Lieberman Opens 10 Point Lead over Lamont

Joe Lieberman is once again running away with the Connecticut Senate race.

Senator Joseph Lieberman (I) has increased his margin over Democrat Ned Lamont by eight points. He now leads the antiwar candidate 50% to 40% (see crosstabs [$]). Thirty-nine percent (39%) are certain of their Lieberman vote, while 30% definitely expect to pull the lever for Lamont. GOP nominee Alan Schlesinger now attracts 6% of all voters.

It’s interesting that, despite continued bad news on whatwas presumed to be the defining issue in the contest both in Connecticut and nationally, the war in Iraq, and the weight of the Democratic party machine against him, Lieberman is nonetheless gaining steam.

FILED UNDER: 2006 Election, Public Opinion Polls, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Could it possibly be that a majority of voters in liberal Connecticut see running away in Iraq would hand AQ a huge victory, destabilize our relationship with regional allies and make us less safe? And since running away is Lamont’s “single issue candidacy”, I don’t find it surprising that he is losing.

  2. Bandit says:

    Put Jane Hamsher on an immediate suicide watch.

  3. This doesn’t surprise me at all because when you get right down to it, Lieberman’s about as decent a guy as politicians get (or does a good job of projecting that image, which is about the same). More importantly, he’s done a really good job for the state of Connecticut, and as he’s said himself, being free of a political party is actually very liberating – and probably refreshing to the voters.

    On a completely unrelated note, I really think he should have based his 2004 presidential campaign on the slogan: “Give the terrorists the finger: put a Jew in the Oval Office.”

    I totally would have voted for that. 🙂

  4. legion says:

    Could it possibly be that a majority of voters in liberal Connecticut see running away in Iraq would hand AQ a huge victory, destabilize our relationship with regional allies and make us less safe?

    Yeah, ’cause staying in Iraq isn’t already doing all those things 🙂

  5. Anderson says:

    hand AQ a huge victory

    Funny, AQ doesn’t appear to see it that way.

    In a letter purportedly from a top al-Qaeda leader to the organization’s Iraqi branch, the author writes:

    “Indeed, prolonging the war is in our interest, with God’s permission.”

  6. Is your world really that simple that you can take one sentance out of context and use that to ignore all the rest of reality?

    Lets look at some other sentances in that letter.

    ‘The path is long and difficult, and the enemy isn’t easy, for he is great and numerous and he can take quite a bit of punishment as well.’

    Gee AQ seems to have changed their minds since Clinton was in the White house.

    The main thing to bin Laden, however, was the horrified American reaction to the deaths. Within six months, the U.S. had withdrawn from Somalia. In interviews, bin Laden has said that his forces expected the Americans to be tough like the Soviets but instead found that they were “paper ti gers” who “after a few blows ran in defeat.”

    My brother, what use is it for us to delight in some operations and successful strikes when the immediate repercussion is a defeat for us of our call, and a loss of the justice of our cause and its logic in the minds of the masses who make up the people of the Muslim nation, who are ignorant and simple, and upon whom the afflictions of stultification, misguidance and corruption pile, and increased domination by the enemies, more oppression, more humiliation visited upon us, and more ills, troubles, loss in capabilities, and wasted opportunities?!

    AQ must not read the NYT, because they see that they are getting their butt kicked.

    Yes, what you are in, is a matter that has taken you by surprise and happened to you without any planning on your part, or seeking of honor or desire.

    Yeah, getting Zaqarwi seems to have not been a planned for event by AQ.

    Next get into the meat of his advice.

    That you abstain from making any decision on a comprehensive issue (one with a broad reach), and on substantial matters until you have turned to your leadershipleadership; Shaykh Usamah and the Doctor, and their brothers there, and consulted with them. Also, you should consult with your mujahidin brothers who are with you in Iraq itself, such as our brothers Ansar al-Sunnah and others, no matter how much you have to say about, or reservations about, them, or some of them. An example of this is the issue of announcing a war against the Shi’ite turncoats and killing them. Another is, expanding the arena of the war to neighboring countries, and also undertaking some large-scale operations whose impact is great and whose influence is pervasive, and things of that nature.

    Seems they don’t think the way they have been waging the war is working out so well. Given that he goes onto say it is better to be liked by the people, maybe AQ has figured out that the way they are fighting in Iraq isn’t winning them friends in Iraq. Not also the internal dissension. Apparently the new commander doesn’t trust those under him.

    send messengers from your end to Waziristan so that they meet with the brothers of the leadership, and the rational and experienced people and the shaykhs here, because you have a greater chance to send messengers (brothers that you choose) than your brothers have here. God willing, you have the ability to enlist guys and men who have not been
    exposed, and who can move about and carry messages and convey responses to you and such.
    Just make this one of your most important priorities and be serious about it and strive for it, and may God make it easier for you. I am going to say something to you that may seem to you like an exaggeration, but you should think about it: Readying the brothers and mobilizing them and preparing them to be messengers between you and the leadership here is more important than preparing and sending the brothers for some operations like the recent operation of the hotels in Amman! Truly, I am not joking, but the significance of your correspondence with your brothers here, and continued mutual discourse and consultation, as well as going along with them in well-laid plans, and mutual understanding, harmonizing, and guidance, are more important than many of the large scale operations.

    It seems communication from AQ headquarters is a might difficult these days. They can’t send messengers to the Iraqi commander, but hope he can find some people who haven’t been exposed so they can carry messages. Fixing this breakdown in communications capability is even more important than preparing for some of the large scale operations.

    They wish that they had a way to talk to you and advise you, and to guide and instruct you; however, they too are occupied with vicious enemies here. They are also weak, and we ask God that He strengthen them and mend their fractures. They have many of their own problems, but they are people of reason, experience, and sound, beneficial knowledge.

    Seems things are tough for AQ all over since the AQ headquarters and Iraq are both “occupied with vicious enemies”, “are also weak” and have “fractures”.

    Therefore, if you appear before the community in the guise of a pariah to the class of religious scholars, contradicting them, disrespecting them, and insulting them, then you will lose the people and you will fail in any call [to religion] or political act.
    For this reason, we should win them over by keeping quiet, overlooking things, and saying nice things, in spite of disagreement with them in most things both theoretical and practical. This involves trying to contact the rightly guided religious scholars and those with good in them, even if it involves humoring them a bit, harmonizing with them, consulting them, asking them questions, and win them over in Iraq, in the [Arabian] Peninsula, and elsewhere. It also includes praising them and urging them to fulfill the obligation to help and wage jihad, and to command [that which is right], and forbid [that which is wrong], and to carry the mantle of this religion. It also includes lauding them for the good they do, and being quiet about their shortcomings.
    Since this is necessary, it is highly advisable to be polite and to show complete respect, regret, compassion, and mercy and so forth. You must incline yourself to this, and be humble to the believers, and smile in people’s faces, even if you are cursing them in your heart, even if it has been said that they are “a bad tribal brother,” and what have you.

    Seems AQ in Iraq hasn’t read the chapter on hearts and minds. Could this be part of why 15 tribes in Anabar joined the coallition side?

    Ask me whatever you like about Algeria between 1994 and 1995, when [the movement] was at the height of its power and capabilities, and was on the verge of taking over the government. The government was on the verge of a downfall at any moment. I lived through that myself, and I saw first hand; no one told me about it. However, they destroyed themselves with their own hands, with their lack of reason, delusions, their ignoring of people, their alienation of them through oppression, deviance, and severity, coupled with a lack of kindness, sympathy, and friendliness. Their enemy did not defeat them, but rather they defeated themselves, were consumed and fell.

    It would seem the guy from AQ HQ has seen these fights go off the rails following the Iraqi AQ tactics. Seeing another trainwreck coming, he is trying to warn him off. So even AQ doesn’t think AQ Iraq is on the path to victory.

    Know that we, like all the mujahidin, are still weak. We are in the stage of weakness and a state of paucity. We have not yet reached a level of stability. We have no alternative but to not squander any element of the foundations of strength, or any helper or supporter.

    Seems AQ thinks their entire movement is back on its heels.

    However, do not act alone and do not be overzealous. Beware of becoming arrogant because of people’s praise, or because of their pressure upon you to constantly act. Instead, you have to complement your shortcomings by consultation and queries with your brothers. Do not be hasty in reforming and mending the Muslim nation. Do not rush victory over the enemy, for the war and our journey are truly long.

    Look at the weakness he describes and what he is warning the AQ Iraq to avoid. It would seem that the AQ in Iraq is a pretty flawed tool they are having to use because nothing better is available after the unplanned promotion.

    I say: the most important thing is that you be patient, forbearing, and persevere until the final moment, for indeed your enemy is also patient and he is betting that there will be a moment in which you are weak, that you fail and fall apart internally, may God not make this His judgment.

    Does that sound like advice you would give to someone on the cusp of victory or on the cusp of defeat.

    The community needs good words from us, and needs to be convinced that we have empathy with it and mercy towards it, and not feel that we are oppressors or haughty or violent! So, if the collective voice of the community were to say to us, “what you want is to be a tyrant on the earth and you don’t want to be among the peacemakers,” then this harms us and sours the hearts of the people towards us and pushes them away from us, or at least makes them feel negatively towards us.

    Does this sound like an AQ that has the unquestioning support of the Iraqi people or one who badly needs to mend fences because they are losing?

    Additionally, our cohort, which is the cohort of mujahidin, needs nurturing, discipline, continuous guidance, and abandoning temptations like injustice, arrogance, conceit, haughtiness, superciliousness, excessive harshness and violence, impoliteness with people, especially those who disagree, and the like. These are some of our ills, and many of us are asking God to reform us. Our cohort needs to be educated in fairness, creating balance between severity and softness, between violence and gentleness, and between mercy and harshness.
    Let us not merely be people of killing, slaughter, blood, cursing, insult, and harshness; but rather, people of this, who are unopposed to mercy and gentleness.

    So AQ HQ thinks that the Aq reputation is for ‘injustice, arrogance, conceit, haughtiness, superciliousness, excessive harshness and violence, impoliteness with people, especially those who disagree, and the like.’ No wonder they aren’t winning hearts and minds.

    Your success in your field projects success onto our plan, and to us as the faction waging jihad in general. If you suffer defeat, and if mistakes occur, then we all bear its consequence as well.

    AQ sure seems to understand that Iraq is the central front in the war on terrorism. Defeat in Iraq is part of defeating AQ globally.

    So now we finally get to the quote you bring up. Let’s read it in context.

    The most important thing is that you continue in your jihad in Iraq, and that you be patient and forbearing, even in weakness, and even with fewer operations; even if each day had half of the number of current daily operations, that is not a problem, or even less than that. So, do not be hasty. The most important thing is that the jihad continues with steadfastness and firm rooting, and that it grows in terms of supporters, strength, clarity
    of justification, and visible proof each day. Indeed, prolonging the war is in our interest, with God’s permission. The best acts are those that last, however few they may be, provided that we guard against mistakes building up and that we have integration in the jihadist enterprise. The only thing that you have to fear is yourselves and your own mistakes, not your enemy. By God, your enemy will never defeat you as long as you are patient and steadfast, not having caused damage that is great or frequent; and you seek help in God. It is the grace of God and the grace of the Supporter, and the Almighty will not neglect us. “Now surely the help of God is nigh”.

    So even though you are weak, please keep fighting. As they pointed out earlier, defeating AQ in Iraq means a defeat for AQ globally. So surprise surprise, they want to prolong the war.

    Do you start to get at least an inkling about what it means to “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory”? AQ recognizes they are losing in Iraq, know that loss will be a severe blow to them and desperately want to keep fighting. To turn that into “we should run away because they want to keep fighting” shows why the country doesn’t trust the left with national security.