Tag Archive: Elections

  1. First Reactions: Second Presidential Debate

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    President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney squared off in their second of three debates at Hofstra University in New York on Tuesday. After the debate, student political leaders around campus shared their thoughts on the event. Read their reactions below:

    Ella Wood ’15, Vice Chairwoman of the Independent Party

    Supporters of the President have cause for celebration, or at least relief, after the debate. It may have seemed that Governor Romney had the advantage leading into tonight, but fact-checking from the last debate has had time to catch up with him, so viewers were primed to listen for falsehoods in what Romney was saying. Obama did a much better job tonight of pointing out Romney’s half-truths, which was something sorely lacking from his performance at the first debate.

    Romney did hammer home some of the strongest themes from the first debate, particularly his case that the Obama administration has failed to resuscitate the economy, which he delivers with conviction every time. He, however, had several moments that will set some voters’ teeth on edge: For example, his discussion of fair pay for women not only was meme-worthy, but also revealed a narrative of women’s lives that will irk many female voters — and it was only made worse by his self-congratulatory stories about his corporate experience. Obama had a few missteps, too, and it took him a while to hit his stride; neither campaign was served by the bickering that sometimes threatened to erupt.

    Ultimately, though it wasn’t the decisive victory Romney delivered last week, Obama’s performance gave his campaign plenty of material to use in the spin room, and should be enough to reassure and re-energize his supporters.

    Zak Newman, President of the Yale College Democrats

    Wow. The President hit it out of the park tonight. He reminded voters of all he has accomplished in the last four years and laid out specific plans for how we will continue to rebuild our economy in the next four. His closing statements defined the choice voters will make in a few weeks: between a man who may (or may not) dismiss a near majority of Americans and one who believes that the key to economic growth lies in the middle class — not at the very top income bracket.

    But it was when the candidates fell flat that we could best measure each man. When the President struggled on a tough question, he was careful and referred back to his campaign’s themes of empowerment and interdependence. Romney’s fumbles were surprising and offensive, relegating the work of sexual equality to quotas, suggesting that he leads on policy only when private interests agree, and trying to corner the President with factual inaccuracies on the sensitive situation in Libya.

    The crowd at Hofstra — myself included — couldn’t help but cheer when Romney was put in his place.

    Nicholas Sas ’14, Chairman of the Tory Party

    Alas, Obama decided to show up to this debate. Unfortunately, he spent the entire night running from his own failures and trying to distort Romney’s plan. As much as he smeared Romney’s plan, he utterly failed to offer a vision of his own. Exchanging “hope” and “change” to “forward” as his slogan, Obama tacitly admitted to his disaster of a presidency, yet what he proposes for the next four years remains a mystery.

    Madelaine Taft-Ferguson ’13, Chair of the Party of the Left

    [The debate is] either hilarious or they’re both being childish, and Romney is whining. But it’s more fun to watch and they’re both doing slightly better; it seems to just be an effect of the format.

    Alexander Crutchfield ’15, Floor Leader of the Right for the Yale Political Union

    Although Barack Obama’s new aggressive demeanor might come of to some as victorious, it merely served as a guise to hide his multiple factual errors. Most egregious was his claim that he always stated the attacks in Benghazi were acts of terror. Although Obama references the attacks as acts of terror, this was merely in reference the terror involved in random violence. The administration’s unclear story on what actually occurred in Benghazi stole the show tonight.

    Correction: October 17, 2012

    A previous version of this article misidentified Madelaine Taft-Ferguson’s title as “Chairwoman.” In fact, her title is “Chair.”

  2. Murphy takes the lead in polls

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    In the latest poll published on the senate race between U.S. Representative Chris Murphy (D) and Linda McMahon (R), Murphy is pulling ahead with a 5 percentage point lead.

    The Monday poll, conducted by conservative-leaning pollster Rasmussen, surveyed 500 likely voters after the senate debate on Sunday morning. While 51 percent of likely voters said they would support Murphy, 46 percent said they were in favor of McMahon.

    “Murphy’s lead is largely derived from ‘leaners’,” according to the poll. “These are people who initially indicate no preference for either of the candidates but indicate they are leaning towards one candidate when asked a follow-up question.”

    When likely voters are not included in the analysis, the poll puts Murphy’s lead at 47 percent of the vote, just 1 percentage point ahead of McMahon.

    The poll had a 4.5 percent margin of error.

  3. Murphy, McMahon in dead heat, new poll shows

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    Conn. Senate candidates Chris Murphy and Linda McMahon are closer than ever in the upcoming battle for retiring Senator Joseph Lieberman’s seat, according to a new poll released Thursday by Quinnipiac University.

    The poll suggests that Murphy, the Democratic candidate, is likely to receive 47 percent of the popular vote, just one percent less than McMahon, the Republican candidate for Senate.

    This marks a shift from polls released last week that put Murphy several percentage points ahead of McMahon. It also represents a move from the Real Clear Politics average poll that put Murphy 2 percentage points ahead of his competitor.

    The change is possibly a response to harsh ad hominem attacks by both parties, according to Douglas Schwartz, director of the Quinnipiac University poll. Murphy’s campaign has funded 1,564 television spots with negative advertisements, while McMahon’s campaign has sponsored 2,204. Unfavorable ratings have steadily increased for both candidates, a possible response to the negative advertising campaigns that have dominated the airwaves for the past several months.

    Still, both Murphy’s and McMahon’s campaigns reiterated their personal attacks after reading the Quinnipiac poll.

    “Linda McMahon is spending tens of millions of dollars on lies, smears and political attack ads in an attempt to distract voters from her strong support for right-wing Republican policies like ending Social Security, privatizing Medicare and giving millionaires like herself another massive tax cut,” said Murphy campaign spokesman Eli Zupnick.

    Meanwhile, McMahon’s campaign manager Corry Bliss said the poll indicates that state voters are “wary of promoting a lifetime politician who failed to show up 75 percent of the time for his current $170,000-a-year, taxpayer-funded job.”

    Bliss added that voters are not persuaded by the “nasty, false attacks Congressman Murphy and strong special interest supporters” have launched against McMahon.

    The poll also found that 55 percent of McMahon’s supporters are “very enthusiastic,” while 39 percent are “somewhat enthusiastic.” Meanwhile, 27 percent of Murphy’s backers are “very enthusiastic,” while 55 percent are “somewhat enthusiastic.”

    Only 46 percent of the eligible population cast a vote in the 2010 midterm election. For some, the closely-contested race is of national significance because decisions in a few key states will determine which political party controls the U.S. Senate.

    This year, Senate elections will be held on Nov. 6, 2012.

  4. Republicans will get top billing in election

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    Republican candidates will get top billing on election ballots this November, Connecticut’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

    The ballot dispute began over the summer when top state Republican leadership challenged Democratic Secretary of the State Denise Merrill’s decision to give the Democrats top billing in the ballot. The question boiled down to an interpretation of General Statute §9-249a, which states that “the party whose candidate for Governor polled the highest number of votes in the last-preceding election” shall be listed first in all ballots until the following gubernatorial election.

    While Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy narrowly won the 2010 gubernatorial race, only 540,970 of his votes were listed under the Democratic Party line; the rest came from the Working Families Line. Republican Tom Foley, meanwhile, won 560,874 votes in 2010.

    “The law is the law. The Supreme Court, we believe, arrived at the right decision based on what the statute says, not a public official’s interpretation,” said House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr, in the Hartford Courant. “Our legal team did a great job.”

    The election is Nov. 6, 2012.

    [via the Courant]

  5. QPac poll shows McMahon ahead

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    Could Connecticut turn red this November? A new poll says it’s possible.

    In the race for Joe Lieberman’s ’64 LAW ’67 U.S. Senate seat, Republican Linda McMahon holds a slight edge over Democrat Chris Murphy, 49-46, according to a poll out Tuesday from Quinnipiac University. The same poll found President Barack Obama with a 7-point lead over Republican Mitt Romney in the presidential contest.

    Previous polls have found Murphy leading McMahon in Connecticut — a July survey of voters by Public Policy Polling gave the Democrat an 8-point lead. But those polls were of all voters; the Quinnipiac poll sampled likely voters, and found McMahon ahead by three percentage points.

    Connecticut has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988, and typically does not see much attention from presidential campaigns. Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan will stop by Greenwich next month for a $1,000-a-ticket fundraiser.

    In this poll, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,472 likely voters in the state with a reported 2.6 percent margin of error.

  6. McMahon, Murphy win Senate primaries

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    Former wrestling magnate Linda McMahon and current U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy will face each other this November in the race for the U.S. Senate seat that will be vacated by Joseph Lieberman ’64 LAW ’67.

    With about half the state’s precincts reporting, McMahon led challenger Chris Shays by a 76 to 24 percent margin in the GOP primary, and Murphy led former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz ’83 by a smaller margin of 66 to 34 percent for the Democratic nomination. The two will now turn their attention to the November general election, in which polls have given Murphy a substantial lead over his Republican challenger.

    “Chris Murphy won tonight, and he’ll win in November because people know he’s not like a lot of politicians in Washington,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement after results were released. “He spends his time working to advance the interests of the middle class, especially when it comes to job creation.”

    McMahon, who lost to Sen. Richard Blumenthal LAW ’73 during the 2010 midterm elections after spending over $50 million of her own money, spent an additional $12 million in her primary campaign. She is expected to spend even more during the general election.

    A July poll by Public Policy Polling gave Murphy a 50 to 42 percent lead over McMahon, substantially wider than a Quinnipiac poll conducted in May that gave Murphy only a three-point lead.

    The general election will take place on Nov. 6.

  7. Dems’ ‘Change Is’ campaign catches on

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    The Yale College Democrats have been running a “Change Is” campaign since February, and in that time, it’s caught on at campuses nationwide.

    In the campaign, the Dems ask students what change means to them. Then they compile a YouTube ad supporting President Barack Obama that features the results. Since then, the campaign has spread to the University of Scranton, University of Texas and Iowa State University. Ohio State University submitted photos to the Change Is website on Wednesday, making it the most recent addition to the campaign. National political figures have gotten involved, too, from former Vermont governor and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean to U.S. Rep. Barney Frank.

    Josh Rubin ’14, the Dems’ elections coordinator who organized the project, said the campaign is an attempt to show students that their voices can still be heard among the flood of ads from SuperPACs.

    “We put this project together with time, creativity and a college student budget of $0,” Rubin said. “We’re very excited that the campaign is getting students excited in other states.”

    Anyone can submit a photo to the campaign explaining to the world what they think change is. Answers have ranged from “Change is repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” to “Change is tax cuts for those who need them.”

  8. Romney wins low-turnout Republican primary

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    Nearly 60,000 Connecticut voters cast their ballots in Tuesday’s low-profile Republican primary, giving former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 67.5 percent of the vote and all 25 of the state’s delegates.

    Romney’s large victory was largely expected given his high polling and fundraising numbers. Tuesday’s primary saw record low turnout among Republicans, as only 14.4 percent of registered Republicans voted for a candidate.

    This is the lowest turnout in the Republican primary since the current system was created in advance of the 1980 presidential election, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said. In comparison, 36.8 percent of registered Republicans voted in 2008’s primary featuring Arizona Sen. John McCain.

    Texas Sen. Ron Paul came in second on Tuesday, taking 13.5 percent of the vote, followed by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who won 10.3 of voters, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who won 6.8 percent. Santorum dropped out of the primary race two weeks ago, while Gingrich aides have confirmed that he will suspend his campaign next week.

    Two percent of GOP primary voters chose the “uncommitted” slot on the ballot, according to Merrill

  9. Quinnipiac poll shows McMahon, Murphy lead primaries

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    A new Quinnipiac University poll on Connecticut’s U.S. Senate race offers a glimpse into who may be on the ballot come November.

    On the Democratic side, current U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy earned support from 37 percent of respondents while Susan Bysiewicz ’83, the former secretary of the state, has the support of 25 percent of respondents. State Rep. William Tong earned four percent. Meanwhile, on the Republican side, professional wrestling magnate Linda McMahon leads challenger Chris Shays, 51-42.

    It’s an improvement on the last Quinnipiac poll for Shays — in September, McMahon ran ahead of Shays, 50-35. And even though the Qunnipiac poll shows him behind in the primary, the poll indicates Shays would defeat both Bysiewicz and Tong by sizable margins and only trails Murphy by one percentage point. McMahon, meanwhile, would lose to both Murphy and Bysiewicz and only edges out Tong by a 4 point margin.

    The poll also found an overwhelming amount of support for presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the GOP primary election, who earns 42 percent of Republican support to Rick Santorum’s 19 percent. Still, president Obama would defeat both Romney and Santorum by double-digit margins in Connecticut, the poll finds.

  10. New Haven Dems pick their U.S. Senate candidate

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    City politicos began to coalesce behind a replacement for U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman ’64 LAW ’67 on Sunday afternoon.

    A number of high-ranking New Haven Democrats attended a gathering of around 80 people at the East Rock home of U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro to support U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy in his run for the U.S. Senate. Sen. Marty Looney, the senate majority leader, and State Reps Toni Walker, Roland Lemar and Gary Holden-Winfield were in attendance, as were 16 members of the Board of Aldermen, the New Haven Independent reported.

    Ward 9 Alderman Justin Elicker FES ’10 SOM ’10, Ward 3 Alderwoman Jacqueline James-Evans and Ward 20 Alderwoman Delphine Clyburn all turned out in support of Murphy, while others, including Ward 2’s Frank Douglass, just came to hear what Murphy had to say.

    After the gathering, former Secretary of the State and senate candidate Susan Bysiewicz ’83 released a list of 36 New Haven Democrats, who she counts among her supporters. But on the list were Douglass and Ward 26 Alderman Sergio Rodriguez, who had said they were still undecided, and Ward 7 Alderman Doug Hausladen ’04, who said he was firmly behind Murphy.

    Murphy currently has the backing of all four U.S. representatives from Connecticut. The primary will take place in August.

  11. Malloy, Merrill roll out election reforms

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    Whether you want to vote for Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich or even President Barack Obama come November, it could all be a lot easier, thanks to legislation introduced this week by Gov. Dannel Malloy and Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.

    Malloy and Merrill held a press conference Monday to announce their support for various proposals to increase voter registration, CT Mirror reported. At the conference, Merrill announced she will prepare a package of legislation that will allow voters to register online and on Election Day. The legislation, she said, will expand use of absentee ballots and increase penalties for voter harassment or intimidation.

    “However complex the reasons may be — and they are — we must do something to reverse those numbers and increase voter participation,” Merrill said. “If I am able to do one thing in my time as secretary of the state, that would be it.”

    Over 30 percent of eligible Connecticut voters are unregistered, and only 30 percent of registered voters turned out in last fall’s statewide municipal elections, CT Mirror reported. But as state officials attempt to improve access to voting, many states nationwide have considered laws that make ballot access much more difficult.

    At least one part of the legislation package — same-day voter registration — has already proven controversia. GOP state chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. said his party will oppose it.

    “While I commend an effort to increase voter participation, instituting same day voter registration is simply not the answer,” Labriola said. “This is clearly an effort by the administration to keep themselves in power by making the voter rolls vulnerable and reducing ballot security.”

    But Merrill disagreed, and said the proposed legislation is only a way to increase participation in elections.

    “We must, of course, maintain the security and integrity of our elections, but never at the expense of disenfranchising a voter,” she said.