Handicapping Lieberman

Join me in a little thought experiment. There are three potential outcomes in CT's upcoming Senatorial election (leaving out the really, really unlikely.)

II. There May Be a Two-Way Race. If Lieberman wins the Dem primary, it's him versus Republican Alan Schlesinger with the possible outcomes being:

  • II-A) Lieberman Wins.
  • II-B) Schlesinger Wins.

III. There May Be a Three-Way Race. If Lamont wins the Dem primary, it's him versus Republican Alan Schlesinger and Independent Joe Lieberman. Outcomes:

  • III-A) Lamont Wins.
  • III-B) Lieberman Wins.
  • III-C) Schlesinger Wins.

We can put numbers on this, if we're so inclined. The chances of Lieberman winning is equal to his chances of winning a two way race plus his chances of winning a three-way race. Here's what I mean:

Say that there's a 70% chance that there will be a three-way race (and so a 30% chance of there being a two-way race). And say that Lieberman is 80% assured of winning a two way race but only 40% assured of winning a three-way. That means his overall chances of winning are

(30% x 80%) + (70% x 40%) = 24% + 28% = 52%

There are two problems with those numbers. One, nobody knows what they really are. Two, I'm much less qualified than most people to know what they are, since I don't watch CT closely or pay a lot of attention to the national blogs as a rule.

I guess what I really should do is send this to the good folks at My Left Nutmeg and let them fill the numbers in. My hunch, though, is that Lamont is going to come up a long shot, and the odds of CT coming out of the process with a Republican senator may be somewhat shorter. If I'm wrong about that, I'll stop being so confused about why this race produces so much heat and light.

Here's what we need to know.

  1. What are the chances that there will be a three way race? The answer to this question should be pretty close to whatever Lamont is polling against Lieberman right now.
  2. If there's a two-way race, what are the chances that Lieberman wins? That Schlesinger wins? (These two numbers should add up to 100%.)
  3. If there's a three-way race, what are the chances that Lamont wins? Lieberman wins? That Schlesinger wins? (These three numbers should add up to 100%.)

I'll leave this off the front page, as it has nought to do with NC politics.


What we can't predict

is the Pissed-Off Factor. And by that I mean how pissed CT Dems will be if Lamont wins the primary and Lieberman decides to run as an Independant. Current polls of registered votes give Lieberman the win in a three way race, but it doesn't give any weight to the aforementioned POF.

Will Dems rise to the challenge to defeat Lieberman as a third party candidate? I'm hoping the answer is yes.

Bush Economy

Here are some numbers

II. Chances of a Two-Way Race: 48%

  • II-A) Lieberman Wins: 82%
  • II-B) Schlesinger Wins: 18%

III. Chances of a Three-Way Race: 52%

  • III-A) Lamont Wins: 31%
  • III-B) Lieberman Wins: 59%
  • III-C) Schlesinger Wins: 10%

Overall likelihood of Lieberman winning: 70%
Overall likelihood of Lamont winning: 16%
Overall likelihood of Schlesinger winning: 14%

This is all based on the latest Quinnipiac Poll (I threw out numbers for "don't know" and "wouldn't vote" and refigured the percentages). And I realize that I'm using percentage of voters in place of chances of winning, but they're the only numbers I've got. Take this, then, for what it's worth.

No wonder Lieberman plans to run as an independent—it'll be hard for him to lose. Of course, every candidate feels like they can move these numbers before election day, and maybe they're right. But Project Dump Joe seems to have dumped a lot of resources into what appears to be a losing battle.

I guess project "Dump Joe"

Didn't count on Joe not honoring the Democratic primary process. I don't know. Right now Lamont is running ahead according to a post at FDL.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Yeah, that why I show the 3-way as more likely than the 2-way

But winning the primary still just gets Ned into a race that it looks like he has very little chance of winning. That's really not much of a victory.

I was thinking about these numbers in the car earlier, and what's wrong with the way I'm using them. If two candidates are polling 50%-50%, then I think it's fair to say the odds of Candidate X winning are 50%. In that case, the poll numbers = the odds.

But if Candidate X is polling at 85%, then I think most people would say his chances of winning are more like 98%. As you go on poll numbers from 50% to 100%, the odds of the candidate winning follow a different curve that stays above the x=y line and is farthest from that line somewhere between 50% and 100% (in terms of poll numbers) and which touches the x=y line at 50% and 100%.

(Or does it? Maybe at 100% poll numbers, the chances of the candidate winning are still 99.9%. I mean, anything's possible, right?)

The effect of all this is that my numbers below 50% are probably too high and my numbers over 50% are probably too low. And that means even worse chances for Lamont than the overal chances I gave him originally.

OK...I'm gonna fess up...

I'm getting tired of this race already. I like what I know about Lamont and I don't like much at all of what I know about Lieberman. I'm afraid voters will suffer from fatigue if this race continues beyond the primary.

I have no idea which candidate that will hurt, though.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

It's the War

It really seems to me that Lamont supporters are simply upset with Lieberman's position on the war. His position is lame, truly. But I haven't heard that much else in the form of serious criticism from the Left. And Lieberman's position on the war isn't going to get him voted out of office. Yet so many are being really aggressive about what seems to boil down to a "to-make-a-point" candidacy.

A classic Low Turnout Promary "Blue Moon" Election

Schlesinger’s is out --- he will drop out as he is "Tainted"

Schlesinger’s campaign was rocked last week by the news that, among other things, he had gambled in a Connecticut Indian casino under an assumed name, Alan Gold. His luck will have run out now. Word of his gambling debts will renew calls for Schlesinger to abandon his tattered candidacy.

He will be out by end of month -- Its between Joe and Ned with a new GOP candidate likely to come in before Nov.

At any rate - I say the polls are flat wrong and I think the Democrats who come out to vote for this screwy race will be the "Real" democrats and Joe wins by over 10 points.

Bill Clinton is coming Monday to bolster Joe – let’s hope the CT is not so proud that they no longer count Bill as a democrat either.

What an embarrassment CT is to the Party. What a bunch of self serving narcissists...

I wish the followers would lead... With a voice so strong in would knock me to my knees...


I disagree. I also believe it's more than the war. This is part of the democratic process. CT Dems are more liberal than Joe is. If they've found a candidate that they feel represents their views more closely than Joe does, it is their right and responsibility to run that candidate. Otherwise, our democracy is stagnant. I don't think it is in the least narcissistic. It's democratic. I'm not embarrassed by a group from my party requiring their senator do the job they elected him to do. Ours is a government by the people, not by the parties.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

My hunch is that what CB is

My hunch is that what CB is calling "embarassing" and "self serving" is not that Lamont is running or that people will vote for him, but the state of no-holds-barred open war that exists between Lamonties and the rest of the party.

It's a situation not unlike the Dem GOV primary in GA, where the two candidates (Mark Taylor, Cathy Cox) tore into each other like a couple of 3rd graders without a recess monitor. Neither of my parents wanted anything to do with either of them, and I'm sure that my folks weren't alone in being dispirited about the whole thing. And like GA, CT's primary is late enough that mending fences before the general is going to be hard work.

I also disagree.

If you follow the press releases you will see that those standing up for Joe can't actually vote for him. Clinton, Schumer, et al. Even close friends of Joe are turning away from him inside CT.

The election is a GOTV election, so we will see how the machine compares to the net.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Still, I find Lieberman's actions

far more embarrassing than Lamont's.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Why Run for Senate with a Past like this...

You have to wonder - what the GOP was thinking when they advocated this guy run -- he thought this would not come out? Who vetted the guy? This is a nice gift...

Two N.J. Casinos Sued Schlesinger Over Debts
July 21, 2006

By DAVE ALTIMARI, JON LENDER And EDMUND H. MAHONY, Courant Staff Writers When Alan Schlesinger gave a fake name while playing blackjack at Foxwoods in the early 1990s, he had already been sued over a gambling debt by one Atlantic City casino and was on the way to racking up an even bigger debt that led to a second lawsuit.

Schlesinger, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in the Nov. 7 election, paid a total of more than $28,000 in 1990 and 1994 to settle the two lawsuits, according to New Jersey court records reviewed by The Courant.

Questions about Schlesinger's gambling habits surfaced last week, when he admitted that he had obtained a "Wampum Card" from Foxwoods Resort Casino under the assumed name of Alan Gold shortly after the casino opened in 1992.

That disclosure prompted Republican Gov. M Jodi Rell to urge Schlesinger to step aside as a candidate, but Schlesinger refused, calling his use of a phony gambling ID a "non-issue." A Rell spokesman Thursday said the governor had no comment on the New Jersey gambling debts.

State Republican Party Chairman George Gallo, who also called for Schlesinger to step aside last week, declined to comment Thursday, except to say that Schlesinger had never mentioned anything about the debts. "This is new information to me," Gallo said.

Schlesinger on Thursday called himself a "recreational" gambler and vowed he would not be driven from the Senate race.

"I have never done anything illegal. I did absolutely nothing wrong," Schlesinger said. "I'm not getting out of this race because of the fact I had a couple of civil lawsuits filed against me 15 years ago."

When asked about his gambling debts Thursday, Schlesinger initially said he had "no recollection" of ever owing any Atlantic City casinos money and denied he had been sued by the casinos.

When confronted with the case numbers of the lawsuits, Schlesinger said he remembered settling some debts with two casinos but claimed he never was served any legal papers or had to go to court in Atlantic City.

"I vaguely remember there was some controversy surrounding what I owed the two casinos and I stopped payment on the checks, but they were both settled without ever going to court," Schlesinger said.

However, court records show that Boardwalk Regency Corp., owner of Caesar's Palace, filed a lawsuit against Schlesinger on June 12, 1989, claiming he owed $8,800. Schlesinger settled the case on May 21, 1990, by paying Caesar's $10,211, including interest.

On April 23, 1993, records show, Trump's Castle filed a lawsuit claiming Schlesinger owed $13,500. He paid $18,016, including interest, to settle that case on June 8, 1994.

When asked why he wouldn't remember two five-figure settlements, Schlesinger said it's because that's "not that much money to me."

"Those losses could have occurred over a long period of time, and you have to remember, at the same time I was losing at those casinos I could have been winning at a different one," Schlesinger said. "I may have been having cash flow problems at that time and it took a while to pay back the markers."

He said the Trump's and Caesar's suits were isolated incidents.

"I think 99 percent of the time I pay back the markers instantly. The only time there was ever any problem was in the two cases you mentioned," Schlesinger said.

Foxwoods opened in February 1992, and Schlesinger said he applied for the "Wampum Card" - a card that lets gamblers obtain meals, rooms and merchandise based on how much they wager - a few months later.

Last week, Schlesinger said he used the Alan Gold pseudonym at the casino to preserve his privacy and to avoid casino marketing contacts. He denied suggestions that it was to avoid detection as a "card counter" - someone who tracks the value of cards played at a blackjack table to gain an advantage in the game.

Thursday, he said his decision to use a fake name had nothing to do with any debts he may have had in Atlantic City. Although details of the Trump's lawsuit were unavailable Thursday, the tendency of casinos to view court action as a last resort suggests that the debt for which he was sued in 1993 may have existed when he got the Wampum Card in 1992.

Russell Lichtenstein, an attorney with Cooper & Levinson, the New Jersey firm that represented Trump's Castle in 1993, said he had no recollection of Schlesinger's case, but that, in general, casinos don't like to go to court to settle outstanding debts.

"Casinos are very understanding because they want to maintain a relationship with the gambler," Lichtenstein said. "In some cases they will wait a year or more before going to court to seek payment."

When Foxwoods opened, the tribal facility was being run mostly by casino executives from Atlantic City who maintained close relationships with casino personnel in New Jersey.

Casinos are widely known to share information about card-counters, potential scam artists and people who run up big debts.

A Foxwoods source said he couldn't say 14 years later whether casino officials at that time would have had a database or information on gamblers who owed significant money at other casinos - but the source added that Foxwoods executives traded information with contacts in Atlantic City on a daily basis.

Schlesinger said he has never taken a marker at either of the Indian casinos in Connecticut. He estimated that he has never lost more than $10,000 to $15,000 playing blackjack in any given year.

Schlesinger is the Republican Party-endorsed candidate for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Joseph Lieberman. Schlesinger cannot be stripped of the nomination by Rell or the party - only pressured to step aside, which he has insisted he will not do.

Candidates for the Senate had a May 15 deadline to file reports on their personal assets and liabilities, including any debts that exceeded $10,000 at any point in the previous calendar year, but Schlesinger has yet to file one.

On June 29 he received his second 45-day extension from the U.S. Senate's Select Committee on Ethics, giving him a new deadline of Aug. 14. Reports must be filed within 30 days of the deadline. No further extension is available under the law, a Senate official said.

A discussion of this story with Courant Staff Writer David Altimari is scheduled to be shown on New England Cable News each hour today between 9 a.m. and noon.

Contact Dave Altimari at daltimari@courant.com.

I wish the followers would lead... With a voice so strong in would knock me to my knees...

Hehe...yeah..that one cracked me up

He conveniently forgot writing large checks to settle debts at casinos...but didn't remember the law suits b/c he never went to court. Well....duh. You settle so you don't go to court. (among other reasons.)

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.