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Thursday, July 20, 2006

LAMONT LEADS LIEBERMAN 51 TO 47 PERCENT

Someone isn't having a good day...
Democratic challenger Ned Lamont has pulled into a dead heat in his U.S. Senate race with incumbent Joe Lieberman, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

The poll shows Lamont ahead 51-47 percent among likely voters in the Aug. 8 Democratic primary. That compares to a 55-40 percent lead for Lieberman in a similar poll in June.

[...]

"More Democrats have a favorable opinion of Lamont, who was largely unknown last month, and see him as an acceptable alternative to Lieberman," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz. "But Lieberman's strength among Republicans and independents gives him the lead in a three-way matchup in November."

[...]

"We think the voters of Connecticut are continuing to realize that Ned represents the kind of change they want in Washington," said Lamont campaign spokeswoman Liz Dupont-Diehl. "It's clear that Joe Lieberman is just interested in hanging on to power."

Lieberman campaign spokeswoman Marion Steinfels said the poll simply shows that the race is "competitive."
Do you think Steinfels would be singing this tune if the poll showed that Lieberman was in the lead?

Here's the word from the horse's mouth.
"Lamont has turned what looked like a blowout into a very close Democratic primary race," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D.

"Lamont is up, while Lieberman's Democratic support is dropping. More Democrats have a favorable opinion of Lamont, who was largely unknown last month, and see him as an acceptable alternative to Lieberman. But Lieberman's strength among Republicans and independents gives him the lead in a three-way matchup in November."

All voters say 56 - 31 percent that Lieberman deserves reelection, but likely Democratic primary voters split 46 - 45 percent on this question.
Since there has never been a primary in August, when looking at the data, remember that the important thing to look at (and probably the only true indicator) is the TREND.

Now keep that in mind when looking at the raw data (click on data to enlarge).
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joseph Lieberman is handling his job as United States Senator?

Is your opinion of United States Senator Joseph Lieberman favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

TREND: Is your opinion of United States Senator Joseph Lieberman favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

TREND: Is your opinion of businessman Ned Lamont favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

(If registered democrat)If the 2006 Democratic primary for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Joseph Lieberman and Ned Lamont, for whom would you vote? (If undecided q18) As of today, do you lean more toward Lieberman or Lamont? This table includes Leaners.

TREND: (If registered democrat) If the 2006 Democratic primary for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Joseph Lieberman and Ned Lamont, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Lieberman or Lamont? *Includes voters leaning toward a candidate.
Now, what can we take from this?

1. Based on the TREND, as Lamont's unknown numbers go down, so does Lieberman's approval rating.

2. Based on the TREND, Lieberman is in a nose dive and his negative ads had no effect on Lamont's trend.

3. Based on the TREND, Lieberman should of taken Lamont's campaign seriously back in January when he had a chance.

4. Based on the TREND, with three weeks left till primary day, I doubt there is little Lieberman can do to stop Lamont's trend. What Lamont has to do is ignore Lieberman's attacks (which is having no effect on the poll numbers) and continue to spread his message out to the voters and keep his "I don't know enough about him" numbers going down. Again, BASED ON THE TREND, as his unknown numbers go down, his approval numbers goes up. This is the key to Lamont winning the primary, not Joe's baseless attacks.

5. Based on the TREND, the debate had NO impact on people's views of Lamont, Lieberman's ads had NO impact on Lamont's trend or in simple language, in other words, Joe's screwed (remember, the poll was taken after the debate.

Final thoughts:

The main problem with Lamont and Lieberman is not each other, but themselves.

For Lieberman, he has only himself to blame for the situation he is currently in right now. From day one, Joe laughed at Lamont's campaign, never took the amount of dissatisfaction people had for him in Connecticut seriously, told DTC members to simply persuade Lamont to drop out of the race instead of defending (and explaining) his record, and ran one of the worst campaigns in the history of politics in Connecticut. If Lieberman would of simply said that the Bush administration made bad decisions in Iraq and although he supports the war, he'll start to hold the president accountable for his mistakes, Lamont would not stand a chance. Instead, Lieberman stubbornly stood his ground, sheltering himself from the real people of Connecticut with his "invitation only" events, ignoring his critics as well as people who tried to give him good advise, and really pissed people off by turning his back on the Democratic Party and deciding to run as an independent (basically ignoring the Democrats if the primary doesn't go his way).

For Lieberman, his only shot at this point is running as an independent and hoping that the Republican and moderate vote can get him re-elected. It's a risky move seeing that he's turning his back on the Democratic Party at a time where Democrats can pick up three Congressional seats in Connecticut.

If Lamont wins the primary, it's safe to say that he'll become the hottest thing in the nation grabbing ALL the media attention (during the summer, there is usually little to no national political news so the media will have no problem jumping on the Lamont bandwagon). Given the attention Lamont will receive if he wins the primary, he can be the very person who can bring the Democratic Party together (again, media attention) and lead the Connecticut Congressional candidates (who currently have little or no media attention) to victory in November. Also remember that there are a good number of Democrats who would love nothing better than for Lieberman to lose in August so they can stand behind the Democratic nominee without any guilt of being seen disrespectful the incumbent.

For Lamont, his main problem is himself.

From the beginning of his campaign, Lamont has had to deal with the fact that he's an unknown going up against a 18-year senator. It's not that people like Lieberman...actually, Lieberman has been a thorn in the foot of all Democrats in Connecticut with his close relationship with a conservative party that has proven that they simply can't govern this country. The only hurdle Lamont had to overcome is his "unknown" factor, which he has done with the backing of an excellent campaign staff and a great strategy. The plan was simple: go to every small town in Connecticut and introduce yourself to the voters who would most likely vote in the primary. Lieberman took those people from the small towns for granted while Lamont listened to the people's concerns and expanded his message, which expanded beyond the war and addressed issues that really matter to voters (health care, education, energy independence, etc).

With less than three weeks to go till primary day, expect Lieberman to pull every dirty trick in the book at Lamont. Hopefully, Lieberman attacks will not trick Lamont, as he needs to stay on message which is obviously having an impact on people who didn’t know anything about him. Again, based on the TREND, as Lamont's "unknown factor" goes down, his approval numbers goes up while Lieberman's goes down.

Things are going to get very interesting around here...