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Support unlikely from fellow Senate Democrats, should Lieberman lose

Brian Beutler
Published: Tuesday August 8, 2006

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If Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) loses today's primary, he's unlikely to find support for an Independent run from fellow Democrats, RAW STORY has learned.

Late last week, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) surprised election followers by publicly advising Lieberman to drop his intent to run as an independent if he is defeated in the primary by a significant margin. Speaking on NPR, Lautenberg noted that, in the event of a big loss, Lieberman will have to “take a look at what reality is” adding that, in the event of a ten-point-or-greater defeat, Lieberman should drop his bid as an independent candidate.

Now, some high-profile Democratic lawmakers, including Lautenberg and Barack Obama (D-IL), have indicated to RAW STORY that while they support Lieberman in the race, they will back challenger Lamont in the general election, should Lieberman walk away without the nomination.

Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is on record with an identical position.

Similarly, Sen. Russ Feingold has refused to endorse either candidate, but will support the winner of the nomination.

Still others—including Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Evan Bayh (D-IN) and fellow Connecticut lawmaker Christopher Dodd—are refusing to take a position.

An aide to Sen. Dodd declined to comment on the Senator's plans after the primary, stating that, “today is a day for the candidates.”

A staffer for Sen. Bayh added, "it wouldn't be wise to speculate on that before the results are out."

Both Bayh and Dodd plan to issue statements after the outcome of the race is known later tonight.