U.S. Senate hopeful Chris Murphy brought a question to New Haven—one that we’ll be hearing often in the next year, in Connecticut, and around the country.

Murphy summarized the question this way: “Whether we’re going to have a middle class or not” in America.

Then he offered a longer version, one to which Democratic and Republican candidates for federal office can give genuinely different responses: What’s the best way for government to close the inequality gap?

Murphy gave his answer at length to two dozen students gathered in Yale’s Dwight Hall last Thursday evening. He expects to keep fielding the question over and over as he runs for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Joe Lieberman. He expects his opponents to keep fielding it. He expects candidates for Senate and Congress all across the U.S. to keep fielding it in the 2012 campaign season, which now begins in earnest in Connecticut.

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