The Campaign Spot

How High Will the GOP Wave Hit in Connecticut?

One more poll in Connecticut that shows promising news for the GOP:

Democratic incumbent U.S. Representative Jim Himes is in a neck-and-neck race with Republican challenger Dan DeBicella according to a poll released today on Connecticut’s 4th congressional district. Representative Himes has 49.4 percent to DeBicella’s 47.2 percent. Included in those surveyed are 3.4 percent still unsure of whom they will support in the race.

The poll, commissioned by and conducted by the Merriman River Group, surveyed 411 likely voters on October 3-5, 2010 with a margin of error of +/- 4.8 percentage points.“With a month to go, the 4th district race between Democratic incumbent Jim Himes and Republican challenger Dan DeBicella is a statistical dead heat, and the city of Bridgeport will likely decide it,” says the poll’s Executive Director, Matthew Fitch. “Himes holds a 2.2 percent lead, which is less than half the margin of error.”

As in other districts, Himes’ fortunes may be tied to President Obama’s approval rating. Voters approving of the President’s job performance are supporting Himes by an 87.2-10.3 margin, while voters who have a negative view of Obama support Republican DeBicella 88.7-9.8.”

As promising as these numbers are for a GOP challenger in a D+5 district, I’m not quite sold on the idea that the Republicans are about to come roaring back in Connecticut. Linda McMahon is running a tough, scrappy campaign, and I can easily see a lot of Connecticut taxpayers who make $200,000 or more and who don’t feel like they’re the much-demonized super-rich, because of the state’s high cost of living. I can also see a lot of insurance-company employees and AIG employees who are tired of being painted as Enemies of the State for the services they provide.

But this is the wealthiest district in the country’s wealthiest state; in this year’s Barone’s Almanac of American Politics, the median income is $81,356 and the median home value is $582,500. That seems like a habitat for limousine liberals, the folks who are too rich to worry about taxes. Obama won this district 60 percent to 40 percent; the state, 61 percent to 38 percent.

There’s a swing towards Republicans here, but the Democrat advantage is bigger.


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