Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Morning After

Wow. Democrats won big last night. We took the house, and I'm 99% certain we'll have a slim majority in the Senate as well. Here in Connecticut Rell may have won but the gains in the State Legislature lessen what she can actually accomplish. All in all it's a good day to be a Democrat.

Lamont's loss was disappointing mostly because Senator Lieberman ran such a mean-spirited campaign. I hate to think that the 'freak show' angle worked as well as it did. It's also disappointing that the national party couldn't be bothered to stand behind the candidate that Connecticut Democrats nominated. Diane Farrell's apparent loss to Shays was the real surprise. Of the three Democratic challengers I thought she had the best shot.

Election '06 felt especially long in Connecticut. We had two bitter primaries followed by a bitter Senate race, and three hard fought Congressional races. I'm glad that it's finally over.

50 comments:

Grumpy said...

"I'm 99% certain we'll have a slim majority in the Senate as well."

Don't be so certain. Unfortunately for Democrats, Joe Lieberman gets to decide the balance of power if the Senate does split 51-49.

If Tester in MT and Webb in VA hold on to win, look for the Republicans to offer Joe a blank check in return for his vote.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Neither Kevin Rennie's nor Dave Zoni's hit piece's on Sam Caliguri worked. On the contrary they both appeared to have backfired; as they should have.

Seeing as the Dems swept the whole area while collectively crossing over to vote for Sam in fairly large numbers.

Sam won everywhere big but Zoni's hometown of Southington and only lost there by a little over 2.5 points.

After such a decisive victory in the midst of an otherwise Democratic landslide, I doubt anyone will be too interested in challenging Caligiuri in 2008.

It's personally gratifying to witness a good man with such a servants heart succeed.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

>>If Tester in MT and Webb in VA hold on to win, look for the Republicans to offer Joe a blank check in return for his vote

Under those circumstances we'll probably insist on one thing; the head of Chris Dodd on a platter. I suspect right about now, Joe would happily oblige. Certainly Joe Lieberman owes Dodd nothing at this point.

Anonymous said...

Dodd is better liked than Lieberman. And the Republican Party in CT is irrelevant. If Dodd runs again, he wins.

Anonymous said...

The real story last night was Chris Shays. He never went negative, ran a courageous campaign and was willing to win or lose on Iraq. If Rob Simmons concedes, Chris will be the ONLY Republican member of the House in all of New England. And the residents of CT's 4th are lucky to have him as their representative.

turfgrrl said...

cgg: sour grapes, Lamont ran an awful general campaign. But you are incorrect about the national Dems, they rightfully were concerned with winning over the House and possibly the Senate, not backing a Dem for Dem intramural race. What would you rather have, Lamont as senator and a GOP house/seante? Or what you have now?

Shadow said...

Ned Lamont is one of the few honest men in the last generation to enter politics. The only people who failed yesterday were the voters of CT, and those are the people who will ultimately suffer six years of regret for our poor decision.

But ultimately, Ned Lamont changed the country for the better so much in this election cycle that it’s actually a bigger positive impact for this state and others in the long run. Republicans/Lieberman dropping “stay the course”, Democrats FINALLY consolidating behind a unanimous anti-Iraq war position and making huge gains in Congress; NONE of this would have happened without Ned Lamont. There would have not been a comfortable Democratic majority in the House and a likehood of taking the Senate, no subpoena power; no checks and balances.

I regret not one second I volunteered for this gallant and noble effort. We changed the country, and defeated far right Republicanism so badly nationally that their biggest gloating points this election are Arnold Schwarzenegger keeping his governor’s seat in CA by running to the left, and the 2000 Vice Presidential Candidate for the Democratic Party retaining his Senate seat; I’m sure they’re very proud.

The worst Ned did was to be the guy who made sure everyone got out of the burning building before him. All the winning Democratic candidates, all the people who hoped for nationwide change in this election, the majority of Americans who think our Iraq policy is a failure; everyone went ahead of him as he bravely held the door open for them with his reputation, time, energy, and personal fortune all on the line. Had he not run and won in the primary, the anti-Iraq position would not have been confidently embraced nationally by a major party in time for this election cycle, and would have had to wait until the next election cycle; that’s an additional two years of bloodshed, chaos, and enabling terrorist recruiment that Ned just saved us from. If Lamont got everyone out of the burning building before him, and didn’t make it himself, that doesn’t make him a failure; it makes him a hero.

Anonymous said...

The real story last night was Chris Shays. .He never went negative is absolute bull.

Dave Mooney said...

Will the new Democratic super majority in the General Assembly push through mid-decade redistricting?

Anonymous said...

ACR:

I have really enjoyed reading your posts over the past few months but you were pretty harsh on the Aresimowicz campaign on this site and your own. Maybe now is the time for an apology and just admit they ran a good campaign and the better man won. It’s ok to admit when you’re wrong about people (one term union thug)and politics (E3 has great shot)!!!!

Anonymous said...

Shadow,

You hit the nail on the head.

Ned new he wasn't going to win weeks ago. He and Annie still pumped in more millions in order to help their fellow Democrats win which will insure a shorter War and save alot of lives.

Ned didn't catch the wave but he sure as hell had a huge hand in creating it.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

>>Maybe now is the time for an apology and just admit they ran a good campaign and the better man won.

Unions have cost Connecticut more jobs than any other single reason. In fact CT gained thanks to NAFTA yet to listen to union organizers the opposite is the case.

Unions have a history of dealing with and other involvements with organized crime.

Now they've set their sites on socialized medicine and pretty much anything else that might come up soley due to the fact that the only area where unions are growing is in the public empoyment sector.

If you're happy with how you're treated at the DMV, you'll love what happens next.

A union organizer can, and likely will cause more damage to America than any terrorist.

Anonymous said...

It's early, but ... how about Lamont vs. Shays in '08?

Anonymous said...

I really hope Chris Shays is as tortured as he tried to portray himself as in what was the single most bizzare speech ever given in CT. Political history.

Perhaps he can explain what a conscience is to his hero Joe Lieberman who seems to think Other peoples kids are "Fungible" just like Rummy.

Gabe said...

A union organizer can, and likely will cause more damage to America than any terrorist.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the politics of unity and purpose.

bluecoat said...

CGG: It's not over in the Stone/Christiano Race in the 133rd as far as I can tell. Looks like an automatic recount to me with only 20 vote separating the two.

turfgrrl said...

gabe: well said.

Anonymous said...

Gabe,

Isn't it ironic that ACR would post that dribble at the same time as the deathtoll of this Republican administrations war is approaching the exact same number as 9/11.

If anyone had any doubts that it was the right and responsible thing for the American People to remove the Republican party from control of our Congress all they have to do is listen to Rush or read ACRs posts.

Gabe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bluecoat said...

CGG: The 133rd isn't over between Chritiano and Stone from what I understand anyway. With Christiano up by 20 votes there will be an automatic recount.

Anonymous said...

Who won Bab Ward's Old seat? I can't find a report with all the precints reporting...and with 3 of 4 it looks rellly close? Anyone know?

Gabe said...

In case I wasn't clear, my tounge was planted firmly in cheek when I called comparing union organizers to terrorists (and finding union organizers worse!) was the politics of unity and purpose...

Gabe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Lets see..on 8/9/06 Lamont had;

1. the nomination after a primary win

2. unlimited money to spend

3. Most of the party support..

and still lost..

why? 2 reasons..

1. a staff of progressives without experience and who made several tactical and strategic blunders

2. A candidate not ready for prime time.

Anonymous said...

Bob Ward's seat stayed Republican - the only one of their open seats to be held. Bad night for house R's.....

bluecoat said...

The Hartford Courant has the best election results I have seen but I don't know about Ward's seat.

Anonymous said...

and still lost..

why? 2 reasons..

3... A bunch of republicans who didn't have the guts to vote for the canidate of their own party.

Shadow said...

Lamont was the first man in American history to unseat a former Vice Presidential nominee of his own party in a primary.

It took a coalition of Republicans, conservative independents who almost always vote Republican, and sore Joe loyalists from August who all decided they wanted to overrule the results of a primary. This is terrible for democracy.

Lieberman should have either run as a Democrat or as an independent; not both, not twice in the same race. This goes beyond whether or not you like Lieberman or Lamont, or whose positions you agree with; it's about the democratic process. If Lamont had lost the primary and tried to run again as an independent, I would consider it JUST AS WRONG (and have no doubt Lieberman himself would have complained about it, too).

How would Republicans like it if they made a primary choice, and other groups in the state overruled that decision? They'd be pissed, and I would stand with them, because that is UNDEMOCRATIC.

Most states ban this kind of chicanery in their laws, and in the interest of CT, we should all join together and make every effort to prevent this from happening again. Incumbents are already too well protected in this government; voters of all political idealogies agree with that. This race completely went in the face of that, saying essentially that the challenger HAS to win twice, while the incumbent only has to win once and can afford to lose once.

This goes way beyond Lieberman and Lamont, and speaks to the future of elections. Whatever your political idealogy might be, are career incumbents staying in power with a "best 1 of 2" victory against a challenger what we what our democracy to become?

Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS JOE!

Heres a suggestion...You and the 30% of so-called-democrats who made an end run around the wishes of real democrats should consider renaming your party the "Backstabber Party."

Get used to the criticism and make sure you wear a coat. Its going to be a cold six years.

turfgrrl said...

gabe: i knew that.

Anonymous said...

Not to rain on the parade, but aren't these results a little disappointing nationally from a raw numbers perspective? In any off year, would be average pickup in the house would be about 30 seats. Picking up just over that doesn't really shake the ground beneath my feet. Given the prominence of the war and lack of any new ideas from the GOP, shouldn't the benchmark for success be a bit higher?

Shadow said...

Not with the media coverage. The following article, excerpted here, put it best:


"The Democrats didn't win because of the press. They won in spite of it, in spite of a press that gave wall-to-wall coverage of Kerry's blunder and call-me ads, in spite of a press that chose feigned scandal over true substance. In the face of such a hostile media environment, the Democrats still won. And that, my friends, is a true miracle."

Full Article: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/11/8/124620/837

Anonymous said...

Shadow, I think it is a mistake to draw from Lieberman's success a strategic blueprint for incumbent perpetuity. I'm pretty sure that not just any incumbent would have the same results. While incumbency does have it's benefits, should Dodd lose a primary, I think it very doubtful he would garner the Unaffiliated and Republican support required to win a three way race.

The Architect said...

"It took a coalition of Republicans, conservative independents who almost always vote Republican, and sore Joe loyalists from August who all decided they wanted to overrule the results of a primary. This is terrible for democracy."

Do you actually read what you write? Allowing citizens to petition onto a ballot is terrible for democracy?

turfgrrl said...

anonymous 2:07: A 30 seat pick up is a good thing, and it is maybe that would have been the norm in 30-40 years ago, but in the last 20, except for 1994, that pickup was much less than that.

Anonymous said...

Why were the pre-election polls in the 4th CD and the 5th CD so wrong? The last Uconn Poll in the 4th said Farrell would winn by 4. Didn't Shays win by about that? An din the 5th, the late polls said Murphy by 2--but he won by 12.

Shadow said...

No, incumbents being allowed to run twice in one election against the same challenger is terrible for democracy.

As to the other point, this isn't a matter of practicality, but principle. I don't expect Dodd to do this, nor do I necessarily expect it to happen right away with anybody. However that's not the issue; why should we have an undemocratic principle allowed for in our laws and feel comfortable just because no one probably will take advantage of it in the near future?

This is how bad laws are written, and bad precedent is set. The states that outlawed this did so for a reason, and it wasn't a conservative or liberal issue; the reason was consistent across the board: wrong is wrong. If this stands unchallenged, other incumbents will try this in the other states that allow this, if not in CT. There may even be efforts down the line to coerce state governments that don't allow this to recind their law so they are also like CT; incumbent shield optimized.

It may not happen here, and it may not happen soon, but the stench of bad precedent carries down a long corridor.

Anonymous said...

ct house republicans got clobbered and rumor has it they spent nearly a half million bucks to give the dems a super majority

the paid consultant for the house republicans was republican state chairman george gallo who probably caught a bus out of town late last night

the only thing the republicans won last night was rell's seat and that's because lisa moody did not let anyone in the party to get close enough to the gov to screw it up

Linkmeister said...

Is there any truth to a rumor about the CT. legislature passing a law requiring a special election for open US Senate seats rather than appointment by the sitting governor?

Anonymous said...

why should we have an undemocratic principle allowed for in our laws

What you are proposing is undemocratic. The people voted, and Lieberman was their choice - not Lamont. You may disagree with that decision, but the people have spoken - get over it!

Why should all of Connecticut be bound to respect what the Democratic Party votes for?

Anonymous said...

George gallo was a left over Rowlnad hack that used left over Rowland tactics to keep the guv in place without regard to the party. The goal was to increase the ranks in the legislature but he f--ked that up with the anti-gay agenda.

Anonymous said...

ACR,

Come on, let's be real. Zoni lost by 3,000 votes. That's a significant margin and it’s attributable to a lot more than one mailer. Zoni lost Wolcott by an almost 4-1 margin; perhaps the Corky factor was greater than Zeke and the rest of the Democrats in Southington considered, in addition to Sam outspending Dave 2-1. He saturated the district with a seemingly Democratic message and the voters bought it.

I'll admit that the mailer probably played a role, but not as significant a factor as you propose.

ACR's future posts will no doubt be a slobbering love-fest about Sam. Great stuff to look forward to.

Matt said...

I worked as a staffer in the campaign office where CGG would often volunteer, and I noted more than a month ago that Lieberman's run was certain to doom Farrell. While it was probably a combination of both Lieberman's presence and the Farrell campaign's own tactics, it's certainly bittersweet to be proven correct in this kind of case. At least we still won a Democratic congress.

So who's next for party chair?

GMR said...

Allow me to throw in my $0.02.

The Republicans got beaten pretty badly last night. Natioanlly, they seem to have abandoned most but not all of their principles. Any type of spending restraint went completely out the window in the last few years. They stayed true to tax cuts, but if you don't tax and do spend, that's basically spending now to tax later.

In 1994, Gingrich and Armey and the rest of the leaders had a distinct vision: the Contract for America had 10 points. The Republicans were for lowering spending, lowering taxes, cutting regulation, and so on. A few of the 1994 winners were flukes in strong Democrat seats, like Rostenkowski's. But many of their seats were winning in traditional Republican areas held by Democrats in the south.

In this election, the Democrats picked up some traditionally Democrat seats held by Republicans. Johnson and probably Simmons, for example. Democrats also made gains across New England (Shays is the only Republican in congress from New England), New York, and Pennsylvania.

However, like Rosty's seat in 1994, Democrats won some that are virtually going to be impossible to hold next time: Ney, Foley, Delay to name three. Of the Democrats that won last night, many won with margins of 1% or 2% (e.g., Courtney). So the Republicans are definitely going to be competitive to take back the House next time.

As for the Senate, I just don't think it's very likely that the Republicans will be able to add seats next time. First, there are 21 Rs and only 12Ds up for reëlection next time, with many somewhat vulnerable Republicans (i.e., small margin winners in 2002). Of course, with Bobby Byrd and Lautenberg and Akaka as old as they are, you never know if there may be other seats in play next time to fill out a term. But if Strom is any guide, Senators can have long lives.

Jodi Rell ran a great campaign for herself, but it seemed to be devoid of just about any substance. If you don't believe me, just head over to her website's issues page and check it out. Don't plan on spending a lot of time over there. Jodi was all personality, and no substance. No ideas. Except for trash haulage reform and an arts initiative and some sort of silly energy plan that doesn't have a prayer. As a result, she didn't help the down ticket one iota. Now she's got a veto proof democrat house and senate. They can pass all kinds of weird stuff, and if it doesn't work, she'll get blamed.

cgg said...

Good points about Rell GMR. What I find interesting is that while CT elected Rell with a wide margin, they also made sure she couldn't get much of anything accomplished.

cgg said...

Hi Matt nice to see you here!

Shadow said...

> Why should all of Connecticut be bound to respect what the Democratic Party votes for?


It shouldn't. You're missing the point: it was the same incumbent battling the same challenger twice, creating a situation where the incumbent can win and lose in the same year and keep their seat, but where a challenger CANNOT lose once and MUST win twice.

If you don't think that excessively favors incumbents, who are already heavily favored to win re-election to begin with, come out and defend your argument, because I sure as hell don't get your thinking. After all, this has clearly been the main crux of my point for a number of posts now, and I don't think, after having read all of that detailed reasoning, you're so unintelligent to still believe that my whole argument is really just about this one race.

But I'll say it again just in case you missed it the first time: if Lamont did the same thing as Lieberman did, I'd be just as angry about it. In fact, had Lieberman beat Lamont in the primary, I as a supporter would have demanded Lamont get out of the race, and supported him no further if he stayed; if you want to run as an independent, do it next time, Lieberman already beat you this year. This is democracy, isn't it? When you run in any race, whether a general or a primary, you submit yourself to the will of that electorate. There's no do-overs... at least there never used to be.

Even though Ned would be the challenger in the example I just proposed, and one could argue that it might be a legitimate equalizer to an entrenched incumbent, it would still be just as unacceptable to me, because it's fundamentally undemocratic to me to run the same race between two leading candidates twice in one cycle.

If you don't think so, remind me the last time you remember that happening anywhere in America? How about any Western democracy?

There's a reason for that.

Stop rerunning the CT Senate race and try to see how this is going to affect the future.

Matt said...

Thanks CGG, staff couldn't blog (other than very select staffers who had explicit permission), but I was around the site in July and August as well.

I had to search pretty hard for the 134th results, but it's pretty crazy that Jack Stone lost. If only someone had run against McKinney! (Yes, he's "unbeatable," but so was Jack Stone. I just conveyed the results to someone that told me he'd been around since the original founding of Fairfield.)

Shadow, I agree about how disheartening the "re-run" campaign was, and I'm not the person to do a post-mortem on what should have or could have been done. However, I do hope -- for the good of the party -- that Lieberman's seniority is not protected. After all, the primary process is ordinarily not that kind to progressives, many of whom would be notably cooler to "respecting the primary result" if the kind of behavior Lieberman exhibited is rewarded by the party leadership.

Anonymous said...

Shadow,

In 1969 NYC Mayor Lindsay lost the Republican primary, but ran on the liberal line, and won. This actually benefits democracy because GE voters have more choices. Especially in CT where the largest party, Independents, dont even get a chance to vote in a primary. What would hurt democracy is if you force voters to chose only from what the extremists (10% on either side) decide in the primary

Shadow said...

> What would hurt democracy is if you force voters to chose only from what the
> extremists (10% on either side) decide in the primary

And I have suggested no such thing. I am as strongly devoted to having more options in elections, that's the motivation behind everything that I've said here. Certainly, this has also been clear in my effort here to strongly promote third party candidates in this year's state elections, in order to protest the poor candidates provided by both the Republican and Democratic state parties this year. Furthermore, I've been an unaffiliated voter just about all of my life, and have never voted for either of the two major parties in a Presidential election, so trying to implicitly characterize me as "forcing" the two party duopoly on unaffiliated voters does not hold water.

More Options = Good.
More Parties = Good
Less Two Party Entrenchment = VERY GOOD.

Had Lieberman chosen to run as an Independent from the beginning, I would have NO complaints; more power to him. I think what Mayor Lindsey did was wrong, too; he should have run as an independent in the first place as well if that's what he wanted. I also think it speaks volumes if we have to go back thirty-six years to a local race in order to find modern precedent for a very controversial decision regarding a federally elected office such as US Senator.

An election, by definition, is submitting to the will of a given electorate. Candidates do NOT have to go through primaries, and we know this; they can skip right to the general if they want by running independently, so your assertion that unaffiliated voters will be forced to choose primary winners under my reasoning is completely unfounded.

However, once a candidate DECIDES to run in a primary, they are submitting themselves to the decision of THAT electorate. Do you disagree? If so, WHY HAVE PRIMARIES?