Primary Diagnosis: Connecticut

The media is seeking to draw lessons from the primaries that were held yesterday in a number of states, including Connecticut. As a resident of the Nutmeg State, the victory of Linda McMahon of World Wide Wrestling fame was entertaining.  But the most interesting and potentially revealing event was the Democratic primary for governor where Dan Malloy defeated Ned Lamont.

Hope and Change?

Some of you may remember Ned Lamont. He successfully defeated Joe Lieberman in the 2006 Democratic primary for the Senate (Lieberman ended up winning in the general election as an independent).  Lamont was a dark horse candidate.  He rose to prominence through the support of MoveOn.org, the netroots, and young voters (precisely the kind of coalition that would prove so influential in the 2008 presidential election).

Yesterday, this coalition—combined with $7 million of Lamont’s personal fortune—proved insufficient. Dan Malloy, who had the support of the party machine and organized labor, claimed an easy victory (58 to 42 percent).

Some questions that Democrats should be asking themselves:

  1. What explains this outcome?
  2. Has the anti-war position that was so productive for Lamont in 2006 lost its appeal?
  3. More troubling: is the “hope and change” coalition less durable than many might have hoped?
  4. What are the implications, if any, for the 2010 midterms?

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