With thousands of customers still without power in Connecticut in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, residents are angry with utility companies and their elected officials for the slow return to normal life. Frustrations are particularly high in a state that suffered two major storms last year as well, with what appears to be little in the way of recovery improvement from past experiences.
While the frustration level of Connecticut citizens is running high, however, so, too, is the anxiety level of their predominantly Democrat officials. The question on their minds: How will Hurricane Sandy affect the election on Tuesday?
Generally considered to be a “deep blue” state, Connecticut has been flirting with the GOP recently, most notably in its U.S. Senate race, which has been viewed of late as a toss-up between Congressman Chris Murphy (D-WFP) and former WWE executive Linda McMahon (R-Ind.), and in a close congressional race between Republican Andrew Roraback and Democrat Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT).
Despite Democrat-leaning Public Policy Polling’s final survey in the state showing Murphy with a 52-43 advantage, McMahon’s campaign says that its own internal polling demonstrates that she has consistently been ahead by one or two points.
If Murphy indeed has a nine-point advantage, then why are Democrats still sending him help? On Saturday, help came in the form of free contraception maven Sandra Fluke, who joined Murphy in Middletown to speak to about three dozen party activists. Murphy, has tried to keep hold of the “women’s vote” by emphasizing that he believes life begins at birth. Claiming to doubt McMahon’s moderate pro-choice position, Fluke taunted, “I’ve seen some of the crap that Linda McMahon is pulling.”
And if Sandra Fluke didn’t do the trick, President Obama’s first television ad for a 2012 Senate candidate, Chris Murphy, was served up next.
Regardless of the outcome, it’s clear that the national Democrats are continuing to spend more money than they ever imagined in deep blue Connecticut. Even before Sandy struck, Murphy was in a bind, and now that storm-ravaged residents are angry, Democrats likely are showing signs of increased anxiety about the effects of the hurricane on their get-out-the-vote effort.