Joe Lieberman didn’t win my home state, but at least he won my hometown. According to the Hartford Courant, Joe got 1,996 votes (52.51%) in Newington, 191 more than Ned Lamont’s 1,805 (47.49%). Woohoo! :)
My decision to file for divorce from the Democratic Party is getting a lot of attention (an InstaPundit link, 39 comments in less than 90 minutes, etc. [UPDATE: Now at 161 and counting!]), but really, it’s not all that surprising; as I said, the Dems and I have been drifting apart for some time. This, however, is truly shocking: my mother, radical feminist ’60s flower-child, virulent anti-Bush and anti-war liberal — but also a great fan of Lieberman — is declaring her independence from the Democrats, too! She says, “I support Lieberman and I am sick of the Democratic Party and their death wish to put forth only unelectable politicians.” Unlike me, she is actively registered as a Democrat (has been since 1972), and she says she “will be changing my party affiliation tomorrow morning.” (To unaffiliated, I presume. If my mom registered as a Republican, I’m pretty sure lightning would strike her.)
“Perhaps one day the party and its radical activist groups (such as MoveOn.Org) will understand that the radical course is not a course that will ever succeed in the U.S.,” she wrote in an e-mail to MoveOn.org blasting them for supporting Lamont. “Politics is not a single issue, campaigns don’t have to be mud-slinging, and people [shouldn’t] be able to buy their way into public office, or seduce grassroots organizations with the concept that new is better.” In protest of Lieberman’s ouster, she pledges: “This election I will not only not vote for your candidate, I will not vote for any Democrat.” Hmm… I wonder if she’ll stick to that. Not even for governor, Mom?
Anyway, she also wrote an e-mail to Chris Dodd urging him not to try and pursuade Lieberman to drop out of the race; that letter is republished (all of this with her permission, of course) after the jump.
The adventure to denver begins! first stop buffalo.
P.S. by Brendan: For my new readers (11,088 hits and counting today!) who don’t know what the heck this is about, click here for an explanation. Basically, my wife Becky is helping her friends Kristy and Vikki move to Denver. Their road trip begins tomorrow, and they’ll be liveblogging via cell phone.
Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia has lost her Democratic primary runoff election to foe Hank Johnson, The Associated Press reports. Visit CNN for the latest.
“Tomorrow morning, our campaign will file the necessary petitions with the Connecticut Secretary of State’s office so that we can continue this campaign for a new politics of unity and purpose. If the people of Connecticut are good enough to send me back to Washington as an independent Democrat, I promise them I will keep fighting for the same progressive new ideas and for stronger national security. That’s who I am. And I will never hestitate to work with members of the other party if it helps me achieve solutions that will build a better life for the people of Connecticut. And as I have done before — and maybe this causes controversy — I promise you, I will always do what I believe is right for my state and country, regardless of what the political consequences may be.”
“Tomorrow is a brand new day.”
Now he’s speaking to people outside the state who may be watching, and asking for their help if they’re sick of politics-as-usual. Asks for “your ideas for how we can build this new politics of unity and purpose.” This sounds like the opening speech of a third-party movement. Where is John McCain? Is he watching? Lieberman-McCain ‘08! :)
Okay, I’m calling it. It’s over. Ned Lamont has won the primary. Democrats in my home state of Connecticut have seen fit to give their incumbent U.S. senator, the honorable Joseph Lieberman, the old heave-ho. Get out of our party, the Democratic voters have told Joe. You aren’t one of us anymore.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that Lieberman’s fine Senate career is over — he says he’ll run as an independent, and if he does, he may well win. Nor does it necessarily mean that the majority of national Democrats, or even the majority of Connecticut progressives and liberals, agree with the decision that today’s voters made. Connecticut’s largest “party” is unaffiliated voters, who were ineligible to vote in today’s primary, and they have long been big Lieberman supporters. Moreover, even among registered Democrats, it was always going to be more difficult for Lieberman to motivate his contented-but-not-fervent supporters to vote in the same numbers as his rabidly angry critics. Lamont was bound to have a natural advantage in this primary, and Lieberman a natural disadvantage, for the same reason that moderates are almost always at a disadvantage in primaries. (See, e.g., the 2002 GOP gubernatorial primary in California.)
But regardless of all that, the hard reality is that the voters have spoken, and their message was loud and clear: there’s no longer room for Joe Lieberman in the Democratic Party. And alas, tonight’s result will reverberate through the November elections and into the 2008 presidential campaign. It’s really much more than just a single primary in a single state; it’s a shot across the bow of moderate Democrats everywhere. And so, whatever further ramifications this result might have, there’s one thing it definitely means, one result that is officially cast in stone, as of today:
I am no longer a Democrat.
UPDATE: He actually called it at 7:10 PM MST (10:10 PM EDT). But now the headline has changed to “WHAT NOW, JOE?” (See what it looks like.) Does that mean he’s retracting his call? The words “LIEBERMAN LOSES” no longer appear anywhere on the page…
UPDATE 2: I failed to notice the “**Winner” next to Lamont’s name, but a couple of commenters pointed it out:
So Drudge is definitely calling it for Lamont. I’m inclined to agree; I don’t see how Lieberman can possibly make up all those votes.
No call yet from Fox News or CNN.
UPDATE, 7:40 PM: National Journal’s Hotline Blog reports: “LAMONT WAITING LIEBERMAN’S CONCESSION CALL…. LIEBERMAN EXPECTED TO ANNOUNCE INDEPENDENT BID TOMORROW; HIS TEAM TAKES COMFORT IN THE CLOSER MARGINS….
UPDATE, 7:41 PM: PoliticalWire: “A Lamont campaign worker says they have won this race. MSNBC and CNN confirm Lieberman will go forward with an independent bid. “
It’s close, but can Lieberman make up 7,704 votes in the remaining 140 precincts? Barring a surprise big-margin win in Hartford, I don’t think so. [UPDATE: And even then… I don’t see how it could possibly be enough.]
With 608 out of 748 (81.28%) precincts reporting, it’s Lamont 116,387 (51.71%), Lieberman 108,683 (48.29%).
UPDATE: Ten more precincts just came in, and now Lamont is up by 8,414 votes. Bah.
Just got off the phone with my dad, who knows his sh*t when it comes to the politics of Connecticut’s towns and regions. Looking at the town-by-town results, he sees a lot of major Lamont strongholds still “out there,” waiting to be counted, especially Fairfield, Stamford and more than half of West Hartford.
Norwalk will be important; my dad expects Lamont to win it, but he says that would be Lieberman’s best shot in Fairfield County, and given the way things are right now, Joe will probably need to pull an upset there. Either that, or in Hartford, where conventional wisdom said Lieberman would be stronger but my dad thinks he’ll lose because he’s not winning the black vote. That is borne out by New Haven and Bridgeport, which are partly in and which are either close or going for Lamont.
UPDATE, 7:03 PM: Norwalk just came in, and it went heavily for Lamont: 56.58% to 43.42%. But — SURPRISE! — Lieberman is winning Stamford! With 19 of 23 precincts reporting, it’s 54.79% for Joe, 45.21% for Ned.
Overall, it’s Lamont 109,239 (51.76%), Lieberman 101,818 (48.24%) with 76.87% of the precincts reporting. It’s close, but Lieberman is running out of time and votes! And Fairfield is still outstanding, as are 12 of West Hartford’s 20 precincts.
UPDATE, 7:07 PM: Correction… Fairfield is in, and Lamont won it, but not overwhelmingly. And Lieberman gained ground in West Hartford, which is now fully in.
Overall, with 79.95% reporting:
Lamont 114,165 (51.75%)
Lieberman 106,428 (48.25%)
376 of 748 Precincts Reporting - 50.27%
Lamont, Ned - 70,444 (52.13%)
Lieberman, Joe - 64,700 (47.87%)
GO, JOE, GO!!!
UPDATE, 6:37 PM: Ned 51.98%, Joe 48.02% with 54.01% of precincts reporting.
UPDATE, 6:40 PM: Here’s a look at the town-by-town results.
We are still waiting on ALL PRECINCTS in Hartford, East Hartford and Waterbury. This race isn’t over yet!
UPDATE, 6:50 PM: Lieberman wins big in Waterbury! 60.14% to 39.86%, all precincts reporting. Overall, it’s now Ned 51.6%, Joe 48.4% with 64.71% reporting.
New Haven and Bridgeport are both close, with most but not all precincts reporting. Still nothing from Bristol, Hartford, East Hartford, Fairfield, Glastonbury and Manchester, among others. On the other hand, nothing from Norwalk, Stamford or Wethersfield, either — towns with double-digit precincts where I assume Lamont would be expected to do well.
Lieberman is winning Newington, 53% to 47%, with 7 of 8 town precincts reporting. :)
Taking a brief break from liveblogging the election returns, here’s something I drafted earlier but hadn’t gotten around to posting yet. I keep hearing stuff like this from Lamont supporters, in response to all the talk about the Democratic Party being hijacked by the far left:
A vote today for Lamont…doesn’t mean that the party has been hijacked by the left, by hippies or by barbarians at the gate. It means that citizens have exercised their right to vote. Get used to it. Be proud of it. It’s called democracy.
Umm, okay. Here’s the thing. The last four sentences of that quote do not prove the first sentence true. In fact, they have nothing whatsoever to do with the first sentence. They are a total non-sequitur.
Of course a Lamont victory would mean “that citizens have exercised their right to vote.” So would a Lieberman victory. So did Bush’s victory in 2004. (I’ll leave 2000 out of this, to avoid going off-topic.) Saying that today’s election is “called democracy” is a meaningless statement, entirely irrelevant to the question of whether “the party has been hijacked by the left.” Just because an election is democratic doesn’t mean we can’t criticize the result! It’s not disrespecting democracy to slam the voters for making poor choices! Liberals certainly did so after Bush’s victory; remember the headline “How can 59,017,382 people be so DUMB?” from Britain’s Daily Mirror? Was every person who cheered that headline actually disrespecting democracy by doing so? Were they criticizing the process, or the result?
Likewise with the “hijacking” issue. It is certainly possible in a democracy for a political party to be “hijacked” by an ideological extreme (remember 1972?), and it’s perfectly legitimate to object when this happens. Indeed, liberals often complain that the far right wing has “hijacked” the Republican Party. I strongly suspect that some of those complainers are the very same folks who are now making statements like the one quoted above. Yet if the GOP was “hijacked,” that occurred via democratic elections, too. Clearly, just because an election is democratic doesn’t necessarily mean that a “hijacking” hasn’t occurred.
Look, we can debate whether or not the left is hijacking the Democratic Party, and if so, whether or not that’s a good thing. That’s a separate question. What I’m objecting to here is the notion that because today’s election is democratic, somehow the “hijack” card is off the table — and, relatedly, that anyone who criticizes today’s result (if Lamont wins) is thereby criticizing democracy. That’s just ridiculous, and yet I keep hearing it repeated over and over. Memo to the Lamont crowd: Stop saying things like this. It makes you look dumb. The democratic nature of the election is an aspect of the process; the debate about whether rabid lefties are taking over the Democratic Party is an aspect of the result. They are distinct issues and should be treated as such.
It’s getting closer:
253 of 748 Precincts Reporting - 33.82%
Lamont, Ned - 55,294 (54.09%)
Lieberman, Joe - 46,941 (45.91%)
UPDATE, 6:22 PM: Fox News TV is now reporting it’s still 54% to 46% with 36% reporting.
UPDATE, 6:23 PM: The Courant says it’s now 53.62% to 46.38% with 38.37% reporting.
JOEMENTUM, baby!!! Okay, so he’s still 10 points behind, but Lieberman is gaining. Sayeth the Courant:
Lamont, Ned - 40,934 (55.09%)
Lieberman, Joe - 33,375 (44.91%)
25.27% of precincts reporting.
It’s getting worse for Joe, and now we’re talking about more than just a handful of precincts. From the Courant:
Lamont, Ned - 25,969 (57.79%)
Lieberman, Joe - 18,968 (42.21%)
That’s with 14.17% of the precincts reporting.
UPDATE, 6:10 PM: Now back to 56%-44%. But we’re up to 21.39% of precincts reporting.
At the moment, WTNH’s results page has the most updated numbers, and they’re not looking good for Joe:
Joe Lieberman - 9,535 - 44%
Ned Lamont - 12,236 - 56%
That’s with 7% of the precincts reporting. But which 7%?
UPDATE, 5:53 PM: Now it’s 19,591 (56.5%) to 15,072 (43.5%) with 10.96% reporting, according to the Hartford Courant.