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US Senate 2012 Election in Connecticut

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US Senate 2012 Election in Connecticut
This article presents facts, analysis, and predictions for Connecticut's 2012 U.S. Senate election race.

See 2012 Senate Elections - Who's Winning, Who's Losing for an overview of all 33 US Senate races, on a state-by-state basis.

The Incumbent US Senator
Sen. Joe Lieberman, an Independent who caucus with Senate Democrats, was first elected in 1988, and reelected in 1994, 2000, and 2006. Sen. Lieberman was elected as a Democrat in his first three races, and as an Independent in 2006 after losing Connecticut's Democratic primary for his Senate seat.

Sen. Lieberman has served since 2007 as Chair of the powerful Senate Homeland Security Committee. He is not seeking reelection to the U.S. Senate in 2012.

Connecticut's 2012 US Senate Race
As of February 2012, six Democrats and five Republicans had declared their intentions to vie for their party nomination for U.S. Senate seat held by Joe Lieberman since 1988.

Two candidates lead polling for Democratic party nomination:

  • Three-term Congressman Chris Murphy who, "in 1998, at the age of 25, he unseated a 14-year incumbent to take a seat in the Connecticut House of Representatives," per Wikipedia.
  • Susan Bysiewicz, Connecticut's Secretary of State from 1999 to 2011.
The two leading Republican candidates for Connecticut's senatorial contest are:
  • Christopher Shays, former 11-term House of Representatives from 1987 to 2009.
  • Linda McMahon, wealthy businesswoman and past president of the World Wrestling Entertainment. Ms. McMahon unsuccessfully ran in 2010 for the U.S. Senate after winning Connecticut's Republican nomination. McMahon spent $50 million on her 2010 Senate campaign.
The Democratic and Republican primary elections are slated for August 14, 2012.

Who Will Win?
RealClearPolitics.com rates Connecticut's 2012 U.S. Senate election race as "Leans Democratic" largely because blue-state Connecticut has voted strongly Democratic for the last few election cycles.

This rating, however, is one notch below "Toss-Up" due to the political might and experience of the two top Republican contenders.

Recent Election Results
Connecticut's two U.S. senators serving in the 112th Congress (2011 to 2012) are:

  • Independent Joe Lieberman, serving his fourth term. Lieberman was a Democrat during his first three Senate terms, and caucuses with Democrats in his fourth term.
  • Democrat Richard Blumenthal, serving his first term
All nine member of Connecticut's delegation to the House of Representatives are Democrats.

Both Governor Dan Malloy and Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman are Democrats.

In the last four presidential elections, Connecticut voted as follows:

  • 2008 - 61% for Democrat Obama, 38% for Republican McCain
  • 2004 - 54% for Democrat Kerry, 44% for Republican Bush
  • 2000 - 56% for Democrat Gore, 38% for Republican Bush, 6% for Other
  • 1996 - 53% for Democrat Clinton, 35% for Republican Dole, 12% for Other
Connecticut Economic Facts and Voter Demographics
Unemployment Rate as of June 2011 - Connecticut's unemployment rate of 9.1% is roughly equal to the national average, and 19th among all states.

Foreclosure Rates as of June 2011 - Connecticut's foreclosure rate of 1 in every 1,525 homes ranks far below the national average and ranks 38th among all states.

Labor Union Membership - Connecticut is home to 291,000 labor union members, representing 17.9% of all state workers. The Constitution State boasts the 17th highest concentration of labor union members among all states.

Hispanic Population - 13.4% of Connecticut residents are of Hispanic heritage, the highest percentage in New England and the 11th highest among all states.

Senior Citizen Population - 14.2% of Connecticut resident are 65 years old and over, which ranks 14th among all states.

Women as a Percentage of Connecticut's Population - Women comprise 51.3% of Connecticut residents, ranking 9th among all states.

African-American Population - African-Americans comprise 10% of Connecticut residents, ranking 21st among all states.

State Residents Living Below Poverty-Level Income - Connecticut's poverty rate of 9.3% is one of the nation's lowest, ranking 45th among all states.

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