As expected, polling places across Connecticut are not handing out many stickers today.
On this morning’s Where We Live, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said this Primary Day turnout will be similar to previous years. “Sad to say, I’d be happy with 30%,” said Merrill.
All day long, we’ll be talking to those who are showing up to the polls. The Colin McEnroe Show is talking with “Citizen Reporters” about what they are (or aren’t) seeing. WNPR reporter Diane Orson talked with voters in North Haven and Bridgeport this morning. Frank Giordano cast his vote for Linda McMahon in North Haven. He said Chris Shays isn’t the change that he’s looking for in Washington. “He was there for too long. And a lot of these politicians have been there for too long,” said Giordano. “It’s time for a change.”
Linda McMahon is expected to win tonight but Chris Shays and his supporters haven’t given up yet. Pat Redding is one of those supporters who acknowledges the uphill climb the former Congressman faces but is holding out hope. “It’s hard to compete against that when you can’t get your name out, when there’s an oversaturation of negative ads, pro-ads for Linda McMahon..that’s stuff you can’t beat,” said Redding. “But I’m hoping for the best. I’m hoping for a solid turnout for him.”
Diane Orson caught up with a supporter of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Susan Bysiewicz, who is also facing a tough battle in her campaign against Rep. Chris Murphy. But Bysiewicz got the support of Rita Wozniak who likes her for representing the ordinary citizen. “She understands some of our problems and I love her attitude. She’s determined to do something to help,” said Wozniak.
At the end of this morning’s Where We Live, Colin McEnroe called in to share what he’s seen around West Hartford. He didn’t see much and called the turnout “shockingly low.” There were also very few people standing outside the polling places with signs in support of candidates. That’s coming from someone who has been through every primary since Lancelot Phelps first held the 5th District seat in 1835.
We’ve heard from people on Twitter about voter turnout too.
- @RosieDeRobertis: Husband & I were the only ones there. Realized 3/4′s of the political TV ads I’d seen are not for our district.
- @saultert: Hardly anyone there. A coworker just told me they don’t vote because they don’t think primaries count. Sad.
- @danielschwartz: Yes, I voted. And there wasn’t another person who was voting at the same time around 7:15 in Avon. Very quiet.
- @jancdavis: as an independent I would vote if we had open primaries in CT
This low turnout wasn’t unexpected. When Ned Lamont beat Sen. Joe Lieberman in the 2006 primary for the Democratic nomination, 43% of Democrats showed up. The big issue during that election was the Iraq War. There isn’t an issue like it this time around. Lamont joined us on the show this morning and said that this crop of candidates are very similar on the issues. “They have to make up differences,” said Lamont. “There’s nothing of substance that really gets people to drive to that polling booth and cast their vote.”
Remember to follow WNPR’s Primary Day coverage with the CT Mirror, culminating tonight with a live broadcast from the Red Rock Tavern in Hartford. The Mirror also has a great page dedicated to Primary Day news today.
As always, let us know what you’re seeing as you vote today. Are you in the 5th District where voter turnout is expected to be slightly higher? Or are you in Hartford voting by yourself?