The primary race is tightening between Ned Lamont and Joe Lieberman in Connecticut, the conventional wisdom goes. Lamont's thirteen point lead is down to six, according to the latest Quinnipiac poll. In reality, both campaigns will admit, the race was always closer than the double digit leads suggested by public polling. The fact that Lamont was down 45 points three months ago and is leading, by however slim a margin as voters go to the polls, is good for the challenger and bad for the incumbent.
A win is a win, the Lamont camp understands.
The mood in Connecticut (yes, I'm here too) is eerily quiet, a bunch of highly caffeinated people waiting for results they can cling onto. Depending on who you talk to, turnout is either incredibly high or depressingly low. The truth, on a hot August day, is probably somewhere in between.
At a campaign stop this afternoon outside of Nica's Restaurant in New Haven, Lieberman claimed "a real surge was occurring."
"Voters understand that even though my opponent is trying to get them to vote against George W. Bush, George Bush ain't on the ballot," he said.
The word "independent," Ari Melber recently pointed out, has been stricken from Lieberman's lexicon. As my cabdriver told me on the way to the hotel, "When Lieberman decided to run as an independent, he said to Connecticut voters 'if you don't pick me, fuck you!'"
Lamont, for his part, is staying upbeat. "I'm confident," he said at a well-attended press conference in New Haven yesterday. His campaign, like so many of the volunteers--bloggers and otherwise, posseses a youthful enthusiasm and sense of possibility. Insurgents on the brink of something much, much greater.
We'll find out how great tonight.