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Thursday, September 13, 2007

We told you so!

On the heels of the new poll showing that Ned Lamont would easily defeat Joe Lieberman if the election was held today, David Sirota comes out with a post that should be a must-read for those in the local mainstream media who dropped the ball (you know who you are).
According to a stunning new poll released today by the nonpartisan firm Research 2000, if Connecticut's 2006 Senate general election was re-run and happened today, Ned Lamont would defeat Sen. Joe Lieberman handily. What is of particular significance in the numbers is that the shift is due precisely to the deception that Lamont supporters had been exposing during the campaign - but which reporters refused to cover both during the race and in the post-election analysis. This deception on the issue of Iraq goes straight to how the media and political Establishment will do anything to keep this war going. And the two lessons that come out of this poll after looking at its details are worth remembering.

As the poll shows, if the race were held today, Lamont would garner 48 percent of the vote, Lieberman just 40 percent and Republican Alan Schlesinger would get 10 percent. This represents roughly a 16-18 point swing from the actual results (Lieberman 49, Lamont 40, Schlesinger 10), and according to today's poll, the major shift from Lamont to Lieberman would be among Democratic and Independent voters.

You may recall that in a post-election analysis I wrote for In These Times after working for Lamont, I noted that Lieberman's entire general election strategy was about pretending that, if reelected, he would lead the fight to end the Iraq War. The man literally portrayed himself as the leader of the antiwar movement after he lost the primary. His very first ad in the general election was him looking to camera saying ""I want to help end the war in Iraq." During debates he said "No one wants to end the war in Iraq more than I do." It was, as a well-known YouTube video showed, a positively Nixonian enterprise by Lieberman - and it was a deliberate effort to confuse precisely the same Democratic and Independent voters who now say they would vote for Lamont. As I reported:
"Our internal polling showed that somewhere between 12 and 15 percent of the population said they simultaneously opposed the war and supported Lieberman's position on the war-a signal that Lieberman's confusion campaign was working."

During the campaign, we did all that we could to point out how Lieberman was lying about his position on the war through as many venues as possible - blogs, candidate speeches, and television advertising making the point that "a vote for Lieberman means a vote for more war" (an ad that Lieberman actually held a special press conference to attack for supposedly being not true). But in the general election's stretch run, the independent validators in the race - the local and national media - refused to report on Lieberman's actual positions and votes continuing to support Bush and the war, and this key slice of Democratic and Independent voters remained confused. They voted for Lieberman because they believed that he perhaps had been pro-war before, but had changed - when in fact the only thing that had changed temporarily was his language, but not his actions.
We told you so...