Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Visconti, Spoiler?

The charge that by remaining in the gubernatorial race as an independent Joe Visconti may be a spoiler was always a bit fudgy; after all, anyone in a gubernatorial race seeks to spoil the race for his competitors. Republican gubernatorial contender Tom Foley would be quite happy to spoil Governor Dannel Malloy’s gubernatorial bid, and likewise Mr. Malloy is doing his best to spoil Mr. Foley’s reelection chance.

The most recent Quinnipiac poll continues to show Mr. Visconti drawing votes equally from both Mr. Foley and Mr. Malloy. However, Mr. Visconti has now seized 16 percent of the independent vote which ought to worry the usually unflappable Mr. Foley.

Director of the Quinnipiac University poll Douglas Schwartz notes that the independent vote is now up for grabs, and it cannot delight Mr. Foley that his portion of the independent vote has diminished since the earlier Q poll.

Democrats in Connecticut are usually strong closers because they enjoy as the party in power advantages unavailable to Republicans. Their advantages include strong organizational backing from unions, a media that is too often prey to the political hype that gushes from the party in power, expectations that a campaign similar to the successful campaign waged by Democrats in 2010 is bound to succeed in 2014, and a general feeling of malaise, an always exhausting and anxious anticipation that the forces of light are never bright or strong enough to overcome the forces of darkness.

It is a given in Connecticut politics that Republicans must enjoy a sizable edge in voter polling prior to the general election in order to win, since Democratic advantages give the party in power a sizable lead in state-wide races. The Republican lead of a few months ago has now evaporated – two weeks before the general election.

Cheered on by Mr. Malloy, who was able without breaking a sweat to throw off his own incubus, Independent Democratic Challenger Jon Pelto, Mr. Visconti has said he is in the gubernatorial race to the bitter end. The Independent challenger of a few months ago has now become, in the eyes of many, a spoiler. Mr. Visconti cannot win the race, those urging him to quit the race say, and any point made by his fruitless campaign is not worth a new four year stretch by an invigorated progressive Malloy. Optimists within the Republican Party – there are some – hope against hope that Mr. Visconti will graciously withdraw and bring to the Foley campaign the independent votes Republicans need to snatch the laurels from Mr. Malloy’s imperious brow. By doing so, Mr. Visconti will have made himself a very hot commodity in Republican circles.

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