Fairfield voters repeatedly gave the same answer Tuesday when asked what issue mattered most: the economy. Whether that meant giving the Democrats another two years of control in Congress or changing the guard was up for debate. But the factor on the minds of voters and politicians alike in Fairfield was creating more jobs.
"I think the past office holders ran [the economy] into the ground," George Fraser Jr. said after voting Tuesday. "And the country along with it."
Concerns about the economy were not unique to Fairfield. According to one poll, 62 percent of voters nationwide named the economy as the top issue. And in exit polls conducted Tuesday, 88 percent of voters in Connecticut expressed anxieties about the direction of the country's economy next year. Overall, 47 percent said they were "very worried," while an additional 41 percent said they were "somewhat worried."
Who to blame, however, was a matter of personal preference. Some expressed frustrations with the Obama administration and the Democratic Party. That was the trend nationwide, with the Republicans taking back the House of Representatives and closing the gap in the Senate.
"I'm unemployed at the moment and we need jobs," said a voter at Fairfield Ludlowe High School who asked not to be named. "I voted Republican straight across the lines, because I don't think the Dems are doing anything right now."
Yet many Fairfield voters felt the current economic climate is left over from the Bush administration's time in office. Democrats Jim Himes and Richard Blumenthal managed to win their races for the 4th Congressional District and the Senate with support from area voters. Those who supported them, like Noreen Klinga, felt the Democrats just needed more time to continue their policies.
"I personally hope that people aren't using this as a referendum for what's going on nationally," Noreen said. "I think two years is not enough time to turn a ship around completely."
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