New Polling on CT

My Left Nutmeg reports on a new Quinnipiac poll:

Other notes on Joe's numbers: his support among Republicans continues to be higher than among Democrats. Among Democrats, he has a 57%-30% job approval split, a 61%-31% "deserves to be re-elected" split, and 50% have a positive approval of him compared to 30% negative and 24% mixed. High, yes, but not ridiculously so (Dodd has a 70% job approval among Democrats).

The peripheral numbers also look great for a candidate running on an anti-war, anti-Bush platform. Bush's approval in the state has fallen to an all-time low of 31%, including 8% among Democrats (who are those people?? Did they poll Joe's immediate family?). Only 29% approve of Bush's handling of the war, including 9% of Democrats. Only 24% think going to war was the right thing to do, including 15% of Democrats. These are all the lowest finding the Q-Poll has reported. 25% of Democrats believe the war would be the most important issue in determining who to support in a primary. These numbers are, of course, also fantastic for our congressional candidates.

Interesting stuff.  Keep in mind the voter universe in the primary is much smaller and skewed more liberal than the general Quinnipiac numbers.  Lieberman is popular in Connecticut; people are still proud he represented them on a national level in 2000 as the VP candidate.  Lieberman rates higher among Republicans than Democrats, and gets progressively less popular the more liberal the voter audience.  

It's too bad the primary in CT isn't an open primary.  Too bad for Joe, I mean.

I'll have more on Ned Lamont soon.  Very impressive guy.

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Meeting Ned Lamont

So I just had a meeting with Ned Lamont in Stamford, CT.  I think he's a very talented candidate and his campaign staff is first-rate.  

This is a real campaign with a realistic strategy for knocking off Lieberman.  I'm very impressed.

More soon...

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Defanging Our Arlen Specter

Matt is going to meet Ned Lamont today. I wanted to make a post that describes what we could potentially achieve in this primary even if we don't win.

What sort of problem are we facing in Connecticut? Here are some selections form just the last two months. In one of the bluest states in the nation, we are dealing with a "Democrat"who loves Sean Hannity, who was the first person to applaud Bush during the SOTU, and whose loyalty to his party extends so far that he has said he will leave the party if he loses a primary. Lieberman publicly trashes Democrats like Murtha who propose withdrawal plans, while in the same breath he defends Bush. Republican lobbyists are lining up behind Lieberman. Lieberman has endorsed McCain for President, and trashed Barack Obama. And like I said, that was all just in the last two months. And that was a partial selection.

There once was a time, not long ago, that Arlen Specter was the Republican version of Joe Lieberman. From 2001-2004, when the balance of power in the Senate was nearly equal, he led the moderate Republican lunch club, which set him up as a potential powerbroker to defeat extremist legislation. After President Bush's "re-election" in 2004, he made a grand threat against his own party to stop any judicial nominees who would overturn Roe. The Google search "Arlen Specter" RINO turns up just over 30,000 matches, many sending criticism toward Specter that could have been written by commenters on progressive blogs about Joe Lieberman, were the proper names in the critiques changed. Also much like Joe Lieberman, Specter's approval rating in his home state is actually higher among members of the opposing party (+26) than among members of his own party (+28).

Fast-forward to early 2006. Arlen Specter has disbanded the moderate lunch. He has worked to confirm both of Bush's conservative Supreme court nominees, Roberts and Alito, with nary any criticism whatsoever. He refuses to swear in the attorney general when he is called to testify about Bush's warrant-less eavesdropping program. Thus far, during the entire 109th congress, he has never broken with the majority of his own party on even a single Senate vote. And you certainly don't hear Specter making nay more sweeping statements about how he is going to stop Bush's extremist agenda.

What happened to Specter is what we hope to achieve by challenging Joe Lieberman. Specter was severely challenged in a primary. After he narrowly won that primary, his position as committee chair was then challenged by Dobson and the conservative theocroroots. These challenges worked so well that basically the entire Republican moderate caucus has been utterly defeated. Specter was put in his place, and the country was titled even further off-center by the Republican political machine.

Joe Lieberman is a full-blown disaster for the Democratic Party. It seems to be his mission in life to repeat and help reify every single Republican narrative about Democrats. Challenging him in a primary is all about trying to reclaim the national political narrative for Democrats. We need to send a message to every Democrat who is willing to carry water for Republicans that if you are willing to talk about your own party in the same way Republicans talk about your party, then you will face severe consequences from within your party. As kos wrote: It's not about "liberal" or "conservative". This is a point, I think, that most new-school activists understand. It's the old-school DC-centric crowd, exactly the kind of jokers we rip in our book, who insist in seeing the world as it existed back in the 1980s, as a battle between ideological factions.

Do we think Reid is "liberal" because he's stands up to Republican excesses? Nope. Schweitzer? Nope. We call them "Democrats".

I don't like Lieberman because he carries water for the GOP. He reinforces right-wing frames. Because he rolled over during the recount in 2000 without fighting for the victory Gore had earned. Because he is the go-to guy whenever the press needs a Democrat to bash another Democrat. He thinks it makes him a maverick or something. In fact, it makes him a tool of the GOP.

Of course, it doesn't help that his views on Iraq are colored by fantasy and wishful-thinking, rather than the realities on the ground. Arlen Specter no longer damages the national Republican Party by helping to reinforce the notion that they are extremist, theocratic, and divided. Joe Lieberman still works to reinforce several national narratives about Democrats, including that they are extremist, weak on defense, and can't talk values. We are challenging him to put an end to that. It is time for Democrats to stand up.

Strange Bedfellows: Repugs for Lieberman/Progressives for Casey

I love It's an organization I've supported and contributed to and it's an organization I take seriously. When they raised the anti-Lieberman banner a few months ago I responded at once and when Ned Lamont jumped into that race last week I was one of the first bloggers to interview him, write a story on him and set up an ACT BLUE page for him. It doesn't surprise me one bit to have learned today that 2 big-time Republican hacks and lobbyists, Craig Fuller and H.P. Goldfield, hosted a fund-raising dinner for Lieberman a couple nights ago at Goldfield's Washington home, a home that is often used to raise money for people named Bush. Nor does it surprise me that most of the dinner's host committee were, in fact, lobbyists.

But what did surprise me was when my pal Matt from Say No to Pombo pointed out which reactionary Democrat has endorsed and is actively raising money for. Right now MoveOn has 6 people up on their 2006 Endorsed page. I was surprised enough to find neither Ciro Rodriguez nor Francine Busby, two progressives with special elections coming right up. But then I was appalled at what I did see up: Bob Casey, a somewhat reactionary Democrat who gratuitously announced he would have not only been the 20th Democrat to have voted for the cloture bill Move On so vigorously opposed, but that he also would have voted to confirm Alito! While MoveOn is urging us to help put an end to the disgraceful political career of Joe Lieberman-- a wonderful goal-- they are also complicit in creating the next Senator Lieberman. Now, you may say, we must get rid of Rick Santorum (R-Opus Dei)-- I certainly do-- and that even if Casey is a reactionary Democrat, he's still a Democrat. But that's an argument for after the primary, not an argument to prematurely endorse a miserable candidate when progressives have a potentially great candidate, Chuck Pennacchio, who we should be doing all we can to bolster in the face of heavy-handed DSCC interference (whose goal is to make a Casey v Santorum race look inevitable).

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Going to Meet Ned Lamont on Monday

I'm going to meet with Ned Lamont, Lieberman's challenger, on Monday at noon with a few other bloggers.  Hopefully there will be video on hand.  What would you like me to ask him? Also, if you are a commenter on MyDD and you live around CT and would like to come, email me at stoller at

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