Im not that surprised


I’m not that surprised by the new Quinnipiac poll out today that shows Joe Lieberman with a sizeable lead over Ned Lamont — and, very significantly, over the 50% mark. With the nominal GOP nominee drawing close to literally zero support, it makes sense that Republicans and GOP-leaning independents would gravitate to Lieberman. What does surprise me though is that Lieberman didn’t take more of a hit from the mere fact of his primary loss.

Politics is all about momentum and perceptions. And beyond all the money and free media, one of the things that makes incumbents so strong is that they are, by definition, winners. And that colors people’s perceptions of them. Lose a primary to an unknown and you lose a bit of that sheen. You are a loser.

I thought that would have spread a bit more of the odor of defeat around Joe. But it doesn’t seem to be hurting him.

One other issue I’d like to find out more about. It still sticks in my head that Lieberman was out on TV and pretty much everywhere on D-Day+1, +2, etc. He had to be. He had to make absolutely certain everyone realized that as far as he was concerned nothing had changed. Lamont was a lot less visible. And there was that Times piece from a couple days after the election where the reporter had to find him on vacation in Maine to get a quote. Too early to tell. But those first few days may have mattered a lot.