IMO you can take all of this and divide by 20. Like Kos said on Hardball on Friday, he doesn't take full credit or view it as a transforming event because he values honesty. This was a unique situation, a blue state with a high profile incumbent who had inflamed the party base. No way anything like this would have been attempted or successful in a state like Georgia, for example, if Zell had decided to run again.
The theory that the party is moving far left via the blogs and grass roots is shot down when you consider who those same blogs are supporting in 2008. Both DailyKos and MyDD.com, a Kos spinoff, have been heavily supportive of Mark Warner, who is hardly considered far left. In fact, Jerome Armstrong of MyDD left to become an advisor for Warner. Warner spoke at YearlyKos in June and threw a lavish party at the Stratosphere. And Warner has basically stayed away from foreign policy so far, so it's not as if they are looking solely for someone who was against Iraq from the outset.
FARMINGTON, Conn., Aug. 5 -- The passion and energy fueling the antiwar challenge to Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman in Connecticut's Senate primary signal a power shift inside the Democratic Party that could reshape the politics of national security and dramatically alter the battle for the party's 2008 presidential nomination, according to strategists in both political parties.
A victory by businessman Ned Lamont on Tuesday would confirm the growing strength of the grass-roots and Internet activists who first emerged in Howard Dean's presidential campaign. Driven by intense anger at President Bush and fierce opposition to the Iraq war, they are on the brink of claiming their most significant political triumph, one that will reverberate far beyond the borders here if Lieberman loses.
An upset by Lamont would affect the political calculations of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who like Lieberman supported giving Bush authority to wage the Iraq war, and could excite interest in a comeback by former vice president Al Gore, who warned in 2002 that the war could be a grave strategic error. For at least the next year, any Democrat hoping to play on the 2008 stage would need to reckon with the implications of Lieberman's repudiation."
"Strategists say the Connecticut race has rattled the Democratic establishment, which is virtually united behind the three-term incumbent's candidacy, and will force an uneasy accommodation with the newest, volatile power center within the party.
"This sends a message to all Democratic officeholders," said Robert L. Borosage of the liberal Campaign for America's Future. "You're going to have a much tougher Democratic Party."
Republicans are already seeking to exploit a possible victory by Lamont as a sign that Democrats are moving too far to the left on national security issues. "They want retreat -- under the guise of 'reducing the U.S. footprint in Iraq,' " William Kristol writes in the latest issue of the Weekly Standard."
"All of that may bode well for the Democrats, given sentiment about the war. As Democratic pollster Peter Hart put it: "What [Connecticut] tells us about the fall is something I think we've known all along, and that is the status quo in Iraq is unacceptable. It's unacceptable to Democratic primary voters, it's unacceptable to independents and it's unacceptable to a large minority of Republicans. Iraq is the number one issue and the message is exceptionally simple: We cannot abide the status quo."