Hat tip to my good buddy Fergus on this one.
In my previous post, I said I was worried about Lieberman losing the primary and then running as an Independent, thus spoiling Lamont's chances for a senatorial win. Fergus let me know that Lieberman does not have that option. If he intends to run as an Independent, he has to declare as one before the August Democratic primary.
Unless the Lieberman campaign has internal poll numbers that show him losing decisively in the primary, he will not bolt the party. That means he is going to have to face a Democratic only vote (no Rethug sympathy votes) against a strong challenger in August. If Lieberman does bolt, I think that's it for his political future. I don't think he can win in that capacity - the Rethugs will (rightly) see a chance for victory and rally to their guy, while on-the-fence Dems will focus anger on him for trying to spoil the party's choice.
The most likely outcome, however, is that Lieberman will win the primary with a clear majority, but far less votes than an incumbent should receive. Lamont's convention numbers would have to have been closer to 50% to make me believe there is solid voter support (vs. support among political junkies), and the claim that there were people who wanted to vote for him but remained silent sounds just like Nixon's claim about the Silent Majority, in short, wishful thinking.
At this point, it comes down to who the CT Dems want as their candidate. The number of voters in CT who don't want Lieberman (which is a larger number than those who do want Lamont) is unknown. I'd like to see some non-partisan poll numbers on what the voters think. Netroots agitating is not an accurate measure of local voter preference.