HARTFORD, May 19 — A businessman with little political experience has forced Senator Joseph I. Lieberman into an August primary, surprising even his own supporters by winning more than twice the number of delegates he needed at the State Democratic Party's nominating convention Friday night.
Ned Lamont, a cable television executive from Greenwich who has opposed Senator Lieberman largely over the senator's support for the war in Iraq, won 505 of the 1,509 delegates who cast votes — about 33 percent, compared with the 15 percent required to force a primary.
Mr. Lieberman, by winning two-thirds of the vote, however, easily won the party's endorsement.
Cheers erupted as Mr. Lamont swept several small towns, where he typically fared better than he did in larger cities like Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven, which have entrenched Democratic establishments. Some supporters of Mr. Lamont said they had hoped to win only the necessary 15 percent of the vote and many said they were thrilled to have won more.
In an appearance after the vote, Mr. Lamont said his showing would resonate beyond Connecticut. "Thirty-three percent is telling the people in Washington, we want change," he said.
It's been widely reported in the blogosphere that Liberman had to do a lot of arm-twisting of delagates to get his 66.x%.
It probably won't work that way in the primary.