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August 8, 2006
A Tale Of Two Primaries (Update: Joementum!)

I'll be keeping an eye on both spotlighted primaries, in Connecticut and Georgia, as the evening rolls along. It won't be a live-blog as much as an occasionally updated post on how the evening progresses.

7:45 - The first result that one can actually access comes from Georgia. Hank Johnson, who has advertised on my blog in the last few weeks, appears to have opened up a wide lead on Cynthia McKinney. With 10% of precincts reporting, he's leading 75%-25%. This looks like the laugher I predicted, although that gap appears closer to a Robin Williams-scale laugher.

Joe Lieberman trails Ned Lamont in Connecticut 60%-40% with 4% of precincts reporting, according to some sources, but it's hard to tell. The CT Secretary of State didn't buy enough bandwidth to keep the site running. Sounds like what happened to Lieberman's campaign site.

7:53 - Lieberman narrows the gap! ... to 13 points. The state has about 11% of its precincts reporting now, and while Joementum may be developing, it would need to get a head of steam very, very quickly.

7:58 - The Lieberman site has been deep-sixed by a flood of traffic apparently generated by Lamont sympathizers, according to MS-NBC. Kos claims it was because Lieberman's staffers bought cheap service at MyHostCamp, but MS-NBC makes clear that the site to which Kos refers is the emergency back-up site for Joe's campaign. Sounds familiar to me; after all, it's just a high-tech version of slashing tires on GOTV vans. Which party did that again? ...

8:07 - Lieberman gained another point with another 10% of precincts reporting. At this rate, he'll pass Lamont at arund the time that 140% of precincts report. He trails 56-44 at the moment.

8:16 - Okay, so now he's ten points back with 25% of precincts reporting, 55-45. If Joe winds up losing by less than this spread, it seems very possible that he could win a general election in a three-way race. Will he withdraw? The closer this race gets, the less likely it seems.

8:23 - With 38% reporting, Lamont's lead is down to 7.5% -- pretty substantial, but narrowing a bit. Georgia hasn't updated its totals in at least thirty minutes.

8:27 - Alan Dershowitz takes on James Zogby on Larry King. If you get a chance to see it, Dershowitz has taken Zogby apart on his moral equivalency between Hezbollah and the IDF. Oh, yeah, I got bored with Fox and Alan Colmes's squabbling with Mary Matalin.

8:37 - Well, this didn't take long. Paranoid conspiracy theory freak Cynthia McKinney now claims that voting irregularities have targeted her for defeat:

Shortly after the polls opened on Tuesday, allegations of voting irregularities began appearing on U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney’s campaign Web site.

At 8:14 a.m., the first complaint appeared: “Less than an hour into voting, McKinney’s name is not on ballot, opponent’s is,” read an item on her blog.

Other similar allegations would follow throughout the day as 4th Congressional District voters decided whether to send McKinney back to Congress, or give the Democratic nomination to runoff opponent, Hank Johnson, a lawyer and former DeKalb County commissioner.

The McKinney Web site noted voting machines not working or mysteriously casting incorrect ballots, “insecure” voting equipment, police harassment, and poll workers refusing to hand out Democratic ballots.

Oddly enough, the only complaints that reached the Secretary of State's office came from ... Cynthia McKinney's staff. Imagine that -- as she apparently has!

8:43 - Drumwaster's also live-blogging the election. Meanwhile, Lieberman's making it very interesting. With 56% of precincts reporting, he's pulled within four points, 52-48. That's closer than the Quinnipiac poll, and it's starting to look like a horse race.

8:50 - This is starting to get serious. With 65% of precincts reporting, Lieberman only trails by three points.

8:56 - Still a three-point gap with 71% of precincts reporting. Roughly speaking, that gives about 80,000 votes to count in which Lieberman would have to gain about 6300 votes, or about a 55-45 ratio. Possible, yes, but not terribly likely. With the race this close, though, Lieberman certainly can claim a mandate to run independently.

9:01 - They're back from the mint julep break in Georgia, and the Johnson juggernaut continues. With 35% of precincts reporting, he's leading 61-39.

9:04 - About to go on air with Rob Breckinridge, so tune in ...

9:16 - Lamont still leads by 3.5% with 81% of precincts reporting, and the numbers now look insurmountable. Unless we're missing some very strong Lieberman precincts, he probably can't catch up. However, this is now the nightmare scenario for the Democrats. He's finished strongly, allowing him to argue that he has momentum and a mandate to keep running. If this finishes with this spread, Lieberman could easily win a general election, and the effort would keep this internecine battle front and center all through the midterms.

9:27 - Hope you tuned in to Rob's show. Had a blast. The Johnson-McKinney race continues to show a strong Johnson win, although McKinney has cut into his lead. She now trails by 16 points with 51% of precincts reporting, and doesn't appear to be gaining ground fast enough to avoid a blowout.

9:45 - It looks like Lamont has this sewn up. With 88% of precincts reporting, he still has a lead of 9,000 votes and a 3.5% gap. That's much closer than any pre-election polling, and we can bet that Lieberman will be back in the fall.

Also, Georgia just added a bunch of new precincts to the runoff, but the results are more of the same. Johnson still leads 58-42 with 68% reporting. Stick a fork in McKinney; she's done.

10:00 - Wrapping this up; more tomorrow. At this point, Lamont has a 3.5% gap and a 9,000 vote lead over Lieberman with 95% of the precincts reporting. Johnson actually extended his lead to 18 points and 11,000 votes with 87% of the precincts reporting. McKinney's political career has come to an end, it appears.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 8, 2006 7:43 PM

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