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August 8, 2006
Lieberman Vows To Run In November

As I predicted, the close race has encouraged Joe Lieberman to go for the rematch against Ned Lamont. He conceded defeat in the primary, but vowed to run as an independent in the November general election:

Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman (news, bio, voting record) conceded defeat on Tuesday in the Democrat primary to a challenger who attacked the former vice presidential nominee's support for the Iraq war and accused him of being too close to President George W. Bush.

In a speech to supporters, the three-term senator also said he will file to run as an independent candidate in the autumn election.

Had Lamont beaten Lieberman decisively tonight, Lieberman may have concluded that an independent run would waste time and money. As late as a week ago, Lamont looked to be cruising to such a victory. However, a botched response to a grotesque blackface picture of Lieberman by a prominent volunteer and charges of hypocrisy over the purchase of Wal-Mart stock produced a late-race stumble.

Is that momentum? It could be. The race finished much closer than anyone expected. Lieberman certainly didn't get his votes from the Left, and a general election promises a more moderate electorate for a re-election bid. In fact, it would not surprise me at all if the tenor of the campaign over the last few days didn't convince Lieberman to fight Lamont all the way to November, regardless of the outcome of this race.

As I posted earlier, this is the nightmare scenario for the Democrats. An outright Lieberman victory or a real butt-kicking by Lamont would have settled Connecticut, allowing the party and the media to focus on other, more important races. No one seriously thinks that Alan Schlesinger will win Lieberman's seat for the GOP in November, after all, and Democratic energy will get wasted in a three-way race. Yet that's exactly what Democrats face, and the media will be only too happy to follow this race and the split it will generate in the ranks of party leadership and big-money donors.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 8, 2006 10:28 PM

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» Joe Lieberman Concedes Defeat and Announces that He Will Run as an Independent from Webloggin
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