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August 09, 2006

Who Really Won Last Night

I'll give you a hint. It was not the Democrats.

Congresswoman McKinney lost, that is good for us all. She has had some form of hubris since taking office and this has only grown with the Capitol Hill incident. Of course, the conspiracy theories will persist.

But more importantly was the race in Connecticut. Ned Lamont defeated Joe Lieberman. Being the Democratic candidate, many might presume he would be the favorite, but a quick look at the numbers shows that it will be an uphill climb with Joe Lieberman running as an independent. Connecticut has a large portion of its population unaffiliated with a political party. The primary finished fairly close, at 52-48. Alan Schlesinger, the Republican, has some apparent character issues and little support, so Lieberman, being the anti-Lamont in some key areas, will still be an acceptable pick for many Republicans, and a favorite pick for many Democrats and independants. With such a small margin amongst Democrats, even if a number switch to stay loyal to the party (rather than the candidate who has represented Connecticut with a certain integrity), Lieberman will be a clear favorite.

Many liberal blogs are claiming victory, but do appear to understand the consequences. They claim that a Republican could sneak up and win in Connecticut; that sounds like a cover to me. I think they understand the type of threat Lieberman poses to their candidate and do not want to say so yet. Lieberman, unlike Ross Perot or Ralph Nader, is not an extremist and has mass appeal; thus, he would represent the people (heh, imagine that, a representative). Without Lieberman, Lamont would be a lock, as Schlesinger would not bring out the Republicans; but with another option, Republicans and some independents would have a lot of motivation to keep a Kos-liberal out of office.

In the end, I believe that Lieberman will switch his party loyalties back to that of a Democrat when (not if, when) elected, though with a chip on his shoulder. But Democrats will be split between the progressive and old school Democrats, leaving races around the country in question for the next couple years. And even now, in Virginia, I am sure Webb could get good use out of the money spent instead in Connecticut. But, who needs to gain a seat in the Senate anyway?