Ned Lamont had to dump a quick $2 million into his campaign to keep it alive today. There is another debate on Monday and I'm sure the nutroots will be quick to declare Alan Schlesinger the winner again. That would be their last, desperate strategy to drain some support away from Lieberman. Even the AP sees it that way. That does not bode well for Lamont, I suspect.
The wealthy cable television executive has tapped his personal fortune for $12.7 million to fund his campaign.
Lamont has about two weeks to catch Lieberman, a three-term incumbent who has pulled to a 17-point lead, according to a recent poll. Lieberman lost the Democratic primary to Lamont and then launched an independent campaign.
The third and final televised debate of the race was scheduled for Monday. Unlike their second debate, which featured all five candidates, only Lieberman, Lamont and Republican Alan Schlesinger will share the stage. That could make it easier for Lamont to engage Lieberman directly.
"People have a real opportunity to see three candidates stand up, enunciate real differences about where this country should go," Lamont said Friday while campaigning in Hartford. "That's the best way to get our message out, through debates."
Lieberman spokeswoman Tammy Sun said, "We expect Ned Lamont may stoop to new lows in misrepresenting Joe Lieberman's record in a desperate last-minute ploy."
Schlesinger, considered a long shot, was at 6 percent in the latest Quinnipiac University survey. He and Lieberman are vying for Republican support, so any Schlesinger gains could come at Lieberman's expense.
Lieberman drew much of the criticism that came from his rivals in the first two debates. He has widened his lead from 10 points last month, according to the latest Quinnipiac poll. The senator gained an edge with independent voters, the state's largest voting bloc, and with men, the survey showed.
"It's a steep uphill battle for Lamont to erase this substantial gap," said Quinnipiac poll director Doug Schwartz. "He's got to do something different, because what he's been doing up to this point hasn't been working. In fact, his numbers have been getting lower."
Don't worry, Ned. All is not lost yet. That won't happen until Wednesday. That's when the other darling of the nutroots lately will join Lamont to campaign, sealing Ned's fate. John "Can't Spare A Dime For Fellow Democrats" Kerry is coming to "help".
After that is when all hope is gone.