Republican Senate hopeful Linda McMahon fared modestly better in Connecticut than fellow Republican Mitt Romney, but the path to victory for her Democratic rival, Chris Murphy, still closely followed the town-by-town pattern that gave Barack Obama a decisive win in the state.
The Senate race’s town-by-town vote map, shown at the bottom of the post, consistently looks like a slightly redder version of the presidential map (inset, below), with McMahon’s strongest showing — like Romney’s – coming in wealthy Fairfield County towns, along a corridor through northwestern New Haven County and eastern Litchfield County, and in towns bordering Massachusetts.
McMahon also built on the slim majorities Romney won in several smaller towns in eastern Connecticut. And she turned slight losses for Romney into slight wins for herself in dozens of towns, primarily in far eastern Connecticut and in the rural region surrounding (but not including) Lebanon.
McMahon was counting on more towns to follow that path. As the election approached, McMahon adopted a controversial strategy of appealing to Obama supporters and urging them to split their vote. Although some Republicans were miffed, the strategy was an acknowledgement that McMahon could not hope to win on Romney’s coattails. In at least 32 towns, voters gave a majority of votes to Obama – and to McMahon (while not a single municipality split for Romney and Murphy). But those small victories for McMahon were not enough to overcome Murphy’s dominance in more heavily populated areas.
The map below shows the town-by-town vote split for Murphy and McMahon. Democratic majorities are in blue and Republican majorities are in red, with the intensity of the color indicating the strength of the victor’s margin. Click any of the towns in the map to see the vote breakdown for that municipality. (Towns shaded in black indicate that poll results are not available.) For a larger map, click here, and click here for a look at the town-by town presidential map.