Connecticut Republicans On The GOP Election Wreckage: It’s Trump’s Fault

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.



  1. Towns like fairfield Redding ridgefield voted for Foley in 2014 and voted for lamont in 2018. And cities like bridgeport turned out in huge numbers almost presidential like numbers. All this was because of trump!! Suburbs and cities are voting democrat and rural areas are voting Republican. That’s a losing receipe for Republicans.

    1. Sorry donj………………….
      Your theory doesn’t hold water.
      My suburb of Trumbull voted Republican with the exception of Marilyn Moore.

      The Republicans lost the election by infighting, a 5 way primary and no GOTV effort on election day.
      By 9:30am the Republicans had pulled their poll checkers (Dems stayed til 3PM) and were not calling the faithful to make sure they got to the polls.

      1. I know but the fact is Republicans all over the country lost most suburbs that they usually win. Redding Ridgefield fairfield are all towns that Republicans usually win in gov elections and they lost. Lamont flipped all of these towns to blue. And he also won cities by a wider margin than malloy. Republicans are losing college educated suburban towns all across the country and If there not losing them they are underpreforming in them compared to 8 years ago. I for one voted straight democrat because of trump and I’m a registered Republican.

        1. Also Republicans lost by over 44,000 votes in a small state like Connecticut. It was not that close at all. States like Florida which had over 8 million voters it came down to just a 10,000 vote margin for senator and a 32,000 for governor. Stefanwanki underperformed in trumbull compared to Foley as Foley got 57 percent of the vote there and stefanwoski got 55 percent.

  2. The Connecticut Republican Party should return to it’s roots of Stewart McKinney and Chris Shays and CT. Republicans need to outright dump Trump. The CT Republican Party should return to it’s frugal “Connecticut Yankee” roots. It should return to it’s “libertarian” rather than the Neanderthal Social Positions of Lieutenant Governor candidate,Joe Markley. Trump will be gone sooner or later. (I hope sooner). The CT. Republican Party has to exist beyond Trump. J.R.Romano…did you hear what I just said.

  3. There’s no need for the Connecticut’s Republican Party to reinvent wheel, the Washington Post on March 18, 2013 reported “the Republican Party autopsy” after losing to President Obama for the second time. The Republican Party on all levels, local, state and national there is NO plan to bring blacks into the party and NO plans for big cities like New Haven, Hartford and Bridgeport. Here is a portion of that “autopsy.”

    Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus gave a blistering assessment of the GOP’s problems on Monday based on the results of a months-long review, and he called on the party to reinvent itself and officially endorse immigration reform.

    Referring to the November election, Priebus said at a breakfast meeting: “There’s no one reason we lost. Our message was weak; our ground game was insufficient; we weren’t inclusive; we were behind in both data and digital; and our primary and debate process needed improvement.”

    “So, there’s no one solution,” he said. “There’s a long list of them.”

    Among the report’s 219 prescriptions: a $10 million marketing campaign, aimed in particular at women, minorities and gays; a shorter, more controlled primary season and earlier national convention; and creation of an open data platform and analytics institute to provide research for Republican candidates.

    The $10 million outreach effort to includes hiring national political directors for Hispanic, Asian-Pacific and African American voters and elevating minorities within the party. “We’ve done a real lousy job sometimes of bragging about the success that we’ve had” with minorities, in particular Hispanic candidates, Priebus said. To target African Americans, he plans to launch a pilot project in 2013 mayoral races aimed at identifying and turning out potential supporters in urban areas.

    “The way we communicate our principles isn’t resonating widely enough,” he said. “Focus groups described our party as ‘narrow-minded,’ ‘out of touch,’ and ‘stuffy old men.’ The perception that we’re the party of the rich continues to grow.”

    In response, his report urges Republicans to “blow the whistle at corporate malfeasance and attack corporate welfare” as well as big CEO retirement packages. It also suggests that there should be less focus in the party on Ronald Reagan, saying that “Republicans have comfortably remained the Party of Reagan without figuring out what comes next.”

    “Republicans have comfortably remained the Party of Reagan without figuring out what comes next.”

    The party will make a concerted effort to elevate more women, Priebus said. He suggested that some “biologically stupid” remarks by Republican candidates turned off women voters. Female surrogates should be elevated, the report says, and women must be promoted within the RNC and included in messaging discussions ” to represent some of the unique concerns that female voters may have.”

    The report tells Republicans they must “change our tone” on certain social issues to win over younger voters and reach out to gay Americans. But the authors do not offer a specific policy prescription on gay marriage as they did on immigration.

  4. Stefanowski won where he was supposed to win. His suburban win margins were not generous enough to combat the Blue/Pink Wave. CT Republicans got their clocks cleaned because they have predominantly become rabid with hate. Too rabid for reason. Republican legislators may see it, but neither they nor the state party thought that it was critically important. Willing to blow it off? Yes, they were. Willing to minimize reprehensible postures that have now become the norm for the Republican Party? Yes, they were. Good fiscal ideas or not, people come first; people and active humanity, both of which they appear to be ultra-willing to ignore in favor of money-focused messaging. When Cities turn out, they turn out blue and boy did the Cities show up.
    They did this to themselves by assuming unaffiliated voters shared their new normal posture of “money before humanity” Guess what? They either didn’t swing right, or they didn’t show up.
    They did this to themselves by not making the party attractive to young people, you know, the ones who will be the boots on the ground for a field operation? Those young people?
    They did this to themselves by not taking into consideration that the average Republican voter, even in CT, is supporting Trump’s egregious far right -behavior. The result of their botched messaging and bungled strategy was a Stefanowski primary win and not the far better choice for a shot at the Governor’s Mansion, Mark Boughton.
    They did it to themselves by not denouncing Trump early enough, and firmly enough.
    They did it to themselves. Trump is not to blame. The Republican party’s failure to strategize to REALISTICALLY win an election, based REAL information that was readily available to them, not radicalized IDEALS, is to blame. Republicans needed to send out messaging the would cause the average Republican voter to re-interpret Trump Politics just enough to choose a more moderate Candidate in their primary. Trump is Trump. What matters is how he is dealt with.
    Ultimately the cacophony of mistakes the Republican Party in CT made in this mid- term, contributed to the Blue Wave. That, and their continuous failure to choose the most electable Candidates in their primaries. I believe Stefanowski was easier to beat that Boughton would have been, and for that I am truly grateful to the Republicans who voted for Bob in the Primary.

  5. Let me give a real short solution for the Republican Party in Connecticut, just take a class picture of the elected Republicans in the State House and Senate and also the delegates at the Republican convention and answer this one question, does these pictures look like the voters in Connecticut?

  6. We all saw the town by town graphic representations of the red versus blue votes.

    If Connecticut had an electoral college system, there would be Republican governors.

    The ‘wave’ may have been blue and pink, but it was the votes in the handful of urban centers that, as usual, resulted in the plurality for Democrats.

      1. Tom just gave a defining reason to get rid of the Electoral College. The historical origin of The Electoral College was to assuage Southern States that had less people( because American Negroes-Slaves were not counted as people or at least discounted as human beings). Your statement,in fact,show that there is an absolute need to get rid of the Electoral College. We must abide by the Majority rules but with respect to the minority. Historically,The Electoral College in presidential Elections played a very small and inconsequential role. It happened in once or twice in the first two hundred years of the United States of America. Now,we have seen it twice in a short time;the election between George Bush II and Al Gore and between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. In both cases, the “loser” got more popular votes than the winner based on a system to assuage slavery states 200+ years ago. To use the same argument towards looking at the most recent Connecticut gubernatorial election is to use a system(electoral college) which was used to protect and promulgate slavery. It has no place in Connecticut Electoral decisions. …. Most respectfully.Mr. White.

  7. Frank, the Founding Fathers adopted the electoral college approach so that the presidential election was not skewed in favor of States such as Virginia. The logic of that approach is still valid and helps to avoid electing a president based on popular appeal in large states such as New York and California and assures that the election reflects the views and values of the country as a whole.

    Ron Mackey must have found a website with witty sounding expressions but does not know when to use them.

  8. Tom White is still being white, the constitution had to be amended to allow blacks the right to vote, the right for blacks to vote is still not a guarantee to blacks. The electoral college never considered blacks and females voting and of course that’s ok with White because he knows that the Republican Party can’t attract black voters along with Hispanic voters. Every person vote does NOT count with the white system.


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