The Nutmeg State will soon be under new leadership in the form of a new governor. With the Connecticut gubernatorial election date of November 6 quickly approaching, candidates from both major parties are tirelessly campaigning in hopes of taking office next January.
Business executive and Democrat Ned Lamont was nominated on August 14, easily beating Joe Ganim; a report from The Associated Press stated that Lamont led by 70 points with 11 percent of precincts reporting. Republican Bob Stefanowski, a former banking executive, also won the nomination back in August. In an upset victory, Stefanowski defeated Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, as well as three other Republican candidates.
The Connecticut gubernatorial election has proven to be an intriguing point of discussion nationally, with coverage from outlets such as Vox, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times all closely following the race. This may be due to the fact that the Republican candidate Stefanowski might have a significant chance of winning office in what has been considered a traditionally blue state.
As to why Stefanowski’s chances are higher than usual, many analysts and outlets have pointed to the shortcomings of current Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy, whose 71% disapproval rating placed him as the second most unpopular governor in the country. With Malloy being a Democrat, it is believed that a hard Republican pushback is on the horizon, fueled by residents’ disapproval of the incumbent governor.
However, the complexity of the situation does not end there. The number of registered Democrat voters in the state of Connecticut far outweighs that of Republicans. Additionally, all five congressional districts are under Democrat control.
The question that analysts, outlets, and citizens alike are all debating is whether or not the infuriated Republican voter base will possess enough influence to upset Lamont come November.
The debate has sparked discussion here on campus, as many in-state students at Sacred Heart University will be eligible to vote in the upcoming election this fall.
“I think that normally a ‘blue wave’ of voters would guarantee another democratic governor, but Malloy’s disapproval rating could very well lead to voters wanting to flip the script and try different ways of revitalizing the state economy,” said senior political science major Mike Camilleri, a Connecticut resident. “I think people predicted a landslide victory for the Democrats in the presidential election because of conservatives’ reluctance to share their viewpoints because so many dislike the figurehead of the party in Donald Trump. I believe a similar scenario is plausible in Connecticut.”
The dislike for Malloy is extremely prevalent when discussing the topic of the election, so much so that it seems almost impossible to avoid.
Mike Girolametti, a junior sports management major, is a lifelong resident of Ridgefield, CT.
“As a Connecticut resident, I believe Governor Malloy has consistently failed to make positive strides for the betterment of the state and its residents,” said Girolametti. “This has resulted in Connecticut residents pleading for change and begging for better results. Malloy has failed us time and time again; the fact that he has one of the highest disapproval ratings in office highlights the disgust residents have for his administration.”
Ned Lamont recently participated in an hour-long debate with independent candidate Oz Griebel at the University of St. Joseph on September 5. State income tax and investing in education were some of the main topics discussed. Bob Stefanowski did not participate in the debate, but reports from WSFB state that his campaign has confirmed his participation in five upcoming debates.
Registered voters in the state of Connecticut will be able to vote online via their smartphone or in-person at their local polling center. The polls will remain open from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 6. For more information on voting, voter registration, or voter rights, visit the official government website of the state of Connecticut at portal.ct.gov.