"It may not be scientific to gauge how a campaign is going by the numbers of supporters who show up at a debate, or the degree of their enthusiasm, but judging by the scene at last Monday's debate, I'd say the polls giving Joe Lieberman a 17 point lead can't be right.
Joe had a small group of supporters, maybe 2 dozen, a handful of firefighters and the rest well dressed operatives. Alan Schlesinger had a brave but tiny group of kids standing around with signs.
Ned, on the other hand, had a contingent of several hundred, 300 according to the press. They gathered a few blocks away from the Garde Arts Theater, in New London, my home town and when there was a big crowd in front of the theater, there they came, with a marching band with bagpipes, carrying signs. It was a very impressive show of force. Even Joe's operatives were impressed. i was standing in their midst so i could eavesdrop and shout them down, when they sarted with their Go, Joe, go, stuff.
I don't know if this is sufficient to overcome some real inadequacies in the campaign, but I don't see how Joe's lead could be as large as reported.
Arianna thinks Dems have not been helping Lamont, but he is one of the few candidates in a position to fund his own campaign so naturally limited funds need to go to other candidates not as well off.
But also, part of the problem has been attitude. Right after the primary victory, Lamont's campaign manager, Tom Swan was quoted in the Courant saying that many Dems had called to offer to come campaign with Ned, but they were being 'very choosey' about who they would "let' come and campaign with Ned. That was foolish and smug.
Further, when Swan was recently questioned about the odd two month lull in the campaing following the primary, he said that they had trusted "insiders" who assured them that they were talking to Joe about withdrawing. So what? Ned had his work cut out for him, with or without Joe in the race. Surely, without Joe, the GOP would have found a much stronger candidate and poured money into a race they thought they could win. Again, naive and inexperienced.
Similarly, the campaign had a strange attitude toward the MSM, leaving it to them to check Ned's website to find out where he would be, instead of nofiying the press and inviting them. It's a race, guys. Waiting for people to check your site is like preaching to the choir. When Maxine Waters was in New London before the primary, there was not one word in the paper, to give you some idea of how ineffective this approach is.
I could go on, but I prefer to cling to the vision of the crowd at the debate and keep my fingers crossed and my eyes rolled heavenward, in hopes that none of these things will matter. "
FTR, DemNow had someone from the Courant on last week, and he said the 17point spread was bullshit too.