August 19, 2006
Chuck Todd of the National Journal seems to agree with Ezra about the 3-way race being good for our CT House candidates. All three Republican incumbents are now being rated as more likely to lose their seats.
With Lieberman sporting a 53-41 lead, this race is going to be a lot tougher for Lamont than I thought it'd be. To close this gap, Lamont will have to do things that appeal to independents and liberal Republicans. He's been talking about the deficit a lot recently, and we need more of that -- it's the sort of high-minded centrism that should work with CT independents, it plays up his solid-businessman side, and it counteracts any perceptions of him as a dirty liberal hippie. I'd like to see him come up with a list of "Ten Ways to Cut Spending" or something like that. Most of them could be corporate welfare of some kind.
If you want some video of Edwards and Lamont on Thursday, Michele Bair has the goods! I'm real happy about how this turned out.
August 19, 2006 | Permalink
"Chuck Todd of the National Journal seems to agree with Ezra about the 3-way race being good for our CT House candidates. All three Republican incumbents are now being rated as more likely to lose their seats."
You can argue this one either way very convincingly, which is what makes it an interesting question.
Chuck Todd is an uber-smart guy, as is Sid Blumenthal, who argues it the other way here.
I'd tend to imagine it going down more the Blumenthal way, but there are so many moving parts here that's it's very difficult to get a clear read.
And you can't say I didn't do my best to give you due diligence on the TradeSports angle, Neil.
Posted by: Petey | Aug 19, 2006 1:55:25 PM
"To close this gap, Lamont will have to do things that appeal to independents and liberal Republicans. He's been talking about the deficit a lot recently, and we need more of that -- it's the sort of high-minded centrism that should work with CT independents, it plays up his solid-businessman side, and it counteracts any perceptions of him as a dirty liberal hippie."
Hmmm... If I were running the Lamont campaign...
I think he loses the race with the kind of strategy you're talking about. He's never going to out high-minded-centrist Joe Lieberman.
I think his version of the '92 Carville slogan is "It's the war, stupid." He runs full-throat against the war, ties Lieberman to Bush, and spends serious money going negative. In other words, he re-runs the primary campaign.
It's definitely got some risks. He risks being painted as too far left - being painted as a dirty liberal hippie. But without giving 50%+1 an actual reason to vote against Lieberman, he's going to lose this race anyway.
The one thing he's got to drop from the primary, however, is the partisan appeal. If he gets too obsessed with bringing all the Dems home, he's going to lose enough indies to lose the race. One of the his biggest assets is having the official party nod, but he's got to resist the allure of actually using that asset. The war, on the other hand, crosses across partisan lines.
Posted by: Petey | Aug 19, 2006 2:08:46 PM
Although Connecticut, the richest State after Alaska, deserves its reputation as a land of properous corporate executives and professionals, it is worth remembering it also has four of the poorest, blackest cities in the country and some working class suburbs to go with them.
In addition, to calming the fears of Republican-leaning white, upper class professionals, Lamont needs to find a way of getting the support of low-information voters in Connecticut's working class suburbs (which is Joe's base) and to gain the support of blacks in the poor city centers. The latter is probably an easier task, and will close the gap significantly, but it is the low-information, working class suburban voter, who can put Lamont over the top.
Posted by: Bruce Wilder | Aug 19, 2006 2:53:20 PM
I still think I'm in pretty good shape to win, Petey. Lamont doesn't look or sound like the stereotypical antiwar candidate, and there's plenty of time for people to get acquainted with the way he looks and sounds.
Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Aug 19, 2006 3:36:04 PM
"Lamont doesn't look or sound like the stereotypical antiwar candidate"
To me, he looks and sounds exactly like the stereotypical antiwar candidate, ala Gene McCarthy or George McGovern, who kinda set the mold. If you mean he doesn't look and sound like Dennis Kucinich or Abbie Hoffman, then, sure.
But like I said, if he runs a campaign based on the fact that he's got the (D) besides his name, and tries to broaden his appeal in the traditional way, I think he's going to come up short of winning. He's got to embrace being a single-issue candidate and try to pound that issue home.
Keep it simple. It's the war, stupid.
I have no idea if the Lamont high command realizes this or not. Signs so far point toward them not being there.
"I still think I'm in pretty good shape to win, Petey."
But you could've bought 'em cheaper today...
I'm tempted to bite at .30 on Lamont, but I think I'll hold off. If it heads down to .25 - .20, then it'll be far enough off fair value to get me to click on the appropriate browser buttons.
Posted by: Petey | Aug 19, 2006 3:55:33 PM
Also, it's interesting to look how this race has changed in the past 11 days.
On primary night, I think I was saying here that Lamont's odds of winning were about .60, but they would drop to .45 if Lieberman could raise money and if the (R) candidate stayed weak.
But when I was talking about the (R) candidate staying weak, I meant him polling around 20%. I never imagined he could poll 4%.
And that's what's changed in the last 11 days. The difference between 20% and 4% is the difference between Lamont needing 41% and Lamont needing 49%.
The "I'm the Democratic nominee!" campaign the Lamont people seemed to be ready to run is a great campaign for getting to 41%. It's not so great for getting to 49%. And Lamont is going to have trouble getting to 49% with almost any campaign.
That's why I think he has to embrace being a single-issue candidate and going strong against Lieberman on that one issue. If you don't like Iraq, vote for me. End of story. If he can't focus the race into a referendum on Iraq and Bush, Lieberman will be holding all the high electoral ground come November.
And the way to successfully execute that campaign is go slash and burn negative on Lieberman early and often, all on the war and Bush. But like I said, I don't see the Lamont high command as being there. They still seem to think they can run a 41% campaign.
Posted by: Petey | Aug 19, 2006 4:19:27 PM
I don't know how Lamont can appeal to the middle and right. He's made his name as a far-left progressive. He's backed by Kos who was in one of hist first TV ads, then he cuts off his nose to spite his own face with the "I don't know about blogs" lie concerning racist Jane Hamsher's black-face photoshoppe moment. Yuccch! Lamont will have to denounce and detach himself from the hate/rage associated far-left to get the middle and right vote. Partisanship isn't a real good selling point right now and the Kos Kids don't come off as mainstream. If Lamont can succesfully and publicly sever the tie to far-left extremism he may have a shot, but until then he's not going to appeal to moderates or republicans. Lieberman's anti-partisan campaign theme is a good one that works well with a lot of people who are frustrated by a do-nothing congress. Lamont comes off as a mirror view of the partisan right, but it's still partisanship and partisanship is destructive.
Posted by: SeedFreak | Aug 19, 2006 4:25:06 PM
"If you want some video of Edwards and Lamont on Thursday, Michele Bair has the goods!"
And dunno if mbair had this part covered, but this is a nice short snippet of Edwards/Lamont video.
Posted by: Petey | Aug 19, 2006 4:27:09 PM
[Lamont] made his name as a far-left progressive.
He made his name by taking a position that 60% of the country holds. What's "far-left" about that?
Lieberman's anti-partisan campaign theme is a good one that works well with a lot of people who are frustrated by a do-nothing congress.
I'm sorry, did you just suggest "frustration with a do-nothing Congress" is going to help the incumbent?? How does that work?
Posted by: Thlayli | Aug 19, 2006 6:23:25 PM
I'm with Blumenthal. I think the three-way race is going to hurt the Dems running for the House. As a nutmegger, I hope Lieberman pulls out but I don't think he will. His ego is far, far too large and this election is all about him, not the party or the country.
Lamont wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal last Wednesday. Worth a read: http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110008801. All along Lamont has been much more three-dimensional than has been widely reported. He is about much more than the war and I think the more people see, the more they like him because he is a real person giving voice to real people.
Posted by: amy | Aug 19, 2006 10:14:46 PM
Lamont has been caricatured by Karl Rove as a far-left progressive. He isn't anything of the kind. Would that he were in my book, but that's just not the truth. Name an issue on which Lamont's far outside the mainstream of the Democratic Party. He's anti-war, but so are a substantial majority of CT voters. (Notice how the right wants to caricature Lieberman as the principled victim of the tyranny of the majority and the sober bipartisan moderate.)
Lamont's pro-choice, but Lieberman got the NARAL endorsement. Lamont's toeing the line on Israel. He's picked up some union endorsements from Lieberman, but he's hardly in the pocket of big labor. What far left progressivism are you talking about?
As far as the early polls are concerned, it's only natural that Lamont is behind with the general population. His name recognition with the average CT voter is much, much lower than that of longtime incumbent like Lieberman.
Posted by: Lindsay Beyerstein | Aug 20, 2006 9:51:57 PM
I am more than amused at the amazement of all of those who thought that Lamont had the lock because the far left motivated more of their own for the primaries.
Instead, the extremists will be exposed and their attempted takeover as well. It will be there for all to see who's trying to run the show.
Posted by: Fred Jones | Aug 21, 2006 3:06:05 PM
Lieberman isn't in that great a shape. He'll some of his Democratic supporters by playing Footsie with the republicans. He'll lose some Republican support as he softens his stance on Iraq. And really, does anyone believe the Republican candidate is going to get only 4% of the vote? Some republicans are likely saying they'll vote for Lieberman to inflate his chances (and thus piss off democrats, a favorite right wing hobby).
Lamont was behind three months before the Primary too. Most CT voters aren't yet paying real attention. Most don't know who and what Kos is. Most don't even know who Karl Rove is. To be honest, many don't likely even know who Ned Lamont is yet.
Posted by: Soullite | Aug 21, 2006 3:58:00 PM
The acid test is November.
Nothing else will matter.
Posted by: Fred Jones | Aug 22, 2006 9:15:29 AM
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