22 July, 2006

New Poll Shows Connecticut Race Even If Lieberman Runs As Indepedendent; ALSO - The New Republic Looks At How Lieberman Turned Into The Underdog



The latest Rasmussen Report poll shows Ned Lamont leading Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary for Connecticut senator, 51% to 41%. That's the largest lead for Lamont yet.

The really big news though is in the numbers for a three-way general election race with Lamont as the Democrat, Alan Schlesinger as the Republican and Lieberman running as an independent.

In such a scenario, the Rasmussen Report puts both Lamont and Lieberman at 40% and Schlesinger at 13%

This is a stunning change from the latest Qunnipiac Poll, which we reported on yesterday, which had Lieberman leading Lamont in a three-way race 51% to 27%, with Schlesinger a distant third.

The Rasmussen poll is subscribers-only so we can't get at it, but the numbers are posted today on Taegen Goddard's Political Wire.

The New Republic's new issue has an article on Lieberman and his stumbling effort at re-election.

In a piece by Jason Zengerle, the opinion journal examines the reasons for Lieberman's sudden change in fortunes, dismissing in part some of the theories (a victim of the left and their friends in the blogosphere, anti-war sentiment etc...) and lays the blame at the feet of the Senator himself and his staff.

Despite efforts to imbue the senator's troubles with greater significance, in reality they are largely the result of his and his reelection campaign's own missteps -- from his behavior prior to the race to his belated realization of the serious challenge Lamont posed to his continued insistence on doing things that served to anger Democratic voters.

One former aide is quoted in the TNR article as saying Lieberman seems not to have realized that times have changed since he first stepped into politics and he has not responded to the great political divide:

"He really does believe that there's a bipartisan sort of consensus. That attitude worked for him politically in Connecticut for the last 30 years, and it worked for him nationally in the 1990s. But now the earth has shifted. One, I don't think the Bush Republicans play that way. And, two, most people in the Democratic Party don't want anything to do with that attitude."

And the article points out Lieberman's staff is in for some blame as well:

A number of Lieberman's friends and supporters cite his November 2005 Wall Street Journal op-ed backing Bush's strategy in Iraq and urging Democrats to do the same -- which Lamont said triggered his decision to enter the race -- as a perfect example of something Lieberman's staff should have prevented from happening. "He needed someone to say to him, 'Senator, I hear you're going to write an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal about Iraq," argues one former adviser, "'I know you have your opinions, but the filing deadline for a challenger is six weeks'" away. Shut the hell up for six weeks."


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