Sounds like Mayor Bill Finch and Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa are doing and saying all the right things reaching out to guber primary winner Dan Malloy.
The mayor and Mario aren’t in any position to cut a specific deal with Malloy. They made their deal with Ned Lamont. But the more they’re on board with Malloy the more likely they’ll get goodies for the city if Malloy becomes the first elected Democratic governor since Bill O’Neill in 1986. Yes, it’s been nearly 25 years.
Malloy would love to see the Democratic political organization one big happy family for the next three months.
The mayor and Mario rolled the dice on Ned Lamont and his $10 million campaign spending. I don’t think anyone expected Malloy to cruise to a double-digit win. Today, Malloy’s in a pretty good spot. He’ll have $6 million of public money to spend over the next three months. I don’t sense, however, that the Malloy folks are taking anything for granted. Unaffiliated voters in Connecticut are in a sour mood. But will they warm up to Republican nominee Tom Foley? And how much of his own moolah will he spend? And how much of the effective negative attack on his business downsizing by primary opponent Michael Fedele will stick with independent voters? It certainly stuck with some Republicans.
The person the mayor and Mario should be worried about is Congressman Jim Himes. Several political operatives have told me the past day that polling numbers, beyond the one OIB posted Thursday, show Jimmy’s in trouble. That means two things. One, Republican Dan Debicella will be the beneficiary of lots more money as Republicans smell blood. Two, the Himes campaign will try to turn Debicella into a political pariah.
Jimmy will have enough dough to make his case. He’s begun his electronic outreach framing himself as New England’s most independent congressman. Translation, we’re running as far away as we can from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who does not poll well in Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District. Debicella, raised in Bridgeport, has begun to introduce himself to Fairfield County voters. The big battle ground is unaffiliated voters who’ve grown weary of Washington spending. The Bridgeport turnout two years ago with Barack on the ballot was just shy of 60 percent. Many inspired first time voters came out to vote. And many of them will stay home in November. I’d be surprised if the general election turnout hits 40 percent in Bridgeport. That means the focus must be on quality. By the way the Democratic primary turnout in Bridgeport was a whopping 14.56 percent, according to Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz. The city’s GOP turnout was 22 percent. City voter turnout was at the bottom of state performance. SuBy had projected a statewide turnout above 40 percent. The actual turnout for the primary was under 30 percent.
Jimmy must, in addition to making independent voters feel more comfortable, weigh in hard in Bridgeport about what his first two years have meant to Park City voters–stimulus, health care, Congress Street Bridgeport removal, job training loot–and what another two years will mean. Debicella, of course, will try to undercut that message: the Democratic solution to everything is just print money. Where has that gotten you? How about letting you keep more of what you earn?
Strap in. This will be some fight.
Sail The Sound
Saturday, September 11, 2010
3:30 pm–7:00 pm
Aboard the Bridgeport/Port Jefferson Ferry
Great food, entertainment and live music on a leisurely sail around Long Island Sound.
All proceeds will benefit the SWIM’s Breast Cancer Programs.
Tickets: $50 (includes beer, wine and soda)
Adults 21 and over
Tickets must be reserved in advance
Register online at www.swimacrossthesound.org or contact St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation at (203)576-5451 for additional information.