Huge but unsurprising news from the Nutmeg this morning, as a Quinnipiac University poll shows anti-war businessman/challenger Ned Lamont claims a 54 – 41 percent lead over incumbent Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., among likely Democratic primary voters.
Just a couple weeks ago, Lamont’s lead was within the margin of error, 51-47 percent. And as Democratic strategist Ken Smuckler once told me — it ain’t where the numbers are, it’s where they’re going.
Lamont’s are going up; Lieberman’s are plummeting.
Other tidbits from the poll….though there’s a big push from Lamonsters to say this is not just about the war — as the New Yorker’s Rick Hertzberg did artfully the other day in a TALK OF THE TOWN PIECE, other issues include Lieberman’s chastising of then-Lewinsky-scandal-besotted Bill Clinton, his running for re-election to the Senate while also running for Vice President in 2000, etc., etc. Quinnipiac says otherwise, with 44% of Lamont voters supporting their man because of LIEBERMAN’S support for the war in Iraq, and 50% saying that’s one of the reasons. Those are big numbers for one issue, especially when 65% of Lamont voters say they will be pulling the Connecticut lever not FOR Ned, but AGAINST Joe.
And 85% of the voters say their minds are made up!
Lieberman is lashing out, going negative, acting like he’s applied a few too many of Floyd Landis’s alleged testosterone patches….He’s been slamming Lamont’s loose affiliation with a blogger who portrayed the senator in Minstrel-show blackface on the Huffington Post yesterday, which was soon stripped from the site AT LAMONT’S REQUEST (the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were in town to campaign for Lamont at the time…AWKWARD!)
Still…if folks are so opposed to Lieberman because of the war in Iraq, will one blogger’s crudeness change their minds?
Yesterday Lieberman attempted to combat this, saying "I supported our war in Iraq but I have always questioned the way it was being executed…This administration took far too many shortcuts. We continue to suffer the consequences, as do the Iraqi people." This has been portrayed in the media as a "HAIL MARY PASS", though Lieberman folks say their guy has always criticized the way the war’s been handled….
Lastly, there is of course, the Colbert Primary…..Our old friend and White House Correspondents’ Dinner date Stephen Colbert is TRYING TO GET LIEBERMAN to come on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report; Lamont appeared on the show on Monday.
Offering what he said are some of Lieberman’s fave items based on a 2004 questionnaire — Cocoa Puffs, an Andrea Bocelli CD, a trip to south Florida — Colbert said "all of this could be yours if you’ve got enough Joe-mentum to get to my studio before the primary day next Tuesday."
Lieberman has so far declined….
More later –