In the Republican primary for Connecticut governor just about every candidate, in some form, embraced Donald Trump fearing a pariah’s collision with regimented GOP voters.
That’s the devilish balancing act: how to run right in the primary and pivot back to the center that decides general elections in Connecticut. If you don’t immunize yourself it’s hard to shake off the stink. Thus … Trumpanowski.
Considering the urban turnout as well as GOP defections in Fairfield County towns that usually go Republican, it was enough for Democrat Ned Lamont to defeat Bob Stefanowski irrespective of an electorate seasick from eight years of Dan Malloy’s rocky economy. Democrats now have significant majorities in the General Assembly.
Former Congressman Chris Shays knows all about electoral tsunamis. In 2008, the then-incumbent from Bridgeport won 14 of the 17 communities in Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District. Democrat Jim Himes ran up remarkable numbers from Barack Obama’s presence at the top of the ticket, in Bridgeport, Stamford and Norwalk. It was enough for victory and vanquished the last Republican U.S. representative from New England.
Shays weighs in on the Trump factor in a story by the Connecticut Mirror.
“It began to be about God, guns and gays, and the obscene image of Trump appeal to white nationalists. Donald Trump has very harsh words about anybody who criticizes him. I never heard a harsh word from him about the far right and white supremacists.”
It has Connecticut party insiders looking down the road wondering what’s next in the 2020 presidential year. Nationally, with Democrats controlling the House of Representatives and Trump mired in a toxic stew of investigations, many self-inflicted, it’s going to be messy.
“We have a president that is such a lightning rod,” said House Minority Leader Themis Klarides. “This is no longer northeastern Republicans versus the national GOP.”
Full CT Mirror story here.