United States Senate election in Connecticut, 2012

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United States Senate election in Connecticut, 2012
Connecticut
2006 ←
November 6, 2012 (2012-11-06)
Class 1 Senator
→ 2018

Turnout 60.9% (voting eligible)[1]
  Chris murphy official photo govtrends version cropped.jpg Linda McMahon Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic.jpg
Nominee Chris Murphy Linda McMahon
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 815,077 637,857
Percentage 55.1% 43.3%

Connecticut Senatorial Election Results by County, 2010.svg

U.S. Senate election results map. Blue denotes counties/districts won by Murphy. Red denotes those won by McMahon.

U.S. Senator before election

Joe Lieberman
Independent

Elected U.S. Senator

Chris Murphy
Democratic

The 2012 United States Senate election in Connecticut was held on November 6, 2012, in conjunction with the 2012 U.S. presidential election, other elections to the United States Senate in other states, as well as elections to the United States House of Representatives, and various state and local elections. Primaries to elect Senate candidates from the Republican and Democratic parties were held on Tuesday, August 14, 2012.[2]

Incumbent U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, an independent who caucuses with the Democratic Party, decided to retire instead of running for re-election to a fifth term.[3] Republican businesswoman Linda McMahon faced Democratic Representative Chris Murphy in the general election and lost, marking two defeats in as many years.[4]

Background[edit]

In the 2006 election, incumbent Joe Lieberman was defeated in the Democratic primary by businessman Ned Lamont and formed his own party, Connecticut for Lieberman, winning re-election. Lieberman promised to remain in the Senate Democratic Caucus, but has since stood up to the Democrats on many significant issues he disagreed with them on, including his endorsement of Republican 2008 presidential nominee John McCain over Barack Obama.[5] As a result, Lieberman's poll numbers among Democrats have dropped significantly.[6][7]

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal was reportedly considering a run against Lieberman,[8] but instead ran for and won Connecticut's other Senate seat in 2010 after U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd announced his retirement.[9]

Lieberman had publicly floated the possibility of running as a Democrat,[10] Republican,[11] or an independent.[12] However, he announced on January 19, 2011, that he would not run for another term.[3]

Democratic primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

Withdrawn[edit]

  • Matthew Oakes, activist (endorsed Murphy)[17]
  • William Tong, state representative (running for re-election; endorsed Murphy)[18]

Debates[edit]

The first Democratic debate took place on February 23, 2012, with Murphy, Bysiewicz, and Tong participating.[19] The first televised debate was held on April 5, with Murphy, Bysiewicz, Tong, Oakes, and Whitnum participating.[20] A debate was held at UConn on April 9, with the five candidates participating.[21] A debate sponsored by WFSB took place on April 15, with all five taking part.[22]

Convention[edit]

Delegates of the Connecticut Democratic Party endorsed Chris Murphy at their state party convention held on May 12. Murphy was the choice of 1,378 delegates (76 percent), while Susan Bysiewicz won 444 delegates (24 percent), enough to qualify for the August 14 primary. Matthew Oakes received the support of one delegate from Hartford. Lee Whitnum's name was not placed in nomination.[23]

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Susan
Bysiewicz
Chris
Murphy
William
Tong
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling July 26–29, 2012 400 ± 4.9% 32% 49% 18%
Quinnipiac May 29 – June 3, 2012 538 ± 4.2% 20% 50% 5% 24%
Quinnipiac March 14–19, 2012 640 ± 3.9% 25% 37% 4% 5% 29%
Public Policy Polling September 22–25, 2011 400 ± 4.9% 33% 39% 8% 19%
Quinnipiac September 8–13, 2011 447 ± 4.6% 26% 36% 1% 2% 35%
Public Policy Polling March 17–20, 2011 400 ± 4.9% 38% 40% 21%

Endorsements[edit]

Results[edit]

Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Chris Murphy 89,283 67.4%
Democratic Susan Bysiewicz 43,135 32.6%
Totals 132,418 100%

Republican primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

Debates[edit]

A debate sponsored by the Norwich Bulletin took place on April 19, 2012, with McMahon, Shays, Lumaj, Hill, and Westby in attendance.[32] The debate was not televised. The first televised debate took place on April 22, 2012, sponsored by WFSB.[33] All five candidates participated.

Convention[edit]

Delegates of the Connecticut Republican Party endorsed Linda McMahon at their state party convention held on May 18. McMahon was the choice of 730 delegates (60 percent), while Chris Shays won 389 delegates (32 percent), enough to qualify for the August 14 primary. Brian K. Hill, Peter Lumaj, and Kie Westby did not meet the 15 percent threshold necessary to automatically qualify for the primary, receiving the support of 62, 22, and 5 delegates, respectively.[34] Hill pursued a post-convention attempt to petition his way onto the primary ballot, but fell short of the 8,319 signatures required and suspended his campaign in June.[35]

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Jason
McCoy
Linda
McMahon
Chris
Shays
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling July 26–29, 2012 400 ± 4.9% 68% 20% 12%
Quinnipiac May 29 – June 3, 2012 381 ± 5.0% 59% 30% 1% 9%
Quinnipiac March 14–19, 2012 429 ± 4.7% 51% 42% 1% 6%
Public Policy Polling September 22–25, 2011 400 ± 4.9% 3% 60% 27% 10%
Quinnipiac September 8–13, 2011 332 ± 5.4% 50% 35% 2% 12%

Endorsements[edit]

Results[edit]

Republican primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Linda McMahon 83,413 72.7%
Republican Chris Shays 31,305 27.3%
Totals 114,718 100%

General election[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Debates[edit]

Campaign[edit]

Susan Bysiewicz was the first to declare herself as a candidate.[48] However, by March 2011 Chris Murphy had raised over $1 million, more than Susan Bysiewicz, who had raised $500,000. Murphy had won election to Connecticut's 5th congressional district, which is considered Republican-leaning, and he promoted himself as the most electable candidate against a Republican challenger. Bysiewicz, the former Secretary of the State of Connecticut, enjoyed high name recognition while a statewide officeholder, and had a formidable face-off with Murphy. William Tong, a state representative, joined the race touting his biography as the son of Chinese immigrants working at a Chinese restaurant.[49] In January East Hartford resident Matthew John Oakes announced his candidacy. Oakes pointed to his real life experience being a disabled American, victim of crime, civil rights activist, growing up in the inner-city and being a political outsider for his candidacy.[50]

Wide speculation continued on Linda McMahon, who had a widely publicized race for senator in 2010. She lost the election decisively, but had strong finances and a well-established political organization.[49] McMahon met with her former campaign consultant to review her 2010 results, and said she was leaning towards running. She plans to make a decision regarding another run after the start of 2012. Congressman Chris Shays joined in August 2011, promoting his involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan's military contracting.[51] Shays campaign has also gained traction from a series of independent polls showing him beating or in dead heat with the top Democratic contenders in the general election, while those same polls show McMahon losing handily to each of the top Democratic contenders.[40] The Shays campaign has quickly capatilized on these polls, arguing for the former Congressmen's electability while questioning McMahon's electability due to her loss in an open Senate seat contest in 2010 by a large margin despite spending $50 million of her own money, also citing her high unfavorable numbers among state voters, and the weak fundraising numbers of the McMahon campaign.[52]

In July 2012, Shays declared that he would not support McMahon if she won the primary. He said that he had "never run against an opponent that I have respected less—ever—and there are a lot of candidates I have run against," adding that "I do not believe that Linda McMahon has spent the time, the energy to determine what a senator really means." He also said that during the last debate he had with McMahon, "I thought she was embarrassingly clueless" and that "I think she is a terrible candidate and I think she would make a terrible senator." Although he said he would not support Chris Murphy, he expected him to win the Democratic nomination and the general election.[53]

Fundraising[edit]

Candidate (party) Receipts Disbursements Cash on hand Debt
Chris Murphy (D) $10,543,456 $10,436,219 $107,239 $189,925
Linda McMahon (R) $50,956,502 $50,262,442 $351,464 $1,250,000
Source: Federal Election Commission[54][55]

Top contributors[edit]

Chris Murphy Contribution Linda McMahon Contribution
Moveon.org $112,864 Morgan Stanley $31,050
Yale University $69,101 Linda McMahon for Senate $26,174
League of Conservation Voters $47,388 General Electric $24,250
Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder $44,916 Ott International $15,000
Travelers Companies $41,000 Thor Industries $12,500
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company $40,650 JPMorgan Chase & Co. $11,231
Sullivan & Cromwell $36,500 Ceci Brothers Inc. $10,000
Comcast Corporation $36,000 Invemed Associates $10,000
Shipman & Goodwin $35,511 Midstream Partners $10,000
Northeast Utilities $34,789 Tudor Investment Corporation $10,000
Source: Center for Responsive Politics[56]

Top industries[edit]

Chris Murphy Contribution Linda McMahon Contribution
Retired $1,041,795 Financial Institutions $121,717
Lawyers/Law Firms $861,258 Retired $81,949
Financial Institutions $580,370 Misc Business $55,302
Real Estate $319,466 Manufacturing & Distributing $46,500
Leadership PACs $302,500 Misc Finance $38,050
Insurance Industry $302,025 Business Services $28,932
Health Professionals $285,150 Real Estate $27,000
Democratic/Liberal $267,018 Republican/Conservative $25,630
Universities $232,951 Candidate Committees $24,874
Business Services $228,550 Lawyers/Law Firms $24,372
Source: Center for Responsive Politics[57]

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Chris
Murphy (D)
Linda
McMahon (R)
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling November 1–2, 2012 1,220 ± 2.8% 52% 43% 4%
Rasmussen Reports October 28, 2012 500 ± 4.5% 51% 45% 1% 3%
Quinnipiac October 19–22, 2012 1,412 ± 2.6% 49% 43% 1% 7%
Rasmussen Reports October 21, 2012 500 ± 4.5% 48% 47% 2% 3%
SurveyUSA October 19–21, 2012 575 ± 4.2% 47% 43% 3% 4%
Mason-Dixon October 15–17, 2012 625 ± 4% 44% 44% 12%
Public Policy Polling/LCV October 15–16, 2012 1,015 ± 3.1% 48% 44% 8%
Univ. of Connecticut/Hartford Courant October 11–16, 2012 574 ± 4% 44% 38% 17%
Siena Research Institute October 4–14, 2012 552 ± 4.2% 46% 44% 8%
Rasmussen Reports October 7, 2012 500 ± 4.5% 51% 46% 2% 1%
Quinnipiac University Poll September 28–October 2, 2012 1,696 ± 2.5% 47% 48% 5%
Public Policy Polling September 24–26, 2012 801 ± 3.5% 48% 42% 10%
Univ. of Connecticut/Hartford Courant September 11–16, 2012 517 ± 4.0% 37% 33% 1% 28%
Quinnipiac August 22–26, 2012 1,472 ± 2.6% 46% 49% 4%
Public Policy Polling August 22–23, 2012 881 ± 3.3% 48% 44% 8%
Rasmussen Reports August 21, 2012 500 ± 4.5% 46% 49% 5%
Public Policy Polling July 26–29, 2012 771 ± 3.5% 50% 42% 8%
Quinnipiac May 29–June 3, 2012 1,408 ± 2.6% 46% 43% 9%
Quinnipiac March 14–19, 2012 1,622 ± 2.4% 52% 37% 9%
Public Policy Polling September 22–25, 2011 592 ± 4.0% 50% 43% 6%
Quinnipiac September 8–13, 2011 1,230 ± 2.8% 49% 38% 11%
Public Policy Polling March 17–20, 2011 822 ± 3.4% 54% 38% 9%

Results[edit]

United States Senate election in Connecticut, 2012[58]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Chris Murphy 828,761 55.1% +15.4
Republican Linda McMahon 651,089 43.3% +33.7
Libertarian Paul Passarelli 25,045 1.7% +1.7
Majority 177,672 11.8%
Total votes 1,504,895 100% -
Turnout
Democratic gain from Independent Swing

Note: Murphy also appeared on the line of the Connecticut Working Families Party and received 37,553 votes on it. His Working Families and Democratic votes have been aggregated together on this table.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dr. Michael McDonald (February 9, 2013). "2012 General Election Turnout Rates". George Mason University. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Candidate Committees, Exploratory Committees, and Durational Political Committees Organized for the November 6, 2012 Election" (PDF). State of Connecticut, State Elections Enforcement Commission. Retrieved August 13, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "'To everything there is a season:' Lieberman announces plan to end Senate run". Connecticut Post. January 19, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2011. 
  4. ^ Geiger, Kim (November 6, 2012). "Democrat Murphy beats GOP's McMahon in Connecticut Senate race". Los Angeles Times. 
  5. ^ Sargent, Greg (December 17, 2007). "FLASHBACK: Lieberman Said He Wanted To Help Elect "Democratic President In 2008"". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved December 18, 2010. 
  6. ^ Peoples, Steve (November 15, 2010). "Lieberman's 2012 Race Calculus Is Big Mystery". Roll Call. Retrieved November 30, 2010. 
  7. ^ Ball, Molly (November 23, 2010). "Joe Lieberman left with limited 2012 options". Politico. Retrieved November 30, 2010. 
  8. ^ Wilson, Reid (February 3, 2009). "Connecticut attorney general eyes Lieberman challenge". The Hill. Retrieved December 18, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Richard Blumenthal announces candidacy for U.S. Senate". NECN. January 6, 2010. Retrieved January 18, 2011. 
  10. ^ J. Taylor Rushing (March 13, 2009). "Lieberman open to reunion with Democratic Party". The Hill. Retrieved December 18, 2010. 
  11. ^ Bash, Dana (December 16, 2010). "Lieberman won't rule out run as Republican in 2012". CNN. Retrieved November 18, 2010. 
  12. ^ O'Brien, Michael (January 17, 2011). "Lieberman says he would likely pursue reelection as an Independent". The Hill. Retrieved December 18, 2010. 
  13. ^ Pazniokas, Mark (January 18, 2011). "Bysiewicz to declare for U.S. Senate". The Connecticut Mirror. Retrieved January 18, 2011. 
  14. ^ Jacobs, Jeremy P.; Taylor, Jessica (January 20, 2011Caccessdate=January 20, 2011). "Chris Murphy To Run For Senate". National Journal. 
  15. ^ Vigdor, Neil (August 16, 2011). "McMahon close to launching another Senate bid". The Westport News. Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b c d Vigdor, Neil (January 25, 2012). "Shays officially announces Senate bid". The News-Times. Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  17. ^ Green, Rick (May 24, 2012). "Endorsement Over A Cold One". Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g Pazniokas, Mark (May 1, 2012). "Tong drops, joins Malloy in endorsing Murphy". Retrieved May 2, 2012. 
  19. ^ Jacqueline Rabe Thomas (February 23, 2012). "Senate Democratic candidates play nice at first debate". CTMirror.org. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  20. ^ Phaneuf, Kieth M. (April 5, 2012). "Live Senate debate ends with personal attack on Murphy". CTMirror.org. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  21. ^ Crowley, Liz (April 10, 2012). "UConn hosts Senate debate". The Daily Campus. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  22. ^ Pazniokas, Mark (April 15, 2012). "Senate debate covers pot, guns and price of milk". CTMirror.org. Retrieved April 23, 2012. 
  23. ^ Altimari, Daniela (May 12, 2012). "Murphy Wins Democratic Endorsement For U.S. Senate". The Hartford Courant. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  24. ^ Lockhart, Brian (May 24, 2012). "Oakes endorses Murphy over a beer, Star Trek novel". Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  25. ^ Terkel, Amanda (August 9, 2012). "NARAL Endorses Chris Murphy In Connecticut Senate Race, Breaking With EMILY's List". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  26. ^ EMILY's List
  27. ^ Brian Hill for Senate, again | The Connecticut Mirror
  28. ^ Reilly, Genevieve (November 23, 2011). "Fairfield lawyer to seek U.S. Senate seat". Connecticut Post. Retrieved December 3, 2011. 
  29. ^ McMahon Jumps In for Second Senate Bid : Roll Call Politics
  30. ^ Vigdor, Neil (August 22, 2011). "Hearst exclusive: Former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays to enter 2012 Senate race". greenwichtime.com. Archived from the original on April 6, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  31. ^ Ex-Rep. Shays Makes Senate Bid Official : Roll Call Politics
  32. ^ Pazniokas, Mark (April 19, 2012). "GOP Senate debate relies on familiar songbook". CTMirror.org. Retrieved April 23, 2012. 
  33. ^ Pazniokas, Mark (April 22, 2012). "A GOP debate focuses on electability, jobs and jabs". CTMirror.org. Retrieved April 23, 2012. 
  34. ^ Keating, Christopher; Altimari, Daniela (May 19, 2012). "McMahon Beats Shays 730-389 At GOP Convention; Primary Fight Looms". The Hartford Courant. Retrieved May 19, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Republican candidate Brian K. Hill suspends U.S. Senate campaign". New Haven Register. June 8, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2012. 
  36. ^ a b You Are Invited :: Shays for Senate – Piryx
  37. ^ Toeplitz, Shira (August 26, 2011). "Linda McMahon's 2010 Foe Tells Her He's in Christopher Shays' Corner". Roll Call. Retrieved November 21, 2011. 
  38. ^ Christopher Shays
  39. ^ /www.shaysforussenate.com/home/
  40. ^ a b 'Electability' the new buzzword in U.S. Senate race | The Connecticut Mirror
  41. ^ Shays looks forward to the primary – Connecticut Post
  42. ^ http://ameribornnews.com/blog/2012/07/norwich-bulletin-editorial-board-endorses-chris-shays-for-u-s-senate-republican-candidate/
  43. ^ http://ctsenate2012.nhregister.com/2012/06/21/league-of-conservation-voters-action-fund-supports-chris-shays-and-chris-murphy/
  44. ^ http://ctsenate2012.nhregister.com/2012/06/26/afl-cio-convention-endorses-chris-murphy-chris-shays-tells-labor-he-backs-xl-keystone-pipeline/
  45. ^ Langlois, Mark (December 12, 2011). "Boughton Endorses McMahon for Senate". Danbury Patch. Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  46. ^ GOProud Announces U.S. House Endorsements
  47. ^ a b c http://www.statementofvote-sots.ct.gov/StatementOfVote/WebModules/ReportsLink/CLNWUSSenView.aspx?Parameter=11/06/2012-General
  48. ^ Pazniokas, Mark. "Byseiwicz declares for US Senate". CT Mirror. Retrieved September 8, 2011. 
  49. ^ a b "2012 Connecticut Senate Race To Replace Joe Lieberman Gears Up". Huffington Post. June 19, 2011. 
  50. ^ Connecticut Resident Matthew John Oakes Enters U.S. Senate Race | PRLog
  51. ^ Vigdor, Neil (August 22, 2011). "Hearst exclusive: Former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays entering 2012 Senate race". Greenwich Time. Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  52. ^ Shays Cites Reasons for Optimism in Race Against McMahon – Hotline On Call
  53. ^ O'Leary, Mary E. (July 21, 2012). "Chris Shays says he won’t support Linda McMahon if she wins primary". New Haven Register. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  54. ^ Federal Election Commission. "2012 House and Senate Campaign Finance for Connecticut MURPHY, CHRISTOPHER S". fec.gov. 
  55. ^ Federal Election Commission. "2012 House and Senate Campaign Finance for Connecticut MCMAHON, LINDA". fec.gov. 
  56. ^ Center for Responsive Politics. "Top Contributors 2012 Race: Connecticut Senate". opensecrets.org. 
  57. ^ Center for Responsive Politics. "Top Industries 2012 Race: Connecticut Senate". opensecrets.org. 
  58. ^ "Connecticut - Election 2012". The New York Times. Retrieved November 28, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Official campaign websites