How Ned Lamont Lost

By Chris Good
Ned Lamont got walloped Tuesday night in Connecticut's Democratic gubernatorial primary, despite holding a narrow, 3-percentage-point lead in the latest polling, as former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy beat him 58% to 42%. How did this happen? Four years ago, Lamont won his party's nomination for Senate. Politico's Shira Toeplitz and Maggie Haberman delve into the question and find that, aside from low turnout that helped the party-endorsed Malloy, Lamont fit the unattractive mold of the wealth Grennwich businessman and simply didn't carry the same appeal he held in 2006 without the Iraq war as a dominant campaign issue:

This year, there was no Iraq war issue as in 2006. Malloy was no Lieberman, reviled on the left. And Ned Lamont, some say, wasn't really Ned Lamont, losing his liberal base after positioning himself as more of a steady centrist -- a criticism Obama is hearing with increasing frequency these days from his backers on the left. 

Heading into the primary, Democratic voters were railing about Lamont's shift to the center and a sense that he had betrayed who he was -- and how they got to know him -- four years earlier. 

"Ned was kind of in a tough spot in this campaign because to win, he had to broaden his base beyond a liberal, anti-war coalition that helped him beat Lieberman," said Democratic strategist Dan Gerstein, who worked for Lieberman in 2006. "But the way he did, and tried to position himself as a businessman, was in hindsight not a good strategy. It gave Malloy an opening to put together a pretty strong Connecticut primary coalition including a lot of labor folks."

Read the full story at Politico.

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http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/08/how-ned-lamont-lost/61375/