Monday, November 20, 2006

U.S. Senate Map: Lieberman Triumphant

It's strange to compare the map of the general election with the map of the primary (below). Some common themes emerge, such as Lieberman's utter dominance of the Naugatuck Valley. But otherwise there are few similarities.

We can speculate on the effect this race had on the congressional races. For example, there are a lot of similarities between this and the 2nd District map, suggesting that maybe Joe Courtney owes Ned Lamont a thank-you note. Why did UCONN turn out in such huge numbers, after all?

Chris Shays might owe Joe Lieberman one, too.

What both of these maps show is the complete breakdown of the Democratic Party as a useful and functional machine to get candidates elected outside of core urban areas.

There's a lot to talk about, here. What do you think?


disgruntled_republican said...

Joe owes him a bit more than a note. We have been saying this since election day. Did I ever tell you how much i hate Ned Lamont? There, glad I got that off my chest. Gobble Gobble.

Matt said...

What both of these maps show is the complete breakdown of the Democratic Party as a useful and functional machine to get candidates elected outside of core urban areas.

Personally, I'm a big advocate of the Dems as an urban-values party, but I think you're being more than a little dramatic... maybe your next map could show the state assembly seats overlaid with this map, and then you could talk about how ineffective the Democrats are at electing people into office.

Genghis Conn said...

The Democrats are lucky that the Republicans are actually more inept than they are. But what this shows is that the two ways political parties have of choosing candidates--the convention and the primary--guarantee nothing when it comes to either the party rank-and-file or the candidates themselves.

Anonymous said...

Matt and Ghengis make two good points. NW CT is about as liberal blue as Hartford, but re-elected state Sen. Roraback. For me, it shows the extreme elements of both parties are out of touch with a majority of voters. CT likes conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans. You can argue the labels, but middle of the road wins out.

Anonymous said...

looking at this map, i see one thing... Roraback MIGHT be able to beat Murphy.

Almost every map you have is solid blue or light red in that NW corner... except for State Senate and Governor.

cgg said...

I find it interesting that the machine worked against Lamont in the primary and then lost. Then they worked for Lamont in the general and lost again. The machine is fundamentally broken which is part of what drove the Lamont momentum in the first place.

Matt said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Matt said...

Whoa, DR lost his comment, oh well. Weird.

I'd love to lean on the state reps to redistrict some of that blue out of 1 and 3 and into 2, 4, and 5. Looking at the maps on the right, *nothing* needs to be that gerrymandered.

Matt said...

GC - the "machine" doesn't like primaries. The Democratic machine seems to be running a reasonable selection process if it's getting so many state reps elected.

Anonymous said...

"the most shockingly unethical, borderline-criminal congressional majority our nation has ever seen"

i'd argue that the 1860 congress and even the 1920s congress' (drinking alcohol, despite their own constitutional amendment) had more problems than the current one... although the current one is pretty bad.

Anonymous said...

Roraback is no carpetbagger, either. He has stayed in his own neighborhoof. He would have to work hard to penetrate the Danbury, Waterbury, Meriden and New Britain areas, but if he keeps his unbroken voting streak in tact, he would be a refreshing alternate to the slick Murphy.

GreenmanTim said...

Andrew Roraback is more than a maverick. He somehow manages to be highly accessible to his constituents yet attends every single State Senate vote. If he were a Congressman, I'd expect one of these traits would have to give.

Politically, he is hardly conservative, nor is he a mainstream Republican. He gets strong support from business and labor, from environmentalists and those who support reproductive choice. It costs Democrats like me nothing to support him at the state senate level. Were he to run for the House of Representatives in the 5th, however, especially when it is for all the marbles in a Presidential election year, there would be harder questions for Democrats and Republicans to answer before he got strong support.

Anonymous said...

Lamont didn't get elected because he was to much of an amateur as were his campaign gurus. He did stir things up enough on the national scene to help catalyze a change in the political complexion of the Congress and for that he's owed a big congrats.

disgruntled_republican said...


If you want to charge vote fraud, make your case

First, it's not my place to do so. I follow the lead of the Congressman who graciously conceded. And you'll also notice I removed the post - I was upset, still am but he took the right path. I still think it (the student voting) is wrong, plain and simple. I agree to disagree as you clearly don't see it from the same perspective that I do, or choose not to, but in any event you instead choose to spiral light years away in your post.

Simmons could have "done" a number of "things about it," including disaffiliating from the most shockingly unethical, borderline-criminal congressional majority our nation has ever seen. What are you suggesting here? I don't think their is a person in CD2 who thinks Rob was in any way shape or form involved in any of these activities. Furthermore, lets not paint only one side with that brush sir, both sides have had their issues and some individuals may still.

Or working to appeal to the constituents (like students) who eventually turned him out office. I refer you to me first response again.

Just checked out his site: no education agenda whatsoever. Oops. And that one I will concede. Oops indeed but that doesn't mean he wasn't a proponent of funding education, the only job that, IMHO, the Federal Government should have in regards to education.

And long and short of it, I was merely pointing out how much Ned Lamont benefited Joe Courtney. Face it, if it wasn't a Lamont vs. Lieberman race in the general, you wouldn't have had that many people voting in Mansfield or Windham.

Anonymous said...

Greenman, isn't that exactly the point? Don't we want our representatives to represent our views, however diverse they may be. I don't know who could call the race if it were between a liberal Republican and a conservative Democrat.

Anonymous said...

"I'd love to lean on the state reps to redistrict some of that blue out of 1 and 3 and into 2, 4, and 5. Looking at the maps on the right, *nothing* needs to be that gerrymandered."

I certainly hope that was a joke. You hold 4 out of 5 Congressional districts in Connecticut and all but one in all of New England. What more do you want? Oh, and by the by - the Democrat legislature did the redistrict so how exactly would you call it gerrymandered my friend?

Matt said...

anon 432: CT was gerrymandered for incumbency protection, while the GOP gerrymanders to maximize possible seats (i.e. Texas). The CT congressional map is rather extreme, though: nothing against DeLauro, but to win every single town in your district is kind of alarming.

DR - Face it, if it wasn't a Lamont vs. Lieberman race in the general, you wouldn't have had that many people voting in Mansfield or Windham.And if Lieberman didn't run in the general after losing the primary, Chris Shays would probably be out of office right now. On balance, I think the Senate race benefitted the downticket Republicans, which is precisely why the GOP incumbents were so eager to endorse against their own party's candidate.

Anonymous said...

GC - some towns went from purple or dark purple in the primary to a lighter shade of purple or even changed to blue. why?

Bloomfield makes sense... they vote D. they started with Lieberman, the incumbent D, then voted D in Nov.

But why Killingly? Did Alan Gold do particularly well in some towns? Well above his 10% statewide?

Anonymous said...

Wait, didn't Lamont win Norwalk? By like 118 votes? Should be light blue.

Anonymous said...

Yep, Lamont did win Norwalk:

You can get the .pdf there with the complete breakdown for that city by voting district.

Matt said...

Yeah, GC is using what looks like the CNN numbers instead of the SOTS numbers. Norwalk went for Lamont 10341 to 10223.

Anonymous said...

Cgg -- the "machine" didn't work for Lamont. Some individual DTC's worked very hard for Lamont, but there was no concerted effort by "the machine" to strongly back Lamont.

The coordinated campaign was entirely dysfunctional -- and UNcoordinated. State Central did nothing for Lamont. (Remember those Nancy DiNardo emails that effusively praised every Democratic candidate BUT Lamont? She sent out TWO statewide emails that pointedly mentioned every Congressional Democratic candidate and DeStefano -- but did NOT mention Lamont.)

Many DTC's didn't lift a finger for Lamont or had leaders who actively worked for Joe.

If it's a machine at all, it's surely a broken one.

Genghis Conn said...

You're right about Norwalk--the results I had didn't count the absentee ballots, for some reason. I'll have to change that.

Schlesinger didn't do very well anywhere. I think the highest for him was 19% in Derby, where he was mayor in the 1990s.

Not sure if I agree that college students shouldn't vote in the district where they go to school. I voted in New London when I went to college there. I figured that since I lived there most of the year (and year-round for one year) that what happened in New London affected me a lot more than what happened in Newington, which is where my parents lived.

Genghis Conn said...

Okay, fixed. Let me know if there are other problems you spot.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Genghis! Good to see at least a little speck of blue in Southwestern CT.

Anonymous said...

GC, oddly , there is a hupe parallel from the 1988 election to this one for Joe Lieberman.

In both elections he won 50% of the vote and in both elections he ran incredibly strongly in suburban New Haven county.

He lost urban support from that year but it was offset by new support from Fairfield County Republicans.

Matt said...

This map strikes me as having a lot in common with the Curry-Rowland 2002 map.

I guess Joe strikes me as having a lot in common with Rowland too, though.

Anonymous said...

this race obviously had no impact in the 5th District. Johnson lost five dark purple Lieberman strongholds and the Lamont towns are tiny and had little impact

Anonymous said...

RESPONDING TO: "If you want to charge vote fraud, make your case"

"First, it's not my place to do so. I follow the lead of the Congressman who graciously conceded..."

Yes, this voter was surprised that Simmons conceded with such a small vote gap. It's a sign of the times that my first thought was that one reason that he might not contest the election is that he feared it could adversely call attention to and affect others on the ticket whose votes counts might not be sterling.

It's a sad commentary when that's the first thing that comes to a voter's mind. I wish all I felt was full confidence in all the players and the equipment.

Anonymous said...

RE; Gerryamndering:

If anything, Jim Maloney insisted to gerrymander the 5th district to add "blue" voters. Meriden is part of the New Haven metro, and Prospect and Naugatucj are part of the Waterbury area. Maloney demanded Meriden stay in the 5th depsite weird lines to accoml;ish this, and parted with conservative areas around Waterbury which were historically in the 5th District.

Look at the sea of Rell Red and Lieberman purple in western CT, to argue a conservative leaning district shouldn't be out there would require DeLay style mapmaking

Avant-garde said...

The "CT Save Rumsfeld Equation"

In theory:
Save Rum = Rell + [(Shay + Simmons + Johnson) x $millions] + (CT republicans align with Lieberman)

= 1R Gov. + 3R Reps. + 1D/I/R Sen.

= Lieberman nominee for Supreme Court

= CT R Gov. appoint 1R Sen. Of her choice

= Utopia

In real time:
Save Rum = Rell + [(Shay + Simmons + Johnson) x $millions] + (CT republicans align with Lieberman)

= 1R Lame Duck Gov. + 1 Prima-Donna Sen. + 1R Rep.

= Developing….

GMR said...

A few weeks ago someone pointed out that Connecticut has non-partisan gerrymandering (done by retired judges).

Anonymous said...

"What both of these maps show is the complete breakdown of the Democratic Party as a useful and functional machine to get candidates elected outside of core urban areas."

Would you really call Hampton, Chaplin, Ashford, Willington, Stafford, Coventry, and Killingly a "core urban area"?

Maybe it shows that these towns have really great functioning Democratic Town Committees.

Anonymous said...

Connecticut redistricting is a bipartisan process. The Dems who were involved, however, can be blamed for allowing one GOP district(4), two swing districts (2 & 5) and two solid Dem districts (1 & 3) in a state that is solidly Dem. Maloney's needs could have been accommodated in a far defter fashion.

As relates to Murphy and Roraback, both are first rate, but I don't see Roraback taking the jump in Presidential year. In spite of Johnson's defeat, I think the 5th performs better for the GOP candidate in non-Presidential years.

Genghis Conn said...

Just wait until 2010 reduces our number of House seats to 4. There's going to be one nasty redistricting process--and quite possibly a very nasty Dem primary.

Mirror said...

the "system" calls for a primary and then a final battle between the two finalists. The problem was the democratic primary was flawed due to the failure of run of the mill democrats failure to vote and the extremists did.

Anonymous said...

It also shows you can't buy an election, even with $15 million of your own money.

Anonymous said...

WIll there be consolidation of Congressional Districts in 2010? That will be brutal!

Anonymous said...

There was never an attempt to save Runsfield. That's lunacy. He was always expendable. Despite the fantasy, I wouldn't mind seeing Lieberman in another top job in goovernment. He is a centrist and that appeals to lots of people. The reality is, he is a good party player and would never leave his Senate slot open so Rell could fill it with a Simmons, Johnson or another Republican.

Anonymous said...

There's got to be a major quid pro quo for Roraback or any Republican to give up his seat to challenge Murphy.

turfgrrl said...

Why do Lamont supporters insist that somehow his candidacy was come catalyst nationally? The real catalysts were the issues of 2005 like:

1. Cindy Sheehan
2. Rep John Murtha and redeployment
3. Brent Snowcroft criticizes administration
4. Valerie Plame
5. Chuck Hagel criticizes administration
6. McCain, Warner and Graham fight for torture ban
7. Downing Street memos
8. Reid closes Senate to force debate on intelligence failure on lead to invasion

This gave way to the 2006 Republican year of scandals:

1. Jack Abramoff
2. Conrad Burns
3. Bob Ney
4. Tom DeLay
5. John Doolittle

The catalyst for the nation was not some millionaire form Connecticut wanting to buy a senate seat, but the absolute ineptitude of the Republican party's ability to govern. Exit polls (it's the scandals, stupid) bear this out.

Anonymous said...

GC, to the chargrin of Mayor Boughton enough immigrants are moving to CT to bring our 2010 population to over 3.6 M. We'll hold the 5th House seat until 2020.

RE: 9;16,,, the 5th District already swiggles around to remove Republican precincts in Waterbury and Torrington from the district. A "normal" map would have generated two R leaning districts, 2 D strongholds, and the 2nd, which could be a D leaner if Middltown was traded for Enfield

The maps don't lie. The Dem majority in the state is thick in a few urban areas and thin across the rest of the state

Anonymous said...

6. Cunningham

turfgrrl said...

GC: Chris Shays might owe Mike Bloomberg a bit more in gratitude than Joe Lieberman. Diane Farrell lost because Norwalk and Bridgeport did not turn out votes. Lamont won Norwalk, barely. If the Norwalk DTC actually worked at turning out votes in known underperforming districts instead of bickering over a variety of petty issues, Farrell would have been closer. Farrell needed Bridgeport too though. Other than the ongoing turmoil over Bridgeport DTC issues, starting with Fabrizi's cocaine issue, I'm not sure what else happened there. If town committees (of both parties) want to keep sending up representatives who can't execute coordinated campaigns then you get the underperforming turn outs that we see. For the Republicans, the loss of seats in the legislature should sound the alarm that the RTC's need a new direction.

Gabe said...

3. Brent Snowcroft criticizes administration

C'mon, even you had to laugh when you wrote this. Brent Scowcroft was a bigger catalyst for Dem victories than Lamont? No one knows who Brent Scocroft is - hell, you even got his name wrong!

And, I can't believe we are more than a week after the election and we are still talking about this, if its accurate to say that Lamont tried to buy the election then it is equally accurate to say that Joe's republican special interest lobbyiest friends successfully bought the election for him - he spent more, more came from out of state, more came from Republicans, more came from lobbyists, etc. than came from regular CT residents. Are we still going to be talking about this in November 2007?

Anonymous said...


For the Republicans, the loss of seats in the legislature should sound the alarm that the RTC's need a new direction.

Well that may be the case down on the gold coast but up here the nether regions of Northern CT we have candidates but the inept state GOP doesn't do a thing for us, again. We are in a new era with the Republicans on my RTC and they (state GOP) know it yet offer nothing to speak of but are ALWAYS there to ask for a donation. Won't they be surprised when they are told to pound sand next year when they ask for support for us means no money from us.

Anonymous said...

Shays and Joe both owe the Bloomberg political machine that won all 6 races (3 R's, 2 D's and 1 I/D) that it got involved in.

turfgrrl said...

gabe: Typos's aside, the cummulative effect of the 2005 stories, yes, were the catalyst. Dems won in 2006 because Independent voters, swung over to support Dems, nationally. It's important to identify that when GOP heavyweights started criticizing the administration, and Brent was one in a long line of State Department and military officials that did. ANd btw, Waxman, Waters, Fiengold and Kucinich were your early critics on the Dem side.

turfgrrl said...

anonymous 1:04: Only the RTCs can effect change on the state party, so telling them to pound sand is but one strategy.

Shadow said...

> It also shows you can't buy an election, even with $15 million of your own money.

Especially if it's against an incumbent who spends $17 million in special interest money, and then somehow tricks the press and the lemmings into repeating the $15 million figure over and over while ignoring the $17 million figure.

The real lesson here is that the personal financing and individual donors of a candidate who refuses to take lobbyist and PAC money can still be overbid by corporate special interests - and with our corporate owned media, the special interest candidate's figures will not be as consistently reported, in order to make his opponent look more out of touch with the electorate than he is. Had the news media coverage been fair, we would hear Lieberman's spending figure just as much as Lamont's; instead we only heard it a fraction of the time, despite the fact that Lieberman was the bigger spender of the two men throughout the entire campaign. Furthermore, despite the public's feelings on corruption and it's opinions of Congress, there was barely any mention in the national media regarding Lamont turning down all lobbyist and PAC money. There was also barely any mention of Lieberman getting the vast majority of his campaign money from those sources, or any mention the major Bush donors who chipped in, or certainly any mention of a slush fund. Lieberman's personal status as a millionaire was not mentioned, let alone an analysis of whether it was less ethical to get rich in public service than in the private sector.

Thus Lamont was painted as an anti-populist rich guy when he had one of the best populist platforms of the year when it came to the issues, and Lieberman was made to seem the one more in touch with the people. A ridiculous farce, but unfortunately, as this map shows, not everyone has the time or inclination to research whether or not the media is giving them the full story.

But you're right about one thing, anonymous: you can't buy something that's already been bought. There's no way for people-powered candidates and voters to buy back their Congressional seats from the Washington establishment, when corporate special interests have already bought and paid for those seats first; the Washington approach is simply that no matter how much you spend, we will spend more. This race has proven quite clearly that, unless you're a billionaire, no matter how much money a self-financed candidate spends, they can never catch up to the spending potential of the special interest and lobbyists that have guided policy decisions in Washington for years.

Anonymous said...

Very clear, Shadow. Thanks.

If Shadow can so clearly delineate the issue of real independence vs. unsubstantiated claim to be independent in a couple of paragraphs, one wonders if it was collusion, malice, laziness, or incuriousness that made it so hard for the mainstream media to tackle what, after all, was not such a difficult story theme to explore.

The political system in our country has troubling amounts of money coming into it, and yet only one reporter from the New Haven Register even took a quasi-serious look at the presence of $387,000 or more of petty cash -- whereas the nuances of the Lamonts' country club membershp were covered faithfully and widely. In 10 years, I fail to see how the country club membership will matter. I do believe the $387,000 in cash, if used to buy votes, will be quite relevant. It's a good question to bring on a reality check when campaign silliness strikes.

The guy who wrote What's The Matter with Kansas? and explored people voting against their interests should come here and write his sequel. I think there might be a story to tell. Whatever he finds, either a hotbed of New England democracy and informed voters -- or something else -- it would be an interesting read.

Anonymous said...

Happy new year !-!