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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Lamont Victory: Where He Got the Votes

There is no shortage of post-mortems on Lamont’s Connecticut victory in today’s blogs and rags, addressing his win from every conceivable issue-angle. For a high-profile contest, however, the reporting on who voted for each candidate has been somewhat sketchy. Connecticut papers do offer a few clues. An editorial by the Hartford Courant, which endorsed Lieberman, noted:

…the unprecedented rush of registered unaffiliated voters and new voters to the Democratic Party in Connecticut in recent weeks is a phenomenon that should keep Karl Rove awake at night.

The Courant reported that more than 40 percent of eligbile voters turned out, 15 percent more than the last Connecticut Democratic primary, a 1994 contest for the gubernatorial nomination. Writing in The Connecticut Post Peter Urban and Michael P. Mayko note that 28,886 voters were “newly registered or switched from unaffiliated since May 1.”
Mark Pazniokas of The Hartford Courant offers this assessment:

Lamont rolled up lopsided margins in the Farmington Valley, Litchfield County, the lower Connecticut River Valley and scattered suburbs around the state. He won Hartford and Lieberman’s hometown of New Haven, which first elected Lieberman to the state Senate in 1970.
Lieberman dominated in the New Haven suburbs, the struggling rural towns of eastern Connecticut and old mill towns of the Naugatuck Valley, home of conservative Reagan Democrats and the place he chose to begin his campaign bus tour 10 days ago. He also took Bridgeport.

Mystery Pollsterl Mark Blumenthal has a few insights in his “Connecticut Epilogue,” including:

The geographic turnout patterns are also relevant. Charles Franklin has already posted an amazingly thorough (and graphical) turnout analysis of the turnout showing that Lieberman did better in the larger towns and cities, while Lamont did better in less urban areas. He also confirms the so-called “Volvo/donut” turnout pattern suggested yesterday by Hotline On-Call, that turnout was higher in the smaller towns where Lamont had an advantage, lower in the larger towns where Lieberman did better (see also Hotline’s follow-up analysis this morning).

Looking toward the future, As an Independent, Lieberman hopes to win voters from Connecticut’s 453,715 Republican and 929,005 unaffiliated registered voters. But if he takes the higher road of affirming Democratic party unity, Lamont should hold the seat for the Democrats.

5 comments on “Lamont Victory: Where He Got the Votes

  1. Matt Nisenoff on

    While JL’s votes were an issue I think it was his public attacks on other Democrats who did not believe the same things he did that upset our fellow Dems to vote the way they did. It was disengenuise for him to come out a week before the primary with a line about how much he welcomed different opinions and for him to come out with a line a few days after bolting from the Democratic Party with a line about how much of a Democrat he is. I supported him up to the Gore/Leiberman ticket but have been very concerned with his constant Republican light version of being a Democrat via the New Democrats DLC. It might have been a wonderful thing for his national profile but the people who elected him before where not looking for a Republican lite they were Connecticut Democrats, Indies, and Republicans who support Real Democrats and our agenda to promote health care, the citizens in the armed services and thier families, and the general welfare of our nations people.
    Of course, it is hard to give up power as graciously as George Washington, or any of our Presidents have. I sort of feel sorry for him until I remember how much he covered GWB’s tail.

  2. Ron Alley on

    Sen. Leiberman was a GOP insurgent who found cover in the Democratic Party. He supported the failed Bush administration as effectively, but not as openly, as Zell Miller.
    Leiberman’s loss, and Lamont’s victory, merely validate the Circus Rule. He finally lost the ability to fool a majority of the Democratic and independent voters.
    Let us put Mr. Leiberman’s to rest and not speak ill of a Democrat who has passed from the scene.
    Ron Alley

  3. Kathleen Bushman on

    Lieberman has claimed that it is the far left wing of the Democratic Party that caused his primary defeat, but the fact that Independents re-registered to vote for Lamont puts the lie to Lieberman’s remark.

  4. BentheDem on

    While my knowledge of the voting paterns of CT voters is virtually nonexistent, I think I can say this much: Lamont played the game of politics as shrewdly as I have ever seen anyway play it. But politics really isn’t that hard, and the political analysts working on big-stake campaigns know this. The american public is generally uninterested in politics and is looking for a quick piece of information to hold on to, without questioning it. Bush did it in 2004 with John Kerry as the “Flip-Flopper” and Lamont has successfuly engeineered a campaign that painted Leiberman as the “Bush/Iraq war supporting anti-democrat.” Now I can’t claim to be a supporter of Leiberman myself, but his position on the Iraq war has not been different from that of many of his congressional democratic colleagues, and his voting record on domestic issues typically follows the party line. Other than being a career politican and a total bore, he’s not that bad a guy. If is refreshing however to know that after 18 years in congress, new blood can force it’s way in, even if the campaign was superficial. But hey, that’s politics for ya.


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