Monday, August 07, 2006

Lieberman Might Deny the Dems a Majority in the Senate

This year the Dems have high hopes that they can win the Congress. And while their tide isn't particularly high, as they have offered no alternative to the Republicans, the Republicans aren't doing so well nationally either. The problem for the Dems is that House elections are not decided nationally, but rather locally, and people tend to have a fairly decent level of approval of their own Member of Congress, saving their disapproval for everyone else's. That's why Congressional turnover is so rare. But the Senate is much more susceptible to political sway, and this year could be a year of significant pickups for the Dems, but as with everything they try, they may have outsmarted themselves this time.

The Senate seat division is pretty straightforward with Republicans at 55, Democrats at 44, with one independent. The Independent will remain, with Jim Jeffords leaving and socialist whacko Bernie Sanders coming in. So the Dems need seven seats to switch the Senate. But there's more to the math than that. The Republicans may make two pickups in the race, meaning that the Dems will have to take nine seats if the math is right. They have reason to hope for wins in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Tennesee, and maybe Montana, Minnesota, and possibly Missourri. And while they have hopes in Virginia, Ohio, and Arizona, those seats are likely to remain in Republican hands, so a Democrat Senate is unlikely. But let's presume that the Dems score some surprise upsets, given that these same seats broke almost completely in favor of the Dems in 2000. They still must make some surprise pickups and cannot afford even one seat's loss.

And that's where Connecticut comes in.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman is in the primary fight of his life. In an attack from the Kos-sack left, a leftist by the name of Ned Lamont is challenging Lieberman in the Democratic primary, because Lieberman has chosen to take a different opinion on the Iraq war than the far left of his party, never mind the fact that Lieberman has an overwhelmingly liberal voting record.

The problem for the Dems is that if Lieberman loses the primary--as it appears he might(H.T. RealClearPolitics)--he will run as an independent, and likely hold on to his seat. The problem is that the Dems will be left with two independents rather than just one. And so if they do score a miraculous sweep, they may indeed place themselves just one seat out of reach of a working majority, simply because of their own insistence upon dogmatic leftist orthodoxy.

The wheels are running too fast to stop now. The problem is that the Dems may find themselves underneath them.

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