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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

What Happens After Joe?

With the polls closed in Connecticut, Ned Lamont is leading Joe Lieberman by about 3.5% with 75 percent of the vote counted.

So what happens next, if Ned wins (though his lead has been slipping steadily)? One school of thought is that the GOP will run scared in November, because it's obvious that Ned has the right message, the other is that the GOP will love it, because of Ned's message.

Something to keep in mind in today's primary is that it is closed, that means only Democrats are voting, not anyone who'd like to. So it is much less a "statewide referendum" on Lieberman than the Kos kids and their friends would have you believe. It is a Democratic party referendum, that's all.

The fact that it is a closed primary could spell trouble for Ned in the November election. When barely half of your own party is voting for you, that means you need everyone of them, and some of the folks who voted against you to turn out in your favor in November to win.

The problem with that is a lot of folks voting against Lamont are angry with him for the way his campaign, and the ultra left that recruited him, have treated Lieberman. Like the good democrats who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 because they couldn't stomach Al Gore, many good democrats may vote a different way this November because they can't stomach Lamont.

While Lamont's message has played well with the hard core liberals, the fact is it's been a loser in every race since 2004 with the general electorate in most states. Kos backed candidates have only won a single race out of 19 so far.

Much has been made of the 27,000 new voters who have come to the Democrats since this race began, mostly brought in by Lamont. But one also begins to wonder how many of them are going to show at the polls in November, if the "beat Lieberman" mission is accomplished. One thing about rabid voters on either side of the aisle, they tend to not vote when it doesn't matter to them. In the case of Connecticut, what seems to matter to that rabid group isn't keeping the seat for the Democrats, but taking it from Lieberman, which they may have accomplished today.

While I'll feel sorry for Lieberman if he loses, I feel sorrier still for the people of his state. What they'll lose is a politician who may not in every way reflect their views, but who has been nothing but honest with them. It's a trait we see in far too few politicians. And, I think that if the voters actually took the time to look at the record, they'd see Ned Lamont has snowed them on the issue of Lieberman being a Bush lapdog. Unfortunately, they'll probably find out too late who was running that snow machine.

Update: At 9:54pm the Washington Post reported that Lieberman conceded, trailing by 3 points with 90% of the vote counted.

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Blogger Lone Pony said...

I knew you'd be on top of this. Thanks Bob.

10:13 PM  
Blogger ablur said...

Lieberman's web site was hacked and shut down on Monday. Complaints have been filed.

Lieberman promised to run as an independent if defeated. This should make the republicans anxious to run a candidate and probably win. Since the Dems are fairly evenly split, it would be a miracle to have one gain power in a three way race.

11:20 PM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

It's the end of the FDR/HST/JFK Democrats. The hippie peacenik appeasers now own that party.

2:11 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Patrick, you are probably correct. Opinon Journal had an interesting article about just that yesterday.

Ablur, see my next post. I think the GOP will keep their current candidate, and concentrate on making sure Lamont loses. The net result is the same for them, a loss of the seat by the Democrats.

7:21 AM  

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