February 23, 2010
Bristol a key city for both parties in state election
Because it has relatively high voter turnout in state races and a more conservative bent than most cities in the state, its votes are up for grabs to a degree rarely found.
In the 2006 gubernatorial race, when Republican Jodi Rell defeated Democrat John DeStefano, Bristol provided the 10th highest vote total for Rell and also the 10th highest number of votes for DeStefano.
Most municipalities leaned more to one or the other.
West Hartford is probably the top battleground. It provided the second highest tally for DeStefano and the 5th most votes for Rell, who won the town.
Only Norwalk, Stamford, Waterbury and West Hartford gave more votes to both Rell and DeStefano than Bristol did.
Though Bristol leans Democratic in local races, it's no sure thing for either party in any given year. Rell, for instance, won the city easily with 11,129 votes compared to 6,741 for the Denocrat.
The city that gave Rell the most votes was Stamford. New Haven, not surprisingly, gave DeStefano, its mayor, his highest tally.
New Britain, by the way, gave DeStefano only a couple hundred more votes than Bristol did because of its lackluster turnout. Rell, however, got 5,000 fewer votes in New Britain than Bristol.
Given Bristol's capacity to swing races to one side or the other, it's surprising that it's not on candidates' radar screens to a greater degree than it has normally been.
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