Way to Go, Lieberman
If your polling indicates that your opponent only has 7% name recognizability factor among Democrats in your state, you do not mention his name. Ever. You don’t do his work for him. You certainly do not go running to the Associated Press three days after he announces his campaign and accuse him of "angry name calling" because he calls you "Bush’s favorite Democrat." Sort of boxes you in, see, because while many Republicans are trying to distance themselves from George Bush that option really isn’t open to you — you hitched your wagon to his war and you can’t back away from it now.
They must have some truly awful internal polling that tells Camp Lieberman the more people know about Lamont the more they like him, and some really first-rate consultants are no doubt telling Holy Joe to get out in front of this thing by painting Lamont as an angry liberal (and Lieberman’s favorite trick, after all, is using Republican memes). Trouble is, Lamont doesn’t come off as an angry liberal. So the more Joe raises his awareness, the more Ned gets thrown into the spotlight and what Ned needs more than anything right now is to become the focus of press attention.
Of course the possibility still exists Joe is just a thin-skinned moron driving his own campaign and unable to control his mouth. Whatever. As a supporter of Ned Lamont, I offer my sincere thanks.
Update: Thread Theorist points out — and rightly so — that the 93% "had not heard enough about Lamont to form an opinion." Which is a bit different from name recognition. They go on to say that "For Lamont I would interpret that as a good sign, and it would also explain why Lieberman would want to go to the AP just 3 days after Lamont’s declaration. Lieberman wants to mold the public’s as yet unformed opinion of Lamont." I would agree.