Connecticut & The Soul Of The Democratic Party?

Posted in Commentary at 2:11 pm by wcnews

Last night’s election was historic for one reason and one reason only, a sitting Senator running for reelection lost his party’s primary. It’s always a big deal when an incumbent loses. There was much written before this primary and there will be much more written after about what this means for the 2006 and 2008 election. But it wasn’t was a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party? It’s been said many times that an election is a snapshot of the mood of the voters at a particular time. And that’s what this was. A snapshot of Democratic Voters in Connecticut, and they chose the challenger over the incumbent. That is what the story should be.

One part of the redistricting myth - that I wrote about it here and Kuff’s World wrote about it too - was proven in this election:

Where good candidates run - with financial support from their party and the resulting media coverage - elections are cliffhangers. Where they do not, or they receive little funding or coverage, the results are foregone conclusions, no matter how evenly balanced a district may be.

While It’s understood that this is a Senate race and redistricting did not apply, that part of the theory does apply to this election because an incumbent was beaten. With a good candidate, with financial support, and equal media this election was a cliffhanger. But this goes to show, even more, the anti-incumbent feeling there is among voters in this country right now. Like in 1994 when the Republicans took back Congress, redistricting didn’t play a part. Having strong candidates in place when this kind of sentiment is in play is why the “Run.Everywhere”/50 State Strategy is so important. If those candidates weren’t in place already, as a result of work done months ago, then the Democratic Party wouldn’t be in the position that it is today to make gains in November.

Was the Connecticut primary a referendum on the war? Is the Democratic Party in disarray? Is the Democratic party united? Is Ned Lamont the new face of the Democratic Party? Is this the Democratic Party’s strategy for 2006 and 2008? I don’t think this single primary answered any of those questions. It was a lesson for incumbents though. Any incumbent that’s been taking their constituents for granted or ignoring their stances on certain issues - especially in a place where the president isn’t very popular - it’s probably time to stop “staying the course”. If not their snapshot in November might look a lot like Joe Lieberman’s did in Connecticut last night.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.