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A CT Special Election Takeaway: It’s Still All About Malloy

March 1, 2017 By Staff
A CT Special Election Takeaway: It’s Still All About Malloy

Democrats tried to make the CT-32 election about Donald Trump. The win for State Senator-Elect Eric Berthel (R-Watertown) proves it's still about Malloy.

Results from two special State Senate elections in Connecticut on Tuesday night left the upper chamber with the same partisan split as a day before: an even amount of Republicans (18) and Democrats (18).

Democrats had hyped their chances in the 32nd State Senate District, a conservative area of the state, because, they claimed, Connecticut voters wanted to send a message to President Donald Trump.

Republican Eric Berthel, though, won with around 55 percent of the vote.

Berthel’s big win proves that Connecticut elections are still about Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.), not the president in Washington, D.C. Here’s why.

In a Monday interview with Reclaim Connecticut, Berthel himself predicted, correctly so, that he would win on Tuesday because voters are frustrated with Gov. Malloy and Democratic leadership in Hartford:

“We have worked as hard as we possibly could have,” said Berthel. He added that he had a “great core group” helping his campaign. He also made a confident prediction: “I think we win tomorrow.”

…Still, Berthel has not taken anything for granted. He has campaigned hard for the last several weeks, with the “balance of power” at stake in the State Senate. Berthel said he came away with one conclusion from his talks with both Republicans and Democrats.

“They really do not like Dan Malloy,” Berthel said.

Berthel turned out to be right. At least for now, the focus in Connecticut politics will remain on Malloy, the budget, and Connecticut’s challenges at the state level.