So who will replace him on the ticket? The Republican state central committee will choose the new candidate. Here's a list of possible and impossible candidates for them to consider:
He's got better name recognition than Schlesinger, can raise money, and would probably appeal to the Republican base. Best of all, he's actually interested. However, his Rowland ties, a reportedly seamy past and his loss to Ed Meyer in 2004 raise many questions about the viability of a potential Aniskovich candidacy.
Republican diehards like him. 67% of the rest of voters decided they preferred the other guy in 2004. But in 2006, 33% or thereabouts might be good enough. He also has money, which is a plus.
The bad news is that Republicans don't actually like her, as her positions on most issues are quite liberal. However, she could more realistically portray herself as a sane, center-left alternative to Lamont and Lieberman.
The U.S. attorney has good name recognition and a strong background. He'd be a great candidate, if he were interested. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to be.
Most popular Republican in these parts. But already has a job, and a big lead over her rivals.
Nancy Johnson, Chris Shays, Rob Simmons
A dream scenario for Republicans would be if one of the three Republican members of Congress took a run at Lieberman, while leaving a capable Republican candidate to run in their district. This is the Weicker 1970 scenario--which, as Republicans recall, actually worked. For example, if Johnson ran for Senate and, say, Sam Caligiuri ran for Congress, GOP chances are pretty decent in both races. But it isn't going to happen.
Waterbury would be a lock. And it's a great story--the once popular governor who has learned his lesson. I swear, a lot of people would still vote for him.
In the end, I imagine that we'll see either Orchulli or Aniskovich enter the race if and when Schlesinger steps aside. Both would be better than Schlesinger--but probably not enough to actually win without some serious outside help. Which may, in fact, be coming. The NRSC is apparently getting interested in this race--and will become more so if Lieberman loses in two weeks.
But if Schlesinger remains the candidate, I don't think their interest will matter for much.