In Connecticut a battle is going on for the soul of the Democratic Party. On the right is Senator Joe Lieberman and on the left is a newcomer, Ned Lamont, who is challenging Lieberman in the Democratic primary.
Lamont represents, and is supported by, the left/progressive/ ‘Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.’ These folks hold that on issues like Iraq, universal health care, the partial privatization of social security, school vouchers, and other issues dear to the Democratic heart, Lieberman has been too close to the President.
Lieberman is sufficiently worried about the outcome of the primary that he has announced that, should he lose, he will run as an “Independent Democrat.”
This seems to be a wonderful situation for a casebook study of the Progressive belief in the efficacy of net-roots organizing. Will they be able to knock Lieberman off in the primary by flooding the Lamont campaign with street soldiers and, more importantly, with money.
Secondly will they be able to negatively impact Lieberman’s petition signature gathering? He must submit his signatures to run as an independent the day after the primary.
Will Progressives, playing a tit-for-tat strategy, conduct their own signature drive so that in the event of a Lieberman victory Lamont could also run as an Independent Democrat?
There is always the chance that with a three way race the two Democrats would split the vote and allow a Republican victory. A chance, but according to current polling Lieberman would win a three way race.
Connecticut is the testing ground for a Progressive net-roots strategy. It will be fascinating to see how it plays out.