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First Read is an analysis of the day's political news, from the NBC News political unit. First Read is updated throughout the day, so check back often.

Chuck Todd, NBC Political Director

Mark Murray, NBC Deputy Political Director

Domenico Montanaro, NBC Political Researcher



Previewing Connecticut

Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 4:49 PM by Mark Murray
Filed Under: ,

From NBC/NJ’s Tricia Miller
WEST HARTFORD, CT -- Connecticut isn’t known as a political hotbed, but this week it heated up quickly in anticipation of its Feb. 5 primary.

Vying for 60 delegates and in a virtual tie here, Clinton and Obama both hit up the Constitution State in the last few days. Clinton was in New Haven for a small roundtable yesterday, and Obama was in Hartford for a huge rally on Sunday. Chelsea Clinton started primary day by bringing donuts to a polling place in New Haven.

Connecticut was considered Clinton country earlier in the race, but polls tightened not long after favorite son Chris Dodd dropped out in early January. Many elected Democrats supported Dodd, who has represented Connecticut in the Senate since 1980, until he dropped out of the race following a poor showing in the Iowa. Since then, their support has been divided. U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro, John Larson, and Chris Murphy endorsed Obama on Saturday. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Comptroller Nancy Wyman, meanwhile, endorsed Clinton. Dodd and freshman Rep. Joe Courtney have said they will remain neutral.

On the GOP side, McCain has held a commanding lead over former neighboring Gov. Mitt Romney in the most recent polls. He has also cleaned up the endorsements of the Republican establishment here with the support of Gov. Jodi Rell and Rep. Chris Shays, Connecticut’s only remaining Republican member of the House. Shays serves as chair of McCain’s Connecticut campaign with Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent Democrat and himself a failed (Democratic) presidential candidate. Thirty delegates, including three superdelegates, are at stake on the Republican side.

Adam Joseph, acting communications director under Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, said that record turnout is expected for both party primaries today despite pouring rain. Current records for presidential primary turnout were set at 36.8% for Democrats in 1988 and 43.3% for the Republicans in 1980. On Feb. 1, Bysiewicz announced that more than 34,000 new voters registered between Nov. 1 and Jan. 31; additionally, almost 17,000 unaffiliated voters joined a party so they could participate in the closed primaries.

Because the deadline to withdraw from the ballot was Dec. 27, 16 candidates total are in the running. On the Republican side that includes (on the order the appear on the ballot) former Giuliani, Thompson, Romney, McCain, Hunter, Paul, Huckabee, and even perennial candidate Alan Keyes. On the Democratic side that includes Obama, Kucinich, Gravel, Richardson, Edwards, Dodd, Biden, and Clinton. Voters can also identify their choice as uncommitted.

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Comments

Seems that as voters get to know Obama they want to vote for him versus keeping to the same old same old of Bush and Clintons
Obama's HUGE rally was on Monday, not Sunday.

Also, Obama is listed first on the ballot and Hillary is at the bottom. That is definitley a plus for Obama.
I am from CT and I voted for Hillary Clinton today because our nation is in a mess in Iraq and and even worse mess Economically (as is clearly evident by what happened on Wall St. today) and I believe it will take every second of the next presidency to fix the mess that the Bush administration will leave behind. We have no time to waste on the learning curve...Hillary Clinton knows how the White House works and she will know what to do on the first day to start cleaning up the mess!
Obama's HUGE rally was on Monday, not Sunday.

Also, Obama is listed first on the ballot and Hillary is at the bottom. That is definitley a plus for Obama.

Vinny, Hartford, CT (Sent Tuesday, February 05, 2008 5:02 PM)


Yes, why IS Hillary's name on the bottom and Obama's at the top?  It was like that on the ballot here in AZ.  A coincidence perhaps, or did some anti-Hillary person design it that way?  Nothing would surprise me.
If it makes you feel better, Obama's name was at the bottom of the ballot here in California.  And you know what?  I voted for him anyway.  No conspiracy going on here folks.  
Yes that's what it is Todd in Phoenix, a conspiracy, because Mrs. Clinton supporters are so intellectually challenged that it will cause problems for them to look past Mr. Obama's name and select her's, right?   Good lawd are you serious with this one?  Now I understand the mindset in Arizon, tragic really.
In Utah Clinton was at the top and Obama at the bottom.
really, read up on things before you assume the worst. In connecticut, the DNC randomly picks name order for the state ballot, bingo style. obama's name was pulled first, and hillary's was last. that simple.
Hilary was at the top of our ballot in California.
I proudly cast my vote in Waterbury this morning for Hillary.  if our party was allowing only DEMS to vote as it should be she would win in a landside.

I can't stand Obama and will never vote for him in the general.  Nor that little weasel Chris Murphy.  I ACTIVELY supported him last time around but he's stabbed Hillary in the back.
Get over the ballot positioning stuff, Clinton folks, she is at the top of the ballot in many other states.  Also, a low ballot position in CT was not a problem for Joe Lieberman's crooked second run to keep his Senate seat in 2006; he was way at the bottom of the ballot underneath Republican, Democrat, Green Party, and another third party, and despite concerns that this would hurt him in the election, it did not.
Californians know we won't get PAID $50 TO PICK LETTUCE.

we aren't STUPID John McCain.
Take note MSNBC/Obama network, Your spin is not working only truning people off:

From CNN:
On the Democratic side, early indications suggest it could be a long night. Primary outcomes often turn on those people who made their decisions within the last three days before the vote. According to the exit polls, Obama and Clinton are essentially splitting those voters, with 47 percent going for Obama and 46 percent for Clinton.

There's no doubt Democrats are torn between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. But the early exit polls show they are not bitterly divided: 72 percent of Democrats said they would be satisfied if Clinton won the party's nomination, while 71 percent say the same about Obama
REAGAN fired all the traffic controllers-replaced with ILLEGALS.

please, there is A REASON FOR RONALD REAGAN Jr.; SISTER PATTI-and ASTROLOGICAL Nancy.


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