The most striking thing about this map, perhaps, is just how different it is from the governor’s race map—and that map leads me to wonder how different the race could have been for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon. We see here a very obvious heartland of McMahon voters in the Naugatuck River Valley, lower Fairfield County, and a smattering of small towns near the Rhode Island border, but McMahon was strong almost nowhere else. The suburban towns that swing Connecticut statewide elections went heavily for Democrat U.S. Senator-elect Richard Blumenthal.
Click here for a larger version of the map.
This map shows some of the same patterns that the governor’s race map does—but swung towards the Democrat instead of the Republican. Obviously an awful lot of Connecticut voters chose a split ticket. The repudiation of McMahon, and the lack of any kind of mandate for whoever turns out to be our next governor (likely Democrat Dan Malloy at this time), are clear.
Connecticut voters seem to have sent the message that they want their representation in Washington to be Democrats, but they aren’t entirely sure a Democrat is the best choice for the top office here. If Malloy is finally confirmed as the winner, he’ll have an awful lot of convincing to do.
As for McMahon and Blumenthal, this race turns out to have been closer than many previous U.S. Senate races, but not nearly the squeaker that a lot of pundits originally had predicted. McMahon and Connecticut Republicans have to wonder about missed opportunities, looking at maps like this one. What if they had managed to connect with independent women? What if they had managed to swing more of those suburban towns? How did the Republican wave manage to miss this state almost entirely?
Susan Bigelow is the former owner/author of CTLocalPolitics.com. She lives in Enfield with her wife and cats.