There are new polls coming out today and tomorrow. I don't expect movement, but I also don't believe the polls because there is no precedent for a three-way race where the effective third party candidate is also a major party candidate. Oh wait, as I was writing this the Survey USA poll came out, and it shows no movement although it does show Joe leading in the youth vote 55-29. That is totally crazy.
Anyway, we'll see in a few days what happens. What is key to understanding this race, and American politics, is how much power the institutional establishment can bring to bear against someone who truly challenges the system. It's not just the Republicans who want Joe in the Senate. It's Bill Clinton, who lied about his support of Ned. It's Chuck Schumer, who tried to keep Ned from running, and Harry Reid, who's negotiating with Joe on seniority. It's Fred Wurtheimer, who doesn't care about street money buying votes but wants to regulate blogs. It's a very big list.
And the latest? Well, Nancy Pelosi is yet another DC Democrat who stabbed Lamont in the back. Here's Joe, marching with Republican Congressional candidate Nancy Johnson locked in a tight race with Chris Murphy.
-- Sen. Joe Lieberman, leading in statewide polls in his independent re-election campaign, marched in a Veterans Day parade Sunday alongside a Republican congresswoman whom Democrats are attempting to sweep from office.
Rival Ned Lamont followed behind Lieberman and 12-term Rep. Nancy Johnson, who is locked in a bitter election battle with Democrat Chris Murphy. Democrats have targeted Johnson's seat and must gain 15 in Tuesday's election to regain control of the House.
And what does Pelosi say?
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who was in Connecticut on Sunday to campaign for Murphy and fellow Democrats Joe Courtney and Diane Farrell, said she wouldn't criticize Lieberman.
"We all honor our veterans," Pelsoi said. "I have no criticism of Joe Lieberman marching with Nancy Johnson."
At least they spelled her name wrong. Seriously, this is majorly fucked up. Almost no institutional DC groups are backing Ned Lamont, even though many of them have nominally endorsed him. Nancy Pelosi, the head of the Congressional wing of the party, won't give Lamont the kind of backup she'd give to every other Democrat in the country, even against someone who has combined his GOTV machine with Republican Congressional candidates running against the people she's stumping for.
This matters. Lieberman has been able to call for a withdrawal of troops because almost no Democrats will call him on it. He's able to buy votes because only one good government group was willing to say anything. He's able to pretend to environmentalism because the League of Conservation Voters endorsed him even as he voted for the Energy Bill, and he gets the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign and gay bashers in the same cycle. The head of the Republican Party is constantly praising him, the DC Democrats are quiet or quietly helpful to Joe.
There is no way to crack someone's perception of integrity if all the organs of trust are desperately corrupted and working to sustain it. Lieberman is now an antiwar bring the troops home leftie gay lover to Democrats, and a knuckle-dragging hawkish bigoted goon to Republicans.
UPDATE: The Hotline blog has more:
The Lieberman campaign is feeling both feisty and confident. They can start checking names off their list of Democrats who turned on the three term incumbent after his August primary defeat.
The Lieberman people took delight early last week in telling a story of John Kerrys rebuff by Senate Democratic leaders when he lobbied them to lend some aid to Democrat aristocrat Ned Lamonts flagging campaign.
On Friday, the Lieberman campaign took its delight to the street when it chased the Lamonts and their entourage away from a Hartford campaign stop on the obligatory bus tour. Noting Lamonts pimped out gold bus from Arkansas, the Lieberman blog poked fun at Lamonts skedaddle back onto the bus after a brief encounter with swarming Lieberman supporters. F@#$-you and you, too were directed by young ladies to Lamont and suburban matron Lt. Governor candidate Mary Glassman. The Lamont campaign called them wild-eyed thugs.
After Tuesday, the retribution tour expects to move to the tony precincts of Capitol Hill. Theyll spend December checking their list more than twice.
Oh that delightful Senate leadership. Dick Durbin, Harry Reid, and Chuck Schumer are just awesome, aren't they?