Former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz (D) is set to declare that she is running for the Senate seat now held by independent Sen. Joe Lieberman — who, of course, still sits as a member of the Senate Democratic caucus.
The Connecticut Mirror reports:
A friend briefed on her Senate plans said that Bysiewicz, who won statewide races for secretary of the state in 1998, 2002 and 2006, intends to circulate a pollster’s memorandum detailing findings that she remains well-known and popular.
Her announcement is likely to nudge U.S. Reps. Chris Murphy and Joe Courtney, who also are considering a run for the Democratic nomination for Senate, toward a decision.
Bysiewicz does have a serious blunder to overcome: She briefly ran for governor last year, then tried to switch to the attorney general’s race — only to be knocked out of the contest by a state Supreme Court ruling that she did not have the required legal experience for the job. This ultimately left her without an office to run for, and she exited the state political stage.
However, Lieberman has his own serious uphill climb if he decides to run. After he lost the 2006 Democratic primary, he was then re-elected as an independent with unofficial Republican support. Although he remained in the Democratic caucus as he’d pledged to do during that campaign, he nevertheless campaigned aggressively for John McCain for president in 2008, and spoke at the Republican National Convention. After McCain lost, though, he settled back into place in the Democratic caucus.
During the health care reform debate, Lieberman further inflamed liberals by helping to stop the public option proposal, promising to support a Republican filibuster. He did in fact ultimately vote for final passage of the more conservative reform law that did not include a public option — and which is a bane to Republican voters.
This past October, a survey from Public Policy Polling (D) found Lieberman running in third place in various trial heats with hypothetical Democratic and Republican candidates, with only marginally positive ratings from Republican voters and deeply negative ratings with Democrats and independents.