There were no major electoral surprises in New Haven Tuesday, with Yale students joining the rest of the city in voting overwhelmingly for the Democratic ticket.
As expected, Connecticut voted solidly for Sen. John Kerry ’66, reelected U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, and reelected all five incumbent members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Kerry received 83.6 percent of the 887 votes cast in Ward 1, which consists mostly of Yale students. In 2000, former Vice President Al Gore only managed to draw 64.7 percent of the ward’s votes.
President George W. Bush ’68 came in second place in the ward with 13.1 percent of the vote, a slight decrease from his performance in 2000, when he got 15.7 percent.
The increase in Democratic votes cast can partly be explained by a decrease in votes for independent candidate Ralph Nader. In 2000, Nader received 17.8 percent of Ward 1’s votes; yesterday, he got just 1.6 percent, or 14 votes.
Libertarian Michael Badnarik came in fourth in Ward 1 with 0.9 percent of the votes, followed by Green David Cobb with 0.6 percent. Concerned Citizens candidate Michael Peroutka did not receive any votes in the ward.
In Ward 22, which includes four residential colleges — Davenport, Pierson, Morse and Ezra Stiles — Kerry’s margin of victory was even higher. He received 89.3 percent of the ward’s votes, compared to 9.1 percent for Bush.
New Haven voters also cast their ballots strongly in favor of reelecting two of the city’s representatives to the U.S. Congress yesterday, Democrats Dodd and U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro.
In Ward 1, Dodd won handily with 74.1 percent of the vote, compared to 10.3 percent for his Republican challenger, Jack Orchulli. DeLauro took the ward with 69.7 percent of the vote, ahead of Republican Richter Elser ’81 with 12.2 percent and Green candidate Ralph Ferrucci in third with 4.7 percent.
DeLauro won 72 percent of the votes in her district, up from 66 percent in 2002. She campaigned in New Haven yesterday, finishing the night at an election party at the Long Wharf Theater.
“Working my hardest for the community is a challenge that I accept,” DeLauro said. “It is your support that allows me to stay.”
At an election party at his restaurant on Temple Street, Elser said his goal in the election had been to improve on his showing in the 2002 election, when he received 30 percent of the vote. In the end, he only won 25 percent of the votes this year.
“If percentages are pretty much the same, I don’t really think it would be worth trying to run again,” Elser said. “I’m not a glutton for punishment.”
Dodd put in an appearance at DeLauro’s New Haven campaign headquarters yesterday morning, appearing with his daughter Grace to greet Democratic volunteers. He also predicted a Kerry victory in the presidential election.
In a contested election for state legislature, voters reelected Democratic state Rep. Toni Walker over her Green Party challenger, Ward 2 alderwoman Joyce Chen ’01.
Walker held an election party at Senor Pancho’s on Whalley Ave., where she praised her campaign’s grass roots organization.
“This was a great victory,” Walker said. “It showed that I am doing a good job and that people understand that and really came out to support that.”
Connecticut’s 2nd and 4th Congressional Districts saw more closely contested elections, as Republican incumbent U.S. Reps. Rob Simmons and Christopher Shays managed to fend off challenges from Democratic opponents Jim Sullivan and Diane Farrell. Polls for both elections had indicated the elections would be close, but Simmons and Shays both ended up with larger margins of victory than expected.
City election officials said they saw unusually high turnout for this year’s election.
“When you have such a heavy turnout, there are bound to be some small problems, but nothing out of the ordinary, and it’s been a smooth process so far,” New Haven Head Moderator Jonathan Einhorn said.