Though the gubernatorial race was a nail-biter, Connecticut Democrats running for Congress cruised to victory on Tuesday, ensuring that the state’s congressional delegation remains all blue for at least the next two years.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., won a second term by a margin of 59 to 40 percent over Republican challenger and small business owner Matt Corey, while Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-New Haven, defeated her opponent, truck driver and Marine Corps veteran Angel Cadena, by a margin of 69 to 31 percent. The rest of the Connecticut congressional delegation also managed to stay blue, as Democrats John Larson, D-Hartford, Joe Courtney, D-Conn., Jim Himes, D-Conn., and Jahana Hayes managed to best their Republican challengers by comfortable margins.
“This country is poised to send an historic message to President Donald Trump, but also to ourselves and to the world,” DeLauro said in her victory speech on Tuesday night at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven. “We have a new Democratic Party in power — more than 270 women were candidates for the U.S. House, Senate or governor seats, more than 210 people of color and more than 25 people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. It is the new American coalition.”
The results surprised few in deep-blue Connecticut, which has sent Democratic candidates to Washington for decades. The state has not elected a Republican senator since 1989 or a Republican member of the House of Representatives since 2008, and it has voted for the Democratic candidate for president in every election since 1992.
According to filings with the Federal Election Commission, Murphy raised a total of $14.7 million, while Corey only raised around $129,000, according to the most recent records. The Senate race was called immediately after polls closed at 8 p.m.
The smooth campaign was a marked turnaround from Murphy’s 2012 campaign, in which he ran against Republican and former WWE executive Linda McMahon to replace independent Sen. Joe Lieberman ’64 LAW ’67. McMahon used $50 million of her personal wealth to run her campaign, which resulted in a 55 to 43 percent victory for Murphy.
Murphy’s name has frequently appeared on lists of possible contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, although Murphy himself has said he does not intend to run.
In light of his lead in the polls, Murphy expended much of his energy during the campaign on supporting local Democrats running for the Connecticut General Assembly. Currently, the state Senate is tied 18–18 while the Democrats have a 80–71 majority in the state House of Representatives.
“The election of Trump created this deep void inside of us that we’ve been trying to fill for two years,” Murphy said in his victory speech on Tuesday night. “The questions that we have been forced to ask ourselves as a nation [have] been difficult, but I have the feeling, looking at the early returns here in Connecticut and across this country, that we are going to be able to answer most of these questions tonight in a way that will stand as a spiritual reconstitution of America.”
DeLauro campaign manager Jimmy Tickey said that the race was called for DeLauro around 9:45 p.m., around two hours after the polls closed.
“Voters wanted to hear about economic issues,” Tickey told the News. “But they also wanted to hear from candidates who have their values and shared those values. On both of those marks, [DeLauro] exceeded their expectations. She understands them.”
In spite of the loss, Cadena said that he was happy with the results in comparison to the 2016 election, in which Cadena and DeLauro had also faced off with similar poll results.
“Last time, she won within two to three minutes,” Cadena told the News on Tuesday night.
The victory pleased many officials in the Elm City, where DeLauro enjoys strong support.
Specifically, mayoral spokesman Laurence Grotheer praised DeLauro’s role in the Elm City’s project to stitch back together parts of downtown that were divided by Interstate 91 and Interstate 95. He also lauded her “outspoken advocacy” for the Affordable Care Act and federal food and nutrition programs.
“Rep. DeLauro’s work on behalf of New Haven and Connecticut’s 3rd District is exemplary,” Grotheer said.
Nationwide, Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, while Republicans maintained their majority in the Senate.
Angela Xiao contributed reporting.
Nathalie Bussemaker | firstname.lastname@example.org .