Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Lieberman, Lamont and the Polls

There are two things that we sort of know right now about the U.S. Senate race. First, Ned Lamont of Greenwich is going to run against Joe Lieberman. He'll be annoucing his run in March:

52-year-old Ned Lamont says he is on schedule to formally announce his primary challenge to Joe Lieberman by the middle of next month.

Ned Lamont now has campaign workers and will soon open headquarters in Norwalk and Meriden.

The political "blogosphere" is loaded with talk about polling numbers that show Joe Lieberman vulnerable to a challenge in a Democratic primary.

Lamont told [WTNH political correspondent Mark Davis] today there is no more doubt about his running.

"Yeah, we're a go, Mark, we've been traveling all over the state, talked to hundreds of people, thousands have come to our website and they're really encouraging us to do it, and I want to do it," says Lamont. (Davis)

Secondly, the polls are telling us nothing worthwhile about how this could eventually shake out. We beat a Rasmussen poll to death last week on this site without coming to any clear conclusions. Lieberman may be vulnerable or he may not, depending on how one interprets the poll.

A SurveyUSA poll released yesterday is no more conclusive. Daily Kos, where obsessive hatred for Lieberman is second only to hatred for Bush (isn't it?), would like us to believe that the poll shows a huge drop in Lieberman's fortunes, and that it's tied to his comments on Iraq and the emergence of Ned Lamont. Well, maybe. But it's fair to point out that the level he's at right now with all voters is pretty much exactly where he was last May, give or take a statistically meaningless point or two.

His numbers among Democrats are lower, although still above 50%. In fact, all of Lieberman's numbers are above 50%, even among self-identifying liberals (who favor him 52%-40%). That could be bad, since primary voters will tend to be more liberal. But then again, the argument could be made that even liberals approve of Lieberman by 12%.

So if the polls aren't exactly helpful, how do we know what's going on? Does enough support for a Lamont candidacy exist to make his challenge viable? Can Lamont win?

At this point, these questions can't be answered in the affirmative. However, there's no evidence that Lamont will be completely unable to win, yet, either. We'll have to wait for the convention, I fear, before we really start to have an idea of how far Lamont can go.


Davis, Mark. "Businessman gets ready to announce challenge for Lieberman's seat." WTNH-TV. 20 February, 2006.


Anonymous said...

C'mon they'll scream their way to victory, look how it worked in Iowa

ctkeith said...

Kinda hard to do any original analysis if all you do is read a couple of Ct papers and regurgitate it,isn't it?

If you want people to have a reason to continue trafficing this blog don't you have the responsibility to at least attend an event or 2?

Just asking?

Proud Moderate Dem said...

glad you mentioned events ctkeith as lieberman had events this week speaking out against the long island sound gas project and with elected democratic women endorsing him and also has an event with labor leaders tomorow. all three group make the critical base in a dem primary. this race will no doubt get tighter than the 68-13 qpoll results but it is good to see both candidates actively engaged.

stomv said...

Maybe Lamont's popularity takes off as he gains name recognition and demonstrates distinction beyond Iraq.

Maybe Lamont pulls Lieberman back toward the left.

Maybe Lamont gets more liberals involved in structural Democratic politics -- voter reg, GOTV, etc, resulting in more Dem voters showing up in November... and increasing the chances of a Dem winning in CT-2, CT-4, and/or CT-5.

Anonymous said...

how things change in several months. lieberman is polling ahead of lamont and outside the margin of error with a month to go. rich greenwich people don't make good candidates because ordinary people can't relate to them. i think lieberman will go back to the senate in the tradition of lowell weicker.