Democrats ready to dump Lieberman

A Democratic source tells Salon that a party effort on behalf of an independent Lieberman campaign is unlikely.


Michael Scherer
July 5, 2006 7:59PM (UTC)

A Democratic source just confirmed to me a recent report by CNN: If Sen. Joe Lieberman loses the Connecticut primary and runs as an independent, he will probably not get support from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "It is likely we will back the winner of the Democratic primary," said the source, after being promised anonymity.

This is a different message from the non-responses of DSCC spokesman Phil Singer in the New York Times and the Washington Post earlier this week. "We aren't going to speculate about what happens next because that would undermine our candidate," Singer told today's edition of the Post.

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The impact of a DSCC decision to dump Lieberman (if he loses the primary) is mostly symbolic. Connecticut's Senate race is considered safe by Democratic leaders, with no substantial Republican challenger in sight. A victory by either Lieberman or his primary challenger, Ned Lamont, would be a vote for the Democratic caucus next year. For that reason, party strategists remain focused on states where they hope to pick up new seats from Republicans -- Ohio, Montana and Pennsylvania, to name a few.

The Democratic source said the DSCC has no plans to send any money to Connecticut. The outcome of the primary -- and the fate of Lieberman -- is not expected to change that.


Michael Scherer

Michael Scherer is Salon's Washington correspondent. Read his other articles here.

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