With Super Tuesday less than a week away, both leading Democratic candidates and Sen. John McCain have scheduled stops in Connecticut during the four days before the Constitution State primary — a unique opportunity for a state not used to national attention.
Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton LAW ’73 will visit the state on Monday, while McCain will speak at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield on Sunday, according to Associated Press reports. The campaigning announcements came as Obama picked up key endorsements from two Connecticut congressmen on Thursday.
Neither Democratic contender has released a detailed schedule, but Obama will be campaigning somewhere in Hartford, a member of his Connecticut staff told the News on Thursday night.
The candidates’ trips to the state are an indication that in a nomination contest that may not be decided until the national convention for the first time in half a century, every district and every vote counts — even though Connecticut’s 60 delegates will make up only a fraction of the 2,025 needed to win the Democratic Party’s nomination.
Campus campaign organizations plan to capitalize on the unprecedented attention the Nutmeg State is receiving. Sam Schoenburg ’11, communications director for Yale for Obama, and Ben Stango ’11, president of Yale Students for Hillary, both said their groups’ efforts are currently focused on turning out voters in New Haven for next Tuesday’s primary.
“I’m so excited that Connecticut … will have a part in the nomination process,” Schoenburg said. “It’s good for the country to have this wide swath of people able to vote.”
Stango said a group of volunteers will attend Clinton’s appearance — the location of which is still unknown — as they did on Monday when Clinton campaigned in Hartford.
“We sent two people last time she came, and hopefully we’ll do it again,” he said.
Schoenburg said his group has not yet decided whether to organize a trip to Hartford.
Following Clinton’s last visit, Michelle Obama, the wife of the Illinois senator, stopped in at a diner in Stamford on Wednesday for a roundtable with five local working women before attending a private fundraiser later that day.
Before the disclosure of the scheduled campaign stops, Connecticut had garnered media attention during the nomination fight primarily as the home state of Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd, who dropped out of the race after a disappointing finish in Iowa early last month.
On Thursday, Congressmen John Larson and Chris Murphy — both of whom had formerly supported Dodd — endorsed Obama. New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. also endorsed the freshman senator after Dodd exited the race. Clinton has the backing of state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal LAW ’73 and the state’s comptroller, Nancy Wyman.
New Haven Congresswoman Rosa DeLaruo will announce her endorsement on Saturday, the Associated Press reported yesterday.
“New Haven,” Schoenburg said, “is going to be abuzz the next couple of days.”
-The Associated Press contributed reporting.