Tag Archive: Yale on the Trail: Connecticut

  1. Wheels up: a bus leaves New Haven

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    By Eric Randall

    NEW HAVEN, 10:44 p.m. — The AACC bus just left New Haven. People are chattering and seem excited to finally be underway. I am settling in to get some reading done before I pass out.

  2. Spotted: DeStefano and Lieberman

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    By Zeke Miller

    WASHINGTON, 5:45 p.m. — Connecticut’s congressional delegation hosted a welcome event for visitors to the Capitol in the ornate Caucus room of the Russell Senate Office Building. In attendance was the entire delegation and leaders from throughout the state, including New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr.

    New Haven Mayor John DeStefano

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  3. ‘Open House’ on the Hill

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    By Zeke Miller

    WASHINGTON, 4:41 p.m. — The atmosphere here on Capitol Hill, and indeed in this entire city, is electric. People are cheering on street corners. People are excited to be here.

    The Connecticut congressional delegation is opening its doors to their constituents. Sen. Chris Dodd hosted an “open house” at his office passing out fresh cookies baked by his staff. He and freshman Rep. Jim Himes welcomed Trumbull High School’s Golden Eagle Marching Band, which is performing in the parade tomorrow.

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    Tina Mazon of the Farmington Democratic Town Committee said she can’t wait for President-elect Obama to take the oath of office. “The world will change,” she said.

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  4. No convention to revise Connecticut Constitution

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    By the Yale Daily News

    NEW HAVEN, 10:19 p.m. — Connecticut voters have decided against holding a convention to revise the state Constitution.  With 45 precincts reporting, a ballot initiative asking to hold a convention failed 61 percent to 39 percent, according to The Associated Press.

  5. Himes and Shay, a tight race continues

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    By Zeke Miller

    NORWALK, 9:00 p.m. – Returns are beginning to come in for Connecticut’s contested 4th congressional district. The New York Times is showing challenger Jim Himes leading Republican Rep. Chris Shays with 63.7% over Shays’ 35.4%. But with just 23% of precincts reporting a lot can change.

    Here at Shays headquarters, they are predicting a much tighter race. According to their figures, with 24% of precincts reporting, Shays was leading with 52% of the vote.

    9:20 p.m. — We have some more information about those Shays polling numbers. According to Sean Phillips, the campaign’s communications director, they are tallying numbers reporter by volunteers in each precinct. At latest count, the Shays campaign says it is winning with 52.2 percent of the vote over Himes’ 47.7 percent with 46 percent of precincts reporting.

    9:49 p.m. — The mood at the Shays’ returns watching party is turning blue. Internal campaign figures are showing the incumbent Congressman trailing Democrat Jim Himes. With 85 percent of precincts reporting, Shays’ campaign is showing itself behind with 47.6% of the vote to Himes’ 52.3%. Supporters are crossing their figures as the last of the results begin to filter in.

  6. Constitutional Convention still unclear

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    By Zeke Miller

    NORWALK, 8:35 p.m. – With 10 percent of precincts reporting, the ballot measure on whether or not to have a Constitutional Convention is failing, gathering only 40% of votes. We’ll be following this throughout the night.

  7. Shays and Himes, it’s close

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    By Ray Carlson, Zeke Miller and Wendy Wang

    NORWALK, 8:20 p.m. – Polls across the state have just closed and both candidates vying to represent Connecticut’s 4th district are transitioning from campaigning to watching returns.

    At the Norwalk Inn & Conference Center, where Republican incumbent Rep. Chris Shays is hosting his returns watching party, people are slowly filing in. People are slightly on-edge as they watch national returns come in on TV screen. No one is quite sure what will happen.

    At the vacuous “Brewhouse” restaurant on the other side of town, the crowds have yet to arrive.  A podium is already set up for Democratic challenger Jim Himes, in front of antique waitress trays with logos of various alcohol companies.

    One thing is certain, it is going to be close here. We’ll keep you updated throughout the night.

  8. Fifty percent at the polls, Three hours to go

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    By Zeke Miller

    NEW HAVEN, 4:45 p.m. – With a little over 3 hours left, voters across the state are turning out in droves. By 3:30 this afternoon, over 50% of registered voters cast their ballots, and even more are expected to do so in the traditionally heavy evening voting hours.

    “All over the state, registrars and our teams on the ground are saying they have never seen this kind of turnout — ever,” Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz ’83 said in a statement. “Lines are long in some polling places, but the lines are moving, the poll workers and our new optical scan machines are handling the crowds well.”

    Polls are open across the state until 8 p.m. – but don’t worry, as long as you are in line to vote at 8 p.m. on the dot, you may still cast a ballot.

  9. The Breakdown in CT, 6.5 Hours to Go

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    By Zeke Miller

    NEW HAVEN, 1:30 p.m. – We are about six-and-a-half hours away from when polls across the state close. Here is what you should be looking out for in Connecticut tonight:

    1. Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District – Rep. Chris Shays, the last Republican congressmen from New England is facing a tough re-election battle against Democrat Jim Himes. Latest polls show them tied, each with 44 percent of the vote. I’ll be in Norwalk later today with reporters Ray Carlson and Wendy Wang to keep you updated. (To get the full scoop on this race check out today’s News or click here.)

    2. Ballot Questions – Connecticut voters are faced with two ballot questions today. The first calls for a convention to amend the state constitution, while the second will lower the voting age in primaries to 17. The Constitutional Convention question has become a contentious issue with the “No” side raising over $1 million to prevent it from passing, claiming that it will be used to pass anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage laws. Supporters do not have the same financial backing, but a recent poll shows that 50% of voters support the measure, mostly for non-ideological reasons. For more information click here and here.

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  10. Polls: Big turnout and machine malfunctions

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    By Zeke Miller

    NEW HAVEN, 12:00 p.m. — Polls don’t close in Connecticut for another eight hours, but already a substantial portion of people have cast their ballots. Secretary of the State Bysiewicz announced earlier today that by 10 a.m. over 30% of voters had gone to the polls, well on the way to the 90% turnout she predicted.

    In other news, there have been a few reported problems with the state’s new optical scanning machines. One machine malfunctioned in New Haven and was replaced by a backup, and one machine in both Simsbury and Bristol reported memory card malfunctions that prompted officials to use backup cards.

    — The Associated Press Contributed Reporting

  11. ‘This election has just been so exciting’

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     By Paul Needham

    NEW HAVEN, 2:45 p.m. — The trip from New Haven to Phoenix is a long one, and it was political from the start.

    My taxi driver from Phelps Gate at Yale to Tweed New Haven Regional Airport was Cisse, an immigrant from Senegal. When Cisse found out I was headed to Arizona to cover the McCain campaign, his eyes lit up.

    “This election has just been so exciting,” he said as he turned down the sports talk radio that was booming from the speakers in his cab.

    Cisse said he will take the day off tomorrow so he can watch the election results as they come in on his television. His vote will be for Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, and it will be the first ballot he has ever cast.

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  12. 90 percent turnout predicted in Connecticut

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    By Zeke Miller

    NEW HAVEN, 2:10 p.m. — In the month before Tuesday’s election, Connecticut registered an unprecedented number of new voters. Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz announced Monday that 134,502 residents registered to vote in the month of October, bringing the total of new voter registrations since January to over 300,000. Over one third of the newly registered voters are between the ages of 18 and 29, she said.

    “The incredible interest in this year’s election is reflected in the voter registration numbers,” Bysiewicz said in a statement. “It is truly inspiring to see so many 18 year olds and 80 year olds registering to vote for the first time.” (more…)