Connecticut Serves Merely as ATM to Obama and Romney

Today  Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan has a busy day with three events in three towns in a state where a tight senate race could tip the balance of power in Washington.   He is being welcomed by one of the state’s most prominent Jewish businessmen, who has opened his home to raise money for a ticket with a Mormon and a Catholic.  

It is a state that is “hemorraghing jobs” according to a recent study, and the unemployment rate is at 9%, above the national rate of 8.1%.   A recent poll found this state’s Democratic governor is one of the least popular governors in the country.     Barron’s called it the worst run state in the country.  

It is a state where President Obama has not campaigned, and in the last Quinnipiac poll,  he trailed Mitt Romney by 5 points in the “who do trust more with the economy” question.      Just this week, this state’s supreme court ruled unanimously against the Democratic Secretary of the State, saying Republicans will get the top line on the ballot in November.

All of these factors set up a pretty compelling narrative, that could make positive headlines for the Romney Ryan campaign.    Yet in a stunning decision, Ryan will make no effort to recruit voters in this state during his 8 or so hours here, and no effort to make even the most feeble attempt to get its seven electoral votes.   There will be no public rallies, no visits to a factory decimated by the economy that is standard operating procedure for a campaign,  and absolutely no media coverage.    

That state is my state, Connecticut.     Ryan’s visit to the Constitution State is his first trip to the state as vice-presidential candidate, and will be almost as mysterious as his clandestine trip here in August when he flew into Hartford to drive to Boston to secretly be offered the running mate invitation from Mitt Romney, to avoid the media at the airport in Boston.   

As soon as we learned of Ryan’s visit to Connecticut this weekend, I began putting in requests for an interview to be aired on Face the State.   After all, two of my friends in the business not only interviewed Ryan recently, but the Romney campaign actually offered the interviews and served their candidate up on a platter.   Several other reporters received similar treatment.   

Why them and not me, or any of my colleagues in the Connecticut press corps?    It seems my friends’ viewers are more important to Romney and Ryan than mine.   Those friends are reporters in Ohio and Florida.    

Several leading Republicans in Connecticut have privately grumbled about the Romney campaign’s treatment of a state that has helped Romney outraise President Obama here by nearly a 2 to 1 margin.   This weekend,  Nutmeg Republicans will raise even more money to be spent on television advertising in states far away.   In return,  state Republicans won’t get a bit of help electing their candidates who need every possible break to win here.     At least one told me it is offensive for a candidate to ask someone to shell out up to $10,000 for a picture, while refusing to meet with voters and the media.   This Republican believes Ryan’s spurning of the Connecticut electorate and Republican slate, sends a message to voters that a Republican victory here is a lost cause not worth fighting for,  and this person decided to pass on the Ryan fundraiser.   

I get why the campaign doesn’t want any spend any money in a state they feel they can’t win, but Ryan is going to be here anyway.   Why take a pass at free television on the most watched tv day of the week?     The Giants, Jets, and Patriots are all on tv, meaning lots of eyes could have been seeing the newscasters said “Paul Ryan campaigned in Connecticut today.”      Ryan might get someone who will say “I’m going to vote for the only guy who cared enough to come here and ask for my vote,”   or maybe even inspire someone sitting at home to get out the checkbook.     That’s exactly why both Romney, Ryan, Obama and Biden are spending so much time with retail politics in other states.    

In fact,  yesterday, Ryan held a rally in New Hampshire in an effort to get its paltry four electoral votes because 100 miles away the voters are so much more important.   The Romney campaign offered us the opportunity to drive to New Hampshire to cover that rally.      Thanks, but we really want to cover Ryan while he is in our state.

By shutting out voters,  and the media, viewers will instead be seeing this on the news, “Protestors greeted Paul Ryan as he raised money inside mansions in three exclusive towns.”   

Sure, the most recent poll by Public Policy Polling had Romney 13 points behind Obama here in Connecticut, but the most recent Quinnipiac poll had the margin at 7.   

To be fair, President Obama has also given the “no thanks, see ya later” wave to Connecticut voters.   His recent fundraiser in Westport cost taxpayers thousands of dollars in security, and yet there was no public event, and no media interviews.    Democrats are gleefully confident the president will carry Connecticut, and Obama surrogates can be found in every statewide office and in the congressional delegation, Joe Lieberman being the lone holdout.  

Still,  63% of registered voters in Connecticut are not Democrats.   The biggest bloc of the 1.2 million voters here are registered as unafilliated.    The last Q poll had Romney winning among the unaffiliated.  And Connecticut is a fiercely independent state, that has bucked convention before.  We elected independent Lowell Weicker  governor  22 years ago, and Democrats chose Jerry Brown over Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential primary.  Ask Ned Lamont, being a liberal Democrat does not guarantee you a win in a Connecticut November.

  It would seem to me, the Romney campaign would at least want to try while they are here in the land of steady habits.    If you are going to forfeit the game, why show up at the stadium?     We know the answer:  money.

Read about my quest to get an interview with President Obama:


17 replies »

  1. I would like for Face the Nation to address the issue of government corruption that I have been battling in The State of CT for several years! Read My public face book page notes, I just posted a copy of the 5 page letter I mailed to President Obama, The Justice Dept./US Attorney and the FBI. I am demanding a Grand Jury Investigation which is the Constitutional method to investigate government corruption. I have asked President Obama and a Superior Court Judge, both who are legally able to request a Grand Jury, to order one!


  2. The Senate race is very close and while I as at the Democratic Convention there was talk that either Michele Obama or Joe Biden would make a stop here the final weekend before election day like President Obama did in 2010 for Jim Himes.


  3. This state is unfortunately for O. R and R need to focus on the states that can WIN. CT is waaay to liberal and has too many dems for R and R to put any time in. I dont blame them. I wouldnt spend much if any time where i know i couldnt win.


    • So well stated, Rebecca. The obscenity Of Chase’s grotesque mansion juxtaposed with Hartford’s great poverty is overpowering. We will be coming out to Chase’s part of Albany Avenue tomorrow to protest the madness the one percenters are inflicting on the American people.


      • Rebecca and James, thanks for your comments. Out of fairness, I want to point out both parties generally have fundraisers in the large homes of wealthy people. When President Obama came to Westport, the donation was higher than the Ryan event and was held at Harvey Weinstein’s home, hardly small. It was also a short drive to immense poverty.


    • I totally agree, Dennis, and if it was Joe Biden coming to town, I’d be protesting with the same vigor. It’s not the candidate, it’s the power of money in politics.


  4. Dennis
    I agree with your very well written article as I know you have tried to be granted an interview with Ryan. It makes no sense to many attending as I am that Ryan will not meet with you of all Reporters.Its not over till the Fat Lady sings, hope you have the time and a TV crew standing by.


  5. Get over it. This is just another typical political spin to try to sway voters away from Romney/Ryan. Seriously the unemployment is awful and the state is a mess … what will you do? Vote back in Mr. Obama and his clan? Continue to blame Busch? I will vote for HOPE and CHANGE – I HOPE to CHANGE the person currently in the white house.


  6. It would make good sense to hold a Romney rally in Connecticut. But that’s the reason why it probably won’t happen.

    A braintrust of Connecticut patriots has identified Enfield as the ideal town in which to showcase the Romney-Ryan team.

    Logistics: Enfield is located less than 15 minutes away from Bradley International Airport, which would facilitate the quick appearance and departure of the candidates. Our Town Green is built for political theatre– the Enfield mall is located two blocks away from it, supplying thousands of parking spaces for rally attendees. Additionally, the Town Green is located less than .25 miles away from I-91. This is exceedingly convenient for out-of-town supporters. Due to our geographic location on the Massachusetts border, the rally will draw supporters from Connecticut and Massachusetts.

    Loyalty: Enfield is one of a handful of Connecticut towns that supporter Gov. Romney in BOTH 2008 and 2012. We saw what Romney did in Massachusetts and wished it was happening here in the Constitution state.

    Political: In statewide elections, Enfield is generally a bell-weather because the percentage of registered Democrats, Republicans, and Unaffiliateds is very close to the statewide percentage. http://connecticutlocalpolitics.blogspot.com/2006/04/enfield-center-of-political-universe_20.html Additionally, there is a large population of Reagan Democrats in Enfield who voted for Barack Obama and have turned on him. Anti-incumbent sentiment is high here and Romney-Ryan are prime beneficiaries of it. The anti-incumbent sentiment is so pervasive that our longtime state representative, Kathy Tallarita was primaried out of her seat by a fellow-democrat.

    The Republican Party is ascendant in Enfield– we have a Republican Mayor and Republican Council that have kept taxes flat for five years. After decades of Democratic dominance, the tide is turning in a significant way.

    Winning big in Enfield is key to Linda McMahon’s victory strategy. Murphy completely skipped Enfield during the primaries and has not made a single appearance in town. If Romney-Ryan make an appearance in town, it will help gin up voter turnout to the benefit of Linda McMahon.

    Demographics: Enfield is the capital of North Central Connecticut and the capital of the 2nd Congressional District. We’re the most populous town in Connecticut’s most rural Congressional District. We stand atop Connecticut’s agricultural heartland and are thus a key location for the party’s base-turnout efforts. Winning the hearts and minds of white working-class voters is key to a Romney victory in Connecticut. Most residents have ethnic immigrant roots. Enfield also has a very dominant and active Catholic population that would respond well to a Romney visit, particularly given Obama’s front assault on the Catholic Church. The demographics of surrounding communities are similar.

    We’re a large suburb with a small-town atmosphere, where people will be exceedingly receptive to a Romney visit.

    In the past four years, I have personally registered over five-hundred new Republican voters– showing the intensity of interest here in town.

    Dominic Alaimo

    (860) 748-8617


    • Without a doubt, Mr Alaimo is the most brilliant political strategist in Connecticut. Excluding his talent from any Republican senior advisory board shows a lack of good judgement.


  7. Connecticut has great poverty and high unemployment because it has been run primarily by Democrats. Even after bringing in the highest taxes ever Gov.Malloy is set to ask for MORE taxes. Democrats refuse to accept reality and think that if they just wished a little harder then maybe their fantasy of higher taxes producing more revenue would defy all previous experience and come true.
    You lower the tax rates, businesses start up because they know they won’t be taxed out of business, they hire more [people. Those people pay taxes and the state ends up with more money from a lower tax rate. Proven system! Worked for JFK. Worked for Reagan. Worked for Bush.


  8. Democrats can’t admit to being wrong about anything! Former leaders of the failed nation, The Soviet Union, had the intellect to admit their failures. Democrats do not!


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