MORE ON BILL'S VISIT.

MORE ON BILL'S VISIT. I�m gonna try to last-word Ezra from yesterday (no small task, that) on the Joe Lieberman indy-abandonment theory I am propounding�and I have data.

The results of a new Rasmussen poll (courtesy of Kos) show Lieberman trailing Ned Lamont by 10 points (51 percent to 41 percent) in the primary and, more stunning than that, Joe is now deadlocked with Ned in a potential three-way general election (Lamont and Lieberman, 40 percent; Republican Schlesinger, 13 percent). The Quinnipiac poll only last week had Lieberman with a majority of 51 percent to Lamont�s 27 percent in a three-way general election contest. Even if one factors in margins of error in both polls, that�s quite a turnaround.

This race is so volatile now I wouldn�t be surprised with Lieberman winning or losing the primary. If he wins, the three-way scenario is moot. But if he loses, it looks like the floor of support for his independent candidacy has fallen out from under him. Even if Clinton didn�t put a condition on his Monday visit, I still predict Lieberman will abandon his �Connecticut for Lieberman� independent bid, with or without Clinton intervening.

It may be, as Ezra speculates, that the quo (Hillary�s dispatching of Bill to go to Connecticut) came after the quid (Hillary pledging to support the primary winner). But I still think one of the Clintons -- and Bill is the more likely deliverer of bad news -- will apply the pressure on Lieberman if he loses on August 8.

--Tom Schaller

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