Four years ago, during the U.S. Senate race that installed Joe Lieberman in the Senate as an independent, 44 percent of the city's electorate had cast a ballot by 5 p.m.
Today, with a whole range of hot races on the ballot, just 40 percent of the city's registered voters had shown up by 5 p.m.
A 10 percent drop since the last midterm election is a pretty sharp decline and makes it virtually certain that Bristol will come nowhere near the 60 percent turnout that Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz predicted statewide.
What it means, however, is less certain.
In general, insiders said that Republicans appear to be hyped up to vote this time around so they are perhaps more likely to turn out.
Democrats and independents may be sitting this one out, turned off by negative advertising and disgusted by the failure of both parties to fix the economy in the wake of 2008's financial collapse.
Polling across the country today clearly shows that the economy is the number one issue on voters' minds -- and the betting is that in many places, incumbent Democrats are going to pay a heavy price for the economy's failings.
What will happen in Bristol, however, could be entirely different.
We won't know until the votes are counted in a few hours.
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