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Every State. Every race. Right here.

This is number 43 in a planned series of 50 entries between now and November, looking at each of the 50 states in terms of every race on that state's ticket--Presidential, Gubernatorial, Senate, House, State legislatures--the whole WiffnPoof lineup! Special attention paid to identifying and promoting the most important contests per state.

A relatively short entry this time, as we kick off the final month of the election season in another very friendly and uncompetitive northeastern state. CONNECTICUT, COME ON DOWN!

Connecticut is fairly homogenous, although the southwestern "tail" of the state, Fairfield County, is often described as an extension of the New York metro area, different from the rest of Connecticut, and from the rest of New England too.  Both parts are among the solidest blue parts of America, however.

Connecticut is anchored by solid Democratic Hartford and New Haven. Republicans can be found in the more rural areas, and in the most upscale neighborhoods like Greenwich-Stamford, but even there, they’re outnumbered. The state as a whole used to be a Republican bastion in the days of Prescott Bush, and is still more willing than other New England states to consider old fashioned "moderate" Republicans like Governor Jodi Rell, and self-proclaimed "mavericks" like Joe Lieberman, but the days of party parity are long gone, and Connecticut hasn’t been competitive in national elections since 1988. The future is only looking more Democratic.

BLOGS:  My Left Nutmeg, with its famous "Birthplace of George Bush; We Apologize" highway sign, is one of the best and best known single-state blogs of them all, and a Kos favorite ever since it led the way for Ned Lamont’s primary win in 2006.

PRESIDENT: :  Beyond Safe Obama. McCain isn’t even bothering here.

SENATE:  Nobody up this year. Chris Dodd (YAY!!!!) is up in 2010 for an easy win if he wants to keep the job, and we’re stuck with Traitor Joe until 2012.  

A NOTE ON TRAITOR JOE: I may be a liberal softie, but if we get to exactly 60 Senators, I’m willing to give Joe another chance to be a Democrat. He can and will help to break filibusters for the good guys on at least some issues, notably environmental ones, which are perhaps the most pressing ones of all.  I also figure he’s like the guy in the Bob Dylan song who just wants to be on the side that’s winning, and if the Democrats obtain a crushing majority as well as the White House, Lieberman may well come crawling back and pretend to have been one of us the whole time.  I’d keep an eye on the silverware when he’s around, but I’d also leave open the door to being mutually useful to each other.  After all, we’re stuck with him for all of Obama’s first term, and Obama can’t even make him ambassador to Kvetchnya or something because the GOP Governor would appoint a Republican. If you’ve read this and are still more the "strip him of everything and isolate him" type, I don’t much feel like arguing the point, but think it over. The art of politics includes making alliances when appropriate.


Not up in 2008.  The Governor and Lt. governor are Republicans—and Rell is the favorite to get another term if she wants it. All other statewide offices (AG, SoS, Comptroller, Treasurer) are held by Democrats.

The silver lining about Republican Governor Rell is that she is among the last of a breed of not-too-bad Republicans, and she is popular because she reminds people of their sweet old grandmother. She’s likely to serve out her stay as Governor and then leave (as opposed to, say, trying to continue her career in the next available Senate seat), and will likely be the last Republican elected statewide in Connecticut for another generation.

Lower House:  107 D, 44R.  Majority 63

Senate:  23D, 13R. Majority 10

Like Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Vermont, Democrats outnumber Republicans by 2 to 1 or better. We’re in very friendly territory here.


District 1—Hartford. John Larson (Inc D) is safe in a district that Republicans haven’t held for decades.

District 2—Joe Courtney (Inc D) Almost the eastern half of the state.  A solid blue district that, until 2006, was the bluest district held by a Republican. The nice thing about taking districts like this is, we tend to hold them easily. Courtney now has only token opposition and is expected to win re-election easily—now and in the future.

District 3—New Haven. The bluest district in the state, safe for incumbent Dem Rosa DeLauro.

District 4—Jim Himes (D) v. Christopher Shays (Inc R). Fairfield County, and the only district in CT—in fact the only one in New England—still represented by a Republican.  Is it any wonder that this is THE BIG ONE for the nutmeg state in 2008? The symbolic value of a 22 for 22 Democratic regional delegation would be worth the investment. Add to that, that the 4th District is surrounded on all sides by blue districts (In CT and NY both), that Shays barely held onto his seat in 2006 with Joe Lieberman and a popular GOP Governor helping him all the way, and that Shays has been increasingly uncomfortable trying to straddle the fence and pretend to be a "different" Republican while continuing to carry Bush’s water, and you have a Democratic takeover in the making. This one was on the map from the moment the 2006 results were posted, and it is expected to go down to the wire.

District 5—Northwest Connecticut. Chris Murphy (inc D) was one of the surprise winners in 2006, in what was at the time considered the least likely of CT’s three GOP-held districts to turn blue. However, the region—not just CT-02 and 05, but the neighboring NY-19 and 20 as well, was hit by a wave, and all saw Democrats replace incumbent Republicans.  Murphy himself ousted long-term incumbent Nancy Johnson, whose party had become too fringe right for the state, even as Rell and Lieberman were winning the district.  This year, with Obama heading the ticket, Murphy is safe.

REDISTRICTING CONNECTICUT: Assuming Rell is still Governor in 2011, we will not run the table on redistricting. However, the legislature will remain solidly Democratic, and we may be able to make minor changes.

I would put all of Hartford County into the 1st district, and all of Middlesex County (including Middletown and Wesleyan University, presently in the 3rd where they are wasted) into the 2nd to make it that much more safe.

The 4th in the southwest "tail" is already the most compact district, and already has the solid blue anchor of Bridgeport.  It would be hard to mess with it.  If we can, I would lop off the northeastern end of it, and instead add the north central city of Danbury, which would both make the 4th compacter and wholly contained in Fairfield County, as well as more blue.

What do YOU think?

Previous diaries in this series, including THE BIG ONE for each state:

Delaware(lower house of the State Legislature):

Arkansas(Obama, for want of any other contest):

Illinois(Dan Seals, IL-10):

Texas, Part One(Michael Skelly, TX-07):

Texas, Part Two(Rick Noriega, TX-Sen):

Utah(building infrastructure):

Massachusetts(Using our majority to govern well):

North Carolina(Kay Hagan, NC-Sen):

Hawaii(Using our majority to govern well; also, preparation for Governor, possible open Senate race in 2010):

Mississippi(Ronnie Musgrove, MS-Sen):

Oregon(Jeff Merkley, OR-Sen):

Ohio(Tie: Obama, and State Legislature, both houses):

Maryland(Frank Kratovil, MD-01):

North Dakota(State Legislature, upper house):

Alabama(Bobby Bright, AL-02):

California, Part one(Charles Brown, CA-04):

California, Part two(Russ Warner, CA-26):

Vermont(Gaye Symington, VT-Gov):

Iowa(Rob Hubler, IA-05):


Wyoming(Gary Trauner, WY-AL):

Pennsylvania (State Legislature, both houses):

New Mexico(Harry Teague, NM-02):

Kentucky(Bruce Lunsford, KY-SEN):

Nebraska(Scott Kleeb, NB-SEN):

Friggin’ IDAHO (Larry LaRocco, ID-Sen):

Maine (CHEERS to Tom Allen, ME-Sen):

Wisconsin (State Legislature, both houses):

New Jersey(Linda Stender, NJ-07):

Oklahoma (Andrew Rice, OK-Sen):

South Dakota(State Legislature, upper house):


Georgia(Jim Martin, GA-Sen):

Rhode Island(governing well):

Michigan(State legislature, upper house):

Alaska(Mark Begich, AK-Sen):

Missouri (Jay Nixon, MO-Gov):

West Virginia (GORGEOUS Anne Barth, WV-02):

South Carolina (Linda Ketner, SC-01, Rob Miller, SC-02):

Nevada (Jill Derby, NV-02):

New York, Part One (State Senate):

New York, Part Two(State Senate):

Tennessee (State Senate):

Washington (Darcy Burner, WA-08)

Minnesota (Al Franken, MN-Sen):

Originally posted to AdmiralNaismith on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 08:13 AM PDT.


Which are we MOST likely to see from Palin during debate?

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| 42 votes | Vote | Results

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