Lieberman Continues to Mull Indy Bid

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman continues to flirt with the idea of running for re-election as an Independent. His challenger in the August Democratic primary is slowly gaining on him, but polls show he would easily win if he were to run without party backing.

Could New England be the home to two Independent Senators come next January?

Details from the Associated Press...

Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman, warily watching his primary challenger advance in the polls, must soon decide whether to start collecting signatures for a possible independent bid this November.

Lieberman’s campaign contends that it’s focused only on winning the Aug. 8 primary, but the Democrat has not ruled out petitioning his way onto the November ballot as part of a backup plan to secure a fourth term in the Senate.

“I am not going to close out any options,” the senator recently told reporters.

Lieberman has until Aug. 9 the day after the Democratic primary to collect 7,500 signatures from registered voters to gain a spot on the ballot as an unaffiliated candidate.

But any effort to gather signatures before the primary would be a sign of weakness, indicating that Lieberman, the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2000, fears that he could lose to businessman Ned Lamont. The effort also would rile Democrats who already question Lieberman’s party loyalty and his perceived closeness to President Bush.

The senator has been a strong backer of the Iraq war.

Christopher Kukk, an associate political science professor at Western Connecticut State University, said it’s a risk Lieberman may be willing to take as Lamont continues to make gains in the polls.

“I think he’ll alienate Democratic voters, but to be honest with you, I think he already has alienated Democratic voters,” Kukk said. “If Lamont is gaining … I think you’ll see Lieberman jump.”

According to a recent Quinnipiac University Poll, 57 percent of registered Democrats in Connecticut said they would vote for Lieberman, compared to 32 percent for Lamont. A month ago, Lieberman drew 65 percent to Lamont’s 19 percent.

The poll found that if Lieberman runs as an independent, he would win with 56 percent of the vote, compared to 18 percent for Lamont and 8 percent for Republican Alan Schlesinger. Lieberman enjoys higher ratings among Republicans and unaffiliated voters than Democrats, the poll found. Unaffiliated voters are the state’s largest bloc of voters, followed by Democrats and then Republicans.

Lamont, a multimillionaire owner of a cable television company, launched an ad campaign this week asking for Lieberman’s support should he win the primary, and promising to back Lieberman should the senator prevail.

“What do you say, Senator?” Lamont asks in the radio ad. “May the best Democrat win.”

Lamont’s campaign manager, Tom Swan, said Democrats want to know what Lieberman will do.

“If Joe Lieberman is considering abandoning the Democratic Party, the people have a right to know it,” Swan said. “Ned is agreeing to abide by the process and respect the choice of the people. Will Joe?”

No matter what Lieberman does, Kukk said he believes the veteran senator will win re-election. Lieberman still enjoys a strong lead over Lamont, and Kukk said if Lieberman runs as an unaffiliated candidate, it likely won’t hurt him with the general electorate because party loyalty isn’t very strong anymore.

“I think they are thinking of it,” Kukk said of a possible Lieberman independent run. “If you’re looking for your political survival, you’d be silly not to.”

5 Responses to “Lieberman Continues to Mull Indy Bid”

  1. ABAsite Says:

    It doesn’t count, he’s still a republicrat at heart.

  2. Kyle B Says:

    I wonder if he will make a run in 08 under the Unity 08 banner

  3. Citizens For A Better Veterans Home Says:

    He would have been the ‘perfect’ ticket mate for JFK II in P2004 —-they are both DINOs (Democrats in Name Only)! (At least Albert Bore and John Edwards are REAL DEMOCRATS!) We like the idea of Joseph of Flim Flam as an Independent CT US Senator. It would hurt the fake Loyal Opposition (the Democrats, the invertibrate half of the shaddowly establishment party….)

    We like Bloomberg or Trump for Unity 08 (with Unity 1980 John B. Anderson or CNN Lou Dobbs as VP ticket mate….) Stay away from Unity08 Joe, stay away….

    George W and Defacto President Dead Eye Dick Cheney, are the source of many of the nation’s ills. However, Billary, Hillary, John Kerry, Joe Flim Flam, Edwards, Teddy Kennedy, Diane Feinstein, Babs Boxer, Bob Filner, Jesse Jackson (Junior) and other ‘non GOP’ looked silently on….

  4. Will Says:

    Holy fucking shit, is there anyway to ban this Veterans Home lunatic?

  5. Citizens For A Better Veterans Home Says:

    Hello? Nutty Buddy Line, 7/24: 619.420.0209

    If I say some thing illogical could you point that out, in detail, instead of fucking holy shit name calling?

    If you have a better fucking holy shit take on things, could you, in detail, share that/ them with me/ us?

    What do you think is right about veterans programs being some of the worst (even lethal) local, state, and national agencies in government?

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