U.S. Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal LAW ’73 visited New Haven a second time this week to rouse support from the Yale College Democrats at an elections kick-off event Monday.
Both Blumenthal and incumbent U.S. House of Representatives candidate Rosa DeLauro addressed a packed Dwight Hall, expressing their gratitude for the Dems’ on-the-ground efforts, such as canvassing and phone-banking, while criticizing the Republican Party’s domestic policy. The two teamed up to encourage the Dems to continue their efforts on the campaign trail.
“We need to make sure we keep going forward and getting folks to turn out on Election Day,” Blumenthal said.
Blumenthal’s two events this week come as he faces a tough race; he is leading by only six points behind Republican candidate Linda McMahon, according to the most recent Quinnipiac University poll.
Referring to his Sunday rally, which former classmate Bill Clinton LAW ’73 attended, Blumenthal told the Dems that their participation in the student political group keeps them engaged in the community.
“Bill Clinton and I sat exactly where you are,” he said. “And that’s the way it begins for everyone who wants to make a difference.”
Like he did at the weekend rally, Blumenthal alluded to McMahon’s spending habits, which he has called excessive, by telling the Democrats that their efforts count more than any amount of money.
“Republicans are using money in their race to make a difference,” he said. “[But] we need the kind of difference that only you can provide. Knocking on doors is a way we as a party have distinguished ourselves.”
Blumenthal and DeLauro both expressed their support for small businesses in job creation and statewide education reform during the rally. They stood against giving tax breaks to the wealthy and outsourcing manufacturing jobs.
After the rally, Dems President Ben Stango ’11 explained that he was thrilled by the success of the event, adding that the Dems plan on taking part in semimonthly local canvasses and weekly phone banks, which will be co-run by the group and Organizing for America, a community organizing project created by the Democratic National Committee.
“To hear it from the mouths from the people you elect is the best way to motivate the Democrats and voters,” Stango said.
And despite Blumenthal’s concerns that not enough Democrats will participate in the November midterm elections nationwide, Dems elections coordinator Marina Keegan ’12 said that she now believes the organizing effort in New Haven will be effective in bringing Democrats to the polls.
The next Dems meeting, which will also be a phone bank, will take place in Jonathan Edwards College at 7 p.m. Tuesday.