Connecticut Democrats Swept State and Congressional Races but Worry Their Candidates Underperformed in Cities

Unofficial results on the Connecticut secretary of state’s website suggest Democrats beat back Republicans in state races and in the entire congressional delegation, but the state Democrat Party apparently registered concerns that Governor Ned Lamont (D) underperformed in Connecticut’s large cities, areas in which its candidates typically win easily.

Hearst reported Friday:

While Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont handily won in the big urban centers of Bridgeport and New Haven, he ran up smaller margins against his opponent, Bob Stefanowski, than he did during the pair’s first contest in 2018. Lamont’s margins also fell in New Britain, where Republicans opened a community center to make inroads with the city’s large Hispanic population.

While Lamont reportedly snatched towns such as Greenwich, New Canaan, and Southington from Republicans, his performance in the cities of Hartford and Stamford were far less than stellar.

State Democrat Party Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo said the poor turnout in Waterbury and New Haven became apparent in the afternoon on Election Day.

“I’m clueless as to why that happened, but it happened in every big city,” she said, according to Hearst. “If anything, I think the governor was so far ahead that people just didn’t think they needed to turn out.”

Black and Hispanic voters did not turn out for Lamont in the cities, reported CT Insider, and analyzed results of Lamont’s first race against GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski in 2018, compared to their race in 2022.

Why didn’t Lamont see the cities turn out for him? According to CT Insider:

The reasons: Lamont’s ground game in cities was not what it was four years ago, or perhaps enthusiasm waned amid inflation. Lamont’s refusal to raise taxes on rich residents helped him in Greenwich but might have cost him in the urban neighborhoods. We’re also seeing a national trend of Republicans vying for cities. Even former President Donald Trump saw gains in Connecticut cities in 2020 compared with 2016.

State GOP Chairman Ben Proto said some Republican candidates were able to qualify for public financing grants which gave the party spending money for campaigning in cities on the topics of crime and school choice.

“It gave us an opportunity to actually deliver our message in the cities, and I think that message resonated with folks in the cities who began to realize they were being taken for granted by Democrats,” Proto said, Hearst reported.

Still, a fair number of Republican voters say the main problem for the party is the state GOP fails to truly distinguish itself from the Democrats. While U.S. Senate candidate Leora Levy was considered by many to be a poor GOP candidate from Connecticut because of her pro-life views, Stefanowski, who touted himself a pro-abortion rights Republican, still lost to Lamont by a margin that was three times the 2018 results, if the vote count is true.

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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Ned Lamont” by Ned Lamont.


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