Will Bridgeport Be A Kingmaker?

Tuesday’s just a day away. Are you excited?

For the first time in the years I’ve covered or managed campaigns in the city, Bridgeport could (emphasis on could) be a deciding factor in several key races, judging a preponderance of polling data. Bridgeport a kingmaker?

There was a sense based on the city’s recent turnout in gubernatorial cycles that the Democratic political organization would be hard pressed to eclipse a 30 percent turnout, roughly half of what showed in 2008 to support Barack Obama when voters were inspired and party apparatus wasn’t imperative to juice performance. The malaise changed with Barack’s Bridgeport visit. Could his visit stimulate a city turnout by five to seven percent? Possibly. There’s no measuring stick for such an appearance just days before an election. This has never happened. So it comes down to this, Dem city operatives hope to help pull enough votes to reach at least 25,000 votes citywide Tuesday. They’d feel better about pushing the turnout a few thousand more and hitting 40 percent. Is that realistic? Probably not.

Let’s say 25,000 vote. My guess is Congressman Jim Himes receives 19,000 of those votes (6000 to GOP opponent Dan Debicella) and wins the city by 13,000 (76 percent of the vote). Will it be enough to offset losses in the suburbs? Stamford and Norwalk must do their part for Himes, but those cities will not produce the differential Himes will receive in Bridgeport. They have something in those cities Bridgeport once had–a higher ratio of GOP voters. The good news for Himes is he probably starts election day with 1000 votes in the bank via absentee ballots.

None of this matters if the city turnout sucks or Debicella croaks Himes in the suburbs. Himes will get mauled in Darien and New Canaan, that’s a given, but in towns such as Westport, Fairfield and Trumbull can he hit the mid to high 40s percentage? If so, the Bridgeport goal number keeps him in the game and possibly propels. Similar for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Malloy being squeezed by Republican Tom Foley. The difference is that Malloy doesn’t have to win Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District to become governor. More than 40 percent of Connecticut’s GOP registration reside in Connecticut’s 4th and 5th Congressional Districts. Malloy can fish for votes in the three other Congressional districts with a higher proportion of Democrats. But what Himes and Malloy and Dick Blumenthal, in his quest to replace Chris Dodd in the US Senate, all have in common is staying competitive with unaffiliated voters, the largest voting bloc in the state and the reason a Democrat for governor has not been elected since 1986.

Malloy has several appearances in the city planned for Monday.

Tuesday night we’ll know. It’s a long ballot and could be a long night.



  1. I’m pumped up to the max and I’m feeling Dems are gonna do better nationwide than once thought, we are leading in early voting. Bridgeport had a buzz Saturday like I have never seen it have before; lines that went all the way to Seaside Park I’ve never seen anything like it. What I noticed was many Bpt residents showed up, many many minorities came out on Saturday. I think his turnout will juice the vote in Bpt, so many young people came out it was unbelievable. I talked to a high school buddy of mine after the event and he said he had no intention of voting on Nov 2 but after the event he said he sure is going to vote. I think turnout in Bpt will be better than 2006 and Himes will pass the 70% mark. I do not see Debicella picking up 6000 votes. If 25,0000 voters turn out I think it will be a Himes victory. I greeted Himes as I walked in. Bridgeport is going to come out strong for the Democrats just watch and see. Over the last day and a half all you see on newspapers and news channels is Himes and Obama and that will draw people to the polls. Go Jimmy and let the good Himes roll!!! A very nice guy.

  2. donj; The city is still in a coma. I don’t know what you have been reading or watching but there is no Democratic surge taking place in the country. The low end the pollsters are talking about is 55 seats in the house and 7 or 8 in the senate.
    Bridgeport will sit on its ass Tuesday and the numbers will be low.

  3. Himes’ healthcare takeover already has massive cost overruns compared to its advertised costs. Himes voted for a bill that was supposed to cost only $788 billion. Since March, the estimate has been increased by $115-125 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

    Only in Washington does one encounter the phrase “only $788 billion.” Only with followers such as Himes can Nancy Pelosi pass laws first and admit to the costs later. Only if the voters return Himes to Washington will we get more of the same fraudulent accounting of the costs of his votes, wasteful spending, and abuse of the taxpayer.

  4. Hovey states what she is going through is Bridgeport politics. What a nerve. What she is going through is Monroe pettiness and racism. She makes a point of telling us her husband is Italian and he has a temper and does not know how to talk to people.
    In all probability she does have these illegal rooms in her basement and has been avoiding her fair share of taxes. Of course her Republican counterpart the first selectman is going along with this BS. I bet she does not worry about our paying taxes when she in the tax and spend legislature.
    BTW try using your husband’s name you don’t mind cashing his Bridgeport Paycheck. Are there too many rednecks in Monroe for you to use his last name?

  5. I think your analysis of voter tally potential for 4th CD is sound. I also think Himes has to have help in Westport and Fairfield. Are asking for wins there off-the-wall? It would help fall-off in Stamford-Norwalk.

    Presidential visit and possible enthusiasm could be a game-changer in Bridgeport. Reaching that 13,000 margin for Democrats in a gubernatorial is tough in Bridgeport in recent decades. To pull it off it is on the workers below Capital Avenue and Boston Avenue–and three or four precincts above that.

    Questions: Workers, even if properly organized, are only as effective as the enthusiasm of the voters. Did the presidential visit help that much?

    My off-the-wall question: What about Greenwich? Himes is from there. His financial votes for the stimulus and other matters benefit Wall Street. Does Himes get a benefit from that?

    1. “My off-the-wall question: What about Greenwich? Himes is from there. His financial votes for the stimulus and other matters benefit Wall Street. Does Himes get a benefit from that?”

      Anyone who benefits from a soak-the-poor economic agenda knows perfectly well that they will get a better deal under the Republicans. My guess is that Himes’ vote share in each of the 17 towns in the district will not vary too much from Diane Farrell’s totals from 2006.

  6. Does anyone know why David Pia keeps bringing up the subject of partial birth abortions as he goes door-to-door in Bridgeport? The last I heard, the supreme court made this decision years ago and a local election can’t change it. Someone should tell Pia that this election has nothing to do with abortion or a woman’s right to choose. He must think Bridgeport voters don’t know any better. This election is not about abortion; it is about real issues like jobs, the economy, education, etc. I am tired of people like Pia coming into Bridgeport and treating us like we are stupid. He showed his true colors when he called us “cheaters.” God help us Bridgeporters if Pia wins. Vote MUSTO!

  7. Lennie,
    I thought we had an American Revolution in the 18th Century that deposed the royal concept. So how do you see the former “arsenal of democracy” becoming a “kingmaker?” It might produce a dud, rather than a dude.
    In the past year we have had a tornado that did damage to many trees in the area, but no “widow makers” were part of the fallen branches, blessedly.
    We have had a lot of Federal funds supposedly pledged in the last weeks of the campaign to support the candidacies of Himes and Blumenthal, one would suspect, but they have not been “wealth makers” for any people who may vote tomorrow.
    Are more people concerned about heating their homes as freezing temperatures arrive? What has happened about jobs, or is AG Blumenthal still reaching for an answer to that question? Are longer lines at the food pantries a sign of a turn for the better? Although we had as much candy or more than in recent years, the kids (and many parents) came earlier and were in greater number than recent years in memory and we ran out. Meanings … who knows, but … tomorrow evening we can see much of this settled … one way or another … and get down to the real business in public and private life … trying to maintain personal and public lives as we have known with less funds and hopefully more integrity, accountability and open process. Instead of questions about the Congress Street Bridge and funding the many phases from “stuck in time” to removal to rebuilding, let’s look at the dynamic structure of our school system and see why it takes so long to do some research and testing to show what is happening? If the suburbs are paying 80% of our school expenses every year, what do we do for the kids if the State legislature says we need to go on a diet to balance the State budget?
    The real question after tomorrow regarding the electorate is: What behavior will they be looking for from those elected? And the elected will need real courage this time around to accomplish the financial and administrative responsibilities called for by our times. The public will look for change that brings results rather than comments that ascribe blame … and we have only twelve months to see what local “knights” with intelligence, experience and valor, present themselves to the voting public to make a difference in Bridgeport from 2012 forward. Where is the female or male hero who will take up the challenge to make a difference, beyond the attractiveness of self-interest and ego, and become the CT Yankee in King Arthur’s Court for this 21st Century???

  8. My question is how many out-of-town buses brought in fillers? Where did the blonde-haired blue-eyed girls come from who were seated and “staged” right behind the podium and right behind Obama for those lovely photos we saw on the cover of the CT Post???

  9. JustMe because my daughter is blonde and blue-eyed and lives in Bpt is this the reason you quoted demographics in earlier stories because you believe Bpt is made up of only brown-skinned brown-eyed people? You’d better put your hood and cross away, you’re not playing to the nightrider audience.


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