Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Great Day in Connecticut

By Joelle Fishman

Super Duper Tuesday was a great day in Connecticut. The overall Democratic turnout was very large. There were thousands of people who registered for the first time or switched from unaffiliated to Democrat, most of those wanted to vote for Barak Obama.

The Obama campaign was only two weeks long. Obama carried the state although Clinton was 20 points ahead in the polls when the Obama campaign got underway.

Special features include the experience within Connecticut with the Ned Lamont campaign for US Senate in 2006. The main way that vote was organized was utilizing outreach to "family, friends and neighbors," so when the Obama campaign came in with that strategy lots of people were ready to go. The Obama victory depended on New Haven which is the one out of three large cities that has the largest turnout in general elections.

The dominant union in New Haven is UNITE HERE, which endorsed Obama. The three largest unions in Connecticut endorsed Clinton, some campaigned more than others, but all unions have been in accord to come together for November. In New Haven, the UNITE HERE unions have lots of experience in local elections, and it really paid off! The endorsements of Obama by three Congresspersons and the Mayor of New Haven among others were very important to the victory. Also in New Haven, many Yale students became involved, some had volunteered in New Hampshire and were determined that in Connecticut Obama would win.

Another important boost was the giant Obama rally at the Hartford XL Center the night before election day. About 20,000 people turned out and came home committed to do their part to get out the vote! Clinton had also held a large rally a week earlier.

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