E. J. Dionne, Jr. makes a persuasive case in his column in today’s WaPo that, after all of the spin has been rolled out on all sides, the relevant message of the election is that the Dems’ winning formula was progressives plus angry moderates equals victory. In addition, Senator Lieberman would do well to give some thougthful consideration to Dionne’s take on his win:
Some Republicans say that Sen. Joe Lieberman’s reelection as an independent suggests that rejection of Bush’s Iraq policies was not, to use Rove’s word, the “determining” factor in the election. But exit polls make clear that Lieberman won despite his support for the war, not because of it.
Connecticut voters disapproved of the war by a margin of two to one, and nearly two-thirds favored withdrawing some or all of our troops. Lieberman, who enjoyed residual affection among Connecticut Democrats, managed to carry close to 40 percent of the vote among those who favored troop withdrawals, including a remarkable 29 percent among those who favor withdrawing all our troops.
The botched, misguided Iraq policy was not the only source of moderates’ anger, nationwide. Many polls show an enormous backlash against corruption and scandal in the GOP, while economic concerns fueled voter discontent in the pivotal midwest. The ’06 formula may have to be tweaked for ’08 — but it’s clear Democrats will nonetheless have to provide credible leadership to address these issues.