The Primary Results

You couldn’t ask for a better day to hold a Primary. The sun was shining; the skies clear, the temperature hovering around 80. State officials were optimistic for a 40% Democratic voter turnout but being August, no one was certain. People are on vacation, they’re enjoying their time outdoors and thinking about voting may not be high on the priority list.

The one thing you could count on was that people would not forget. In the past week, phones around Connecticut were ringing off the hook as automated pitches from candidates and candidate supporters were arriving — well it certainly seemed it — hourly. As interesting as it is to come home and find a voicemail from Bill Clinton, I was more impressed by the personalized call Kate got from Samuel L. Jackson, reminding her to go see him in Snakes on a Plane. Yesterday alone, my house received six calls from the four candidates.

District 8 had gaps in its scheduled polling coverage but apparently we had people pull extra time so there were fewer dead spots than I had feared. When I arrived just after 6 p.m., we were well covered. Voting by then was showing a 37 percent turnout and the commuters were just starting to return home so the last two hours should be busy.

Robbie voted and visited with my fellow District members, Martha Brooks and Mitch Fuchs. I was also surprised to see that the first voter for me to greet was Brian Augustyn, my fellow freelance Platinum Studios editor and longtime pal. As Mitch needled Robbie, Brian and I played some catch-up.

The remainder of my shift was uneventful as people showed up in blips. I’d thank them for coming and as they left, offered them a flyer promoting the big Democratic rally coming on Saturday. Most were friendly, several politely interested, many complained about the phone calls.

Deb turned up around 7:50 so we could vote and I could get a ride home. At 7:59, a car pulls up and the driver asks, “Do I have to be affiliated with a party to vote?” Yes, you have to be a Democrat. Sigh. Moments later, a car pulls up and a guy wants to vote. We tell him he has a minute so he hastily parks and runs into the building. OK, time to pack up and go home. No, a woman races into the lot and is told it’s 8 and the last voter has just gone in. She really wanted to vote so we suggest she try to get in. Sure enough, she became the day’s last voter.

At 9, I switched from the Met game to the local cable news channel to see the results and was not at all surprised to see that Ned Lamont beat out Joe Lieberman and that John DeStefano narrowly edged Dan Malloy. What was interesting to note and I remain surprised my local rag, The Connecticut Post, didn’t cover it is that Mary Glassman, Malloy’s running mate for Lt. Governor, beat out Scott Slifka, DeStefano’s guy by the hugest margin of the night. One wonders why.

Malloy did the classy thing of saying he was going to work for his friend DeStefano’s candidacy and was standing behind the party.

The selfish Lieberman, though, made it clear he was going to ignore the wishes of the party faithful and run as an Independent Democrat. He has once more made it abundantly clear that representing the people of Connecticut is not high on his priority list and will only serve to split the vote come November. My most fervent hope is that Democratic chair Howard Dean and fellow CT senator Chris Dodd bitch slap Lieberman into accepting reality.

2 comments

  • KRAD

    Question, since I don’t know the answer one way or t’other — what’s the Republican competition for Lamont look like?

  • KRAD, funny you should ask.

    Alan Schlesinger isn’t really considered that viable a candidate, but a recent Quinnipiac University poll showed that Lieberman would have beaten him 68-15 percent in a general election, whereas Lamont would only beat him 45-22. And, should Lieberman insist on staying in the race, he might very well win (the poll shows a 51-27-9 split, with Schlesinger last).

    You can find the poll report at http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x11362.xml?ReleaseID=940

    So, in short, it’s most likely going to be Lieberman or Lamont in November…unless the Republicans pull Schlesinger out and put in someone more impressive. For the moment, I can’t think of any names (which, I must admit, is a good sign as far as I am concerned).

    (By the way, although I’m not the sort of person who uses the term “bitch slap,” I agree that the Democratic voters have spoken and it’s time for Lieberman to throw his support behind Lamont.)