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Conn. Senate: Lamont's Challenge

As we stood in a hotel ballroom on Aug. 8 listening to Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman acknowledge that he would lose the Democratic primary to businessman Ned Lamont but remain in the race as an Independent, one question kept coursing through our mind: Can he possibly win?

Now, two months later, Lieberman and Lamont have swapped roles. Polling shows the incumbent with a high single-digit edge and even the most fervent Lamont supporters admit that he has not run an ideal race to date. Now the question is: Can Lamont win?

The answer is yes, but not without a few breaks.

Let's look first at why Lamont went from primary winner to general election underdog.

For most of the primary, Lamont effectively cast the race as a referendum on Lieberman -- especially his support for the war in Iraq. That approach had Lamont up by double-digits with the Aug. 8 primary date rapidly approaching. Then on Aug. 2, Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson came to the state to endorse Lamont, a move aimed at shoring up his support within the all-important African American community.

The decision to bring in two such high-profile (and controversial) liberals was widely panned by neutral observers who argued that Lamont was comfortably ahead and needed to pivot toward the general election, not play to primary voters.

Although Lamont's primary win was less convincing than originally expected -- 52 percent to 48 percent -- it seems as though his campaign was operating under the assumption that Lieberman would decide against running as an independent in the fall. Wrong. Emboldened by his closer-than-expected primary loss, the incumbent began an aggressive effort to cast Lamont as a liberal who was out of step with the average Connecticut general election voter.

Relying on a consulting team that reflected his new independent status (Republican Neil Newhouse is the pollster, Democrat Josh Isay is the media adviser), Lieberman quickly changed the dynamic of the race from a referendum on his eighteen years in the Senate to one on Lamont's lack of political experience.

In one particularly effective ad, a light bulb is shown on screen. A narrator asks: "Still waiting to hear a new idea out of Ned Lamont? Here's an idea for you: Experience matters." Another commercial features testimonials from Connecticut residents about Lieberman's work to save a submarine base in Groton. "If Ned Lamont was the Senator there would be no sub base today," says one Groton resident. Another calls Lamont a "rookie."

While Lieberman has sharpened his campaign message, Lamont has struggled to define himself as anything other than a single issue candidate (his opposition to the war in Iraq) and has failed to return the focus of the race to Lieberman's time in the Senate.

In the first few weeks after his primary victory, Lamont seemed content to accept the plaudits of national Democrats and the activist community -- forgetting that he still faced a well-funded and aggressive incumbent Senator who began on Aug. 9 to define his challenger in the minds of voters.

In recent weeks Lamont (and his campaign) seem to have awakened, running ads that seek to remind voters that they may not know Lieberman as well as they think they do. One particularly effective commercial shows footage from 1988 when Lieberman was challenging Republican Sen. Lowell Weicker. In it, Lieberman promises to never miss more than 300 votes and vows he will never have one of the worst attendance records in the Senate. A narrator notes that Lieberman has missed more than 400 votes and had the 2nd worst attendance record among Senators. Lieberman then says: "After 18 years it's time for someone new. It's time for a change." The narrator notes: "Finally, he's telling the truth."

It will be interesting to see whether this ad -- the best run by Lamont so far in the general election -- will move the numbers. The latest independent poll in the race, which was conducted by the University of Connecticut, showed Lieberman ahead 46 percent to 39 percent. As he has done in every general election poll, Lieberman held on to roughly one-third of self-identifying Democrats while winning Republicans by a whopping 67 percent to 15 percent over Lamont and carrying Independents 45 percent to 37 percent.

Aside from the head-to-head numbers the poll carried other good news for Lieberman. Fifty-seven percent of those tested approved of the job Lieberman was doing in the Senate compared to 39 percent who disapproved. And, interestingly, Lieberman -- never considered the most charismatic of politicians -- carried a 49 percent to 33 percent edge over Lamont when voters were asked who they would rather "chat with at a party."

Lieberman led Lamont despite the fact the majority of Connecticut voters disagree with his position on the war in Iraq. Only 34 percent said the United States made the right decision by invading Iraq, while 60 percent said it was the wrong decision. Fifty percent of the sample favored setting a timetable for U.S. troops to leave Iraq, while 47 percent wanted to "leave [the] date open" to depart Iraq. Even so, 44 percent said Lieberman came closer to their views on important issues while 39 percent chose Lamont.

All is not lost for Lamont, however.

First, he is down only seven points to a three-term incumbent with less than a month to go before the election. Second, Lamont continues to use his personal wealth to fund his campaign -- ensuring that he will be at financial parity with Lieberman.

Third, Lamont is on the side of a majority of Connecticut voters on the biggest issue of the day: the war in Iraq. If the election were decided simply on whose position on the war more accurately reflected the Connecticut electorate, Lamont would likely win. While that is an unrealistic scenario, the fact that voters in the state are soured on the war should provide Lamont with a major opening to cast doubt on Lieberman's judgement on any number of other issues.

Fourth, remember that Lamont is the official nominee of the Democratic party -- meaning that he will benefit from the party's statewide turnout efforts. Lieberman, on the other hand, must try to build a ground game designed to turn out his voters, no easy task in just a few short months. Lieberman's lack of a formalized get out the vote effort could well mean that his actual performance on election day may not live up to his current polling prowess.

This race continues to fascinate us -- as a political junkie and a Connecticut native. Lieberman and his campaign team deserve considerable credit for fundamentally altering the dynamics of this race in the weeks following his primary loss. But, Lamont can still win the race and appears to be on the right message track entering the final three weeks. We will be watching closely.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 16, 2006; 9:20 AM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Next: A Republican Hits Back on Iraq


I've noticed over and over again that bloggers "don't understand" or are bewildered by polls showing Lieberman ahead and with significant Democratic support. To me, their complete inability to get this shows how out of touch they are with a lot of Connecticut voters. There are large numbers of people -- Dems, Republicans, and independents -- who are less interested in toeing a party line than in having a representative with experience who has a record of voting our way on issues, including the environment, labor, and others. For those people, the fact that a small number of dedicated primary voters may prefer a challenger like Lamont because of the Iraq issue is not going to dictate their vote in the general election. They're going to look at a record of service and vote based on that and on their overall assessment. The fact that so many bloggers profess a complete inability to understand such a vote is scary to me -- some of the posts I've seen are so hate-filled and personal that they seem to be going off the deep end.

Posted by: IndependentThinker | October 18, 2006 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Chris as you know independents were not allowed to vote in the primary. Not sure I believe the latest independent poll, suggesting that Joe is leading. Think the Indies will put Lamont over the edge, considering they are the largest voting block in the state. Nutmeggers are pretty smart "cookies" and can read in between the lines.

Posted by: Shar | October 17, 2006 5:42 AM | Report abuse

To my Dem Friends on my left...

Is the Dem party going to go the way of the Republicans and not allow for a desenting voice in Joe Lieberman. It bothers be tremendously that folks think everyone in the Dem must toe the line of anti-Irag, liberal leaning.

I myself am socially liberal but a fiscal conservative. My roots go back to Kennedy Johnson, Carter and Clinton. I dont subscribe to the DEm party line all the time and guess what, a majority of Americans dont either.

It is very troubling to see so many bloggers on the left, be the anthises of the GOP neocons. Politics comes in shades of grey, not just black and white.

If DEMS want back in power, they are going to have to demonstate they offer the country something different than the GOP and that is compromise, less strident rhetoric, and the ability to govern. Just the opposite of the NeoCons.

So before everyone runs Lieberman off to the GOP, think hard about the Rove strategy and what it has done for this country. I am talking about the extremeism of today's GOP of " IF your not with us, then you must be against us".

If you want proof, just look at the total lack of objectivity of the Zoukster and the Blooomer.

Posted by: Stick a Fork In It. | October 16, 2006 10:29 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: RUGMAN | October 16, 2006 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Keep drinking that koolaid Sara, and keep repeating the talking points while fingering your rosaries. You're going to have a really bad day November 8.

Posted by: drindl | October 16, 2006 5:38 PM | Report abuse

lieberman may be a democrat, but he has been lying down and letting dubya play unsupervised for far too long. I can remember when in the last 2 presidential campaigns he cited his foreigh policy experience as a major asset in a Democratic Party not known for it. That appears to have returned to bite him in the a$$, as, having hitched his wagon to a Texas Lone Star, he sees the predictions of success, and of gratitude, and the transformation of the Middle East along Iraqi lines either faiing or proceeding along unexpected and worrisome lines.
With Democrats like that, we don't need republicans, or put another way, need them even less now than we did to begin with.

Posted by: meuphys | October 16, 2006 5:10 PM | Report abuse

If the topic is about Lieberman and Lamont, what does that have to do with Foley? The Democrats accepted Gerry Studds and his sex relations with a page. So you guys just sound like hypocrites. If Lieberman was screwing around, it would effect his race.
Also, Harry Reid is facing public shame for lying about getting $1 million in a Las Vegas land deal. Again, the William Jefferson from Louisana is another Democrat exposed for corruption. So all sides have some trouble, but at least the GOP got rid of Foley. They might lose the Florida House seat, but the JERK OFF is gone.

Posted by: Sara | October 16, 2006 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Brown is in touch with the average Ohioan. That is why he is winning. To say that Ohio is not a BLUE state is laughable. If not for the funny business in Ohio Kerry would be president. The Republicans will be lucky to hold on to even one statewide office. Ohio will be BLUE for many years after this neocon nightmare, but you know that too. Your fantasies are very interesting

Posted by: Larry | October 16, 2006 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Big Dave: You are about as close to the truth as any regarding Joe as the rep candidate. This has been so apparent to me for how long I can't remember. When he was the VP candidate, to protect himself and his power in the Senate for GW, the thought of losing, and I think he really wanted to, the VP slot I mean to say, would have reduced his power. The VP plays so little of a roll in the power structure that very few are willing to accept it and only for the chance to be POTUS one day in the future.

Posted by: lylepink | October 16, 2006 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Once again, appreciate your condescension bhoomes. What I do or do not understand seems to be far beyond your grasp.

My info does not come from the NYT but people I know inside the parties (both D and R).

I do not need to justify my resume to you. Suffice to say I have been on the inside of Ohio politics for 16 years and I have been paid well for my understanding of political dynamics.

Your treatises on this blog are just a sad last ditch attempt to hold onto power, which is just the same mistake the Republicans in the US House and Senate have made and clouds their objectivity (even Dick Armey thinks so).

Sharp objects, blunt objects--keep them all out of reach on Election Night. Your fall will be hard.

Posted by: RMill | October 16, 2006 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Once again, appreciate your condescension bhoomes. What I do or do not understand seems to be far beyond your grasp.

My info does not come from the NYT but people I know inside the parties (both D and R).

I do not need to justify my resume to you. Suffice to say I have been on the inside of Ohio politics for 16 years and I have been paid well for my understanding of political dynamics.

Your treatises on this blog are just a sad last ditch attempt to hold onto power, which is just the same mistake the Republicans in the US House and Senate have made and clouds their objectivity (even Dick Armey thinks so).

Sharp objects, blunt objects--keep them all out of reach on Election Night. Your fall will be hard.

Posted by: RMill | October 16, 2006 4:23 PM | Report abuse

eference Drindl's 3:28 p.m. post about the set-up for not "Staying the Course."

One of the talking heads yesterday morning (I think that it was on Matthews' show) said that the John Warner negative assessment of Iraq a week ago was with the blessing of the White House. The intent was to push the idea out into "the light," but not be seen as being by the WH right before the election.

Question: How many staffers does the WH have working on other metaphors for "Cut and Run?"

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 16, 2006 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Joe Lieberman is the Republican Candidate for the Senate from Connecticut, not poor Schlesinger who has turned out to be the Republican straw man. The Rove/Bush gambit is to "reward" Lieberman for his support of the war by returning him to the Senate after being repudiated by his party. I watched the three-way debate this morning and though Ned Lamont came off as an earnest, well informed candidate, unfortunately, he is not a third term incumbent and doesn't come off as experienced and as assured as the crafty,confident Lieberman. Connecticut, a state where I resided for more than a decade is going through some tough times. In the debate this morning, Lieberman correctly described it as one of the country's wealthier states. But the wealth is concentrated in the bedroom communities across the Long Island Sound from Manhattan, with the less affluent population inhabitating former thriving factory cities like Waterbury and Danbury. Those cities have been in a steady decline for the last decade while graft and corruption has been a by-product of local and state government. Lieberman, ever the pragmatist, has kept his eye on his own Senate career, which should culminate next January, but with a seven point lead going into the final month, there may be a fourth act for a politician who even when he ran for Vice President, didn't have the personal integrity to vacate his seat.

Posted by: Big Dave | October 16, 2006 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman can thank his lead in the polls to the complete ineffectiveness of the Republican candidate, Alan Schlesinger, so far. It is clear that Lieberman has retained some support of registered Democrats, however he wins only if he remains the de facto Republican candidate. I can't believe that Schlesinger stays in single digits and all those GOP voters go into the polling place and pull the lever for the former Democratic VP nominee. If Schlesinger can just get between 10-15%, Lamont will win. Lamont should be writiing checks not to his campaign, but to his Republican challenger's!

Posted by: WillB | October 16, 2006 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, a lifelong Democrat and student of politics, blanked when asked if America would be better off with his party regaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

A Democratic victory would immeasurably boost the influence of two Connecticut friends, U.S. Reps. Rosa L. DeLauro and John B. Larson, and provide a counterbalance to the Republican Senate and White House.


"Uh, I haven't thought about that enough to give an answer," Lieberman said, as though Democrats' strong prospects for recapturing the House hadn't been the fall's top political story.

He was similarly elusive about the race for governor. Is he voting for John DeStefano Jr., a Democrat and mayor of the city where Lieberman has lived since the 1960s?

"I'm, uh, I'm having," he stammered, then laughed and said his decision would remain private....'

Posted by: drindl | October 16, 2006 3:48 PM | Report abuse

RMill - "Republicans do know how to spend their money."

If only they were as prudent "spending other people's money." Sigh!

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 16, 2006 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I doub that bhoomesboy. I think it more likely that RMill hire you as his janitor, after you lose your job for being online all day.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2006 3:42 PM | Report abuse


Well that is where that story originated, you are guilty of simply looking at numbers and not understanding the dynamics of the race. Dewine is not running against a moderate dem like Strickland, he is running against somebody far to the left of the average ohioan. Somebody who voted to gut the CIA even after terrorist attacks, somebody who voted against the Patriot act. This is not a Blue State, you can't get away with votes like that and win a statewide race. I hire you as my accountant, but not as a political analayst.

Posted by: bhoomes | October 16, 2006 3:32 PM | Report abuse

From the uber-conservative New York Sun. We shall soon be cutting and running in Iraq:

"Eli Lake wrote for the New York Sun on Friday: "A commission formed to assess the Iraq war and recommend a new course has ruled out the prospect of victory for America, according to draft policy options shared with The New York Sun by commission officials.

"Currently, the 10-member commission -- headed by a secretary of state for President George H.W. Bush, James Baker -- is considering two option papers, 'Stability First' and 'Redeploy and Contain,' both of which rule out any prospect of making Iraq a stable democracy in the near term."

Doyle McManus has more in today's Los Angeles Times: "A commission backed by President Bush that is exploring U.S. options in Iraq intends to propose significant changes in the administration's strategy by early next year, members say. . . .

"While it weighs alternatives, the 10-member commission headed by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III has agreed on one principle.

"'It's not going to be "stay the course,"' one participant said. 'The bottom line is, [current U.S. policy] isn't working. . . . There's got to be another way.'"

Posted by: drindl | October 16, 2006 3:28 PM | Report abuse

'The House ethics committee Monday questioned the top aide in a Louisiana congressman's office, where a chain of events began that raised questions about Republican handling of ex-Rep. Mark Foley's approaches to male pages.

Royal Alexander, chief of staff to Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Louisiana, testified in closed session. The two are not related.

Rep. Alexander's office last fall complained to House Speaker Dennis Hastert's staff about Foley's overly friendly e-mails to a former Louisiana teenage page the congressman had sponsored.

Royal Alexander said outside the ethics committee, "We've done what we should from the very beginning. I'm proud of our office and proud of our page."

Rodney Alexander has said the former page contacted his office last fall, saying Foley had asked about the teenager's age, then 16, and his birthday. Foley also requested a photo.

Foley resigned his seat September 29 after he was confronted with more sexually explicit instant messages to other former pages. According to previous statements, Royal Alexander contacted aides to Hastert last fall about the Louisiana page.

This timeline has triggered a major discrepancy, because Hastert has said that was the first time his staff heard about Foley's contacts. Foley's former chief of staff said he first contacted Hastert's top aide in 2002 or 2003.

Royal Alexander last fall didn't actually show the messages to Hastert's staff members, but described them and said the boy's parents wanted the contacts to stop.'

Posted by: jana | October 16, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Looks like that tool of the left wing media cognoscenti, the FBI, is at it again!

Next up to bat???

Posted by: Castor | October 16, 2006 3:17 PM | Report abuse

-Wonder if this will have any effect on Weldon's race?

'The FBI raided the homes of Rep. Curt Weldon's daughter and a close friend Monday as it investigates whether the congressman improperly helped the pair win lobbying and consulting contracts.

Agents searched four locations in the Philadelphia area and two in Jacksonville, Florida, said Debbie Weierman, an FBI spokeswoman in Washington. '

--Weldon calls the investigation 'political' -- which is a joke since the FBI was purged of Dems under this administration. A joke.

Posted by: drindl | October 16, 2006 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I just blogged on my one man blog today, questionably named, (Majority View Today), complaining about the sleazy money wins politics assumed in power and status quo enforcement by the media...status quo when it is Bush agenda, is scary. Lieberman backing Bush in Iraq is scary presumably he is not the Lieberman that Connecticut had voted into the Senate Seat. That is my belief, if I get the right view from his prior strong environmental record and moderate good guy posture. Now Lieberman is too status quo regarding Bush's War(s) for any comfort. If he backs Bush because he cannot see any way out, he will get voted out. We want proper view of international order in our Senate!

The Bush request for immunity from the War Crimes Act so that he CAN do the illegal acts of torture without the death penalty incurred, is also interesting when viewed with the recent news from NEWSMAX that the National Chapter of the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union-a legal grassroots prestigeous organization that is supposed to command respect), but from my understanding, the national chapter is against the local CT chapter and is WRONG. Supposedly the national chapter told the CT Chapter of the ACLU they are "wrong" when they are ON TARGET entirely by criticizing Lieberman and warning him that he will be penalized at the ballot box for his backing Bush regarding the torture of terrorist is Bush Backing by the national chapter and the claim of non partisan duty prohibits the public view of civil liberties are required if he expects to say they cannot advise him to stand up against Bush that it is partisanship is is standing on principle...not partisanship...Lieberman at present is Independent due to his apparent lack of proper public view of principle regarding the Iraq War...and this current hot topic is entirely the purview of the CT CHAPTER -- to state publicly what is right and IS accusing Lieberman, who is running as an Independent because he lost the primary for the Democratic nomination against Lamont, (due to the blogging audience publicity likely here and elsewhere - that was the confessed reality of how Lamont managed to win, the mainstream did not cover him or back him, the blogs did freely, that blogging drew the proper view of truth on Lieberman, and the reality that Lamont saw a need, and without prior political track, threw in his hat on TRACK on PRINCIPLE as the proper view of politics...The Iraq War is Illegal and we need to restore international order and get the U.S. out, this Lamont is challenging Lieberman on accurately, and it is needed, (I did not see the debates, I understand there was a debate) and the MEDIA in the mainstream Owes THE PUBLIC the contest and the proper poll...ask them if they see Lamont given the competitive view for public appraisal...HOW IS LAMONT on the other issues...given Lamont WON on the war issue...DO THEY WANT LAMONT - WHAT DO THEY EXPECT AS A RESULT OF A LAMONT VOTE V A LIEBERMAN VOTE?

Back to the ACLU, the national chapter criticized the CT Chapter for telling Lieberman he should protect civil liberties!!!

That is to say, NO to Bush and his request for permission to violate civil liberties and torture suspects...NO. aN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE. Likely Lamont will prove on target, one would hope, and Lieberman was warned by the CT ACLU to do what is right, and the national chapter is in error to say they cannot criticize a politician, that it is partisan to do so, an outright absurdity, offensive to the public interest and an embarassment!

So, audience, CT ACLU deserves credit for protecting civil liberties and telling the public the voting ballot box is how to prove the public wants the civil liberties of all individuals protected, yes?

It is all deserved and germane! Not at all off limits, that they said partisan politics is a horror. Principles stand taller than any party and any candidate, and every candidate should be reviewed by experts on principle and protection of freedom, especially in such an issue of War Crimes, and Illegal War, violation of the U.S. Constitution and a questionable president and a media that is not giving equal view to Lamont?

I agree with the above blogging audiences, cheers to THE FIX regarding a spotlight on an important contest between Lamont and Lieberman!

Posted by: Elizabeth Ellis | October 16, 2006 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I still think the folks in Ct. are not as dumb as these polls seem to suggest. The thing, imo, that is keeping Joe even close in this race is the almost complete backing of the rep party. Take note of the general feeling in Ct. as across the country, just how many common folk oppose the war in Iraq. There are more things that will be coming out and it sure will no be pretty to watch.

Posted by: lylepink | October 16, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse

"Joe will go where the wind blows. If the Senate is evenly split and the House is majority D his allegiance to Bush could become a quickly-shed burden. "

We have a senator from MN that practices the same politics. Many here look forward to his removal in 08. Of more immediate concern is this year's spanking of the GOP candidate.

On-topic, what are the chances that there will be high GOP turnout in CT?

Posted by: bsimon | October 16, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Judge, come to think of it. A Dem Caucusing Joe who is also the whipping boy of pissed off NeoCon-Cons may be the best-case scenario ;)

Posted by: F&B | October 16, 2006 3:08 PM | Report abuse

F&B: Joe will go where the wind blows. If the Senate is evenly split and the House is majority D his allegiance to Bush could become a quickly-shed burden.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 16, 2006 2:49 PM | Report abuse


Sorry I don't read NYT.

I know how much money DeWine has. Point is RNC, RSCC pulled their ads and $ from Ohio.

Recent Polls
US Senate

54%.....40%.....Survey USA 10/11
48%.....42%.....Rasmussen 10/12
41%.....41%.....Reuters/Zogby 10/2
42%.....42%.....UofAkron 9/29
45%.....43%.....MasonDixon 9/28
47%.....42%.....ColDispatch 9/22
51%.....47%.....UC Ohio Poll 9/17
45%.....44%.....Quinnipiac 9/17
45%.....41%...Zogby/WSJ BGPoll9/19

Survey USA Approval
Oct 42%
Sept 42%

Anything look familiar in DeWine's numbers? A trend perhaps? Kind of hovering in that 42% range aren't they.

An incumbant Senator with 42% is a losing ticket. Republicans do know how to spend their money. If they are out, they are convinced the firewall is down in Ohio.

Posted by: RMill | October 16, 2006 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Something doesn't compute here. If Iraq is such an important issue to Ct. voters and Democrats in general why do a third of Democrats polled still support Lieberman?

Posted by: Herbert Kay | October 16, 2006 2:28 PM | Report abuse

No, don't expect an ugly Senate session. Deserting Reds will be welcomed into the Big Tent by the Blues, and even Lieberman will come back in - but he won't be best buds with George, you can bet on that!

Posted by: Will in Seattle | October 16, 2006 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Any comments to my 1:10pm post?

Just curious...

I think that either way, if Lieberman wins, expect an UGLY UGLY Senate session.

Posted by: F&B | October 16, 2006 2:07 PM | Report abuse

RMILL: You shouldn;t believe everything you read in the NY Times. They are dead even in most of the polls and DeWine has plenty of his own money so the RNC is smartly shifty money to candidates who are in more need of it than Dewine. Dewine will win, take it to the bank, And so will Corker, Talent, Keen, Chaffee, Allen, etc, etc. You guys might want to stay away from sharp knives on Nov 8. I don't want any of you to harm yourself over another lost election.

Posted by: bhoomes | October 16, 2006 2:06 PM | Report abuse

RMILL: You shouldn;t believe everything you read in the NY Times. They are dead even in most of the polls and DeWine has plenty of his own money so the RNC is smartly shifty money to candidates who are in more need of it than Dewine. Dewine will win, take it to the bank, And so will Corker, Talent, Keen, Chaffee, Allen, etc, etc. You guys might want to stay away from sharp knives on Nov 8. I don't want any of you to harm yourself over another lost election.

Posted by: bhoomes | October 16, 2006 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Is it me, or does Chris Cillizza not include the fact that Lieberman and Lamont are debating the very same day as this article? Seems to me if you are examining the Lamont Lieberman campaign, you should mention in impending debate, especially if that debate is occuring the same day the article is published.

Posted by: ErrinF | October 16, 2006 1:56 PM | Report abuse

'At least Lieberman has represented the people, rather than walking in lockstep with the Democrats.'

Oh yes, the 'people' like Big Pharma and the financial industry. Puhleeze...

' I might not like Bush, at least he is a strong leader' -- LOL. Yeah he's leading us right over the cliff, isn't he?

You're a phony, a republican troll, a tool. Stop BSing... we can see right through you, you're using 100% rovian talking points. FAKE.

Posted by: drindl | October 16, 2006 1:55 PM | Report abuse

THS: oops, work gets in the way of blogging once again.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 16, 2006 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I think we have some of thoese Lieber-tarians with us on the blog today.

Still can't stop laughing that we are actually arguing about Joe "Al Gore's Pal" Lieberman getting all the Republican votes.

Who'd a thunk it, just a year ago.

Joe's really got himself tied in a political-loyalty gordian knot with this cunundrum.

If humor was ever cosmic, this is it.

Posted by: JEP | October 16, 2006 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Breaking news about the Foley scandal! Update

For uncensored news please bookmark:

Was Mark Foley Blackmailed to Secure His Vote on CAFTA?
Sugar Daddy Politics


What does Mark Foley's vote on CAFTA have to do with his no longer secret sex life? In late July of 2005, Congressman Foley suddenly reversed his position and cast the key swing vote which led to the passage of the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).

On the night of the vote, President Bush had called Foley to pressure him to change his anti-CAFTA position. The South Florida Congressman was not only under pressure from the White House, but also from the House Republican Leadership to support the bill. But Foley received huge campaign contributions from the Florida sugar lobby, which bitterly opposed CAFTA and Foley had loyally followed his benefactor's wishes in previous votes. That he would flip his position under pressure raises some serious questions.

The sugar lobby abhorred CAFTA because it would expose them to competition from Central American sugar imports. Foley, the single largest House recipient of sugar industry contributions during the 2004 election cycle, represented the third largest sugar producing district in the US. Just a month before the vote, he told the House Ways and Means Committee, "I have heard some of my colleagues say we can't turn our backs on people in Guatemala. Well, I can't turn my back on people in South Bay and Canal Point, Lewiston, and LaBelle, whose lives are closely linked to this industry. Not the big growers, not the thousand-acre plantations, but the mom and pop [growers] who have 50 acres, 100 acres in production. That is all they have."

So why did the Republican leadership think it could pressure Foley to betray his constituents and how did they persuade him to change his position?

The day after the vote, Foley said the Republican leadership had threatened reprisals against the sugar lobby if they were thought to be a major factor in killing CAFTA, but this defies logic. According to the New York Times the day after the vote (July 29, 2005):

"It was difficult, a gut-wrenching night," Mr. Foley said on Thursday. President Bush called him about 8:20 p.m. Wednesday to plead for his vote, he said, and Republican leaders had already made it clear that they would punish the sugar industry in the next farm bill if they managed to defeat the trade pact.

What could the Republican party possibly gain by throwing a tantrum against such a powerful lobby in an all important battleground state like Florida? Such reprisals would only help drive the sugar industry's campaign contributions to Democrats, so Foley's public explanation for his vote seems highly questionable.

How could the Republican leadership have gotten Foley to betray his "sugar daddy" and support his district's loss of countless jobs? Since it was widely known on Capitol Hill that Foley was a closeted homosexual, he was never going to rise above the "lavender ceiling" in the Republican party leadership. Moreover, he had raised prodigious amounts of campaign money, so what other kinds of leverage did they have against him other than his sex scandals simmering beneath the surface?

For the White House and the Republican Congressional Leadership the CAFTA was a signature issue that year. The telephone calls between the two ends of Pennsylvania Avenue must have been frantic and the logs of such calls should be preserved.

But who could they flip? What leverage or sweeteners did they have? Did they attempt to blackmail him by letting political rivals "out" him? Or did they "greymail" him by promising to help Foley sweep these emerging scandals under the rug? Or did they promise to try to give him a "soft landing" in the event the allegations should become public?

If Foley's sexcapades were even whispered in this political context that day, then this scandal could lead right in to the White House and possibly even to the Oval Office.

Is this another smoking gun which will emerge when House Members and staff are put under oath? Whatever the truth is, the official rational behind Mr. Foley's vote switch has never made much sense. He and the Republican Leadership should be asked to explain his shifting position on the CAFTA vote.

Sanho Tree is a research fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC. He can be reached at:

Posted by: che | October 16, 2006 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Of house races in play, Dems look like they'll gain between 17 and 37 seats based on latest polls. Latest polls indicate a 29 seat pick up.

Leader Party Current poll diff.
Simon D R +4
Giffords D R +8
Doolittle R R +8
Pombo R R +1
Bilbray R R +14
Musgrave R R +10
Fawcett D R +0
Perlmutter D R +0
Simmons R R +3
Farrell D R +5
Johnson R R +6
Jennings D R +3
Mahoney D R +7
Shaw R R +8
Marshall D D na
Sali R R +6
Duckworth D R +5
Bean D D +19
Kirk R R na
Hastert R R +10
Shimkus R R +17
Donnelly D R +4
Ellsworth D R +22
Hill D R +2
Braley D R +11
Loebsack D R +1
Boswell D D +9
Yarmuth D R +0
Davis R R +3
Gutknecht R R +1
Wetterling D R +5
Porter R R +10
Bradley R R +25
Bass R R +10
Ferguson R R +15
Madrid D R +8
King R R +2
Kelly R R +5
Sweeney R R +8
Arcuri D R +9
Walsh R R na
Davis D R +16
Kuhl R R +4
Kissell D R +7
Shuler D R +8
Cranley D R +0
Wulsin D R +3
Wilson D D +16
Kilroy D R +12
Space D R +7
Fallin R R +29
Murphy D R +6
Sestak D R +8
Fitzpatrick R R +6
Carney D R +14
Edwards D D +17
Lampson D R +0
Welch D D +9
Drake R R +2
Goode R R +16
Wolf R R +5
Reichert R R +3
Mollohan D D +10
Kagen D R +2

Posted by: ezetimibe | October 16, 2006 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Chris, catch up with us, Connecticut's abbreviation is CT

Posted by: wtbyan2 | October 16, 2006 1:43 PM | Report abuse

MO vs MT: MO=Missouri, MT=Montana

Thus, Judge, RMill's statement that the RNC is focusing on MO makes sense. It's in the Tester race in MT where the Dems are clearly ahead.

Posted by: THS | October 16, 2006 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Just wait til the RNC dumps its money in for the Repbulican candidate, uh, what's his name. He'll leave Lieberman and Lamont in the dust!

Like here in Illinois, the S (as in political smear)has been thrown into the Northern Illinois fan against Duckworth and Melissa Bean. No holds barred. Mostly misquoted to the point the Chicago Tribune pointed it out in an editorial this morning.


Mr. Rove is a busy little man behind the curtain.

Or will he throw the RNC financial machine full bore behind Lieberman in a '72 hour strategy" with the understanding that Lieberman will provide the quid pro quo votes when the split 2007 house republicans have their cookies in the fire.

I hope the Connecticut democrats are not that naive.

Posted by: slats grobnik | October 16, 2006 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Eric, you've made a good point. What are the other CT races that might influence GOP voters to go to the polls? Can Lieberman draw enough

Posted by: bsimon | October 16, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I have stated many times my dislike for Joe and a lot of the reasons why. There is hope the folks there will wise up to this man since they are among the most educated in this country. Since his speech on the floor about Bubba in 98, I think, shows what kind of man he really is. The same goes for Gore by turning their backs on the best POTUS in my memory and in the very top 3 or 4 of all time.

Posted by: lylepink | October 16, 2006 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Musing on GOTV, it would seem to be far more convenient for Republicans to answer a few brief and simple polling questions (especially if it pokes a stick in the eye of the Dem's) then it will be get out of the house on Nov 7 (cold rainy day, anyone?), drive to their polling place, get out, go in, wait in line, then vote for someone they may not entirely like --- that said, are the polling numbers for Leiberman significantly falsely high, words outweighing eventual action?

Posted by: Eric | October 16, 2006 1:12 PM | Report abuse

The anti-war zealots grabbed control of the reins back in 1972 with George McGovern. Today, those same viewpoints got Lamont on the Dems ballot, but he offers nothing else.
At least Lieberman has represented the people, rather than walking in lockstep with the Democrats. The party of FDR and Truman and even Kennedy and Johnson has been reduced to squabbling voices like MOB RULE. What do you offer but socialist ideas and an anti-war viewpoint? This is one reason why Gore lost in 2000, and while I might not like Bush, at least he is a strong leader. Bill Clinton has become a major mouthpiece but at least the Washington Post has seen that his BAGGAGE will drag down Hillary.

Senator Evan Bayh is a moderate leader, and I like him. Has he stepped away from Iraq? If so, I missed it. If Lieberman wins, he will at least be linked to the party of FDR, instead of the McGovern whiners. My dad was in WW2, and he proudly voted for Clinton in 1992 and 1996. Then went for Bush in 2000 and 2004. He is the HERO of my life.

while I voted for Kerry, I would never support him in 2008. He is a loser and our party needs strong leadership NOW and that is Joe Lieberman.

Posted by: Party of FDR | October 16, 2006 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman is making his own bed. And he's going to have to lie in it.

Point being, he is going to be elected as an Independent, but BY Republican voters. Lieberman will absolutely be beholden to the GOP for winning him the election.

This brings up TWO unsavory scenarios:

1) He disses the GOP who got him elected and he caucuses with the Dems (in this case, look out for massive GOP backlash)

2) He disses the Dems and caucuses with the GOP (in this case, he loses all of his Dem committee positions)

Which is worse? B/c ONE of these scenarios will likely come true if Lieberman wins.

Either way, he comes out looking like an ungrateful SOB to either one party or another (and forget entirely about being a bi-partisan Independent).

If he has ANY sense of party loyalty left at all, he will go for #1, but it is looking less and less likely that he will caucus with the Dems.

Posted by: F&B | October 16, 2006 1:10 PM | Report abuse

If the Dems finally take the Senate, only to have Lieberman tie it up 50-50 and make Cheney the "decider," I'm going to move to Cuba. (The weather's nice and I think Castro is nailed upright to a chair...get in on the ground floor of the new order there, you never know.)

Today on EWM:
Not all Republicans make good pets.

Posted by: The Eyewitness Muse | October 16, 2006 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Here's an article on Lamont's ownership of Halliburton and Walmart stock:,8599,1222948,00.html

Posted by: ErrinF | October 16, 2006 12:57 PM | Report abuse

In the Wingers Will Swallow Any Sh** Thrown Their Way Category:
'On the October 9 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly claimed that "the reason North Korea is causing trouble" by allegedly developing and testing nuclear weapons "is that it wants to influence the November election." He added: "That is not a partisan statement. It is a fact," then concluded that North Korea "hate[s] Mr. Bush and want[s] to weaken him as much as possible."

As Media Matters for America has previously noted and as O'Reilly himself referenced, on the October 6 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly warned that "powerful forces want to influence your vote," and baselessly asserted that "Iran has ordered its killers to up the violence in Iraq for the next month" so that "Americans will hold President Bush responsible and vote in the Democrats, who the Iranians believe are not as aggressive in foreign policy."

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2006 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Nice of Chris to throw the Lamont supporters a bone, but Lamont cannot win this general election. Basically, his campaign jumped the shark with his primary win. Since then, it has lost the spotlight and lost all it's momentum (Lamontum? Kind of like Joementum).
The reason Lamont cannot win now is twofold. For one, Lieberman appeals to a broader base of voters. For two, most voters have made up their mind on this race, as it's gotten a lot of attention already.
Lieberman has a voting base of Democrats, independents, and Republicans. Lamont has a voting base of Democrats (more so than Lieberman), independents (less than Lieberman), and no Republicans. Lamont is going to get very few, if any, Republican votes, and Lieberman's Democratic supporters aren't going to ever go over to Lamont's camp, as they voted for Lieberman in the primary and are going to stick it out with him in the general election. Basically, Lamont is sunk.
Personally, I don't think Lamont is that great of a guy anyway. He's got a reported $300 million in inherited money, and I think the political process is better off without silver spoon legacy types treating public office like a rich man's prize (although, judging by Bush, Kerry, and Gore, that's what this country has come to). Lamont also rails against Walmart and the Iraq War, yet his son's trust fund that he set up includes stock in Walmart and Halliburton. When faced with that fact, Lamont refused to rid the trust fund of the mutual fund in which the Walmart and Halliburton stock was held. I'm no big fan of Lieberman's, but Lamont is not the solution.

Posted by: ErrinF | October 16, 2006 12:53 PM | Report abuse


all mainstream, normal democrats and most republicans will be voting for Joe.

-- anyone who has read any of your postings would be surprised both that you admit that there do in fact exist 'mainstream, normal' Democrats. how is reality defined by the Bhoomer?

Simply not enough wingnuts like Drindl and JEP to get Lamont elected.

-- You would be surprised at what wingnuts are capable of when sufficiently motivated.

Posted by: meuphys | October 16, 2006 12:52 PM | Report abuse

'When one hears about the magnificence of the nation's unbiased free press, '

Since most of the press has already been bought out/taken over by corporations run by rightwingers, I don't hear ANYTHING about the unbiased free press, because there isn't one.

The R's own the press, they've been working on it for 30 years. even Ann Coulter admits it.

Posted by: drindl | October 16, 2006 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Re Montana according to Rasmussen (10/13) Burns is STILL down by 7 points. It'll come down to either TN or VA. Depressed R turnout is a potential wild card that makes either race competitive.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 16, 2006 12:39 PM | Report abuse

One factor which has not been mentioned regarding Lieberman's present lead is that the Hartford Courant and certain other Connecticut papers, are stealth neocon sycophants. As a result, many Connecticut citizens are totally unaware of Lieberman's pathetic three term senate record and, more importantly, the real reasons why Lieberman vigorously supported the invasion and occupation of Iraq which incidently had nothing to do with the security of Connecticut residents!

When one hears about the magnificence of the nation's unbiased free press, please put an asterisk next to Connecticut's papers!

Posted by: David G. Ward | October 16, 2006 12:38 PM | Report abuse

This election will prove that Lieberman has become the defacto candidate for the GOP. It will be interesting to see how the Democratic leadership deals with a Lieberman victory, since it is obvious that Lieberman would be winning with more republican votes than democratic votes. If Lieberman is not kicked out of the party, then the leaders ought to be. This democrat is hopping mad at the career politicans who take our support for granted and would rather lose elections than give up their posts.

Posted by: Bruce C | October 16, 2006 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Guess who this guy 'represents'? One of the worst, absolute slimiest guys in congress:

Tucked into a massive energy bill that would open the outer continental shelf to oil drilling are provisions that would slash future royalties owed to the federal government by companies prospecting in Rocky Mountain oil shale deposits.

Sponsored by Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Stockton, and passed by the House earlier this year, the bill would amend an existing requirement that the federal government receive a ``fair return'' from oil companies that hold oil shale leases on public lands. Instead, Pombo's bill would reduce royalties from the customary 12.5 percent of annual revenue to 1 percent.

Posted by: drindl | October 16, 2006 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Have to hold NJ (a Dem incumbant) and win 2 of 3 (MO, TN, VA). CT is a Dem held seat and either Lamont or Lieberman will vote with the Dems (unless Lieberman strays from his public remarks to do so).

Posted by: RMIll | October 16, 2006 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"USA Today looks at the "GOP's gay identity crisis" today in an INTERESTING PIECE that notes that at a State Department swearing-in ceremony this week for the new AIDS Czar, Dr. Mark Dybul, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "warmly acknowledged ...his partner, Jason Claire, and Claire's mother. Rice referred to her as Dybul's 'mother-in-law.'"

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2006 12:28 PM | Report abuse

RMill: If Dems pick up PA, OH, MT, RI, they still need two more to hit 51? Any two of NJ, TN, MO or VA? No matter who wins in CT?

Posted by: Merry | October 16, 2006 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Let's see what the power of the blogs can do to put Lamont over the top. I definitely am looking to this race to determine how great of a factor new liberal media have in influencing races in 2006.

"There's no one more stridently rightwing partisan than Lieberman today."


Posted by: Venicemenace | October 16, 2006 12:27 PM | Report abuse

It is an interesting race no doubt but unlikely to have an impact.

Republicans are pulling out of Ohio, conceding DeWine is likely to lose.

Resources diverted to their firewall races in MO, TN and likely VA.

Dems pick ups in PA, OH, MT, RI now nearly assured and polling for Dems in NJ is positive as is TN. MO and VA are the wild cards for control.

Posted by: RMill | October 16, 2006 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Wingnuts bhoomes? Since when is 60% of the population that the dissaproves of the Iraq situation outside the mainstream. Sounds like you're version of America is about 50 years ago to the right.

Posted by: Zach | October 16, 2006 12:12 PM | Report abuse

LAMONT CAN'T WIN: Because all mainstream, normal democrats and most republicans will be voting for Joe. Simply not enough wingnuts like Drindl and JEP to get Lamont elected.

Posted by: bhoomes | October 16, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Brit Hume? Isn't that the tennis partner of George H. W. Bush? The President he was supposed to be covering objectively at the time.

Fair and Balanced!

[He was working for ABC then; but maybe nobody at ABC dared point out the blatant conflict of interest, and the obvious problem with the journalistic integrity of his reports from the White House.]

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 16, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

John - Let me try again: The party faithful to whom I was referring are the voters that the Democrats will "get out."

Lieberman has 24 years of statewide service in Connecticut as a Democrat, as Attorney General and then Senator. The reality is that there is a Conservative Democrat running against a Liberal Democrat. The Party's "Get Out the Vote!" drive gets out Democrats; so some life-long Democrats will end-up voting for him.

My point is that he may not need a Get Out the Vote effort; the party may do it for him indirectly and unintentionally.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 16, 2006 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"The American people are not going to continue to support, sustain a policy that puts American troops in the middle of a civil war," Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., said on CNN's "Late Edition."

Hagel said he agreed with Virginia Republican Sen. John Warner (news, bio, voting record), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who asserted after a recent visit to Iraq that the wartorn country was "drifting sideways." Warner has urged consideration of a change of course if the Iraq government fails to restore order over the next two months or three months.

Warner said Sunday he stands by that assessment, and even in the week since his trip to Iraq, there has been an "exponential increase in the killings and the savagery that's going on over there."

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2006 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Fox family values...

'Marital sniping may have led to the departure of Brit Hume's wife, Kim, from Fox News last week.

Kim Hume's imminent exit as Fox's D.C. bureau chief was announced Thursday. The buzz out of Washington is that she and the anchorman had been tattletaling on each other to the chairman and CEO of Fox Television Stations.

"They'd been calling Roger [Ailes] in New York separately," reports our source. "They'd complain to him about each other."

A Fox spokeswoman denied that either Hume has bothered Ailes. "Nothing could be further from the truth," she said. But another source told us that the couple, who together weathered the suicide of Brit Hume's son, Sandy, in 1998, often argued in front of staffers.

"Brit's not the easiest guy to get along with," said the source. "You disagree with him, and it's an argument. It's his way or the highway. [Kim] is a tough cookie, but he speaks down to her in front of other people."

Posted by: jane | October 16, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Nor'Easter -

Not if they have any respect for the rank and file. It isn't the business of Partei Apparatchniks to act on their personal preferences. Its their job to respect the primary voters, or they should resign for people who do.

Posted by: John | October 16, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"Is there any technical impediment to keep him from doing so?"

None at all.

Posted by: JEP | October 16, 2006 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Nor'Easter -

Not if they have any respect for the rank and file. It isn't the business of Partei Apparatchniks to act on their personal preferences. Its their job to respect the primary voters, or they should resign for people who do.

Posted by: John | October 16, 2006 11:17 AM | Report abuse

"DSCC people weren't really pressuring Holy Joe to drop, and were just protecting their buddy, so the campaign kicked back in again."

Fool me once...

Future Senate hopefuls might tuck this litle truth away for reference at a later date...

Posted by: JEP | October 16, 2006 11:16 AM | Report abuse

"of course, we should be used to the sleazy huckster antics of rove by now..."

Surely you aren't suggesting the White House POLITICAL advisor might have the authority to manipulate the timeline of an Iraqi court to benefit the Republicans on November 7?

Like I posted before, Rove's no honorable strategist, he knows no loyalty other than political survival, and his "just give me a f@%&ing faith-based thing" proves his callous cynicism towards his own pawns and knights and castles and queens.

If you can move with impunity outside the rules your opponents are bound by, you don't have to be a genius to win a game.

Unfortunately, for so many dead soldiers and civilians, and so many more left horribly mangled by this no-bid war-for-profit, it isn't a game.

Posted by: JEP | October 16, 2006 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Everybody here seems to forget that the entire Democratice establishment supported Lieberman before the Primary. It's not too far-fetched to think that he could declare himself a Democrat once again on November 8th. Is there any technical impediment to keep him from doing so?

However if he wins, he may just like the Independent lablel knowing that he can always be elected no matter what and use that to leverage all sorts of things. If he truly began to act independent, what would the Democrat caucus do? Tough question.

Lastly, I disagree with Chris' comment that Lamont will benefit from the party's get out the vote efforts and that Lieberman, will have to buld a ground game designed to turn out his voters. Even the party faithful have to face a bit of a quandry in making the choice.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 16, 2006 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Actually, if you bother to check with the campaign Chris, you would find that the national party begged them to lay off for a few weeks. They said that actively camapigning against Holy Joe would wound his precious ego, and ruin their efforts to get him to drop out. After a few weeks, they figured out that the DSCC people weren't really pressuring Holy Joe to drop, and were just protecting their buddy, so the campaign kicked back in again.

Posted by: John | October 16, 2006 11:07 AM | Report abuse

What a coincidence! Two days befor our elections... did you ever see such a cheap PR trick... of course, we should be used to the sleazy huckster antics of rove by now...

'BAGHDAD, Iraq - A verdict against Saddam Hussein and seven co-defendants charged with crimes against humanity in connection with an anti-Shiite crackdown in the 1980s will be announced Nov. 5, a senior court official said on Monday.

Sentences for those found guilty will be issued the same day, chief investigating judge Raid Juhi told The Associated Press.'

Posted by: drindl | October 16, 2006 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Detouring the thread South for a bit - the Post yesterday had a Top of the Front Page headline "Allen and Webb in Virtual Tie, Post Poll Says" []

Three cautions:
1) The tie is "virtual," Allen's lead is 2% and the margin of error is 3%;

2) the 1st referendum question on the ballot just below the candidates is a proposed amendment to the Virginia Constitution (Article I, Bill of Rights) on, you got it, "Marriage" ("only a union betwen one man and one woman may be a marriage...") - incentive for the religious Conservatives to come out and vote; and,

3) there is a third Independent Green Party candidate polling 2% statewide; can you say N - A - D - E - R ?

Advantage Allen; continually lessening, but still Allen.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 16, 2006 10:48 AM | Report abuse

This is an excellent analysis, Chris.

Posted by: Matt Stoller | October 16, 2006 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like Lamont needs to leverage their differences on Iraq to convince voters he's not a one-issue candidate. Counterintuitive? Of course, but it could be effective. Raise Lieberman's Iraq position as being indicative of Lieberman's judgement. How can a person who wants to stay the course in Iraq possibly be making good decisions in representing Connecticut's voters?

Posted by: bsimon | October 16, 2006 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Lamont or Lieberman are to blame for Lieberman's lead in current polling. The race has been fairly static since Lieberman became the de facto Republican in the race. If anything, he should be worried that he's only leading by 5-10%. He should have well over 50%.

Posted by: Staley | October 16, 2006 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I wanted to give this info about the washington region religious campaign agianst torture:
We believe that torture:

Violates the basic dignity of the human person that all religions hold dear.

Degrades everyone involved--policy-makers, perpetrators and victims.

Contradicts our nation's most cherished ideals.

Undermines respect for the U.S. and its traditional moral authority.

Endangers our military personnel.

--They are gathering tomorrow in front of the white house at 9 am to protest the signing that morning by Chancellor Bush of a bill that legalizes all forms of torture on american citizens, without recourse to the courts. It is possibly the worst, most evil, fascist and bestial law ever passed in this country. Anyone in the area who can be there should attend.

There will also be local events at post offices. Check the website for details.

Posted by: drindl | October 16, 2006 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"but should not be the defining measure of U.S. international interests.."

Yet along with abortion and gay rights, it keeps all the "left behind" Evangelical Armageddonites corralled in the neocon camp.

As long as they dwell there, we will see a constant march towards war in the Middle east. The hawks want their perpetual war-for-profit and the Evangelicals want their precious armageddon, so they are happy to oblige at the ballot box.

Peace, as a concept or a goal, just gets in their way. Israseli peace activists know just how badly the armageddonites want their prophetic wars, and how it plays right into the hands of terrorists who would draw us into war in the middle east so they can attempt to destroy Israel.

As for the hawks in the military industrial beast, they just want a bigger bottom line and super-power status.

To them, life itself is secondary. Our troops, (our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters,) are just one more expendable tool for increasing and protecting those corporate profits.

Posted by: JEP | October 16, 2006 10:17 AM | Report abuse

If Leiberman is so distressed by political stridency, maybe he shouldn't have written that "if you're not for the president, you're for the terrorists" op-ed in the New York Times. That dude is the biggest hypocrite I'd ever care to meet.

Posted by: Mike | October 16, 2006 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I think Lieberrman has just become totally a creature of the right, and that he has no interest in working with Dems. And 'bipartisanship' --is a laughable concept today. There's no one more stridently rightwing partisan than Lieberman today.

Remember that the R's believe that their biggest enemy is not Osama bin Ladin, but the Democratic party. Remember that Grover Norquist said that bipartisanship is just another form of date rape.

Here's a terrific essay on the decline and decay of the 'conservativ'e movement, by none other than the son of William F. buckley, Christopher.

"George Tenet's WMD "slam-dunk," Vice President Cheney's "we will be greeted as liberators," Don Rumsfeld's avidity to promulgate a minimalist military doctrine, together with the tidy theories of a group who call themselves "neo-conservative" (not one of whom, to my knowledge, has ever worn a military uniform), have thus far: de-stabilized the Middle East; alienated the world community from the United States; empowered North Korea, Iran, and Syria; unleashed sectarian carnage in Iraq among tribes who have been cutting each others' throats for over a thousand years; cost the lives of 2,600 Americans, and the limbs, eyes, organs, spinal cords of another 15,000--with no end in sight. But not to worry: Democracy is on the march in the Middle East. Just ask Hamas. And the neocons--bright people, all--are now clamoring, "On to Tehran!"

What have they done to my party? Where does one go to get it back?
One place comes to mind: the back benches. It's time for a time-out. Time to hand over this sorry enchilada to Hillary and Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden and Charlie Rangel and Harry Reid, who has the gift of being able to induce sleep in 30 seconds. Or, with any luck, to Mark Warner or, what the heck, Al Gore. I'm not much into polar bears, but this heat wave has me thinking the man might be on to something.

My fellow Republicans, it is time, as Madison said in Federalist 76, to "Hand over the tiller of governance, that others may f*** things up for a change."

Posted by: drindl | October 16, 2006 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Who knew that the GOP candidate would poll at 5-7 percent, that he would be abandoned by his party and that Lieberman would be the defacto candidate? That said, Lamont can still win if he tags Joe with the correct labels, liar, defacto republican, Iraq war apologist and Bush lover No. 1.

Posted by: Greg in LA | October 16, 2006 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I believe that Lieberman remains in the race as an independent, and sides with the Bushies on the war in Iraq, as a conservative whose Mid-East outlook is defined by any U.S. policy effect on Israel. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but should not be the defining measure of U.S. international interests for an experienced member of the Senate. Lamont has no such driving ethos,save being against the war in Iraq, and consequently, and unfortunately, will probably lose to the more experienced campaigner.

Posted by: LSterlling | October 16, 2006 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"Lieberman led Lamont despite the fact the majority of Connecticut voters disagree with his position on the war in Iraq."

As always, there is a large body of voters who will vote against their own moral and ideological standards, because we are, by nature, more loyal to a person we know than we are to a concept we trust, even if we don't trust the person.

Loyalty is considered morally virtuous, but unfortunately for the great state of Connecticut, and for our future Senate, it is only a virtue when it is not blind.

Posted by: JEP | October 16, 2006 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Zathtras: "His big issue is the amount of political stridency in politics today. Perhaps he thinks the way to avoid this is to have both Democrats and Republicans in charge..."

Looks like he'll get his wish. As I've said before Lieberman of late has looked like the Neville Chamberlain of the D party. He's seemed quite happy to have the R's solely in charge. Will he flip back to working with the D's if they assume control of the House (at least) or the Senate (at most)? Hard to say. He seems to be a weather vane Senator: he points in the direction of the strongest political breeze. If so, D control of the House should moderate his cheerleading for Bush.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 16, 2006 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Lamont inexplicably got outspent after the primary. But his ground operation and depressed turnout among Republicans may still carry him to victory.

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | October 16, 2006 9:46 AM | Report abuse

"Perhaps he thinks the way to avoid this is to have both Democrats and Republicans in charge, so that they have to work together."

Great idea, but for who's benefit?

Is Lieberman working for his own constituents, or, as he has oft been accused, is he actually the representative of other, more international interests?

I'm all for bi-partisanship, as long as it is done for the benefit of our own citizens and not special interest groups.

Bi-partisanship that harms the public is a not necessarily a "good thing," to put it mildly.

Posted by: JEP | October 16, 2006 9:44 AM | Report abuse

'In one sign of the times, no fewer than three books ripping Coulter -- "Soulless" by Susan Estrich; "Brainless" by Joe Maguire; and "I Hate Ann Coulter" by "Unanimous" -- are all heading to bookshelves.'--H. Kurtz

'Brainless and soulless' nicely sums up the republican party of today.

Lieberman is leading because many dems remember what he used to stand for before his wife became a lobbyist and he sold out completely. They don't know who he is today. And of course Repugs in the state, in their usual stalinist lockstep, will all be voting for him because he's their boy. It's too bad that Lamont has gotten timid. He should be going after Lieberman's throat for all the lies he's told and all the horrible legislation he's sponsored.

Posted by: drindl | October 16, 2006 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I have seen some bloggers on the left recently publicly wring their hands about the prospect that Lieberman might caucus with the Republicans. Others say that this is not possible, that he will still caucus with the Democrats.

Is a third option possible?

Consider this scenario. After the election, there are 50 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and 1 independent (Lieberman). Then Lieberman holds the balance of power. What if, rather than unconditionally caucusing with the Democrats, he demands a coalition government? His big issue is the amount of political stridency in politics today. Perhaps he thinks the way to avoid this is to have both Democrats and Republicans in charge, so that they have to work together. Democrats would be in charge of some committees and Republicans in charge of others. Or there could be co-chairman, with many committees split evenly. This setup happens quite a bit in other countries but has not happened, to my knowledge, in the US.

Posted by: Zathras | October 16, 2006 9:37 AM | Report abuse

"Lieberman held on to roughly one-third of self-identifying Democrats while winning Republicans by a whopping 67 percent to 15 percent..."

Sounds like a confused new third-party forming in Connecticut, maybe old Joe can forge it into a Presidential run for 08.

The Lieber-terians?

Posted by: JEP | October 16, 2006 9:37 AM | Report abuse

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