DICK MORRIS IS RIGHT!! He has this column in The Hill saying that Lieberman should forego the Democratic primary entirely and just run as an Independent, and that if he did so, he would win �overwhelmingly.�

Alas, I�m afraid that I suspect this is entirely correct. Consider: First, voter enrollment in Connecticut looks like this (PDF; scroll down to page 12 of 14 for totals). You have roughly 700,000 Democrats, 450,000 Republicans, and 930,000 �unaffiliateds� (i.e., independents). Second, think about turnout in a dead-of-August Democratic primary (it�s August 8). Let�s be generous and assume a primary turnout of 25 percent. That�s 175,000 voters. Let�s say Lamont beats Lieberman 55 to 45. That�s 96,250 votes.

That�s not a huge base on which to build for a general election that will probably include 1 million voters (the total state enrollment is 2 million; assume general election turnout of 50 percent or so). Assume also a fairly weak Republican, as seems to be the case -- a bloke named Alan Schlesinger, the �two-term mayor of the city of Derby,� according to his Web site.

Assume that, running as an Independent, Lieberman would get the lion�s share of unaffiliateds, and probably not an insignificant number of Republicans. He would be very tough to beat. Lamont, in a general, would have to fight for the unaffiliateds in a big way. (And you know what that means -- he starts taking positions that disappoint certain people!!)

Morris thinks Lieberman would lose a primary battle and should forget about competing in it and just run in the general. About that, the numbers show Dick is probably right. He is wrong, of course, about Lieberman as a solon -- �ethical, sincere, thoughtful,� and all that rot. About who Lieberman has become, Mark Schmitt, as usual, is right.

--Michael Tomasky

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