FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — With Connecticut’s presidential primary looming on the horizon, a local political expert predicts that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will win the popular vote in the Nutmeg State, just as they did earlier this week in the Empire State.
Trump swept the Republican field in the primary in New York on Tuesday, winning about 60 percent of the vote. Clinton took home 58 percent of the vote, with Bernie Sanders following not too far behind at 42 percent.
While Connecticut has had a history of supporting underdog candidates, Sacred Heart University Professor Gary Rose said the majority of Democratic voters will probably still choose Clinton over Sanders when they go to the polls next Tuesday, April 26.
“Bill and Hillary are very, very well received in Connecticut these days,” Rose told the Daily Voice in an interview. But he said students on college campuses across Connecticut are very active in their support for Sanders.
Clinton also has the advantage of the closed primary system in Connecticut: Only registered members of a political party can vote. Since Sanders has done quite well with unaffiliated voters, he is at a disadvantage, according to Rose.
Also, Clinton does well with minority voters, so she could be bolstered by voters in Connecticut’s diverse cities if the campaign mobilizes voters in those areas, Rose said.
On the other side of the ticket, Rose sees Trump riding to victory in Connecticut. “The momentum is so on his side after what happened in New York,” Rose said.
While Ted Cruz has typically done well in the closed primaries, bringing out the right-wing vote, Rose doesn’t think that will be the case in Connecticut.
Rose said that most, but not all, Republican voters in Connecticut tend to be more moderate. “It’s not the Republican party in Wyoming or Colorado or Alabama,” he said.
Regardless of their party affiliation, Connecticut voters will turn out in high numbers on April 26, Rose predicted.
Rose said that voters, who sense that the election this year has higher stakes than in past years, will be driven to the polls. “I think the towns and the cities better get ready because I think turnout is going to be high,” he said.
The numbers back him up: More than 87,000 new voters have registered in Connecticut since Jan. 1, a record-setting pace, according to Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.
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