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Wealthy Connecticut 'Gold Coast' Makes Big Push for Romney


Although Connecticut is considered to be a “deep blue” state, its last two governors were Republicans (kind of), and most voters did not vote for its current governor, Working Families Party member and Democrat Dannel Malloy. Without that election’s third party candidate (have to watch out for those), who lost the Republican primary, it is likely that Republican Tom Foley would be the current governor of the Constitution State. Nevertheless, Connecticut’s longstanding Democratic legislature, friend to public sector unions and welfare recipients alike, gives it that bright blue hue on the electoral map. In 2008, the state went to Barack Obama, 61% to John McCain’s 38% share.

However, many Wall Street executives who sleep in Fairfield County, affectionately referred to as Connecticut’s “Gold Coast,” are digging into their pockets to support Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign. According to the Hartford Courant, Mr. Romney visited lower Fairfield County, just a brief train ride into New York City, five times within the past six months, to collect more than $1 million in campaign contributions.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, by the end of the third quarter of 2011, Mr. Romney had over $32 million raised, with only 10% coming from small, individual donors. Comparatively, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich had 48% and 43% of campaign funds, respectively, from small donor donations.

New Canaan, Connecticut, and two areas of Greenwich, Connecticut are among the ten highest in the nation of zip codes contributing to the Romney campaign. The others are wealthy areas of New York City and one from Houston, Texas. Three of the same New York City zip code areas were in the top ten in the nation that contributed to Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008.

Seeming to wear a coat of “teflon” where media criticism is concerned, Mr. Romney has attended, without detection, both large soirees in Connecticut mansions as well as intimate dinners with big-time donors, such as banking heir Matthew Mellon.

Gov. Romney has also mounted an on-the-ground campaign in Connecticut, complete with a busload of volunteers who headed to nearby New Hampshire for the primary there. The Courant reports that none of the other GOP candidates have launched a similar effort in the state. Much of the fundraising effort for Gov. Romney has been performed by former Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley, state Sen. L. Scott Frantz, investor Donald Miller, former U.S. Ambassador to France Craig Stapleton, former Bear Stearns executive Douglas R. Korn, and entrepreneur David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue Airways and longtime friend of Mr. Romney.

Gov. Romney has other ties in Connecticut. Mark Nielsen, a former Danbury state senator, later became Mr. Romney’s chief legal counsel and then his chief of staff when Mr. Romney was governor of Massachusetts. “Clearly, Connecticut has been a terrific fundraising state for Gov. Romney,” said Mr. Nielsen. “Romney has rounded up all the significant fundraisers in Connecticut.”

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