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Political Influencer Survey: Dems Laud Obama's Campaign; GOP Sees it as Neutral

In the last Blue Nutmeg and Red Nutmeg survey of influential political insiders in Connecticut, there is disagreement over whether Obama or Romney ran the more effective campaign. But both camps say McMahon-Murphy won't make much of a difference.

As one of the most divisive election seasons in Connecticut history comes to a close, Republican and Democratic viewpoints remained divergent in their opinions of the two presidential candidates’ campaigns, according to the final pre-election Blue Nutmeg and Red Nutmeg surveys of political insiders in Connecticut.

Among Republican respondents, 52.8% of the 36 respondents thought the Obama and Romney campaigns fought to a standstill overall. Six respondents (16.7%) thought Romney won the “ground game” by a slim margin, and four thought Obama won by a slight margin.

Most Democrats, however, thought Obama won on the ground, with a resounding 51.7% believing he did so by a wide margin and 37.9% saying the president won by a slim margin. Only three (10.3%) called it even.

Another area of disagreement among Blue Nutmeg and Red Nutmeg respondents was their candidate's path to winning Connecticut’s electoral votes. Among Democrats, 75.9 percent (22) thought turning out the Democratic base was more important than convincing swing voters and “undecideds” (24.1 percent, or seven). Republicans, however, overwhelmingly thought the path to win Connecticut was paved with swing/undecided voters, with 77.8 percent (28 respondents) choosing that route.

No Murphy, McMahon Bumps

One area that GOP and Dem respondents agreed on was whether the rancorous Murphy-McMahon U.S. Senate race would affect the presidential results in the state. Seventeen Democrats (56.6%) and 20 Republicans (55.6%) responded that the race, which has dominated Connecticut’s airwaves, will have no effect on the Obama-Romney matchup. Five Democrats (17.2%) and 12 Republicans (33.3%) thought Murphy-McMahon would result in a modest increase in votes for their candidate.

A majority of Democratic respondents (15, or 51.7%) thought the presidential race would give Murphy a mini-bunp, but almost as many Republicans thought the same thing — 12, or 33%, said they thought Murphy would gain votes. Ten Repubicans thought the presidential race would give a boost to Mitt Romney.

As voters hit the polls this morning, here's some parting shots from Patch’s Blue Nutmeg and Red Nutmeg rosters:

DEMOCRATS

  • "Glad it will be over. Problem is, most people on the ballot will just add to the gridlock."
  • "Now that Romney has struck out twice for president, where does he look to enhance his obituary?"
  • "Turnout will be affected by Sandy. Low turnout favors Republicans."
  • "(I'm) concerned about voters getting the chance to vote due to Sandy."
  • "I think the Democratic party could have run a stronger, more issues-driven campaign."
  • "Sandy may impact voter turnout; that would be unfavorable for Democrats, especially in Bridgeport. Like the Malloy race in 2010, the heavy Dem turnout in Bridgeport may be crucual for a Murphy win. McMahon has run a very effective campaign that defined Murphy to the average voter before Murphy was able to define himself. She also has reconfigured herself to something that is not who she really is. It will be very close on Tuesday in the Senate race. I think that McMahon will carry the second district but Murphy will win due to heavy Dem turnout in the central and southwestern part of the state (unless the Sandy impact depresses the vote there)."
  • "I urge voters to take their time in voting — think about the state-level elections, those will have the most direct impact on our everyday lives. Please just VOTE!"
  • "Let's get it over, pass campaign finance reform, ban corporate contributions, limit campaigns to 6 months."
  • "After Sandy it is even more evident that Obama (should) be elected President! Hopefully the Senate and the House will be Democratic majority."

REPUBLICANS

  • "Go Romney, McMahon and Roraback!"
  • "I am really sick and tired of the campaigns."
  • "I hope Connecticut votes Republican this time."
  • "I predict Obama 290 electoral votes regardless of what the popular vote is."
  • "If it wasn't a presidential election McMahon would win."
  • "Roraback will bring votes for Romney in the 5th district."
  • "The independent voters who gave Obama a chance have realized that they made a mistake."
  • "I am just hoping for a smooth process nationwide."
  • "Turning out the vote becomes more important since the storm's effects on the cities."
  • "Tuesday's elections will determine whether or not our basic freedoms remain as the founding fathers intended. It will determine if representative government will continue or if we will become a people dependent upon government for our existence."
  • "The Presidential race is clearly going to Obama in Connecticut. This is a blue state, and has been for some time. I believe that people may ticket-split in the Presidential and U.S. Senate race, voting for Obama at the top of the ticket and McMahon in the U.S. Senate race, although I expect Chris Murphy to win. However, I do see Republicans making gains in the Connecticut Legislature, picking up seats in both the state House and Senate."
  • "McMahon ran a better campaign this time around. How she does at the polls will be an indication of if Republicans turn out and vote for the other races. Has she turned off voters, has Murphy turned off voters, since both leave a lot to be desired. It's hard to imagine either one of them as our U.S. Senator. On the other hand, its hard to imagine Al Franken as a U.S. Senator, and he is!"
  • "Besides an occassional fundraiser, there has not been much of a presidential campaign in Connecticut. Thus I feel their "ground games" and advertising campaigns are neutral. The fascination of Obama has waned over the four years, so the enthusiasm of his supporters is less. On the other hand, the Romney and McMahon supporters seem to be more energetic than the Obama and Murphy supporters, which may help McMahon in a close race. In the end these two races will be decided by turnout. Obama will win Connecticut, but the national polls have this race as a toss-up. The enthusiasm around McMahon gives her a shot of winning in an upset on Tuesday."
  • "Closer than expected. Hangover from Sandy will shave 10 percent off turnout, making for some tight races completely unpredictable."
  • "It will be interesting to see what effect Hurricane Sandy will have on the areas it affected and the ability of the parties to turn out their base."
  • "It's too bad this state has become so misguided. With the presidential race decided before it started here in Connecticut, neither candidate spent any time or money here except to raise more money. Connecticut lost out."
  • "Most important election of our lifetime. If you care about future generations and those in need, vote Romney."
  • "First, whether Linda McMahon increases vote share in large cities (Hartford, New Haven, etc.) over 2010. Second, if voter turnout in Fairfield County (4th Congressional District) was adversely impacted by Hurricane Sandy."

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Patch’s surveys are not a scientific random sample of any larger population but rather an effort to listen to a swath of influential local Republican and Democratic activists, party leaders and elected officials in Connecticut. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in the surveys, although not all responded to this survey's questions. Surveys were conducted between 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5.

Patch conducted Red Nutmeg and Blue Nutmeg surveys throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of conservatives and liberals on the ground in Connecticut.

Red Nutmeg Roster: Mark Gill, Kevin Dombrowski, John Rodolico, Mike Cherry, Mimi Peck Llewellyn, Fred Camillo Allyn Jr., Fran Lowell, Julia Cronin, Bob Beaver, Mark Zacchio, Thomas Harrison, Britta Lerner, Lisa Bigelow, John Shaban, Ward Mazzucco, Dan Carter, Harry Thomas, Don Patterson, Harold Cummings, Brian Motola, William Nicholson, Mark Kalina, Adam Weissberger, Christine Vincent, Jack Scavone, Laura Roberts, Andy Powell, Anthony Candelora, Michael Doody, Rose Angeloni, Vin Candelora, Abbe Smith, Denise Hall, Peter Martin, Steven Adler, Burke Doar, Jay Sarzen, Meredith Trimble, Phil Dunn, Frank Morse, Todd Cusano, Marti Stiglich, Malvi Lennon, Jeff Ingram, Aaron Jubrey, Lisa Boccia, Jason Buchsbaum, Vinny Toscano, David Freudmann, Ric Hossak, Beverly Miela, April Holinko, Tony Lent, Jason Perillo, John Anglace Jr., Ross Mandell, Nathan McKay, Dorry Clay, Wendy Bury, Stephen Bessette, Christopher Davis, Chris Fryxell, David Reed, Sharon McLaughlin, Janet Wieliczka, Jeff Gutman, J.P. Sredzinski, Robert Yamin, Joe Cavo, Mark Boughton, Shay Nagarsheth, Michael McLachlan, Norbert Fay, Dan Steward, Kathleen McCarty, David Lewis, Alan Wilensky, Tim Herbst, Suzanne Testani, Susan LaFrance, Paul Lavoie, Diane Pomposello, Kristin Ingram, Stacy Geist, Jay Berardino, John Szewczyk, Jeremy Renninghoff, Pat Dinatale, Ed Bailey, Scott Kaupin, Patrick Droney, John Kissel, Tom Kienzler, Greg Stokes, Peter Tesei, Livvy Floren, Fred Camillo, Steven Warzoha, L. Scott Frantz, Frank Szeps, Bryan Perry, Ed Munster, Eloise H.P. Killeffer, James M. McLaughlin, Valerie M. Saiz, Nancy Haase, Charles Haberstroh, Avi Kaner, Michael Rea, Lisa DiLullo, Mike Digrego, Michael. S. Casey, Pam Staneski, Tom Jagodzinski, Matthew Galligan, Timothy Becker, Mark Tweedie, Cheri Pelletier, Darren Cunningham, Sean Askham, William Stokesbury, Brian Ladouceur Jr., Cathy Durdan, Paul Henault, Len Cahill, Phil Williams, Phil Sengle, Vincent Cimino, Charity Folk, Stephen Walko, Daria Novak, Diane Carney, Linda Davis, Leora Levy, Aundré Bumgardner.

Blue Nutmeg Roster: Wendy Howard, David Peña, Daryl Worobow, Linda Merlin, Michael Freeman, Neal Bobruff, Edward Haberek Jr., Dorry Clay, Corey Sipe, Don Maranell, Dee Dee Martin, Nick Kapoor, Susan Koneff, Alan Vaglivelo, Kelly Plunkett, William D. Saums, Michael Graner, Rebecca Graebner, Kenneth Koe, Stephanie Calhoun, Dave Holdridge, Sheri Cote, J.W. "Bill" Sheehan, Cheryl Larder, Andrea Kanfer, George Peteros, Tony Silber, Roy Fuchs, Mary Beth Thornton, Nancy DiNardo, Richard W. White, Karen Cheyney, Michael Doyle, James McLaughlin, Allison Dodge, Laura Williams, Drew Marzullo, John Blankley, David Rafferty, Anthony R.J. Moran, William Satti, Rich Martin, George "Bud" Bray, Dan Pickett, James Albis, Jack Stacey, Sharon Hightower, Peter Kochenburger, William Ryan, Mark LaPlaca, Toni Moran, Andrea Epling, James Ezzes, Jonathan Steinberg, Jan Rubino, Rick Field, Bob Pagoni, Josh Freeman, James Maroney, Richard Smith, Kim Rose, Richard Roy, Paul Davis, Robert Hoffman, Kathleen Devlin, Francis Devlin, Ted Graziani, Tracey Kiff-Judson, Mike Pohl, Josh Howroyd, Dave Dumaine, Ryan Barry, Mike Farina, Doreen Richardson, Darleen Klase, Bill Herzfeld, Brandon McGee, Al Simon, Kevin Cavanagh, Alan R. Mordhorst, Phil Sylvestro, Bill MacDonald, Frank Farricker, Tom Gugliotti, Jeff Blumenthal, Peter Mahoney, Marie Herbst, Thomas DiDio, Michael Winkler, Ethelene DiBona, Jennifer Wolfer, Dolly Mezzetti, Joe Mezzetti, Jeff Tindall, Hal Schwartz, Kevin Coyner, Craig Nussbaum, Catherine Zamecnik, Jane Scully Welch, Leon Karvelis, Barbara Reynolds, Bob Schrage, Mark Lewis, Gayle Weinstein, John Hampton, Lisa Heavner, Helen A. Garten, Tricia Evans, Susan Dean, Stephanie Paulmeno.

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