the past month, and Lieberman is in a steady free-fall. It's really quite breathtaking. However, in a 3-way match-up this November, Lieberman still holds the edge, but Lamont is shifting upward:

Ned Lamont (D): 27 (18)
Joe Lieberman (I): 51 (56)
Alan Schlesinger (R): 9 (8)
MoE: ±2%

Given Lamont's major surge, I find it increasingly unlikely that Lieberman's last-minute ground organization can deliver the votes he needs to win the primary. Lieberman has brought on some big guns to get him organized on the ground, but he should have been doing this three months ago, not three weeks before primary day. He'll throw everything he's got against Lamont, but this trend is ugly.

Update: If anyone's going to save Lieberman, it's probably going to be this guy.

Posted at 10:54 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (26) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Blogosphere Day

Posted by James L.

By now you've probably heard the explosive new buzz on the 'net today: Joe Lieberman's campaign is apparently mulling over the option of accepting the Republican line on the November ballot should he lose the Democratic primary and if the only other Republican in the race, Alan Card-Countin' Schlesinger, can be forced to withdraw his candidacy.

Now, I don't know if this press secretary A) made an unbelievable fuck-up that will later be repudiated, or B) leaked something that should've been kept private or C) is part of a campaign with a death wish for the August 8 primary. I do know, however, that there's no use in taking chances when you're betting on Joe Lieberman's integrity. We've all seen how willing he is to abandon the Democratic party and the primary voters who have put their faith in him over the past 18 years in order to save his own hide. From now until August 8, every dollar you donate to Ned Lamont's campaign will be matched by Ned personally. If you want to make your dollars go twice as far, now's your chance.

If you can, now's also a good day to donate to any of the other Netroots candidates. Let's show some solidarity for strong Democrats everywhere.

Update: As noted in the comments (by the best gold-dang blog commenters in the biz), Lieberman has ruled out accepting the Republican ballot line. Still, as Tim Tagaris notes, it does say a lot about the situation that this was a legitimate question.

Posted at 03:24 PM in Connecticut, Fundraising | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, July 14, 2006

CT-Sen: Wes Clark's Take

Posted by James L.

From a liveblogging session on Dailykos:

I am a proud member of the Democratic Party, and I believe it is our party's responsibility to support the will of the Democratic primary voters in Connecticut. I personally look forward to supporting the candidate CT voters elect as the Democratic nominee. Though, as an aside, I must say I find it ironic that Senator Lieberman is now planning a potential run as an independent after he continually questioned my loyalty to the Democratic Party during the 2004 presidential primary.

Oh, snap, General! I love it.

(Thanks to My Left Nutmeg.)

Posted at 07:09 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, July 10, 2006

CT-Sen: Lamont's Ads Just Get Better and Better

Posted by James L.

I've made a decision to prioritize my limited blogging time away from the CT-Sen race--it's not my ideal preference (I wish I could get paid to sit around and blog all day), but since the primary is already well-covered by the likes of DailyKos, MyDD, LamontBlog, and My Left Nutmeg, I figure there's no shortage of commentary and news out there for all you Nedheads. But that's not to say I won't share some thoughts on the race if I feel I can. Today I'd like to share with you not a thought, but a campaign ad--the latest by the brilliant outsider ad consultant Bill Hillsman (of Wellstone/Ventura/Nader fame), who's proving he's worth every penny:

Hilarious, brilliant, refreshing. Stuffy ol' Lieberman and his merry gang of inside-the-beltway ad consultants couldn't come up with an ad this funny no matter how many focus groups they screened it for.

Posted at 04:52 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

CT-Sen: Devious Timing

Posted by James L.

So egomaniac Joe Lieberman decides to gather petitions for his increasingly likely independent bid for Senate this November while the Swing State Project was on vacation.

Coincidence? I think not. I think he knows that People Power will destroy him.

(All kidding aside, I think Lieberman stands a good chance of being 2006's Jacob Javits if he loses the primary.)

Posted at 04:53 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

CT-Sen: Lieberman's Kamikaze Assault on the Democratic Party

Posted by James L.

Today, the Senate is debating the merits of two competing Democratic resolutions for troop withdrawal--one hardline proposal by John Kerry to remove all U.S. forces by July 2007, and, of course, a much more moderate (read: tepid) amendment by Sens. Levin and Reed. (My favorite description of the latter proposal comes from the always-scathing, always-awesome Las Vegas Gleaner: "a proposal to sort of begin thinking about maybe at least phasing out by the end of this year, or something like that.")

This situation puts Lieberman in a bind:

If the Connecticut Democrat goes along with his fellow party members' plan to urge the Bush administration to begin redeploying troops by the end of the year, it could look like he's flip-flopping on his stay-the-course stance just six weeks before his primary with Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont.

But if he votes against the measure, he's likely to be one of only a handful of Democrats siding with virtually all the Senate's Republicans - thus giving Lamont and anti-war Democrats fresh ammunition for attacking him.

So what did he end up doing? Duck out of the chamber? Keep his head low and quietly vote one way or the other? Nope. Instead, he rallied around the Republican flag and actually led the charge against both proposals:

Kerry and Feingold - the authors of one amendment - were forced to cut short their speeches at the request of the Sen. Warner who is managing debate for the Republicans. Warner then immediately yielded time to Sen. Lieberman to speak. Yes, Lieberman opened up debate for the Republicans. He opposed both amendments, even the exceedingly moderate Levin amendment, which is co-sponsored by Senators Biden, Clinton, Feinstein, Obama, and Salazar. At the end of his speech, Sen. Warner slobbered all over Joe, basically reading a love letter to him on the floor of the senate, in thanks for his help in killing these Democratic amendments. Santorum, the next speaker up, also fawned over Lieberman.

Yes, Lieberman probably won't be the only Democrat to vote against these resolutions. Whatever. But will you see any other Democrat leap at the chance to lead the charge for the Senate Republicans by taking over their debating duties? Lieberman's been so good at talking like a Republican that now he's accepted their position as Senate spokesman.

You've got to wonder whether Lieberman has the worst political instincts in the world, or whether he just has a deathwish in the Democratic primary (where his support is dropping like a stone) so he can rise like Lazarus as an Independent.

Posted at 07:38 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

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 | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

CT-Sen: Lamont Scores Labor Support; Lieberman Laying Groundwork For Indy Bid?

Posted by James L.

From AFT Connecticut:

AFT Connecticut, the state’s second largest AFL-CIO union representing more than 26,000 professionals, including healthcare, higher education, and public employees, has endorsed Ned Lamont for U.S. Senate in Connecticut.

The full text is available for registered users, but DailyKos diarist pavlov dog has the full text, if you wish to see it.

This is great news for Lamont. Just a few weeks ago, before the party convention in which Lamont won a surprising 33% of the vote, Labor in Connecticut was a great deal less commital:

Observers predict that the convention will endorse Lieberman while giving Lamont, a Greenwich businessman who's challenging Lieberman from the left, enough votes to force a primary in August. Even after the convention, though, you can expect most unions to stay on the sidelines.

About a dozen unions, mostly smallish locals, have endorsed the the three-term incumbent. But Lieberman's in-your-face support for an unpopular war and an unpopular president has turned many working people against him, especially union activists.

At the same time, labor Democrats are more interested in unseating a Republican governor and three Republican members of Congress than in replacing a generally pro-labor Democrat Lieberman's lifetime AFL-CIO voting record is 84 percentwith a kinder, gentler Dem.

AFT-CT's endorsement of Lamont is another great sign of just how much traction he's getting as of late.

UPDATE: Why am I not surprised? Taegan Goddard's Political Wire has the inside scoop:

Political Wire has learned that key allies of Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) are making contingency plans for the three-term senator to run as an independent in this fall's U.S. Senate race in Connecticut. Lieberman faces a challenge in the Democratic primary from businessman Ned Lamont.

Posted at 04:45 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, June 10, 2006

CT-Sen: Major Movement For Ned Lamont

Posted by James L.

Just in case you missed it (after all, a lot of the major blogs are more focused on some kind of weird comicon that I wasn't invited to), Quinnipiac released a poll this week that's showing some huge movement for Ned Lamont against Joe Lieberman.

Among registered Democrats (May 2 in parens):

Ned Lamont (D): 32 (19)
Joe Lieberman (D-Inc.): 57 (65)
(MoE: ±3.6%)

Among likely primary voters (no trendlines, includes leaners):

Ned Lamont (D): 40
Joe Lieberman (D-Inc.): 55
(MoE: ±4.5%)

The numbers really speak for themselves. Lamont's strong performance at the recent state party convention gave his campaign a huge lift in terms of credibility and coverage, and CT Democrats are increasingly viewing Lamont as a viable alternative (you can even sense it in the tone of the local news coverage, as seen in the YouTube clip linked above). The best part is that Ned only has room to grow: a full 73% of Democrats in the state haven't heard enough about him to form much of an opinion. From my point of view (and from Josh Marshall's, apparently), the more you hear about Lamont, the more you like the guy as a person, and as a Senatorial candidate.

However, Lieberman's got a ripcord ready, if he chooses to pull it before facing the primary. As an Independent candidate in a three-way match-up between Republican Alan Schlesinger and Ned Lamont, Lieberman has a huge edge (registered voters, May 2 in parens):

Ned Lamont (D): 18 (13)
Alan Schlesinger (R): 8 (10)
Joe Lieberman (I): 56 (56)
(MoE: ±2.1%)

All hell would break loose if Lieberman were to do this, with the state Democratic Party and the DSCC being forced to make some difficult choices, but that doesn't matter to Joe. As of today, he's still keeping his options open, caring more about self-preservation than supporting his own party.

Frankly, I never expected Lamont, a guy who began this campaign with zero name recognition, running against a third-term Senator with a deep history in state and national politics, to hit this level of support, especially not this early. If Lamont can do this well with a full three quarters of the Connecticut electorate not knowing enough about him to form an opinion, then he's got a fighting chance--not only in the primary, but in a potential three-way free-for-all in November.

Posted at 02:05 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, May 19, 2006

CT-Sen: Lamont Is On the Ballot

Posted by DavidNYC

Looks like Nostradamus Lieberman was right: As of this moment, Tim Tagaris is reporting that Ned Lamont has the votes of 497 convention delegates, while Lieberman has 1014. Lamont only needed 15%, but he now has 33%, which is exacly in the range Lieberman predicted Lamont would get. Such powers of prognostication!

Of course, this means I was wrong, way wrong - but I'll gladly be wrong like this from now until November. So congrats to Ned Lamont and his entire team!

Posted at 08:39 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, May 18, 2006

CT-Sen: Democratic Party Convention Starts Tomorrow

Posted by DavidNYC

Connecticut's state Democratic convention begins tomorrow. The main event is candidate selection, which is done by a vote of the delegates. If any candidate gets 15% or more, s/he wins at automatic spot on the August primary ballot. Unsurprisingly, Joe Lieberman is trying to play the expectations game, making ridiculous, grandiose predictions that Ned Lamont will take 30% or or move of the delegates. To its credit, the Hartford Courant is aware of the shtick Joe is trying to pull, but I wouldn't be surprised if other tradmed outfits fall for this pathetically transparent gambit.

While it would be terrific if Lamont got 15%, and extraordinary if he did hit 30%, we need to be realistic here. Lieberman has been an institution in CT politics for decades. There is a tremendous amount of pressure to support him. Anyone interested in a future in Connecticut politics has to realize that if they back Lamont and Lamont loses, they'll be pariahs for as long as Lieberman is alive. Backing Joe is the safe move. Remember, we're talking about Democrats here - these are not the people who are usually inclined to ever take risks.

But there's also some very good news: Getting 15% doesn't matter. Not only does it not matter, it might even be salutary if Lamont doesn't hit that mark. No, I didn't just get fitted for rose-colored contact lenses. Here's why: Lamont has been working hard to get on the ballot via an alternate route: gathering signatures from 15,000 of the state's Democrats. It's an expensive and difficult process, but well worth it.

When you have to petition to get on the ballot, that does two things for you. First, you're forced to ramp up your field operation early. That means you've got a bigger volunteer base, more experienced campaign workers, and a field team that runs like a proverbial well-oiled machine months ahead of schedule. Second, you get the names of tons and tons of supporters. The law requires 15K sigs, but because of the inevitable challenges and invalid names, you generally want about twice that. And psychological research shows that the mere act of getting people to sign a statement of support (which is what a petition is) makes it much more likely that they'll continue in that support at a later time.

Successfully petitioning to get on the ballot would also be a nice feather in Lamont's cap because it would be the first time any major-party statewide candidate has done that in CT. Connecticut used to not have a petition process at all - you had to get 15% at a convention or you were out of luck. That system was recently ruled unconstitutional, so Lamont could make a little bit of history here.

As I've often said, the odds on Ned beating Joe in the primary are still long. But whether it's by delegates or petitions, as long as the tradmed doesn't get suckered by Joseph Isadore's gamesmanship, Lamont will indeed be on the ballot.

Posted at 02:14 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

CT-Sen: Local Boy Makes Good

Posted by DavidNYC

Just as the Swing State Project welcomes two new bloggers on board, one of our top alums fires up a new blog himself. Tim Tagaris is now, among other things, running the official Lamont for Senate blog. They've got all kinds of multimedia over there, including Ned's ads and his special campaign video. There's also a really good blogroll of sites covering this race, including a couple I had not yet heard of. Definitely adding this one to my RSS feeds. No comments, though - guess they don't trust us punks in the blogosphere.

UPDATE: Check this out!

A growing cast of prominent activists is backing Mr. Lamont. ... Tim Tagaris, recently the Democratic National Committee's Internet outreach coordinator, has become director of Internet operations for the Lamont campaign.

Tim Tagaris, prominent activist - and yes, folks, that's the New York Times talkin'.

Posted at 01:49 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, May 04, 2006

CT-Sen: Lieberman Swamping Lamont in New Q-Poll

Posted by DavidNYC

Quinnipiac finally has a new poll out on the Dem primary in Connecticut (registered voters, Feb. in parens):

Lamont: 19 (13)
Lieberman: 65 (68)
Undecided: 14 (17)
(MoE: ±4.3%)

That's pretty terrible for Lamont. I had been hoping he might crack 30%, but he inched up only 6 points. His name rec barely budged either, going from 93% D/K to 90%.

We're now a little over three months out from the primary. The only spot of hope I can offer is that in mid-February of 2004 (about seventy days before that year's PA-Sen GOP primary), Pat Toomey had a D/K of 79% according to Quinnipiac. (They didn't ask a Toomey-Specter head-to-head that month.) And Toomey, of course, came within a hair's breadth of unseating Arlen Specter.

As always, my usual loud-and-clear disclaimer about the distinctions between these two races applies. I'd say they are coming into even sharper contrast now. The big guns are (perhaps somewhat slowly) lining up behind Lieberman - Dodd's been firing away for a while now, and Harry Reid has gotten Lieberman's back as well. This is exactly what the GOP establishment did for Specter. Ted Kennedy may be next. And maybe even Hillary Clinton, too. While I'm sure Bill can't stand Lieberman, Hillary's all about proving her centrist cred these days.

And on the other side, no one's lined up with millions for Lamont like the Club for Growth did for Toomey, and no one will, in part because no one can.

I'm also aware that Rasmussen recently had a poll out which showed a much more favorable result for Lamont, with Lieberman ahead 51-31. I don't have much faith in Rasmussen, and I would counsel against embracing it just because it shows prettier numbers. However, the folks at the LamontBlog raise a very good point: Rasmussen polled "likely primary voters," while Quinnipiac talked to registered Democrats. In that light, the big spread between the two surveys is plausible. And if Rasmussen's likely voter methodology can be trusted, well then it makes a lot more sense than just asking RVs. Of course, predicting likely voters is one of the toughest tasks in all poll-dom.

One additional detail of note: Swing State Project alum (and now-former DNCer) Tim Tagaris is going to work on the Lamont campaign, doing netroots & grassroots outreach. Tim is easily the most qualified person there is for a job like this. I'm not a blog triumphalist, but if Lamont is to win, it'll happen from the ground up. And Tim is exactly the right person to help make this happen.

Posted at 10:42 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, April 21, 2006

CT-Sen: Lieberman Now in Negative Territory Among "Liberals"

Posted by DavidNYC

Via LamontBlog, something rather non-trivial:

Self-indentified "liberals" now oppose Lieberman by a 49-46 margin - and as you can see, the current spread represents just the latest point in a pretty clear trend. As LamontBlog notes - and as I've argued before - self-ID'ing liberals are the closest stand-in you are likely to find for "likely Democratic primary voters."

Because I had to deal with so many frustrating misunderstandings when I first made this observation, let me say the following: No, it's not a perfect stand-in for Dem primary voters; no, not all primary voters are self-ID'ing liberals; yes, the composition of voters in the primary is going to be hard to predict because of the unusual forces at work here; and no, a narrow disapproval rating does not mean Joe Lieberman is going to lose.

In fact, pretty much no matter what happens between now and August, barring Lieberman dropping out, the odds are very much against Lamont. As you all probably know, sitting senators almost never, ever lose in primary challenges. The few examples in the past thirty years all involved odd-ball circumstances, none of which obtain here. Nonetheless, this new SUSA poll is still good news for Ned. And just to show you we're not the loony left, Lieberman's support has taken a sizable recent hit among "moderates" and "independents" as well, especially among the latter.

One other detail: I believe that CT has a closed primary system - ie, you can only vote in your own party's primary. Some people have suggested that Republican Joe-lovers (and they are legion) might switch parties just to cast a vote for him in the primary. Fortunately, the GOP primary just became competitive, as Alan Schlesinger joined Paul Streitz in seeking the Republican nomination. I don't know how much of a draw this race will be, but at least there are two GOPers who dislike Joe enough to want to run against him.

UPDATE: The more I think about it, the more significant this is in my mind. Look again at Lieberman's performance among indies. Notice anything? It stands at 53-41 - a point worse than his approval among Dems! And Joe didn't just "take a hit" (as I say above) with independents - he utterly cratered in the last month. He was at 63-29, a 34-point spread. Since then, he dropped a whopping 22 points to just +12 - his fall with Dems was only from +21 to +13. I'm not sure what bearing this might have on the primary, but the numbers are pretty stunning in my mind.

Posted at 12:27 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sunday, April 09, 2006

CT-Sen: What Is Joe Thinking?

Posted by DavidNYC

Friends, I know we've been down this path before. But it's not my fault Joe Lieberman keeps making me play whack-a-mole. Amazingly, Joe - in his clearest statement to date - has held open the idea of running as an independent if he were to lose the Democratic primary:

I hope there's not a primary. I'm confident if there is one, I'll win it, but I'm not gonna rule out any other option for now....

Kids, if Joe loses the Dem primary, he just can't, can't re-file as an independent. Let me 'splain once again:

[I]ndependent candidates have to submit petitions by August 9th, 2006. It just so happens that the Connecticut primary is on August 8th. In other words, if Joe loses the primary, in order to run as an independent in the general, he'd have to file petitions the very next day.

This is all but a literal impossibility. Joe would have to collect petitions while still running in the Dem primary. Can you imagine such a spectacle? It would be beyond unheard of for a sitting senator to do such a thing. The only real way Lieberman could run as an indie would be if he abandoned the Democratic Party (save your jokes) well in advance of the primary. Otherwise, he's just talking smack. If he loses the primary, he's done, finished, tostada del dia.

Let me tell you this: If Lieberman starts collecting petitions to run as an indy candidate, all hell will break loose. Somehow, though, I very much doubt anything like that would ever come to pass.

Posted at 09:58 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

CT-Sen: Shhh!

Posted by DavidNYC

This is pretty funny. Lieberman's plodding build-up to his oh-so-obvious non-joke at the end is just brutal. The crickets are more than appropriate.

Posted at 12:00 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, April 03, 2006

CT-Sen: Lowering Expectations

Posted by DavidNYC

Take a look at this:

Lamont will need the votes of at least 241 (15 percent) of those delegates [to the statewide nominating convention] or signatures from 14,000 (2 percent) of the state's 700,000 registered Democrats to force an Aug. 8 primary against Lieberman. Signatures must be collected by June 5.

Lieberman campaign manager Sean Smith conceded that a primary against Lamont is likely inevitable.

"We think it won't be a problem for him to get 15 percent of the delegates," Smith said. "He's been working at this for several months, and he's been bragging about his grass-roots army."

Wow, Lamont has been at this all the way since the end of January! Poor Joe's only had eighteen years to get his act together. It almost goes without saying that Lieberman is nakedly trying to lower expectations here. Expected in politics, but pretty sad for an incumbent Senator.

Also, mocking the grassroots? Not a smart move. Every time they rile us up, it just makes us want to work that much harder for Lamont. Lieberman would be wise to present a smaller target and not give the grassroots/netroots more fodder. The fact that his campaign manager doesn't seem to realize this, though, is a good sign for Lamont.

(Via DailyKos.)

Posted at 10:12 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

CT-Sen: Lamont Creates Candidate Committee

Posted by DavidNYC

Ned Lamont's campaign is heating up, at least a little bit:

Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont moved closer Monday toward a challenge of U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman as he created a candidate committee, named a campaign manager and began searching for a headquarters.

"It is a significant step forward," said Tom Swan, who is managing what he says is still an exploratory campaign. "I am happy that Ned asked me to play a role within this campaign."

Swan, a liberal activist and longtime critic of Lieberman, took a leave of absence Monday from his job as executive director of the Connecticut Citizen Action Group so that he can work full time for Lamont.

The citizen group's political director, John Murphy, also will be joining the Lamont campaign.

So he's got a committee, and some staff (who sound experienced). That's a good start. However, note this:

Lamont has said that he will not move beyond an exploratory campaign until at least 1,000 volunteers sign up on his campaign website,

Still hasn't reached 1,000. Maybe I'm basing this too much on personal experiece, but I still really feel like 1,000 names is not a lot. When I was running New York for Dean three years ago, we had over a thousand local e-mail addresses in just a couple of months - and we weren't promoted on the million-visitors-a-day DailyKos, nor did we have our URL mentioned in newspaper articles. I would have expected Lamont to get 1K inside a week - but maybe I'm being unrealistic. Bottom line is, though, he'll get his 1,000 before too long.

Posted at 10:18 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

CT-Sen: Lamont is Looking for CTers

Posted by DavidNYC

Ned Lamont says he'll run against Joe Lieberman if and when he gets 1,000 CT residents to sign up on his website. According to Markos, he's gotten 300 so far, plus another thou from outside the state. Considering that Lamont's website has been pimped on the front page of DailyKos multiple times since Saturday, those numbers don't strike me as terribly strong. I mean, the guy's not asking for contributions - just name, e-mail and ZIP. Then again, CT is a small state, and Lamont is (apparently) limiting himself purely to people who are in the thick of online activism. Nonetheless, I expect he'll hit his millennium mark soon enough.

Posted at 12:57 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, January 19, 2006

CT-Sen: Debating the Wisdom of a Primary Challenge

Posted by DavidNYC

In discussing whether we should support or oppose a primary challenge to Lieberman, there are tons of issues at play. Allocation of resources is far from the only one. Matt Stoller thoughtfully analyzes all the reprecussions we might see if Ned Lamont mounts a challenge to Lieberman, and especially what kind of fallout is likely if the blogosphere (or much of it, anyway) gets behind Lamont. I encourage you to read it in full.

Posted at 12:39 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

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

Posted by DavidNYC

Over at DailyKos, Adam B raises an interesting comparison. But first, a little background. In 2004, conservative PA Rep. Pat Toomey challenged incumbent Republican Senator Arlen Specter for the GOP nomination. Toomey came remarkably close, losing by just 51-49, or 17,000 votes out of over one million cast. If the wind had puffed ever so slightly more in Toomey's direction, he would have pulled off the remarkable feat of knocking out a sitting Senator in a primary.

There are, of course, a lot of differences between Toomey-Specter and Lamont-Lieberman. We can pore over those at length in due time. But if you accept for the moment that we can legitimately compare the two matchups, I wanted to toss some more numbers at you.

The CT primary is around six-and-a-half months from now - Aug. 9th. In October of 2003, also about 6 to 7 months out from the PA primary, Quinnipiac (the same pollster I referred to below) did a poll on the senate race in that state. This time, I just want to look at Dem voters in CT and GOP voters in PA (forget about tags like "liberal" or "conservative").

Job Approval
Specter among Republicans: 57-30
Lieberman among Democrats: 55-29

Favorability (favorable-unfavorable-mixed)
Specter among Republicans: 49-18-25
Lieberman among Democrats: 50-15-28

Six months out, Specter was looking pretty comfortable. But as Adam notes, the race tightened considerably in a very short amount of time, and Specter came within a hair's breadth of an early retirement. Lieberman's numbers are virtually identical.

Now, on to those differences. The most obvious is that Toomey had held political office, whereas Lamont is a newcomer. Toomey also had big money from the Club for Growth and the grassroots. However, Lamont himself is wealthy and has allegedly promised to spend over a million dollars of his own on the race. Plus, MoveOn and perhaps DFA might get behind him, too. Moreover, the entire top-tier GOP establishment (including Bush, Cheney, Santorum and Rove) showed up in PA to bail Arlen's sorry ass. Will Clinton, Kerry, Gore (hah) and Dean (double-hah) do the same for Joe?

Now, we can definitely debate the wisdom of whether Lamont should take on Lieberman. I'm fairly torn, but I'm personally leaning toward "yes." However, I doubt we'll come to any kind of resolution, or shed more light on the subject. I'd wager that we're all very familiar with all the pros and cons - which is why I'm more interested in discussing what's likely to happen, not whether it should happen. And on that score, I definitely think Lieberman is beatable.

Posted at 06:38 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

CT-Sen: Is Lieberman Beatable?

Posted by DavidNYC

Let me start by saying I am not trying to debate the issue of whether Joe Lieberman should be challenged by a Dem or an independent. Rather, I'd like to discuss the mechanics of such a challenge - what it would look like, and whether it might succeed.

To that end, I don't think former Gov. Lowell Weicker can beat Lieberman as an independent. Quinnipiac recently released a poll showing Lieberman beating Weicker in a direct head-to-head (with no Republican) by 65-21. I doubt that Weicker could overcome such a huge gap, especially since his favorability rating is negative - he garners only 19% positive and 32% negative. Pretty harsh.

However, I think a primary challenge could succeed. Lieberman gets pretty good job approval from Dems (55-29), while Republican approval of him is a good bit higher (68-20). And his favorability rating among Dems is good as well (50-15). But those numbers only tell part of the story.

By a 52-39 margin, Dems say Lieberman should once again be the senatorial nominee. That's not exactly terrific. But it gets even more interesting. Self-identified liberals - who strike me as being more representative of primary voters than just self-identified Dems - are tied on the question. Forty-seven percent say Lieberman should be re-nominated; forty-seven percent say "someone else."

This is the pivot-point for Ned Lamont. He would only need to move that 47% number just a wee bit in order to dethrone Lieberman. For Lieberman to avoid that fate, he'd either have to tone down his attacks on fellow Democrats or try to put daylight between himself and Bush on the Iraq war issue. It's not clear to me that he could do that successfully, given how stubbornly he's refused to change his ways over the past five years. In other words, I think Lamont would have a chance.

Posted at 02:14 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

CT-Sen: Lieberman Needs to Brush Up on Connecticut Election Law

Posted by DavidNYC

In a recent interview with a local CT newspaper, the Waterbury Republican-American, Joe Lieberman related the following:

He then added, in response to a question, that if he were to lose a primary he would still seek re-election.

"I intend to be on the ballot in November," he declared.

There's only one problem here. Dear Joseph needs to study up on Title 9 of the Connecticut Code, specifically § 9-453i:

Submission to town clerk or Secretary of the State.

(a) Each page of a nominating petition proposing a candidate for an office to be filled at a regular election shall be submitted to the appropriate town clerk or to the Secretary of the State not later than four o'clock p.m. on the ninetieth day preceding the day of the regular election.

This means that independent candidates have to submit petitions by August 9th, 2006. It just so happens that the Connecticut primary is on August 8th. In other words, if Joe loses the primary, in order to run as an independent in the general, he'd have to file petitions the very next day.

This is all but a literal impossibility. Joe would have to collect petitions while still running in the Dem primary. Can you imagine such a spectacle? It would be beyond unheard of for a sitting senator to do such a thing. The only real way Lieberman could run as an indie would be if he abandoned the Democratic Party (save your jokes) well in advance of the primary. Otherwise, he's just talking smack. If he loses the primary, he's done, finished, tostada del dia.

Posted at 04:44 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

CT-05: Johnson Sucking Up to Roy Blunt, aka Tom DeLay, Jr.

Posted by DavidNYC

Man, these "moderate" House Republicans just really dog my cats. Down in DC, they reliably support troglodytes like Tom DeLay, casting vote after vote in support of an extremist right-wing agenda. Every so often, though, the wily GOP leadership lets these so-called moderates appear to "buck" the majority and cast alleged votes of conscience on potentially controversial bills. These moderates then return to their home districts, brandishing their few acts of calculated defiance as proof of their moderation and maverickhood. Aided and abetted by the laziest media the world has ever known, they pull of this ruse time after time.

Of course, it's all bullshit. And we need to call bullshit on those phonies, as loudly as we possibly can. Fortunately, several of these moderate muddlers just made our job a whole lot easier today, the most glaring of whom is Rep. Nancy Johnson (CT-05). She's announced her early support for Roy Blunt to replace Tom DeLay as the Republican's majority leader. If Blunt takes over for DeLay, it wouldn't be a succession so much as it would be a direct cloning process.

You see, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has named Roy Blunt one of the thirteen most-corrupt members of Congress, at their appropriately-named site "Beyond DeLay." The rap sheet on Blunt is longer than an elephant's trunk. He's done all the usual things, like take money from DeLay and Abramoff.

But he's also taken a trip to Korea paid for by a registered foreign agent (that's against House rules); wrote a letter on gambling favorable to an Abramoff client after taking money from Abramoff (that would be against the law); and tried to insert a stealth amendment benefitting tobacco giant Philip Morris into a Homeland Security bill (that's just plain scummy). The Philip Morris stuff is actually very interesting, because his son Andrew lobbies for Philip Morris; his wife Abigail also lobbies for Philip Morris; his other son Matt (governor of Missouri) has received tons of questionable Philip Morris cash; and - wait for it - Blunt's biggest campaign contributor is Philip Morris. See a pattern here?

I should also add that Blunt voted with DeLay 95% of the time. If there ever was a case of new boss, same as the old boss, this is surely it. I'm gonna call it the "Getting Fooled Again" syndrome. And Nancy Johnson has fallen for it like the sucker - and right-winger - she truly is. According to Hotline, here are some other notable "moderates" who are right there with here:

• Ginny Brown-Waite (FL)
• Shelley Moore Capito (WV)
• Mike Ferguson (NJ)
• Mark Foley (FL)
• Chris Shays (CT)

Johnson's opponent, Chris Murphy, is already making hay of this (at least via e-mail). I hope those challenging these other "moderates" are also covering this one, especially Chris Shays opponent Diane Farrell.

P.S. Chris Murphy now has an update on his campaign blog.

Posted at 02:12 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Connecticut | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, November 28, 2005

CT-05: Taking a Look at Rep. Nancy Johnson (R)

Posted by DavidNYC

It seems like a crime that three of Connecticut's five House seats are occupied by Republicans. With any luck, that'll change next year - and if we have any hope of ever retaking the House, it had better change. Anyhow, most attention has focused on CT-02 and CT-04 so far, but Goldrick explicates an op-ed column on the race in CT-05, currently held by Republican Nancy Johnson. He concludes that Johnson can be beaten, not least of all because her challenger, Democrat Chris Murphy, has already raised a quarter mil. But don't take my word for it - check out Goldrick's diary.

Posted at 01:12 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Connecticut | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, November 21, 2005

CT-02: "Moderate" Rob Simmons Tells Constituents to Shut Up

Posted by DavidNYC

I always grit my teeth when I hear a Republican described as a "moderate." In modern American political parlance, "moderate" Republican means "right-wing, but not totally insane right-wing" Republican. In other words, it's a total bullshit concept, ginned up by a media which loves to play sides against each other and handicap those various make-believe factions in some mythical horserace.

Rob Simmons is one such Republican "moderate" - House GOP leaders are smart enough to let Simmons play "catch-and-release" on controversial votes to hide his true leanings from his constituents. But his real stripes shone through the other day with his remarks about opponents of the Iraq War and even Rep. John Murtha. This is what Rob Simmons is all about:

On Rep. Murtha: "This is a guy, who like me, is a Vietnam veteran. I assume he knows how demoralizing it can be to soldiers in the field to have people back home questioning the value of their mission when people are getting wounded and killed.... He should know better."

On Congressional debate: "It's appropriate for Congress to have these conversations, but not in public. It conveys a bad message to our troops and our opponents."

On war critics: Simmons said that anti-war politics "undermines their [veterans'] cause and degrades their heroic service and sacrifice."

No doubt many of Rob Simmons' constituents oppose our continued engagement in Iraq. His message to them: Shut up, stop attacking our troops, we shouldn't even be talking about this. Yep, sounds like a real moderate to me.

P.S. This district went for Kerry 54-44. And Simmons has a very strong challenger this year (the same guy who pulled in 46% of the vote against him in 2002, which was a weak Dem year), former State Rep. Joe Courtney. This seat should absolutely, totally be ours - and Rob Simmons just helped make our job easier with his unacceptable remarks.

Posted at 06:35 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Connecticut | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, October 14, 2005

CT-04: Dem Challenger Outraises GOP Incumbent

Posted by DavidNYC

Congressman Chris Shays represents one of the most left-leaning districts currently represented by a Republican nationwide. In short, he has no business serving the people of Connecticut's 4th CD. And if he had any sense, he'd just retire right now, because he is almost certainly going to lose next year. In 2004, Diane Farrell nearly knocked him off, garnering 48% of the vote - and that was in a pretty favorable Republican year. (Al Gore won CT by almost 18 points - Kerry by just 10.) And Farrell, a politician from Westport, CT, is challenging Shays again.

2006 is going to be a hell of a lot worse for the GOP, and I think Chris Shays is going to be one of many who pays the ultimate political price. Dems, for instance, hold a 9-point lead in NBC's generic Congressional ballot poll - the largest lead that news organization has ever seen. But today brings more bad news for Shays:

Farrell 3Q Amount Raised: $303K
Shays 3Q Amount Raised: $207K

I don't have the cash-on-hand numbers, but the DCCC is making this race a "top priority," meaning Farrell certainly won't hurt for dough. The desperate NRCC will undoubtedly try to prop up their man, but if they had any sense, they'd just give up now and find a nice cushy sinecure for Shays. Surely someone has a consulting gig for this man?

Posted at 10:52 AM in 2006 Elections - House, Connecticut | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

CT-Gov: Blumenthal (D) Is Out

Posted by DavidNYC

Via a DKos diary: Connecticut Attorney General Dick Blumenthal (D) is officially out of the governor's race. Probably a wise move, given that incumbent Republican Jodi Rell (aka the accidental governor) has some of the highest approval ratings in the nation. The Dem primary now falls to a couple of mayors: Dannel Malloy (Stamford) and John DeStefano (New Haven). I don't know anything about Malloy, but I do know that I was unimpressed with DeStefano during the years I lived in New Haven.

On a related note, I wonder if, in the case of gubernatorial resignations, it might not be "be careful what you wish for." The Republican governors of both Ohio and Kentucky are embroiled in ethics scandals and might resign before their terms are up. Would their successors (either in office, or as candidates) wind up getting a huge (and lasting) bounce like Rell, or would they wind up more like middle-of-the-pack Richard Codey, the man who replaced McGreevy in NJ? Hard to know.

Posted at 10:50 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Connecticut | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

CT-Sen: A Challenge from the Independent Weicker?

Posted by DavidNYC

Oh man, this sure as hell sounds interesting:

The statewide rumor mill is buzzing with reports that Lowell Weicker is considering an independent run for his old U.S. Senate seat next year against Democratic incumbent Joe Lieberman of New Haven (for now). Lieberman deposed former Weicker in 1988 with the help of his famous sleeping bear commercial--a commercial Weicker could now turn back on his old nemesis.

The rumors have been building since last week, when Weicker appeared at a public forum with radio talk-show host and Courant columnist Colin McEnroe. Weicker, a former liberal Republican who turned independent in 1990 when he left the Senate to run successfully for governor, dropped notice at the Sept. 20 forum that he'd consider another political run.

Weicker claimed he's "99 percent" uninterested in running. But then he went on, and on, about how wouldn't sit by if "somebody pisses me off enough." And he went on and on about how pissed off he is about the direction of the country.

His candidacy sounded like more than a 1 percent consideration in his mind.

When I was a kid in the 80s - and first developing my political sensibilities - I remember my mom saying that Lowell Weicker was the "one decent Republican" out there. And that's saying a lot coming from my yellow-dog-as-can-be mother. Following her lead, I took a liking to him, and I admired him during his tenure as Governor of neighboring Connecticut - something he made much easier to do when he ditched the GOP in favor of becoming an independent. Ever since then, I've always had a soft spot for him.

But a run here is certainly more than a longshot - not least because of Weicker's age (he's 74). But he's almost certainly to Lieberman's left in most respects, and would take him to task big-time on the Iraq war. At a minimum, Weicker might give Lieberman enough of a scare such that Joementum at least stops having the time to bash his fellow Democrats on Fox News.

(Via DailyKos.)

Posted at 11:35 PM in Connecticut | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, September 08, 2005

CT-Sen: Joementum

Posted by Tim Tagaris

After months of hope, the final flicker of the candle that was a credible challenge to Joe Lieberman went out last night. Dr. John Orman officially ended his bid yesterday to unseat the Incumbent Fox News Analyst.

A Fairfield University professor said Wednesday that he is ending his campaign against U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman for the Democratic nomination, citing Lieberman's huge fund-raising advantage.

Democrat John Orman said he has only raised $1,000, while Lieberman had raised about $3.8 million as of July.

And there is it. We barked, we shouted, we threatened a primary challenge that will not come to pass in 2006. If anything, I would say the bulk of the blame lies with Dr. Orman and his team. There was so much discontent for Joe Lieberman nationally that they just failed to even attempt to tap into. I know people have flinched because they don't think Orman was very credible, but hell, even Chuck Pennacchio has raised around $100,000 at this point, and the situations are pretty similar. The biggest difference is that more people dislike Lieberman than Casey--something that will probably change if Casey is sworn in.

Posted at 11:14 AM in Connecticut | Comments (2) | Technorati

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

DCCC: Health Insurance for the Troops

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the subscription-only Hotline:

Using Memorial Day as a backdrop, the DCCC went up in 12 CDs over the weekend to pick at Republicans for opposing military benefit expansion.

John Havens, who identifies himself as a retired adjutant general in the Missouri National Guard, says in the 60-second radio spot that "thousands of brave National Guard members and reservists" serving on active duty "lose the same health insurance other soldiers can count on" when they return home. An announcer, noting that Congress recently "defeated a plan to extend health coverage to members of the Guard, the Reserves and their families," mentions a Republican who opposed the plan and asks listeners to tell the member "he owes those who serve our nation more than Memorial Day speeches. "

The spot takes issue with the members for opposing a procedural motion to H.R. 1815 that would have expanded the TRICARE insurance program to National Guard members and Reservists.

The targets?

According to a DCCC spokeswoman, the spot airing in airing this week in a "strategic buy" covering the home districts of 12 GOP lawmakers: Vito Fossella (NY 13), Sam Graves (MO 06), John Hostettler (IN 08), Tim Murphy (PA 06), Bob Ney (OH 18), Richard Pombo (CA 11), Dave Reichert (WA 08), Rick Renzi (AZ 01), Rob Simmons (CT 02), Mike Sodrel (IN 09), Charles Taylor (NC 11) and Ed Whitfield (KY 01). Different versions of the spot mention each representative by name.

These 12 Representatives should be ashamed -- our troops deserve better.

Posted at 04:33 PM in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington | Comments (2) | Technorati

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Revitalized Democratic Party

Posted by Bob Brigham

For the last two weeks, I've been blessed with a front-row seat to the filibuster fight. It has been a remarkable experience and as Swing State Project pivots back to focusing on 2006 races, I will miss the urgency of the battle. Make no mistake, this was a battle royale and I believe it will be remembered as a turning point in the transformation of the Democratic Party.

My first observation is that the Democrats didn't roll over and die. The Democratic Leadership Council has so thoroughly wrecked the Democratic Party that I believe it is important to emphasize this. On too many battles since the DLC bought the party, Democrats have feared to engage in political battle. Much to my surprise, under Senator Harry Reid's leadership, Democrats are willing to stand up fight.

The Democratic Party still has a long way to go in the quest to remedy the harm of the DLC. The most important part of the battle to retake our party is giving Senator Joe Lieberman a giant shitburger of a primary challenge. As far as I'm concerned, the junior Senator from Connecticut is a complete piece of crap that is only allowed in the Democratic caucus because Harry Reid is a gentleman. To be perfectly honest, I don't even care if we win. But we need to send a powerful signal that the appeasement days are over. Blanketing Connecticut with the nastiest ads ever created will go a long way towards forging a respect for solidarity in the Democratic Party.

Looking back over the battle for the filibuster, I think Democrats biggest blow came on March 15 when Harry Reid held a capitol steps rally to demonstrate unity -- Lieberman's absence was "conspicuous" (as the press noted). That is the great thing about brinkmanship, it clearly defines who is on which team. Lieberman hurt Democrats through the entire battle and the Democratic Leadership Council was worthless in the fight.

Those of you who think Democrats could have done better are 100% justified in blaming Joe Lieberman. Lieberman's refusal to work with Democrats cost us from the start, it hurt our posture, it compromised our negotiating position, and it personally pissed me off.

I don't buy in to unilateral disarmament and I certainly don't buy in to the notion that you don't go negative in primary elections. The primaries are where we set our Democratic Party's course and if a credible candidate runs against Joe Lieberman, I am confident that the netroots will unleash a wrath of epic proportions. Sure Lieberman will probably win, but he needs to be shunned by Democrats. When he goes home to Connecticut, I want people to lower their eyes as he walks down the street...too embarrassed to make eye contact.

The act of shunning has a proud tradition in political action and needs to be utilized against Lieberman. For Democratic political operatives, there is no honor in working for Lieberman or the DLC. While people have ended up in the employment of both for a variety of reasons, now is the time to leave. Twenty years down the road, if a resume crosses my desk from somebody who worked for Lieberman after today, that person will be rejected without any further consideration. If you want to work in Democratic politics, you do not want Lieberman or the DLC on your resume.

I am one-hundred fucking percent serious about this. From now on, there are no excuses.

But back to the good stuff. In spite of Joe Lieberman, the Democratic Party showed a new spirit these last couple of weeks. Some of it was the momentum from a united caucus blocking Social Security privatization, but there was something else that I noticed in this fight: teamwork.

Except for the Lieberman and the dipshits at the DLC, the left worked together to save the filibuster. Bill Frist's abuse of power forced institutional and structural changes in Democrats' coordination, command and control, messsage, and distribution that were fast-tracked to deal with Dobson's threat against the senate.

Comparing my experiences early in the year fighting for Social Security with the last two weeks, I noticed a dramatic escalation in modernized campaigning by Democrats.

Yes, there is a long way to go, but the filibuster fight was a great fire-drill for Democrats. We learned a great deal at an accelerated rate, knowledge that will be priceless in future policy and election battles.

In short, Reid kicks ass, Lieberman sucks ass, and the revitalized donkey is one ass we can be proud of.

UPDATE: (Bob) - You can find more out more about a potential primary campaign against Lieberman here and here.

Posted at 11:36 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Connecticut, Democrats, Nuclear Option | Technorati

Thursday, April 21, 2005

CT-Sen: DeLauro Floating a Challenge?

Posted by DavidNYC

From DailyKos:

Staffers for Rep. Rosa Delauro of Connecticut floated a possible Lieberman primary challenge at a local party event last night. Now, it may very well have been an eager staffer fantasizing about such a challenge (Delauro would become a national figure and grass- and netroots hero overnight), or it could be a something a bit more orchestrated, a trial balloon of sorts amongst the types of people whose support would be critical for such a David v. Goliath challenge.

Delauro would be a great candidate to take on Lieberman. Other possibilities are Attorney General Dick Blumenthal, who is fixated on an uphill gubernatorial challenge. Or, a favorite alternative of mine, former Republican senator Lowell Weicker -- the very guy who Lieberman ousted with a challenge from the right in 1988. He left the Republican Party and served as governor of CT as an independent. At 74, however, he may be done with politics.

DeLauro's district covers New Haven, where I went to college. She was often in the local news and regularly visited our campus. I got the sense she was a pretty popular and well-regarded figure. Her House website is here, her campaign website is here. A note to the DeLauro team: If you guys want to start a blog, we'd be happy to help.

UPDATE (Bob): Kos has an update where DeLauro says she is supporting Lieberman's re-election.

UPDATE (David): Heh. Thank goodness I put that question mark in the title! Alright, so the search begins anew.

UPDATE (Bob): I think we'll have a better candidate who will put Lieberman at a financial disadvantage.

Posted at 06:02 PM in Connecticut | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

CT-5: Nancy Johnson Watch

Posted by Bob Brigham

Johnson Watch:

On Sunday, April 10, Connecticut Congressman Chris Shays called on Delay to step down as Majority Leader, and Republican Senator Rick Santorum harshly criticized Delay for his history of ethical lapses. So, where has our Congresswoman, Nancy Johnson, been? Totally silent.

The site has a counter that currently stands at 1 days, 15 hours, 53 minutes, and 32 seconds. Spread the word, this is great!

Posted at 06:49 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Connecticut | Comments (2) | Technorati

CT-02: Finally a Social Security Forum

Posted by Bob Brigham

Hartford Courant:

WASHINGTON -- There's finally going to be a Social Security public forum in Rep. Rob Simmons' congressional district - but the featured congressman isn't Simmons. It's Democratic Rep. John Larson.

Crossing that line is especially sensitive, because Simmons, R-2nd District, is already a popular punching bag for national Democrats hoping to pick up congressional seats in 2006.

And Democrats believe an important way to gain voters is by tying Republicans to President Bush's teetering campaign to allow future retirees to have personal Social Security accounts.

Simmons is in serious trouble. Props to the College Democrats for staging this:

The controversy involves the Connecticut College Democrats' April 16 event in New London. The group is inviting the public to a "forum on Social Security with Congressman John Larson and Second District Congressional Candidate Joe Courtney."

Posted at 10:16 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Connecticut | Technorati

Monday, April 11, 2005

Zell Lieberman

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via Eschaton, here is the transcript:

BARBARA COMSTOCK, FMR. JUSTICE DEPT. SPOKESWOMAN: Paul, as Bob pointed out, Tom DeLay is one of the most effective leaders, which is why the Democrats have tried to make this a campaign issue. Now as you know from your friend Senator Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman, oftentimes people break in the party.

Of course, Crooks and Liars has the video.

Quite a day for the junior senator from Connecticut.

Posted at 11:13 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Comments (1) | Technorati

Joe Lieberman is a disgrace

Posted by Bob Brigham

While Reuters headlines, "Democrats Seek to Block Bolton as UN Ambassador" we have quite a different message coming from Senator Joe Lieberman.

Lieberman is being used alongside Oliver North to bash Democrats for blocking Bolton.

Over at DailyKos there is a comment that deserves to be printed out, framed, and mailed to Senator Lieberman. From IGrantius:

You know, here's the thing I think Joe never quite understood:

When you're just some senator or congressman, or governor or mayor, you're always free to criticize the party over anything. We need disparate voices, challenging voices, we're a big tent, all that.

BUT. The moment that you accept a presidential or vice presidential nomination, you also agree to represent the entire party, and the unspoken agreement is, you will do it for the rest of your life. It is no small thing for 40 some million Democrats to invest their hopes in you. In exchange for that support, we ask only one thing. Win or lose, you will spend the rest of your life staunchly defending the party, laboring to get Democrats elected wherever you can. You can leave the moralizing, the deal breaking, and what have you to the next generation of young Turks. You have just graduated to Senior Statesman.

That's why Democrats love Teddy Kennedy. It's how Bentsen wound up in the Clinton administration. It's how Dole survived Ford. None of those men ever shat on their friends. They danced with the girl who brung them.

Not Joe. Somehow he thinks that he can return to his cozy position as the Grand Poohbah of Centrist Scolding.

It doesn't work like that. We get one chance every four years to nominate two people. If you accept our invitation, you owe us your blood sweat and tears. Now and forever. If you can't life up to that, fuck you. You're gone.

I'll second that "fuck you" and add a friendly reminder to Stop Bolton.

Posted at 03:19 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Connecticut, Democrats, International | Technorati

Lieberman Challenge Template

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Bob's last post about Joe Lieberman immediately reminded me of a recent entry by DavidNYC that could provide the template for a 2006 primary challenge aimed at stopping Joementum.

David draws the parallel between Joementum's seemingly high approval ratings and how U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (PA) had similar approval ratings, yet was pushed to the brink by Pat Toomey in a 2004 Pennsylvania primary. Make sure you read Bob's post first, then read David's HERE.

UPDATE: (Bob) When making the comparisions between the two, it is important to remember why Pat Toomey lost.

Posted at 11:44 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut | Technorati

Sunday, April 10, 2005

NOmentum: Lieberman re-election and the Connecticut Democratic Party

Posted by Bob Brigham

Swing State Project has been closely following the potential 2006 primary challenge to Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman. We've looked at the polls, the geography, the tactics, and the news. In a recent post on the news, I cited a Manchester Journal-Inquirer article with the following quote:

In an extraordinary encounter last week with members of the Democratic State Central Committee, the senator was forced to defend his hawkish record by Myrna Watanabe, Harwinton's town chairwoman.

Watanabe, a professional science writer who took notes on the exchange, told Lieberman that while she appreciated his "very good" voting record, she wanted to know how she could present him for re-election in her town when "our people are pretty pacifistic" and were opposed the war in Iraq "from the beginning," when "our people don't support Rice," and when "they are most unhappy with Gonzales."

She said Lieberman responded that he does what he believes is right, that he didn't want the war to be used as a litmus test, and finally that he didn't have to come to Harwinton.

Watanabe read the post on Swing State Project and contacted us. I asked her if she could give a quote I could post. She responded with 2,000 words...

Myrna Watanabe is retaining the copyright for what follows:

If it weren’t that computers are very glitchy, I would think I’m getting the electronic finger from Lieberman. Granted, I do sign these group emails asking our congressional delegation to oppose this bill or that bill, as there’s not much out there to support nowadays; but the day after I asked Lieberman that very polite question at our Democratic State Central Committee meeting about how to sell him to my town committee, I followed up with a fax (letterhead, real signature) offering a dialogue with him. (I wasn’t going to offer to contribute to his campaign or babysit for his dog or anything that would have fiduciary value.)

Since then, I’ve received two emails from his office. The first was a form letter thanking me for visiting his online contact center. As I haven’t a clue what that’s all about, having never visited his online contact center, and having no interest in spending my time visiting it, I thought that perhaps, just perhaps, it was in response to one of those People for the American Way or some other group’s click-through email letters. But just in case, I figured I’d send an email back, warning them that if it just happened to be a response to my fax, it was unacceptable. It bounced. Not really having the time or inclination to send it to one of his staffers directly, I figured I’d forget the whole thing—although I must say, some of my friends in the Party are egging me on to push for a real reply.

But today, I received another email from his office. This time, it was totally blank. My system’s a little slow, so I gave it enough time to develop, just in case it had a photo of our senator as a young man pumping Lyndon Johnson’s hand or something else of historic value. Nada. Just blank--an email written in the electronic equivalent of invisible ink. Is this, I have to ask myself, the way Joe Lieberman’s office responds to a request for a dialogue?

It shouldn’t be this way. Many of my friends, both inside and outside the Democratic Party, have known Joe Lieberman for a long time. When I first introduced myself to him, requesting that he listen to the anti-war message during the run up to the Iraq War vote, I mentioned the name of a mutual friend who had nothing but praise for Joe. “He’s a good man, a fine human being,” my friend had said.

But something must have happened to Joe Lieberman during his political career. I was chatting with one of his old political friends the other night, who remembers when Joe was a true liberal. I asked him if he thought that Joe could be a victim of what my dear friend Robert Flower, who has run many a political campaign in Westchester County, New York, refers to as the politician’s revolving door. Joe’s friend agreed that, yes, this is what probably happened to Joe.

Robert’s theory, which I explained to Joe’s friend, is that after people are elected to office, they suddenly believe all the rhetoric and think that they were elected, not because they supported a particular stance, or the party line, or were in the right place at the right time, but that there's something intrinsic in them that makes them better than the people who worked for them and/or voted for them. In their minds' eyes, they assume mythic proportions. And they begin believing the myth. Once that happens, Robert says, they go through this revolving door where they become something other than a member of the group that elected them. They forget where they came from. It sort of reminds me of a T-shirt I saw a young man wearing yesterday, with a two-headed arrow, one end pointing to his head and the other pointing to his genitals. The one to the head was labelled, "The Man," the one to the genitals, "The Myth".

And, unfortunately, that's what happened with Lieberman. He goes around joking that he was elected vice president of the United States--except it isn't a joke to him or to his audience. He has to know he is an historic figure, but he seems to have forgotten how this all occurred and to whom he owes his luck (or lack thereof).

Until recently, we on Democratic town committees (DTCs) didn't even hear from his people. Now, they're trying to schedule meetings between town committees and him, and the number of takers is probably far fewer than Lieberman would like to see. But back when Lieberman started in politics, so I hear, he made his way with the help of Democratic town committees and good Democrats from around the state, an obligation, some say, he has forgotten.

Lieberman doesn’t need the town committees to run for office, but he needs them because their delegates designate the party nominee for U.S. Senate. Town committees in Connecticut are the groups politicians love to hate. A good town committee, one that will work for a candidate, raise money for a candidate, and share information with a candidate is worth its weight in gold. But, like everything else, some town committees are terrific, some are helpful, and others are useless. But even if useless, they are powerful. If a town committee chair doesn’t support a candidate for a wider office—as an example, my enthusiasm for our last congressional candidate was negligible, and I didn’t like some of her volunteers—he or she can tell the candidate, as I did, not to come to their town. The candidate can ignore it, but it looks bad for a candidate to have no elected officials from the party, no other party candidates, and no members of the town committee with her when she visits. One town committee chair told me that Lieberman’s people asked him to fill a room with people for a visit by Lieberman to take place within a few hours of the request. The town chair said something very rude to Lieberman’s staffer, and asked that that message be given directly to the senator. So Lieberman appeared with only one elected Democratic official at his side. (It was in my district. They didn’t call me and ask me to bring out the troops—as I tried to do for Dodd--but they know better than to send me anything but blank emails.)

These negative feelings toward Lieberman have been growing for several years. The war in Iraq, of course, has been a major polarizing factor. During the buildup to the vote on the war, Lieberman was unreachable for discussion. The anti-war groups, including, found it impossible to meet with him (not that Dodd was much more reachable, but Dodd's office was, at least, accommodating and was willing to share his conflicted thoughts about the impending war vote with us).

By the time Lieberman's people attempted to contact Democratic town committees for support for his run for president, his people were on the receiving end of quite a bit of hostility from the committees. I told his people outright to stay away from us: we weren't interested. And I was not alone.

When rumors hit the streets that Lieberman was possibly up for a Bush cabinet position, many of us had had enough--and that predates the Rice, Gonzales, and Chertoff votes. I asked at our State Committee meeting if we could have a vote on the sense of the State Committee to tell Lieberman exactly how we felt about him taking a position with the Bushies. Our then state chair, George Jepsen, discouraged us from doing that, but another state committee member urged that we call Lieberman's office to voice our displeasure, and Jepsen agreed.

Meanwhile, some people who are considering running for office--from town selectman on up to statewide office--are privately voicing concern about making a run with Lieberman at the top of the ticket. Although our voters tend not to vote straight party line (despite our endless statements that they undoubtedly will), there is a concern that voters will see anyone on the Democratic ticket as painted with the Lieberman brush. Now, with the Quinnipiac poll showing positive figures for Lieberman in the comfortable high 60s, one would ask why should that matter? Yet I can tell you that three years ago, when I was distributing flyers that had a local candidate posed with Lieberman (something we can't do anymore because of campaign finance laws), people came up to me, pointed to Lieberman's photo, and said, "If he's with your candidate, I can't vote for your person." If I were in Lieberman's shoes, I wouldn't get too comfy with the poll numbers because they do not detect the undercurrent of dislike and mistrust.

Now, let's get back to DTCs. If the state Democratic convention were held right now, Lieberman wouldn't have the votes to get the nomination without doing some very, very, very serious arm twisting--and even then he might not have the votes. Maybe the population still likes Joe Lieberman, but his friends in the Democratic Party are having second or third thoughts about him. To some it's the votes, to others it's the war, to still others it's the Dem-bashing rhetoric, while others are concerned about the spectacle of Lieberman at Bush's elbow when Bush signs some particularly un-Democratic piece of legislation. But even more telling is that his good friends, people who've known him for 20 or 30 years and who came into politics with him or came up in the party with him, don't want to be associated with him. Months and months ago, many of them, independently, contacted Joe or his close associates and made it clear that Joe was doing himself and the party no good by kowtowing to the Bushies and by continuing his strong support of the war.

After I asked my polite question to Lieberman at State Committee last week, I started getting emails and calls from people telling me that they, too, are seriously disturbed about Lieberman's political stances. The day after the State Committee meeting, there was a meeting of 4th C.D. town chairs at which Mitchell Fuchs, the Fairfield DTC chair, lambasted Lieberman for his votes, his coziness with the Bushies, his stance on the war, etc. One town chair sent me the following email: "Tell him he doesn't have to come to XXX either, unless it's to announce he isn't going to run again." Another town chair told me, "We hate him here!" He probably doesn't have many friends on State Committee either. When he responded to my question by saying that he had a 70 percent favorable rating, someone in the back yelled out, "From Republicans!"

As I see it, Lieberman has a choice: he can go forward, risk not being the party’s nominee, and come up with a third-party endorsement; switch to the Reps, with whom he will be very uncomfortable; do a mea culpa and take on the cloak of leadership of the Democratic Party (“I made a mistake on the war; I shouldn’t compromise with these people because there is no compromise; I will lead us out of this political morass.”); or declare that it’s time to retire and think of something else he can do as an elder statesman.

I suspect that Joe won’t like any of these choices. But he should have thought of that before he cuddled up with the Bushies. Yes, Joe, Democrats do have a litmus test. You have to support good Democratic principles, 24-7, every day of the year, every vote in the Senate (not exactly every vote; we’ll leave you some leeway, but on the big things, and especially in what you say and how you say it, you’ve got to prove you’re a Democrat). And you can’t sleep with the enemy because the stench of dead bodies stays on you.

© 2005 Myrna E. Watanabe

Posted at 11:57 PM in Connecticut | Comments (11) | Technorati

Shays: Buzzoff Bugman

Posted by Bob Brigham


WASHINGTON (AP) - Rep. Christopher Shays said Sunday that fellow Republican Rep. Tom DeLay should step down as House majority leader because his continuing ethics problems are hurting the GOP.

"Tom's conduct is hurting the Republican Party, is hurting this Republican majority and it is hurting any Republican who is up for re-election," Shays told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Shays is right, of course. Hopefully, DeLay won't listen because if DeLay were to step down it would rob Democrats across the country of a great campaign issue. Thanks to DeLay getting caught, the entire country is learning of the vast corruption that controls the Republican Party. It isn't just the corruption of one man, it is the web of corruption.

Posted at 06:15 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut, Republicans, Texas | Technorati

TX-22: Tom DeLay Corruption News

Posted by Bob Brigham

Three big stories for those following the corruption scandal that has engulfed the GOP:

Jack Abramoff is indicating he'll cut a deal with prosecutors and says, "Those S.O.B.s. DeLay knew everything. He knew all the details."

Congressman Chris Shays bucks DeLay, calls him, "an absolute embarrassment to me and to the Republican Party."

• A Washington Post story on DeLay's offensive notes, "DeLay is continuing his high-decibel comments -- including his warning last week about "a judiciary run amok" -- on the theory that he is going to remain himself and not bend to the opposition, friends say."

Remember, Clinton suffered the worst damage not from Republican attacks, but when Lieberman joined the Republican chorus attacking Clinton. Now that Chris Shays is playing the same roll the momentum will increase faster than any other milestone short of the indictments.

The Abramoff story is also key. In addition to saying he had the goods on DeLay, he also said, "There are e-mails and records that will implicate others." Which could be devasting to Republicans in the 2006 mid-term election. When Senator Conrad Burns was implicated in an Abramoff scandal his re-elect number dropped to 36 and the White House had to dispatch Karl Rove to Montana to clean things up. Can the GOP afford to have any others implicated?

The DeLay offensive that the GOP is plotting will probably be remembered as the best thing to ever happen to the Democratic Party in a long time. The GOP seems to be going out of their way to tie Republicans to a corrupt lawmaker who is so unpopular he'll lose his re-election if he isn't locked up first.

DeLay's days our numbered, but thanks to the wingnuts, this will drag out far longer than it should.

The 2006 backlash is coming.

Posted at 01:01 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Connecticut, Montana, Republicans, Texas | Technorati

Friday, April 08, 2005

CT-Sen: Joe Lieberman, Vulnerable?

Posted by DavidNYC

First and foremost, this is not a post on the wisdom or merits of challenging Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary next year. This is, however, a quick look at whether Lieberman may or may not be vulnerable to such a challenge. When Markos posted the results of the most recent Quinnipiac poll over at DailyKos, one thing jumped out at me:

Lieberman job approval among CT Democrats:
Approve: 66
Disapprove: 23
Don't Know: 11

That looks pretty strong, no? A 66-23 approval rating doesn't exactly suggest vulnerability to a primary challenge. But check out these numbers from what I feel is a very closely analogous situation:

Specter job approval among PA Republicans:
Approve: 61
Disapprove: 20
Don't Know: 20

This poll was taken in February of 2003, a little over a year before the PA Senate primary in 2004 - in other words, roughly in the same timeframe as the Lieberman Q-Poll (the CT primary should take place in August of 2006, if I'm not mistaken). Again, those numbers certainly didn't make Arlen Specter look at-risk.

But he was seen as being out-of-step with his party faithful (indeed, like Joe, Arlen's approval among Dems was actually slightly higher than among GOPers). And he was indeed challenged vigorously. You could describe it as a "challenge from the right," but I think it's also valid to say that Pat Toomey represented those who wanted to challenge Specter for his perceived disloyalty to the GOP - in other words, for reasons not dissimilar to those many of us put forth for unseating Joe.

And remember what happened:

PA GOP Senate Primary Results
Specter: 51
Toomey: 49

Phew! That was close! Specter won by just 17,000 votes out of over a million cast - when not long before the election, he had a 3-to-1 approval rating among his own party members. Pretty remarkable that Toomey came so incredibly close to unseating an incumbent senator in a primary - but perhaps not all that surprising.

So what does this say to me? Two things: 1) Polls such as these don't accurately reflect the views of likely primary voters; and 2) a 3-to-1 approval rating does not mean you are invulnerable to a challenge. Joe Lieberman should probably not be sleeping too soundly.

(Cross-posted to DailyKos.)

Posted at 03:23 PM in Connecticut | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

2006 Senate Primary: Lieberman is in trouble

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via Kos...

Quinnipiac Univ. 3/29-4/4. MoE 2.5% (No trend lines.)

Lieberman approval ratings
            All    GOP    Dem
Approve      67     72     66
Disapprove   22     18     23

Lieberman deserves reelection?
            All    GOP    Dem
Yes          66     73     65
No           25     22     25

Senator Lieberman is more popular with Republicans and more loathed by Democrats?

Posted at 01:30 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Connecticut | Comments (2) | Technorati

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Primary campaign against Lieberman heats up

Posted by Bob Brigham

NOTE: Swing State Project is closely following the 2006 Senate Primary in Connecticut. You can read more about the strategy and check out the maps.

Manchester Journal-Inquirer:

In an extraordinary encounter last week with members of the Democratic State Central Committee, the senator was forced to defend his hawkish record by Myrna Watanabe, Harwinton's town chairwoman.

Watanabe, a professional science writer who took notes on the exchange, told Lieberman that while she appreciated his "very good" voting record, she wanted to know how she could present him for re-election in her town when "our people are pretty pacifistic" and were opposed the war in Iraq "from the beginning," when "our people don't support Rice," and when "they are most unhappy with Gonzales."

She said Lieberman responded that he does what he believes is right, that he didn't want the war to be used as a litmus test, and finally that he didn't have to come to Harwinton. [...]

Watanabe said she was unsatisfied when Lieberman concluded that they had had a "difference of opinion." She subsequently wrote him saying it was more like a "gaping chasm between you and the state party's rank-and-file."

"Your 70 percent approval rating will do you no good in getting the party's nomination if our Democratic town committees refuse to support you," she warned.

Lieberman's voting record:

In the last three months, Lieberman has sided with the president's stated position on five votes and disagreed on just one, according to VoteTracker, a nonpartisan subscription service that follows every vote cast in both houses of Congress. [...]

The president doesn't take a position on every bill before the Senate, but the Republican majority certainly does. So far in the 109th Congress, Lieberman has agreed with the opposition on 17 votes and disagreed on 63.

His stands with the Republicans included his vote against California Sen. Barbara Boxer's objection to certifying the results of the 2004 presidential election, which failed 74-1, as well as his vote to invoke cloture in the debate over the bankruptcy bill, which passed 69-31.

Lieberman's votes with the Republican majority included his votes on the Rice, Gonzales, and Chertoff nominations, the class action bill, and the genetic information bill.

But it is his words that embarrass Democrats:

Lieberman's toughest critics, however, say he has become not so much embarrassed as traitorous at a critical time when Republicans -- and very partisan Republicans at that -- control both the White House and the Congress.

Many point to the much-publicized kiss Bush planted on Lieberman's cheek on the night of his state of the union address in January as the most poignant symbol of the senator's fealty to the president.

John M. Orman, a Fairfield University political science professor who recently announced his intention to mount a Democratic primary campaign, says he's also disgusted with Lieberman's support of Bush's claim that Social Security is in "crisis" and with the senator's support for the invasion of Iraq.

Citing a statewide poll from last year that showed slightly more Republicans supported Lieberman than Democrats, Orman branded him a "Republicrat" who might as well switch parties.

"He calls it being a New Democrat or a DLC Democrat," the professor said, referring to the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, which Lieberman helped to create.

"But in a Democratic primary, that's what the Democrats' rank-and-file will have to decide. Are we a party of accommodation or of opposition? I believe we must be a party of opposition."

"Lieberman, for example, was just on national television with Chris Shays," Orman added, referring to the Republican congressman from Connecticut's 5th District. "Shays was arguing that the Congress had gone too far in the Schiavo case, and Joe Lieberman was there talking almost like Tom DeLay."

It isn't just words that have create the "gaping chasm" between Lieberman and Democrats, it is also the blood on Lieberman's hands:

It may be Lieberman's early and continued support for the invasion of Iraq, however, that has drawn the most wrath from Connecticut Democrats, including some party leaders.

The lead Democratic co-sponsor of the Gulf War resolution in 1991, Lieberman joined Republican John McCain in 1998 to introduce the Iraq Liberation Act, which made the "liberation" of that country U.S. policy. He later became the lead sponsor of a 2002 resolution authorizing Bush to use force, if necessary, to disarm Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Lieberman's corporate donors may be able to buy him the seat for another six years, but the boos he will hear whenever he takes the stage he's earned on his own.

Posted at 07:37 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Connecticut | Technorati

Sunday, April 03, 2005

2006 Primary: Joe Lieberman credibility bankrupt?

Posted by Bob Brigham

I actually did vote for it before I voted against it:

The greatest hypocrisy on this bill may come from the Democrats, who often speak as if they are the party of working people. Some Democratic senators spoke against the bill and then voted for it. One of them, Senator Joe Lieberman, spoke for it and against it, voted for cloture (cutting off debate and moving the bill toward passage) and then voted against the bill.

Posted at 06:28 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Connecticut, Economy | Technorati

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

CT-2: Rob Simmons challenged to refuse DeLay Money

Posted by Bob Brigham

Campaign for America's Future:

The Public Campaign Action Fund begins a $25,000 buy of television ads also calling on Rep. DeLay to resign this week in three districts represented by Republican members Rep. Rob Simmons, R-Conn., Republican National Committee Chair Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-N.Y., and House Ethics Committee Chair Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash.

The Campaign for America’s Future spot is available for viewing at Text of the ad follows:

“Without DeLay” TV :30

Female narrator:

He has scoffed at the law.

Male narrator:

Tom Delay. A pattern of abusing authority.

Female narrator:

Repeatedly the House Ethics Committee has found Tom Delay guilty of serious rules violations.

Male narrator:

Tom DeLay is a national embarrassment. He should resign his leadership position, if not his office.

Female narrator:

It’s time for Republicans to stand up and demand Delay’s resignation

Male narrator:

Congressman Simmons. Refuse the tens of thousands of dollars Tom DeLay’s PAC just raised for you, and clean up Congress without DeLay.

Posted at 07:17 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Activism, Connecticut, New York, Washington | Technorati

Monday, March 28, 2005

2006 Connecticut Primary: Lieberman unacceptability

Posted by Bob Brigham

From The Washington Times:

"His message is basically 'Republican good, Democrat bad,'" says Keith Crane, a member of the , Branford, Conn., town Democratic Committee. So lately Crane has taken on another role: He is one of the founders of Dump Joe, a group dedicated to finding and supporting a candidate willing to challenge Lieberman in next year's primary election. "Opposition to Lieberman is driven by the sense that at a time when Democrats are seeking to achieve unity, and liberals are seeking to construct a new infrastructure comparable to the one the conservative movement has built over the past 30 years, Lieberman is uninterested in acting as a team player. Postings on the Dump Joe e-mail list cite his willingness to disparage fellow Democrats on Fox News, often alongside his 'good friend' Sean Hannity, as evidence of his unacceptability."

Kissing Bush on the floor of Congress, good friends with Sean Hannity? Brings to mind the old saying: The friend of my enemy is my enemy.

Posted at 01:42 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Connecticut, Netroots | Technorati

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Reid and Lieberman

Posted by Bob Brigham

Tuesday, Democrat Leader Harry Reid threatened to shut down the Senate if the Republicans went Nuclear, invoking a MAD paradigm of interaction.

But MAD only works if everyone is on the same page. Imagine the response if a general, in the heat of the Cold War, had said that he wouldn't respond in-kind to a nuclear attack.

If your friends aren't with you when the other side goes Nuclear, then they are probably your enemies.

MSNBC sets the stage:

'Cataclysmic event' “If Republicans want to go down this road, they are going to be beginning a huge, partisan, cataclysmic event, the implications of which are so profound that none of us really know the answer to it,” said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the Democrats arrayed behind Reid on the Capitol steps.

The next subhead:

Key Democrats: Nelson, Lieberman Conspicuous by their absence from Reid’s Capitol steps event were two Democrats: Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who has voted against all but one of the Democratic filibusters since 2003, and Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. Both men are up for re-election next year, and Nelson is running in a state Bush won with 66 percent of the vote.

Damn straight Lieberman's absence was conspicuous.

Harry Reid responds in Raw Story:

Sen. Reid took pains to detail why he feels blogs–and Internet news sites in general–are paramount. Reid says he believes much of the American agenda today is dictated by wealth and power, and that blogs offer “regular, ordinary people” a place to have a voice.

“What has happened in recent years… [is] the concentration of media power, so one station, one owner can own 1,200 radio stations,” Reid said. “What this means is that wealth and power control most everything in this country. But one thing they do not control–wealth and power does not control the Internet.”

“I think the blogs are a tremendously important way for the American public to find out what’s really going on,” the senator continued. “That’s why I go out of my way to communicate any way that I can on the Internet.”

Of late, Reid and other Democrats have taken heat from progressive bloggers on the issue of party unity. The Democrats in the Senate split nearly evenly on the recent bankruptcy bill, and some Democrats have been tagged as waffling in their opposition to the president’s Social Security plan.

Reid dismissed the critique, saying it was “not valid.”

“That’s really not valid,” he told RAW STORY. “We have people who have different views on what should happen once privatization is dropped. But that’s good and healthy; there’s nothing wrong with that.”

“We have had unity on Social Security,” he added. “Total unity. Everyone agrees that privatization would destroy Social Security and we have also total cooperation and unity in the fact that if he’s willing to back off that–privatization–we’re willing to work on Social Security’s out year problems.”

Total unity on Social Security is a good start.

Posted at 11:50 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2008 President - Democrats, Activism, Connecticut | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Lieberman Primary challenger?

Posted by Bob Brigham

Dr. JOHN ORMAN has announced the formation of an exploratory committee. It looks like it is getting interesting in Connecticut 2006 Senate Primary.

Full release below the fold, from a Kos diary

PRESS RELEASE March 16, 2005

Citizen activist and political analyst, Dr. JOHN ORMAN, Politics Professor at Fairfield

University, announced today his intention to create an advisory committee to evaluate

his candidacy to challenge Joe Lieberman for the Democratic nomination for U.S.

Senate in the 2006 primary. Orman said, "There is a great national debate going on

for the heart and soul of the Democratic party. Let the battle begin here and now in


Orman said, " What sealed my discontent with Lieberman was the famous kiss

that President Bush planted on him after this year's State of the Union Address."

"Our party's Senator is no longer a Democrat. He has joined the Republicrat Party.

After 17 years as a safe seat Senator, Joe has lost touch with his party and with his state."

Orman declared," Just as Lieberman indicated in 1988 that Lowell Weicker was a

sleeping bear in the woods who was an arrogant incumbent, Lieberman has crossed

over into that same forest. Joe is a minority member of the national minority party who

has a worse attending record in the Senate than Lowell Weicker ever did."

Orman noted, "Lieberman was wrong on his support of Bush's claim that the Social

Security System is in crisis. He was wrong to support Bush's war on terror diversion

into Iraq. He was wrong to support Attorney General Gonzalez for confirmation.

Lieberman should just join the Republican Party."

Orman observed, "Lieberman has ignored his Connecticut Democratic base of seniors,

working women and men, students, teachers, liberal Democrats, progressives and others.

Regardless of whether I decide to run for the U.S. Senate nomination against Joe

Lieberman, the Senator has been put on notice that he will be challenged."

Orman was the Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in 1984

in the 4th Congressional District who ran against Stewart McKinney. In 2000

Orman was the Connecticut citizen who stepped forward to challenge Joe Lieberman

for running for two different national offices at the same time. When Orman started to

file official complaints in September ,2000 he made it a national issue. By October 2000

the issue had become a state issue and the Quinnipiac Poll reported that 45% agreed

with Lieberman and 46% disagreed with him running for two offices at the same time.

Orman is the author of five books including PRESIDENTIAL SECRECY AND



CELEBRITY POLITICS (co-author Darrell West). Orman has appeared on CNN, Fox,

ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, BBC and other networks talking about politics in America.

He is frequently quoted on American politics in national newspapers and publications.

Posted at 11:47 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Connecticut | Technorati

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Lieberman's potential 2006 primary

Posted by Bob Brigham

In my last post on a potential Lieberman primary, I used a series of maps to illustrate the problem Lieberman would have due to the unique situation of his state being situated in the middle of a high density bastion of Democratic support. The argument that I laid out was for the potential of an invasion of out-of-town Democrats focused on enforcing Party discipline.

In response, it was noted how Howard Dean’s invasion during the Iowa Caucuses backfired.

I agree with the analysis that the Iowa voters were turned off by out-of-state activists telling them who to vote for. This was heightened by the vast cultural divide between the Dean supporters and Iowa Democrats.

However, this will not apply to a potential primary campaign for three main reasons.

The blogosphere learns very quickly and having identified this, the blogosphere will adapt. Any such primary campaign will focus on organizing Connecticut residents who support a united Party to convince their neighbors to join them in support.

The second major reason why this won’t be relevant is because the cultural divide between Connecticut and the surrounding area is minimal. Many Connecticut voters work in New York and New Yorkers campaigning will not intrinsically offend their cultural sensibilities.

Finally, the lesson of the Dean campaign is that people don’t want outsiders telling them who to vote for. The inverse of this statement has yet to be tested. At this point, any primary campaign would not be a positive movement for a candidate, but a negative statement. Extensive evidence proves that voters respond as intended to negative attacks and a campaign that focuses negatively will not face the same hurdles.

When these factors are considered, it is easy to conclude that out-of-state volunteers could effectively contribute to a potential primary campaign against Lieberman. By focusing out-of-state volunteers on communicating and organizing supporters, their efforts could help build the type of infrastructure necessary for a true grassroots campaign. When interacting with undecided and Lieberman voters, having their efforts focused on a purely negative message would allow their argument to gain traction regardless of their home address.

These are only some initial points and strong on-the-ground leadership and direction will surely refine such tactics.

But it is true that if there is a challenge, people will come. By realizing how such efforts have been counter-productive in the past, organizers could construct a campaign that will minimize liabilities while maximizing effectiveness.

Such a campaign could be an exciting test case for post-modern primary involvement.

Posted at 11:02 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Connecticut, Netroots | Technorati

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Potential Lieberman Primary

Posted by Bob Brigham

Some people need to realize that it isn't the blogosphere that would organize a potential primary campaign, the blogosphere would just nationalize the effort.

It is Connecticut Democrats, on the ground in Connecticut, having the discussion:

Connecticut Democrats dissatisfied with U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman want to mount a primary election challenge to the three-term incumbent in 2006 and say they are debating the merits of as many as six alternative candidates. Tom Swan, executive director of the Connecticut Citizen Action Group and a party insider involved in the insurgency, declined this week to name any of the potential challengers. "There's a great deal of displeasure with Joe and some of his recent actions," Swan said, referring to the senator's stance on proposed changes to the Social Security system and his support for the confirmations of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. "But it would be premature at this point to discuss specifics."

For those unfamiliar with Citizens Action, they spend most of their time walking door-to-door, but take breaks for in-your-face media events.

Nevertheless, Swan and Nathan Karnes, a member of a Democratic ward committee in New Haven and a leader of a "DumpJoe" message group at, said those under consideration include current and past state officials and at least two "high-profile" figures from the entertainment industry who live in the state and are politically active.

They said the latter do not include actor and philanthropist Paul Newman, a Westport resident who had been rumored to be considering a race against Lieberman that party leaders have since discounted.

How do you nationalize a primary?

The insurgents' comments came as a Web site created by a former Connecticut resident now living in southern California began collecting cash pledges from those who would help fund a primary bid against Lieberman.

Under the rubric "timetogojoe," the site brands the senator as "a Democrat in name only" and seeks to raise as much as $1 million for "any real Democrat" who might oppose him.

The tone of web campaigns?

"Had enough of Joe Lieberman playing both sides of the aisle?" the site's home page asks. "Let's give the Left-Hating, War-Hawking, Bush-Kissing, Neo-Con, Torture Apologist the primary he deserves."

In one of the most recent postings, a participant calling himself "joesnotmyhometownboy" attacks Lieberman for his position on the board of directors of The Nixon Center, a division of the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation. The Washington-based think tank is headed by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

It isn't about being a leftwing Democrat, it is about being a proud Democrat:

"We're saying, "Hey, what do you guys think about this guy?'" Karnes said. "We don't have to accept him at the Democratic nominee in '06 without a challenge, and I think the reception has been very good."

The listserve's participants have bristled at characterizations of Lieberman's Democratic opponents as "liberal," and Karnes said it is not necessarily true that he and his colleagues all hail from their party's left wing.

He noted that his parents and their friends, who he said were by no means liberals, shared the sentiment prevailing on the listserve.

"It's really Joe Lieberman that's moved away from the Democratic Party," he said. "And it's not just the social issues where he had moved away."

In news probably unrelated to Lieberman looking at a tough primary, CREW exposes he has taken $16,000 from smut peddlers. Atrios posted the story and gave a good laugh to 50,000 netroots activists...

Posted at 05:47 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Connecticut, Netroots | Technorati

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Lieberman, DLC, Bloggers and the 2006 Primary

Posted by Bob Brigham

As of late, there has been a great deal of discussion concerning a potential primary challenge to Senator Joe Lieberman. As is to be expected, the DLC is flacking for Lieberman, here's what our friend at Bull Moose says:

While the Moose is clearly partial to the blogosphere, as of yet, he has not seen evidence it carries much political clout outside of raising money.

First of all, I'm glad we can all agree that any primary would be very well financed. Furthermore, it bears notice that bloggers don't pay consultants on percentage, and absent such conflicts of interest the bulk would not be wasted on TV (Lieberman would not have such an advantage and considering the expense of the media markets involved, this is very relevant).

Democratic Primary voters love an underdog (cue: Eye of the Tiger), so any such investment in media would gain immediate traction. The numbers I spend all day looking at on Social Security suggest that any such campaign would have even more support among seniors than among young anti-war activists.

So, bloggers would have the money to run plenty of mail, robo-calls, radio, etc. And the money to build the organization.

The organization is where things get interesting. Because the unique geographical location of the district in relationship to a fuckton of people.

In fact, if you look nationwide at population density outside, but nearby a state, Connecticut would be the poster child for volunteer mobilization in a nationalized primary. Here's a density map based on population density that I pulled together from National Atlas
Keep reading for all the maps.

Clearly Connecticut brings this potential dynamic into play more than any other state in the union. Not only would comparisions to non-internet driven campaigns be irrelevant, but so would comparisions with past primary campaigns in other regions.

In fact, when we zoom in, it becomes even clearer that there are a helluva lot of people nearby.

The problem is that this map uses the same color (dark blue) to show density of 250-66,395. Which is a fairly wide range, so let's look at the extreme population density with another map where each point of light represents 7,500 people. When you look at the area around his district it is lit up like it could be seen from space.

The biggest problem for Lieberman in any potential primary campaign is that a great deal of these people are Democrats. Playing around with Professor Robert Vanderbei's maps shows that not only are there a great deal of people, but that the people who live near Connecticut compromise a bastion of Democratic voters. The following map is a sliding partisan scale (blue to red) with the vertical axis representing population density.

The blue skyscrapers just outside of Connecticut represent the northeastern base of the Democratic Party. Many of these voters are activists and if organized (hmmm, such as online) could be mobilized to form an organization unlike any army ever raised for a primary campaign.

The important thing to note is that these volunteers would have more than idealogy on their side, they would actually have science. Yes, scientists study how Lieberman hurts the Democratic Party in the minds of swing voters. Cognative Scientist Professor George Lakoff concludes:

There is a myth that voters are lined up in a left-to-right line, and that to gain the support of swing voters, you must move to the center. When progressives move to the right, they lose in two ways, setting up a self-defeating double-whammy:

1) Moving to the right alienates your progressive base.

2) It actually helps conservatives because it activates their model in swing voters.

Notice that conservatives do not gain more voters by moving to the Left. What they do is stick to their strict ideology to activate their model in swing voters by being clear and consistent in policies and messages framed in terms of conservative values.

A potential primary be instantly nationalized, would have a pile of money that would fundamentally be spent more effectively, access to a greater pool of out-of-district activists than any race in the country, and the volunteers would know that they are scientifically doing the best thing for the Democratic Party.

Oh yeah, it it would start online so it would be extra nasty...

Posted at 12:35 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Connecticut, Netroots | Technorati

Friday, February 18, 2005

Lieberman Primary Challenge?

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Believe me, I would love to see it. I am a strong believer that fighting inside primaries is the best way for us to change the face of our party. We do it in presidential races, why not the Senate? Is that body not important enough?

Personally, I believe the fact we don't routinely have contested Democratic primaries on the Senate level is the fault of our national party (more on this later). This is especially true in open seats and ones with a Republican incumbent. However, some Democrats need to be put on notice as well. Unfortunately, this is why it would be so tough to take out Joementum in a contested primary (MoE +/- 3.3%)

Among Democrats:

Approve: 72%
Disapprove: 19%
DK: 9%

His numbers drop only slightly when you expand beyond Democrats only and into Republicans and Independents.

Posted at 09:40 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Connecticut | Technorati

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