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Where Would Senate Be Without Lieberman?

By Helen Dewar, Washington Post,
Monday 4 September 2000; A8

If Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) is elected vice president and Democrats pick up enough seats to tie the Republicans for control of the Senate, Lieberman would break the tie in favor of the Democrats, right?

Well, not necessarily.

Lieberman did not abandon his campaign for reelection to the Senate when Vice President Gore tapped him as his running mate. So if Lieberman is elected to both offices and if Democrats pick up four Senate seats, as some analysts believe possible, there would seem to be a 50-50 tie and a Democratic vice president, as the Senate's presiding officer, to break it.

The hitch is that Lieberman would have to relinquish his Senate seat, and his replacement would be chosen by Connecticut's GOP governor, John G. Rowland, who presumably would name a Republican. So no tie for Lieberman to break.

Democrats have at least two recourses, both hypothetical. One is to pick up five seats. Another, touted by some strategists, would be for Democrats to be certain enough of a Gore-Lieberman victory by late October that Lieberman could drop out of the Senate race by Connecticut's Oct. 27 deadline for ballot changes. State party leaders would then replace him with another Democrat, presumably state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Robert G. Torricelli (N.J.) said yesterday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that Blumenthal "would clearly win the seat."

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