The Trump Factor? Bridgeport Election Day Turnout Largest In Decades

The raw city turnout for the November 6 general election nearly hit 30,000 voters making it the highest showing in a midterm since 1982 when Democrat Bill O’Neill defeated Republican Lew Rome for governor, according to the head moderator’s certified report from the vote tally and a review of Bridgeport’s voting history on the Connecticut Secretary of the State website.

According to the moderator’s report, 29,759 names were checked as having voted, equaling about a 40 percent turnout, the highest in decades. Urban areas never vote as potently by percentage as the suburbs, and that was the case on election day, but comparing apples to apples something bit to the core of Bridgeport voters that had not inspired them in a long time for a midterm.

And that inspiration was likely Donald Trump, combined with the state Democratic organization’s energy level to the task.

In 2016 Trump was something of a one-man turnout machine in key battleground states that forged his improbable election to the presidency. Two years later Trump’s policies and inflammatory rhetoric touched a reversal of fortune as Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives.

In Connecticut, urban, rural and suburban districts alike juiced turnout. On election day, irrespective of the rain at times, city political operatives marveled at the Bridgeport turnout in all areas of the city.

Across Connecticut, given the state’s fiscal doldrums after eight years of Democratic Governor Dan Malloy, it seemed like a year for a Republican to replace him in the open seat. Republican Bob Stefanowski came out of nowhere to win the GOP primary in August. His general election outreach, however, was flaccidly one note: I’ll cut your taxes, with little policy specificity to win over enough voters.

Democrat Ned Lamont, riding huge pluralities in urban areas, also played well in traditionally Republican Fairfield County towns where electors didn’t buy into Stefanowski as a candidate as well as disgust with the level of discourse from Trump. As a result a couple of long-serving Republican state senators in Fairfield County were defeated.

See moderator’s report of Bridgeport tally below:



  1. Well, one has to give The Donald credit for something. He has pissed off so many registered voters they turned out en masse to put a check on his authoritarian tendencies.

  2. For one, I am pleased and proud for those who got up and voted for a major urban change. Perhaps it was Trump’s daily repetition of lies, or distracting stories to keep eyes away from what was really happening, to lack of respect for military service and actual public service in other realms? When you couple our bottom five State financial performance for several years, with a lazy campaign for State offices with out priorities and positions on the top ranking, it almost seemed like more distraction and a wish to get it over. Finally, to the extent that women responded to the misogyny early and often with marches and candidacies and perhaps people of color responded to the “white supremacy” offerings of the guy with the red tie and orange hair, and the 2018 motto: DEFEAT HATE – VOTE we may find a gut check rationale. This was visceral. To the extent we are alive with hopes, expectations and living reasons that others wish to keep us from, we must be active in the public square. Look for practitioners who welcome you to the OPEN table to listen, to ACCOUNTABLE record keeping, each period following the previous, on numbers and activities that matter ultimately, not distractions, and TRANSPARENT so that one can find what one is seeking, often. Oh, yes, the records should be fully HONEST, as well. Time will tell.

  3. I think the defeat of the Republicans was as much about the party as it was about 45. I believe that people were aghast that the party of 45 hadn’t said one thing about his reprehensible and misogynistic behavior, his hateful vitriol and his attack on the press and said nary a word about it. America sent a clear message, you can support the president and America without supporting hatred and if you don’t say that it’s wrong, immoral and unjust then your silence is acceptance of his behavior.

  4. Donald: I would ditto that… The R’s showed no inclination to rein-in the dangerous irrationality and hate of the Trump agenda… They seem either intimidated or enamored of him — both, disgusting and repulsive positions for officials elected and sworn to pursue the common good and upholding of the Constitution/rule of law… And Stephanowski’s policy lock-step with Trump, as well as his lack of any planned approach to address Connecticut’s glaring economic development needs in the context of his apparent disconnection with Connecticut’s fiscal reality — along with his Pay-Day Loan Company background — helped to scare away the rational voters of the state and motivate disgusted electors to get out to vote against the possibility of total, R-born disaster … This election, unfortunately, was probably much more about fear than hope… We have to be thankful that it gave us a largely hopeful outcome…

    1. Jeff, I agree with you and Don and it’s really sad to people like David Walker who mean well but they refuse to speak out. The Republican Party is now a white male southern political party that has given up it’s name and character. The women’s Resistance March on Jan. 21 was the largest protest in American history is when white females realize that they messed up by not voting. Black females have never supported 45 at anytime going back to the Central Park Five in 1989 and that’s why 45 is always attacking black female reporters and black female congresswomen. The union hating governor Scott Walker lost, the three states that put 45 into office, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania all three elected Democrats as governors, even here in Connecticut the Democrats enlarged their numbers in the State House and Senate, Republicans have sold their soul to 45.


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