The last time Barack Obama touched down in Connecticut’s most populous city four years ago, nearly 10,000 supporters jammed the Webster Bank Arena leading to an Election Day ballot shortage three days later that set off a frenzy to accommodate angry voters. A White House spokesperson confirmed Thursday afternoon that Obama will visit Bridgeport Wednesday to campaign for Governor Dan Malloy, tangled in a close reelection fight with Republican Tom Foley. Possible locations for Obama’s visit include Central High School, Webster Bank Arena and Klein Memorial Auditorium.
Malloy’s campaign has rebounded in recent weeks after trailing in polls. Foley had built a lead based largely on dissatisfaction with tax increases and the direction of the state. Malloy now has a fragile single-digit aggregate lead in polls released this week. The Malloy campaign has pounded Foley’s wealth–highlighting yachts and lavish vehicles worth more than the average homes–as disconnected from the means of regular citizens.
Foley and his campaign advisers have helped Malloy’s cause illustrating disengagement from the reality of state issues. For instance, Foley’s education plan calls for stripping funds from low-performing public schools. Malloy pounced on that rationale, responding Foley thinks he can close public schools like all those mills he shut down that filled his pockets at worker expense. When a reporter asked Foley how he expects low-performing schools to improve if he strips funds he responded he did not know.
Turnout in Connecticut’s cities is key to offset Foley’s presumed lead in suburban towns. Malloy has kicked up his appearances in Bridgeport. He visited the city four times in a seven-day span last week taking neighborhood tours of Black Rock and the North End to promote business district improvements and upgrades for flood control.
Malloy will be back in Bridgeport several more times in the final weeks of the campaign.