In possible general election matchups:
* Running as an independent, Lieberman gets 51 percent, to 27 percent for Lamont and 9 percent for Schlesinger.
But as Mark Schmitt's been saying for a while the negative momentum created by a clear defeat in the primary will have a catalyzing effect.1
Do you see the Lieberman primary challenge as a bellwether, or is it peculiar to very blue Connecticut?
No race in the country is drawing as much national attention as Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman's challenge from wealthy businessman Ned Lamont in the state's Aug. 8 Democratic primary. While we tended to limit our bellwether picks to general-election races rather than primaries, the Connecticut contest is certainly a bellwether of sorts -- it shows the depth of dissatisfaction within the Democratic base toward the war in Iraq.
The Quinnipiac poll released recently showed Lieberman down by four points among those most likely to vote in the Democratic primary -- an extremely troubling sign for the incumbent. Some in the Democratic consulting world are predicting a double-digit loss for Lieberman in the primary, arguing that Democrats -- for whatever reason -- have decided they want him gone.
As I've said before, I think it is not just the fact that Lieberman has supported the war but how he has expressed that support that has gotten him into this bind. Many liberal Democrats view Lieberman as sanctimonious and scolding when it comes to Iraq, and I think it is his tone (more than his stance) that has provoked the outpouring of vitriol toward him on the liberal left.
Should Lieberman go down in the primary, expect other Democrats -- especially those thinking about running for president in 2008 -- to become more tepid in their support -- or more vocal in their criticism of -- the Iraq conflict.
U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 109th Congress - 2nd Session
Question: On the Nomination (Confirmation Samuel A. Alito, Jr., of New Jersey, to be an Associate Justice )
Connecticut: Dodd (D-CT), Nay Lieberman (D-CT), Nay
[Kerry] won more votes than any Democrat in history
"If there is worse news for Sen. Joe Lieberman than the fact that another poll shows him well behind his primary challenger, Ned Lamont, it may be this: Almost two-thirds of his party's voters said they thought he should bow out of the race if he cannot beat Lamont on Tuesday.
Lieberman, who is seeking a fourth term in the Senate, trails Lamont 53 percent to 43 percent, according to a poll of likely Democratic voters commissioned by The Day.
And 63 percent of those polled said they thought Lieberman should not run as an independent candidate if he loses the primary, as the senator has said he will. Only 24 percent said Lieberman should stay in the race if he can't win his party's nomination.
The numbers are grim for Lieberman, said Delair Ali of Research 2000 in Rockville, Md."
[The Day | New London | August 5, 2006]
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