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August 10, 2006

Behind the Numbers on the Lamont Victory

Progressives are on track to win in November.  Chris Bowers at MyDD, who has made it his mission to crunch numbers and derive meaning from them says the primary results indicate we are on track to 1) excite the base, 2) provide a clear Democratic message that resonates with the voters and 3) establish Democratic Party unity.  The turnout in Connecticut was 43%, a phenomenal number for an August primary and 22,000 unaffilated voters switched their registration to Democrats in three months.  Joe Lieberman's fate at the hands of the netroots/grassroots has brought other Democrats into line.  Fewer will be lining up with the Republicans or dissing Democrats.  Bowers says:

Up and down the line, the Democratic leadership came through and did the right thing. By endorsing Ned Lamont and the primary process, Democratic leaders endorsed party democracy, and the will of the people they represent. This is how we keep our coalition from flying apart: by using mutually agreed upon, democratic mechanisms to settle our disputes. I now see no reason why the Democratic establishment and the progressive movement will not be able to work together for the foreseeable future. Our combined electoral capabilities should be a sight to behold.

Then he says (and believe me Bowers is no optimist):

A more unified, energized party with improved messaging and fewer pro-Republican narratives in the conventional wisdom. Long term, this victory will be of tremendous benefit to both the Democratic Party and the progressive movement. No wonder I am still walking around in a giddy daze. Our future is so bright, I gotta wear shades.

Now, let's add to this already cheery outlook.  Three incumbents lost nation-wide on Tuesday.  In addition to Lieberman, Cynthia McKinney, firebrand House Democrat lost to a more moderate black Democrat, Hank Johnson, in the primary in Georgia-4, because she was not paying attention to the needs of her constituents.  Joe Schwartz, moderate Republican from Michigan's very conservative 7th CD lost to a very conservative evangelical minister, Tim Wahlberg.   And a couple of down ballot incumbents lost in Connecticut in addition to Lieberman. 

It looks to me like this is not a good year for incumbents who are not paying attention to their constituents.  Hear that, Dave Reichert?  Cathy McMorris?  "Doc" Hastings?  BTW, there's a great new Reichert informational site up that clarifies just how far Reichert is from his constituents.

Markos points us to an article by Chuck Todd of the National Journal (which leans Republican) on the primary results.  He says:

The turnout among the sometimes casual suburban liberal should make Democrats happy. If these folks show up in big numbers in the fall, there are at least 10 House seats Democrats will pick up east of the Mississippi. The angry suburbanite is the difference between Democrats winning control of Congress or just coming close.

Have a great day!


Posted by Lynn Allen on August 10, 2006 at 12:39 PM in Inside Baseball | Permalink


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