Democrat Ned Lamont and Republican Bob Stefanowski won their respective party’s nominations for Governor.
“But Republicans believe they have a shot at making inroads in Connecticut, thanks in no small part to the man leaving the governor’s mansion. Gov. Dan Malloy (D) has narrowly won two terms in office, though his approval ratings may be lower than any other incumbent governor in the country.
Republicans hold half of the 36 seats in the Connecticut state Senate. Democrats only control the upper chamber because of Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman’s (D) tie-breaking vote.”
For his part Lamont, who defeated Joe Liberman for the party’s senatorial nomination in 2006, before losing when the incumbent ran as an independent, hopes to make Donald Trump an issue for Stefanowski in a state that went for Hillary Clinton by 14%.
“They are joined at the hip,” a confident-looking Lamont said of Trump and Stefanowski, noting the president’s congratulatory tweet to the winner of Tuesday’s five-way Republican primary.”
In the most watched of the state’s congressional primary races Democrat Jahana Hayes and Republican Manny Santos will vie to succeed Democratic Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, who was forced into retirement over her handling of allegations of sexual assault by a staffer.
If elected, Hayes will be the first African-American Congresswoman from the Nutmeg State.
The Øptimus Legislative Forecast Model ranks CT-05 as Safe Democratic.
Jeff Johnson defeated former Governor Tim Pawlenty for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. He’ll face Congressman Tim Walz who easily won the Democratic nomination.
In an unusual situation both of the state’s Senators were up for nomination last night. Interim Senator Tina Smith beat out 5 other candidates, including Richard Painter, a frequent cable news anti-Trump critic. She’ll face State Sen. Karin Housley in November for the remaining 2 years left on former Senator Al Franken’s term.
In the other Senate race, incumbent Democrat Amy Klobuchar easily brushed aside token opposition and will be challenged by Republican Jim Newberger.
Øptimus ranks both these Senate races as Safe Democratic holds.
Congressman Keith Ellison survived late accusations of domestic abuse in his race for the Democratic nomination for state attorney general.
Incumbent Republican Phil Scott will face Democrat Christine Hallquist to be the state’s governor. If elected, Hallquist would be the nation’s first transgender Governor.
Bernie Sanders easily won renomination by the Democrats for another term in the Senate. If he follows his usual practice, Sanders will soon decline the nomination and once again run as an independent while caucusing with the Democrats in the U.S. Senate.
Leah Vuckmir defeated Kevin Nicholson in what was seen as something of an old fashioned establishment vs. insurgent race within the GOP with the establishment friendly Vuckmir winning by just shy of 6%. Nicholson has already pledged his support as has President Trump but the Øptimus rating for this race heavily favors incumbent Democrat Tammy Baldwin.
Republican Governor Scott Walker cruised to renomination for his 3rd term but Democratic nominee Tony Evers represents a stiff challenge. The Crystal Ball team have already moved the race from “Lean GOP” to “Toss up” following Evers primary victory.
In the race to replace retiring Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Brian Steil easily took the GOP nod while Democratic activist favorite Randy Bryce (aka The Iron-stache).
Øptimus ranks this race as a Toss Up.