Lieberman: Malloy must work to bring Democrats home

Note: Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, now living in Stamford and a senior partner with a major law firm in New York and Washington, joins News 8 as a new political contributor ahead of the 2014 gubernatorial race.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Joe Lieberman is probably most famous as the Democratic candidate for vice president with Al Gore in the disputed 2000 election when they won the national popular vote but lost the electoral college to George W. Bush by way of a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Six years later, he lost the Democratic Primary for his senate seat, ran as an independent in the fall election and won a fourth term. Two years ago, he did not seek re-election.

He further alienated many Democrats when he campaigned for his good friend John McCain in the Presidential election in 2008 against Barack Obama.

Lieberman predicts that this will be a tough year for incumbents everywhere and says that all three top tier Republicans appear within striking distance of Governor Malloy.

“What’s interesting in the last Quinnipiac poll is that Mayor Boughton, and state Senator McKinney run pretty close to the governor … as well as Tom Foley running in a dead heat,” Lieberman said. “So that means that there’s a, for want of a more gracious term, an anti-Malloy vote out there and that, too, is what Governor Malloy has to work to turn around.”

Lieberman also noted that because polling indicates there appears to be an anti-Malloy vote even among registered Democrats, Malloy must work to “bring them home to the party” on election day if he’s to win re-election.

“If it gets framed as ‘okay, you’re not happy with everything I’ve done,’ says Dan Malloy, ‘but do you really want Tom Foley or whoever is the Republican candidate to be your next governor?’ and… a lot of times that works with the Democratic base,” Lieberman said.

He also agreed that if former state Rep. Jonathan Pelto does mount a third party challenge, it will only hurt Malloy.

“If Jon Pelto runs because he’s a Democrat and more liberal he probably would hurt Governor Malloy more than the Republican candidates,” Lieberman said. “It’s hard to imagine that he could win but he could have an effect on the outcome.”

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