Voters in Connecticut and three other states — Florida, Minnesota and Wisconsin head to the polls today to select candidates for House and Senate races in November. This year some of the most hotly contested and most closely watched races are right here in Connecticut:
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut voters are turning out for a summertime primary that is expected to have low turnout despite a high national profile, with four of the candidates vying for an open seat in the U.S. Senate.
Republicans and Democrats on Tuesday will choose their parties’ standard-bearers for the November general election, including hotly contested races for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.
‘‘This year, some of the most closely watched primary contests in the country are happening right here in Connecticut,’’ said Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.
It marks the second time in two years that Connecticut has had an open seat for the U.S. Senate. Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent, is retiring at the end of the year. Back in 2010, former Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd decided not to run for re-election.
Wealthy, former wrestling executive Linda McMahon is again seeking the Republican nomination and redemption for her loss in 2010 to Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal after spending $50 million. Although she won the party’s endorsement at the state convention earlier this year, she is being challenged by former U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, a moderate Republican who argues that McMahon is unqualified for the job. Meanwhile, McMahon accuses Shays of being a career politician.
Lieberman’s decision not to run for another term has had a ripple effect throughout state politics. It prompted U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy to run for the Senate. Murphy, the Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate, is facing a primary challenge from former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz.
I don’t expect any surprises in the Democrat or Republican Senate primaries Chris Murphy and Linda McMahon should both win their races by double digits.
The race for 5th congressional district is harder to gauge, I haven’t seen any polling on the Democrat or Republican races… On the Democrat side Chris Donovan was coasting to the nomination until his campaign was thrown into turmoil in June when two staffers were indicted for campaign finance violations. Donovan has continually denied any knowledge of the matter, but that might not be enough to reassure voters. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Elizabeth Esty will edge Donovan.
On the Republican side I can’t see any reason to think Andrew Roraback, the party endorsed candidate, won’t hold off his challengers.
Anyway, get out and vote!