Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Time Magazine on the Lieberman Defeat

"Why the Republicans Are Loving the Lieberman Loss."


Anonymous said...

Well, that's one way to look at it.

And as though the RNC would not, had he won, spun it into, "see, Democrats agree with Bush's policies."

Not sure what it will mean in upcoming elections, but I do think that polictical spin out of either party's national organization is only useful in estimating each party's strategy...not the real meaning of any given election.

Jeff said...

As a hardcore Lieberman supporter, I am depressed by the results but I disagree with the article's assessment. The political environment is radioactive for moderates of both stripes in the Northeast--this means that Republican Chris Shay of Conn. and others in the Northeast are in trouble. I have read this analogy elsewhere so forgive me if you have seen this---but in 1980 liberal Repub. & icon Jacob Javits lost the nomination to Alfonse D'Mato----how many senate seats did other liberals & Dems lose that year? I believe it was close to a dozen. If Repubs are taking anything good from Tuesday's results they are missing the big picture. If anyone is interested---read last weeks Charlie Cook from the Cook Political Report (you don't need a subscription to read his column on the website). I have NEVER read a Cook column that was so resolute & definite in his forecast of an upcoming election. To my mind, Cook is the wisest observer of polls & political forecasting around.

Jeff said...

the column:

The GOP Hill Gets Steeper

By Charlie Cook
Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2006

With fewer than 100 days left before the Nov. 7 election, certain
assumptions can now be made, contingent upon the absence of a cataclysmic

First, the political climate will be extremely hostile to Republican
candidates. Second, while Republicans benefited from turnout in 2002 and
2004, this time voter turnout will benefit Democratic candidates. And
third, the advantage that the GOP usually has in national party spending
will be significantly less than normal.

In terms of the political climate, the facts are clear. All of the
traditional diagnostic indicators in major national polls taken in the past
10 days show numbers consistent with an electoral rout.

In the latest Cook Political Report/RT Strategies poll [PDF], conducted
last Friday through Sunday among 809 registered voters, only 27 percent
said the country was headed in the right direction and 63 percent said
it was off on the wrong track. In polling for NBC News/Wall Street
Journal, conducted July 21-24 and for CBS News/New York Times, taken July
21-25, the right direction numbers were 27 percent and 28 percent,
respectively, while the wrong track results were 60 percent and 66 percent.
These numbers are about the same as they were at this point in 1994 and
going into Election Day that year.

(The error margin was 3.2 points for Cook/RT, and 3.1 points for the
other two.)

On Congress' approval rating, the Cook/RT and CBS/NYT polls found just
28 percent approved of the job Congress was doing. It was 25 percent in
the NBC/WSJ survey. Those numbers are a shade better than at this point
in 1994, but still in the same horrific category.

On the generic congressional ballot, Democrats were ahead by 13 points
among registered voters, 49 percent to 36 percent in the Cook/RT poll,
and by 10 points in the other two. In 1994 NBC/WSJ polling, Republicans
were still 5-6 points behind in both second- and early third-quarter
polling, but surged to a 5-point lead in the final pre-election poll.

Finally, measuring President Bush's job-approval ratings, the CBS/NYT
poll showed a 36-percent approval rating, while the NBC/WSJ and Cook/RT
polls both showed approval at 39 percent. Early in the third quarter of
1994, President Clinton had a 44-percent approval rating; it moved up
to 48 percent in the final pre-election poll.

Don't keep Charlie's insight all to yourself!
Please forward the following link to friends and colleagues.

Sign up:

On the second assumption -- that Democrats will have a strong turnout
advantage -- it is very clear that they are more motivated than
Republicans. When asked to rate how interested they are in the upcoming
election on a scale of one to 10, with 10 representing "extremely interested,"
44 percent of registered voters chose the top number in the Cook/RT
poll. Turnout will probably be a little more than one-third, but less than
this 44 percent.

Among those with the highest level of interest, Democrats had a
19-point lead on the generic congressional ballot, 52 percent to 33 percent.
In the NBC/WSJ poll, among those who chose 10 on the scale of interest,
Democrats led by 14 points. These are very strong showings.

For the third assumption, a diminished GOP financial advantage, the
June 30 cash-on-hand figures tell the whole story. For the GOP, the
Republican National Committee had $44.68 million, the National Republican
Senatorial Committee showed $19.9 million and the National Republican
Congressional Committee reported $26.42 million, for a total of $91

On the Democratic side, the Democratic National Committee had $10.84
million, the Democratic Senatorial Committee reported $37.7 million and
the Democratic Congressional Committee showed $32 million, for a total
of $80 million. When was the last time Democrats were within $11 million
of Republicans in hard dollars? I don't know, but it's been a while.

In the House, where Democrats need a 15-seat gain to win a majority,
Republicans have 15 seats that the Cook Political Report currently rates
as toss-ups. No Democratic seats remain in that column. Another 21 GOP
seats are rated as leaning Republican.

In a very large tidal-wave election, as this one appears to be, it
would not be unusual to see all toss-ups go to one party, along with a few
out of the leaning column as well. Republicans might lose their House
majority just in the seats in which they are behind or in which their
edge is within a poll's margin of error.

In the Senate, while it is easy to get Democrats to a four- or
five-seat net gain, six is tougher. But keep in mind that in the last four
non-wave elections, between 67 and 89 percent of the races rated as
"toss-ups" in the final Cook Political Report pre-election ratings broke
toward one party each time, a domino effect, with the close races breaking
toward the party with momentum.

This does not mean that Republicans no longer have any chance of
holding onto their House or even Senate majorities. But every day that passes
between now and Nov. 7 where their poll numbers look this bad, the
climb back gets incrementally steeper and more difficult.

dcat said...

Jeff is right. No sense in trying to overspin this. The GOP was going to try to make this a win-win, and they have done so. I happen to have wanted Lieberman to win, even if I am aware of his problems and have some issues with him, but this is how primaries work in the US. I'm not sure that we can divine many larger trends from the Democratic primary in Connecticut beyond the fact that Ned Lamont won the Democratic primary in Connecticut.

I still would not count Liebarman out.


jc said...

Spin aside...

I don't see this as a victory for anyone...

The GOP gains nothing, loses nothing, but gets great "spin material"....

The Dems lose a seat, when Lieberman wins as an I, but he will still caucus with the Dems, so nothing really changes....

The Angry Left gets yet another boost that fades into nothing, just like their "moral victories" in the Ohio 2nd special election last year (really a defeat, as the GOPer home district, by the way, until I moved to Cleveland) and in the Cali election to replace "the Duke"...

Daily Kos and that crowd will be on cloud nine for a while, but in the end....nothing really changes...