Don't Get Your Hopes Up

by James Kirchick | April 17, 2008

The New York Times editorial page blog goes after Joe Lieberman today, citing a poll which purports to show that if the Senate election were held in Connecticut today, Joe Lieberman would lose to Ned Lamont 51% to 37%. This, the Times and other liberal bloggers allege, shows that Lieberman ran for re-election on false premises, claiming he was a "loyal Democrat," and that Connecticut voters have buyer's remorse.

Let's take a look at the poll. First, it was commissioned by the Daily Kos (which the Times doesn't bother to mention, instead linking to a blog called "My Left Nutmeg,") and conducted by an obscure outfit called "Research 2000." That should tell you something, given Kos's history with Lieberman. But even the poll's own findings show it to be inaccurate. 48% of poll respondents said they voted for Lieberman in 2006 and 43% said they voted for Lamont. Lieberman actually won the 2006 election, however, 50% to 40%. So the poll's own purported sample is biased in favor of Lamont.

Statistical errors aside, the Times editorial board obviously has a dog in this fight, as they endorsed Lamont in the Democratic primary. But Lieberman ran -- very obviously -- as a pro-war candidate in 2006. It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who has actually paid attention these last few years, never mind the voters of Connecticut, that Lieberman winded up endorsing the presidential candidacy of John McCain -- who supports a continued presence in Iraq -- over either of the two Democrats, who claim the war is a failure and support withdrawal. The antiwar left can complain about Lieberman all they want, but they lost fair and square. To say that Lieberman somehow tricked the voters of Connecticut two years ago is just desperate.  

--James Kirchick

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/the-plank/dont-get-your-hopes