Incumbent Party – Independent
Projection – Slight Democrat Pick-Up
|Primary Date||August 14, 2012|
|General Date||November 06, 2012|
|Incumbent Status||Not Seeking Re-election|
Republicans could have a shot at winning this tough election. With Democrat leaning Independent Senator Joe Lieberman retiring, there are no real big name liberal stars running to replace him and while some liberal candidates like Chris Murphy and Susan Bysiewicz are better known than others, they do n ot start out with the type of name ID based advantage that 2010 Democrat candidate and Senate winner Richard Blumenthal did after serving multiple terms as the state’s Attorney General. However Republicans have at least two names running that are fairly familiar among voters statewide voters. One is former liberal Republican Congressman Chris Shays who lost reelection to his congressional seat in 2008. The other is Linda McMahon who has just come off of a 2010 run for U.S. Senate. McMahon lost to Blumenthal but ran a relatively strong race. More importantly, the effects of her recent race will be a undeniable boost for her this time around.
McMahon happens to be further to the right of the liberal Chris Shays and as such Chris Shays campaign for the Republican nomination will try to claim that his more “moderate” views will make him the more electable of the two among the relativelky left of center elecftorate of the Nutmeg State. However, that will not neccessarily make Shays more competitive than McMahon and ultimately, if President Obama fails to be as strong in Connecticut as he was in 2008, McMahon could squeak by the Democrat nominee a bit easier than Shays could.
McMahon is a stronger speaker than Shays, can raise more money than him, has better statewide name ID than him, and has a much more established statewide organization than does Shays. These are the factors which could make much more of a difference in a close statewide election in Connecticut, than can Shays’ argument regarding his being ideologically similiar to the Democrat nominee. If peeople want someone who is like a Democrat, why not just go for the real Democrat?
Still though, the odds are against the G.O.P. picking this seat up, but if Linda McMahon does become the nominee, the race will be a toss-up.