Connecticut Democratic Primary, 2008
The Connecticut Democratic Presidential Primary took place on Super Tuesday, February 5, 2008, with 48 delegates at stake. The winner in each of Connecticut's five congressional districts was awarded all of that district's delegates, totaling 31. Another 17 delegates were awarded to the statewide winner, Barack Obama. The 48 delegates represented Connecticut at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. Twelve other unpledged delegates, known as superdelegates, also attended the convention and cast their votes as well.
Connecticut held a closed primary, meaning only registered Democrats could vote.
The Connecticut Legislature voted to move Connecticut's presidential primaries to February 5 in order to increase the state's stature in the presidential nominating process, as many other states also did for the primaries of both parties. Largely due to a close Democratic race, the legislature's dream came true, as both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama devoted much attention in the state through television advertising, and even campaigned in the state the day before the primary:
Going into Super Tuesday, the state was viewed as a toss-up and was seen as an important bellwether for the overall race on Super Tuesday. The predictions were right as the results gave Obama a narrow victory over Clinton; the second-closest race on Super Tuesday (only in Missouri was the race closer). Connecticut was considered an upset by the media and the Clinton campaign due to Connecticut's close proximity to Clinton's home state of New York.
The turnout of almost 355,000 voters shattered the previous record for a primary election in the state, even topping the bitterly contested 2006 Connecticut Democratic U.S. Senate Primary between Joe Lieberman and Ned Lamont.
Barack Obama’s narrow win in the Connecticut Democratic Primary can be traced to a number of factors. According to the exit polls, 82 percent of voters in the Connecticut Democratic Primary were Caucasian and they narrowly favored Clinton by a margin of 49-48 compared to the 9 percent of African American voters who backed Obama by a margin of 74-24 and the 6 percent of Hispanic/Latino voters who also backed Obama by a margin of 53-43. Obama won all age groups except senior citizens ages 65 and over who narrowly backed Clinton by a margin of 50-47. Obama also won more affluent voters making over $50,000 while Clinton won less affluent voters making less than $50,000. Obama also won higher-educated voters (college graduates 57-42; postgraduate studies 58-41) while less-educated voters backed Clinton (some college or associate degree 53-43; high school graduates 55-41). While registered Democrats narrowly favored Clinton 50-48, Independents largely favored Obama by a margin of 62-32; he also won all ideological groups. Pertaining to religion, Obama won all major denominations except Roman Catholics who backed Clinton with a 59-39 margin – Obama won Protestants 61-36, other Christians 63-33, Jews 61-38, other religions 65-32, and atheists/agnostics 52-47.
While all counties in Connecticut were extremely close, Obama won six of the state’s eight counties – Clinton won New London and Windham counties in Eastern Connecticut.
See also