Third Party & Independents Archives

Understanding the Connecticut Senatorial Race

The conventional analysis of the Connecticut Senatorial election fails to take account of the political environment of Connecticut: Democrats account for 34% of the voters, Republicans 23% and independents 43%. Connecticut is far from a “blue” state with three out of five, Republican members of congress and a Republican governor.

Lamont, who received 52% of the primary vote, has only captured 9% of the total votes in the state. To win in November, he will need 75% of the independent voters, 15% more than the 60% who oppose the war. Based upon the numbers, in a state that has a right of center electorate, victory is unlikely.

Lieberman, who polled 63% in 2000, demonstrated he represents almost as many independents as Democrats. In the primary, he collected 48% of the votes. Since he declared his intension to run as an independent should he lose, many of these voters will provide support in November.

Lieberman won eighteen years ago over a strong Republican simply because he was an extremely popular politician; in the state election two years before he was the top vote getter for all parties. By polling almost two thirds of the vote in his last election, it demonstrates his continued popularity. Over the years, his position on committees has saved thousands of Connecticut jobs. Is it any wonder that he is running as an independent?

What could undo a Lieberman victory? An increased opposition to the war that overshadows his support for other issues. Given that the Bush administration wants to position other Republicans for victory. Should Iran flex its muscle and the fear of Iraq becoming its satellite materialize, than opposition to the war could dwindle with the concern of a wider war in the reason. Should Lamont take concrete positions in issues other than the war and opposition to the Bush administration, then he would provide independent voters a reason to vote for him.

If Lieberman wins as an independent and the Democrats win 50 seats without him, he becomes the single most powerful man in the Senate. Instead of removing him from power, he will become the deciding vote in the Senate. With that potential power, I predict that few mainstream Democrats will do more than pay lip service to the Lamont campaign.

Posted by M.L. Schneider at August 25, 2006 12:47 PM
Comment #177396

“I predict that few mainstream Democrats will do more than pay lip service to the Lamont campaign.”

No offense, but, I think that is the most unreasonable prediction I have heard yet this year, save for some die hard Republican who said the GOP will gain seats in November.

Your analysis of Independents and the Iraq Civil War issue, however, is dead on. Lamont will get 65% of the Independent vote, and slightly more than half of the Democratic vote. About 35% of Republicans won’t vote, and of those who do, about 35% will vote for the Republican candidate, and the other 65% for Lieberman.

That puts Lamont in office by a slim margin. 43% for Lamont, 41% for Lieberman and the rest for the Republican.

Independents, aside from being against the Iraq Civil War, are also going to be heavily anti-incumbent this year. That gives an extra 5% of the Independent vote to Lamont. And that, combined with low Republican voter turnout, gives Lamont the 2% margin to win.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 25, 2006 2:27 PM
Comment #177427

David - Call me a pessimist, but I predict the GOP or it’s allies will try to find something to cause that 2% margin to fall into Liebermans lap. They know that campaigning against both Lamont and Lieberman is a waste of effort, I would bet that they somehow discredit Lamont in the guise of GOP campaigning.

Posted by: DOC at August 25, 2006 3:50 PM
Comment #177441

Hillary meets with Lamont. That could undo Lamont’s chances?

Posted by: d.a.n at August 25, 2006 4:24 PM
Comment #177447

d.a.n - I don’t see Hillary merely visiting with Lamont as a campaign smear tactic. Perhaps if she kisses him, but in general, not so much. Any negative campaigning Dem .vs. Rep will drive voters to Lieberman. If this happens, I see it more likely to be instigated by the GOP.

Posted by: DOC at August 25, 2006 4:54 PM
Comment #177458

In 1988 when Joe Lieberman was a Democrat running against Republican Lowell Weicker for the Senate he said:

”I see the United States Senate as much more than a debating society, more than a bully pulpit for a narrow personal agenda,”

Now Joe is an “Independent” whose party is based upon the idea of himself and his narrow personal agendas, which are: holding onto his power, and waging war in the Middle East.

At that time, he also said:
“Connecticut needs a Senator who will bring new energy to Washington and new help back here in Connecticut. And, bottom line, I am running for the United States Senate because I know deep in my heart that the people of Connecticut, after 18 years, are ready to say, ‘Thanks Lowell. Now, it’s time for a change.”

And now it’s time to say the very same thing to Joe Lieberman.

By the way, just yesterday Joe was out campaigning with the Republicans in Connecticut. If he thinks that’s going to play well with any Democrats, and a large number of real, live, actual Independent voters, he’s nuts.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 25, 2006 5:39 PM
Comment #177470

The war in Iraq is certainly the focal point for Lieberman’s loss in the primary. My thinking though is that the general election will be a vote on Bush and the policies of the administration overall. Joe’s gotten too cozy with the Bush Administration. That alone could keep the edge with Lamont. The country by and large is simply exhausted with Bush.

Posted by: Dennis at August 25, 2006 7:10 PM
Comment #177566
Lamont, who received 52% of the primary vote, has only captured 9% of the total votes in the state. To win in November, he will need 75% of the independent voters, 15% more than the 60% who oppose the war. Based upon the numbers, in a state that has a right of center electorate, victory is unlikely.

Playing these kinds of games with the numbers, you could easily “prove” that no one can win in November. Keep in mind that Lamont doesn’t need a plurality among all adults or registered voters in Connecticut, he needs a plurality of the votes. That is a far different calculation, especially in a midterm election.

I don’t know how you get the idea that CN has a “right of center” electorate. Kerry beat Bush there by 10%. (If Kerry did that well in “right of center” states, he would have won in a landslide.) That’s why it’s called a Blue State.

Lieberman’s problem is that he needs a lot of Republican votes to win. They say they’ll vote for him in polls, but will they actually show up and pull the lever for him? In comparison, Lamont’s challenge of appealing to independents is relatively simple.

Polls now show them in a dead heat. I give a
slight edge to Lamont because of Lieberman’s problem of getting Republican votes.

Posted by: Woody Mena at August 26, 2006 8:11 AM
Comment #177584

Woody, sounds right! Talk is easy, pulling the lever for someone whose agenda is 90% opposed to your own, is a lot harder in terms of motivation. The Republican vote in Ct. is going to be staying home on this race, unless there is some other major ballot initiative or candidate that can motivate them to the polls for other reasons.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 26, 2006 10:31 AM
Comment #178126

The data from the polls I have been reading is that Lamont has been getting a expedentially higher percentage of democrats in every succeding poll that has been comming out. Contrary, to the Fox News pro reuplicans who think Lamont and Lieberman will split the Democratic vote. This belief is farther from the truth. In the general election I wouldn’t be surprised if Lamont gets over 70 percent of the democratic vote. While splitting the Indepedent vote and getting about 15-20 percent of the republican vote.

Posted by: Brian at August 29, 2006 2:53 PM
Comment #178462

It couldn’t be easier to understand the Connecticut Senatorial race.

After winning in November Lieberman is planning to resign to take the position of Secretary of Defense. Afterwards the republican Connecticut governor would appoint a republican to replace Lieberman in the senate.

Lieberman is now calling for Rumsfeld’s resignation and campaigning with republican candidates.

For republicans it’s win-win!

Posted by: clearwaterconservative at August 31, 2006 7:27 AM
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