Amann Confident of Big Win for Legislative Democrats

Jim Amann thinks Republicans are about to get swamped:

Democratic House Speaker James Amann thinks the minority Republicans in the Connecticut legislature have a lot to worry about on Election Day.

“The tsunami is coming, they know it,” he said. “It’s going to be the biggest landslide since Watergate.” (AP)

National trends do have an impact on state races. For example, the last time the Republicans won control of the Connecticut House of Representatives was in 1984, because of Ronald Reagan’s landslide win. A lasting effect of their tenure was the elimination of the party lever on voting machines (which actually lessened the impact of national trends on state races a little).

So should Republicans worry? Yes, but they shouldn’t be too concerned. After 2006, a bad year for Republicans at the state and national levels (Jodi Rell excluded), they didn’t have much further to fall anyway. The Fightin’ 44 may become the Fightin’ 40, but there just aren’t that many marginal districts left where Democrats have a realistic shot at picking up seats.

obamakissel.pngBesides, Connecticut voters know how to split a ticket, as seen here. The signs are for John Kissel, a Republican, and Barack Obama. It isn’t hard to see, of course, as the moderate (even for Connecticut) Kissel and Obama would probably find broad agreement on a lot of issues.

GOP Launches Radio Ad

The GOP in the state certainly isn’t giving up hope. Their presidential candidate may lose here, their last surviving congressman is teetering on the brink of disaster, and they may lose seats in Hartford. But there’s always next time, and that’s what I think this 60 second radio ad, released by House Republicans through a PAC called “New Horizons,” is all about.

“For more than 30 years Democrats have controlled the Connecticut state House. Thirty years of a Democratic majority has gotten us higher taxes, jobs lost and a growing state deficit,” reads the announcer. “After 30 years, don’t you think it’s about time to change the state House?”

If they didn’t have the word “Republican” right before the word “Party” in their name, they might get somewhere with an ad like that. This year, though, it’s hard to see Republicans as the party of change. To be fair, a Republican-led legislature in Hartford would be very different from the current (and future) Democratic-led one. But Connecticut has had Republican governors for fourteen years, and Republicans at the national level–the level people are paying attention to this cycle–have worn out their welcome.

I’ve often wondered why Republicans don’t run more ads that target the whole creaky Democratic establishment instead of individual legislators. And I also wonder why they waited so long to do so this time (the ad started running last Wednesday). I suspect this is a test run for 2010 more than anything else. 2006 and 2008 are going to end up being lost cycles for Republicans in Connecticut, through almost no fault of their own, but 2010 could be a different story.

Conn. Democrats hope for more seats.” Associated Press 2 November, 2008.


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