Susan Bigelow
Dan Malloy and Tom Foley waged one of the tightest gubernatorial elections in recent memory, with the final result coming down to only a few thousand votes. At this time Malloy seems to be the unofficial winner, though major questions remain. So, how did all this unfold? The election map here, assembled from unofficial AP reports, has some of the answers (note: there are no results available to me at this time for New Fairfield, Oxford and Ridgefield, those areas are blank on the map).

Click here to view a larger image of the map.

Foley made up a lot of ground on Malloy over the past month, and it looks like at least some of that ground came from suburban voters in traditionally Democratic areas. Note the split in the Hartford suburbs from north to south: the southern suburbs were a lot more likely to support Foley. Even the usually reliably-Democratic inner ring burbs were more Republican than usual in the south—Wethersfield went for Foley.

The pockets of Malloy support are small, clustered close in near the cities, near UCONN and in the northwest corner of the state. The western half of the state, especially the small towns, is bright red with strong Foley support.

There are obviously a lot of crossover voters, who supported Democrats in other races for Congress and U.S. Senate, among Foley’s supporters. Malloy’s failure to reach these suburban voters nearly cost him this unofficial win, but perhaps the presence of two Democratic presidents in the state last weekend, plus a late decision to keep Bridgeport polls open to make up for a ballot shortage, helped him hold on.

Some other things to note here: Danbury seems to have followed its mayor, Mark Boughton, and supported the GOP. Also, the contrasts between towns seem especially high this year. A huge majority of towns went for the candidate they supported by 10% or more, noted here by the darker colors.

This map shows us the barest minimum that a Democrat needs to do in order to win a statewide race: win big in the cities, and put together enough votes in the inner suburbs and other traditionally liberal parts of the state. This is what Malloy seems to have accomplished at this hour: a bare minimum squeaker of a win.

If Malloy is declared the official winner, all Connecticut Republicans will have to show for their part of the huge national GOP wave will be closer losing races against Democrats, and a number of state legislative pickups.

Susan Bigelow is the former owner/author of She lives in Enfield with her wife and cats.

Susan Bigelow is an award-winning columnist and the founder of CTLocalPolitics. She lives in Enfield with her wife and their cats.

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