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CT Senate: Halfway to an Answer

HARTFORD, Conn. -- A roar went up from the crowd assembled here at the Lieberman election watch party at the Goodwin Hotel as Sen. Joe Lieberman (D) crept back into contention with challenger Ned Lamont.

With 54 percent of precincts reporting, Lamont led 52 percent to 48 percent. Despite the narrowing margin, there was some pessimism about Lieberman's chances in the room.

Should Lieberman lose, expect an announcement tonight about whether or not he will pursue an independent bid. We will be there.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 8, 2006; 9:37 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Next: Lieberman Concedes Connecticut Primary to Lamont


I note in more than one comment in this chain that folks in the right are crying foul over invented stuff. Dude didn't compare Lieberman to Franco, and one poster above that acted insulted over a very non insulting post. Point is that you can feel a certain "rhetoric" paper tiger approach to the arguments.

But anyhow.

I think Lieberman stands a good chance of losing in the general election. We'll see. Hes already said he would caucus with the democrats, so Im not sure that the dems lose much either way.

But look - there are a lot of folks, conservatives as well as liberals, republicans as well as democrats who both did not believe there were WMDs in Iraq and believe our foreign policy is being handled horribly. Lieberman stood for almost all the wrong choices in these key issues. Its not a complicated issue really, nor is it a case of nutters ousting a middle of the road fella. The most important issue of the day he was not fair minded about, but rather took the hard line *every* time, without exception, without any appearance of having weighed any other option.

When polticians make the wrong decisions, voters should install folks who will make better ones. Simple as that.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 9, 2006 1:01 PM | Report abuse

All you anti-Lieberman guys are forgeting one BIG thing. Lamont's victory in the primary, in the long run, will almost guarantee a loss of one Democratic seat in the Senate. Joe will almost certainly go back to the Senate...Lamont probably can't beat him in the general election.....and he will go back as an independent, voting with Republicans on some issues.
All this primary did was determine what label Joe would go back to the Senate under, not IF he would.

Posted by: MM | August 9, 2006 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget 2000. He was on the ballot for VP as well as Senator. This guy is for HIMSELF.

Posted by: lylepink | August 9, 2006 1:52 AM | Report abuse


Thanks. Just in case people didn't take my claims of the left-wing smear campaign against Joe Lieberman, you've just provided an excellent (and highly representative) example.

Frankly, comparing Lieberman to Franco seems a bit over the top. But Lamont supporters never let the truth get in the way of a good smear.

Posted by: D. Olstein | August 9, 2006 1:00 AM | Report abuse

If Lieberman was left of Center, then Franco was a Commie.

Someone left of center doesn't tell rape victims to get up off the gurney and go to another hospital if they can't get the care they need at such a horrific time.

Someone left of center doesn't tell a family what to do when they must make difficult decisions about the care of their loved ones.

Someone left of center doesn't screech endlessly about the horrors of violence in videogames...then turn around and support a brutal, unnecessary war killing and maiming thousands.

A left of center pol wouldn't have voted for the bankruptcy bill. Or voted against cloture on Alito, only to vote against him, when it didn't matter, because Alito was a done deal.

A left of center person would have never agreed to table parliamentary rights that had stood for scores of years before Lieberman was ever born, just to seem "bipartisan," when what he was really doing was selling out others in his party, stabbing them in the back.

A left of center pol wouldn't have told his own party members to shut up and support the policies of the other side, or else they were traitors.

Lieberman mand all of those mistakes, and more.

He's no left of center person. He gamed the system to appear that way.

Posted by: LJ | August 9, 2006 12:43 AM | Report abuse

As for smearing, ths examples are abundant. How about all the repeated claims that Lieberman was a right winger and a DINO? Lieberman's many critics on the blogosphere seem physically incapable of admitting the obvious -- that Lieberman's voting record over his 18 year stint in the Senate is decidedly left-of-center. Rather than being honest, and admitting that Lieberman's progressive record on the environment, civil rights, abortion rights and labor issues didn't mean squat to them and all they really cared about was his hawkish foreign policy positions, they simply lied and called him a right-wing Republican. And then there's this talk about Lieberman being the Democratic Judas who stabbed Clinton in the back during the Lewinsky scandal. Even setting aside the blatantly antisemitic tones of the Judas argument, the fact of the matter is that Lieberman's speech criticizing Clinton's personal behavior (a) wasn't a surprise to the White House, which had been tipped off by Lieberman himself, (b) fellow Democrats in the Senate were quick to agree with Lieberman's sentiments, and (c) the speech was widely regarded at the time helping the Democratic efforts to fight impeachment. Clinton himself said he agreed with what Lieberman said in his speech. Oddly enough, the one Democratic senator who actually provided support for Republican impeachment efforts -- Russ Feingold -- has never been called a Judas by the left-wing blogosphere.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 9, 2006 12:26 AM | Report abuse

D. Olstein -- Lieberman wasn't smeared by anyone. His record speaks for itself, and not in a positive way. Joe has been undermining his old party for a long time and his announcement tonight just formalizes the fact that he left a long time ago. Seriously, you don't cite any facts in your post - you just complain about unspecified "smearing." An example please. Just one? oh right, you aren't interested in facts or the good of the party or the country. Just in keeping Joe in power.

Posted by: Colin | August 9, 2006 12:04 AM | Report abuse

What are the Lamont supporters afraid of? Could it possibly be that they're afraid their candidate doesn't have broad enough appeal to defeat Joe Lieberman in the general election?

Frankly, I'd be a little more sypmathetic with regard to claims from the left-wing blogosphere that Lieberman's not "playing by the rules" if it weren't for the fact that (1) many in the left-wing blogosphere supported Nader's third party bid in 2000 and (2) the left-wing hadn't engaged in a years-long smear campaign against Lieberman which involved blantantly misrepresenting Lieberman's voting record. While ordinarily I wouldn't hold a candidate for the actions of his supporters, Lamont actively courted the blogosphere, going to far as to put Kos in one of his television ads.

Besides, what's so bad about giving voters in Connecticut a choice of two Democrats in the fall? It's not as if the Republican nominee has even the slightest chance of getting elected.

Posted by: D. Olstein | August 8, 2006 11:55 PM | Report abuse

I think now, after watching Joe on C-Span just now, just how right I've been about him for so many years. There will be an official announcement tomorrow, but it has already been said. He cares for none of the people, only himself. The Repubs are very happy about this, as they should be. Come November the thing Lamont will be up against is a number of political parties rolled into one.

Posted by: lylepink | August 8, 2006 11:45 PM | Report abuse


TR: I asked one officer why are you talking to me about these things, and he looked down at his hands, and he said because I have the blood of American troops on my hands. And I said what do you mean? And he said because when I said to Rumsfeld we need that division, and Rumsfeld said no, I gave up. I compromised. And he said U.S. troops died because of that. And he said that's why I'm talking to you.

HH: And you can't name him, though?

TR: No.

HH: Well, you'll pardon me, Tom, Mr. Ricks.

TR: And he was practically crying as he spoke to me about this.

Posted by: F&B | August 8, 2006 11:28 PM | Report abuse

When is the primary for this new Team Connecticut party? ;)

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | August 8, 2006 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Watch the Dem Establishment quiver as theyre forced to back Ned.

And here he is!

"CT is called the land of steady habits.... but tonight we voted for a Big Change!"

"Stay the course. Not a winning strategy in Iraq. And its not a winning strategy in America."

Posted by: F&B | August 8, 2006 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman is reality-challenged. Will I join him? Into a cell maybe. He's soliciting national help? I'll offer my kick in the ass. (Unless Red Foreman wants to do the honours) He's the martyr saving his party and country? Please. Here's my idea Joe: shut up and go home.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | August 8, 2006 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Take that Joe. Take that Hannity, Malkin and Coulter. Take that Washington Post. All your propaganda didn't work. Joe Soreloserman is the biggest WATB I have ever seen. I hope the establishment takes away his assignments, goes to campaign for Ned and pressures Joe to do the right thing. Democracy has spoken. Score!

Posted by: Greg in LA | August 8, 2006 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Sore Loserman, indeed. What a tool.

Posted by: Chris | August 8, 2006 11:17 PM | Report abuse

I wish I could type faster. Lieberman just asked for campaign contributions when his site is "unhacked". After totally pandering to Republicans. What a shill. At least he is NO LONGER A DEMOCRAT.

Posted by: F&B | August 8, 2006 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Canned concession.

"For the sake of my country and my party I cannot let the result stand..."

Accuses Lamont of "insults instead of ideas"

Posted by: F&B | August 8, 2006 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Joe on, Please concede!

Joseph I. Lieberman 128,566 48.1%
Ned Lamont 138,836 51.9%

95% of Precincts Reporting

Posted by: F&B | August 8, 2006 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | August 8, 2006 11:03 PM | Report abuse

706 of 748 Precincts Reporting - 94.39%
Name Party Votes Pct
Lamont, Ned Dem 136,353 51.73
Lieberman, Joe (i) Dem 127,249 48.27

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | August 8, 2006 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Latest Results 10:44 PM ET

Joseph I. Lieberman 126,330 48.4%
Ned Lamont 134,942 51.6%

94% of Precincts Reporting

Soooo clooose!!!

Posted by: F&B | August 8, 2006 10:57 PM | Report abuse

702 of 748 Precincts Reporting - 93.85%
Name Party Votes Pct
Lamont, Ned Dem 134,942 51.65
Lieberman, Joe (i) Dem 126,330 48.35

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | August 8, 2006 10:56 PM | Report abuse

From Drudge Report:
"Georgia, U.S. House Democratic District 4
Precincts Reporting: 113 of 167 (68%)
Hank Johnson 25112 58%
Cynthia McKinney (I) 18056 42%"

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 8, 2006 10:56 PM | Report abuse

In Connecticut I see 92% reporting now, with a 8400 vote differential in favor of Lamont.

Posted by: Zathras | August 8, 2006 10:56 PM | Report abuse

667 of 748 Precincts Reporting - 89.17%
Name Party Votes Pct
Lamont, Ned Dem 127,786 51.60
Lieberman, Joe (i) Dem 119,867 48.40

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | August 8, 2006 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Georgia, it looks like Cynthia McKinney has lost. She is down 16 points with 66% reporting.

The Capitol Police can now breathe safely.

Posted by: Zathras | August 8, 2006 10:55 PM | Report abuse

For Colorado, you can go here:

For Georgia:

Posted by: Zathras | August 8, 2006 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know any cite which has other returns from today (GA, CO)?

Posted by: Andrew | August 8, 2006 10:48 PM | Report abuse

This is OT but very interesting:

Ohio law may complicate GOP plans in choosing Ney replacement

By Sabrina Eaton
Plain Dealer Bureau

Washington - Embattled congressman Bob Ney's decision to drop his re-election campaign spawned chaos Tuesday as Ohio political experts pored through election laws to determine how to replace him on the ballot and whether two potential successors qualify to compete in a special primary election to succeed him.


Election lawyers scrambled Tuesday afternoon to research whether the state's "sore loser" law, meant to bar unsuccessful primary contenders from finagling general election ballot slots, would prevent State Sen. Joy Padgett and Zanesville financial analyst James Brodbelt Harris from competing in a special election to succeed Ney.

Padgett, who lost a GOP primary for lieutenant governor this year, said she didn't believe the law would affect her campaign. She officially announced her congressional candidacy on Monday, with blessings from Ney and House Majority Leader John Boehner of West Chester.

"I think it is a tactic to slow me down, but it won't work," said Padgett.


"It is not a slam dunk either way," said Terri Enns, a senior fellow in election law at Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law. She predicts the issue will end up in court. "The sore loser statute doesn't specifically reference special elections."

Democratic election lawyer Donald McTigue said the statute would "most definitely" apply to Padgett and Harris.


Posted by: F&B | August 8, 2006 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Latest Results 10:12 PM
Joseph Lieberman 111,887 votes 48.1%
Ned Lamont 120,616 votes 51.9%
84% of Precincts Reporting

Lamont's "victory gap" is actually widening a little bit.

Posted by: Andrew | August 8, 2006 10:27 PM | Report abuse

84% is in--52 over 48 for Lamont. Does anyone besides me find it funny that the percentage spread between hasn't changed since the first hours of voting? How likely is that? It's really very odd -- different suburbs, different towns and demographics, but still the same point spread?

Posted by: Drindl | August 8, 2006 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Latest Results 10:12 PM ET
Joseph I. Lieberman 111,887 48.1%
Ned Lamont 120,616 51.9%

84% of Precincts Reporting

Posted by: F&B | August 8, 2006 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Zathras, The other Chris, Chris Matthews of MSNBC, said this evening that he has it from an "unimpeachable source" that if Lieberman loses, he will run as an Independent in November.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 8, 2006 10:25 PM | Report abuse

C-span is all over it as usual. They were streaming Hartford TV and the Lieberman camp was EMPTY. Just some reporters milling around. Lamont camp was rocking. WHO is voting for Lieberman?

Posted by: F&B | August 8, 2006 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Drudge, ever model of restraint, is calling it for Lamont (with the siren, so you know it must be true).

Posted by: Chris | August 8, 2006 10:21 PM | Report abuse

For people keeping score at home, the WTNH site seems to be the fastest to post up-to-date results.

With 80% reporting,
Joe Lieberman X 108,683 48%
Ned Lamont 116,387 52%

Raw vote differential has widened to 7700 votes--largest so far.

Posted by: Zathras | August 8, 2006 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Chris, regarding an announcement about an independent candidacy, is that some inside information or an educated guess?

Posted by: Zathras | August 8, 2006 10:10 PM | Report abuse

U.S. Senate - - Dem Primary
484 of 748 Precincts Reporting - 64.71%
Name Party Votes Pct
Lamont, Ned Dem 89,814 51.60
Lieberman, Joe (i) Dem 84,231 48.40

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | August 8, 2006 9:53 PM | Report abuse

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