AP, Fox, Dems: Blumenthal wins
Published 9:27 pm, Tuesday, November 2, 2010
"Senator-elect Blumenthal's opponent spent upwards of $50 milion on this race, yet at the end of the day, Connecticut voters went with the candidate who has fought for them for decades," Menendez wrote.
Blumenthal's campaign declined to comment and the news had not yet circulated through the Hilton Hotel in Hartford, where supporters and staffers are gathering for election night.
Fox News also called the race for Blumenthal, apparently based on exit polling. The network made the call just four minutes after the polls closed in the state everywhere but Bridgeport, where ballot problems kept polls open until 10 p.m. Other news organizations held off on a projection.
Blumenthal and his Republican opponent, former WWE boss Linda McMahon, crisscrossed the state Tuesday looking for last-minute votes before settling in to watch the night's returns.
Blumenthal, clinging to a modest lead in the polls despite his opponent's self-financed $50 million campaign, made stops at polling places in Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport, Fairfield, New Haven, East Haven and Middletown.
"History's being made today," he told reporters along the trail. But he added, "I'm making no predictions. I'm working like I'm 10 points behind."
As she voted at North Street School, McMahon received shouted encouragement from a group of Greenwich Republicans, including state Sen. Scott L. Frantz and state Rep. Livvy Floren. Later in the day, she rallied with her election workers in East Haven.
"I feel good about the race," she said. "Our country really is making some big decisions today and voting for the kind of change we need."
As he stood in the shadow of Middletown High School, greeting -- and in some cases being ignored -- by voters, Blumenthal said every little bit of time helps.
"Every time I have a chance to talk or listen to people is a plus."
John Niemczyk, a Democrat, took time to say hello to Blumenthal, but as he walked into the polling place he said he was still unsure whether he was going to vote for him for for McMahon.
"It's all mud-slinging. I really don't know what I'm going to do," he said.
Niemczyk said he is not a huge Blumenthal fan, but added he is unhappy with McMahon's spending upwards of $50 million of her wealth on the race.
But Democrat Betty Vernon, who works for the state Department of Labor, went right up to Blumenthal and said, "I've gotta shake your hand."
Robert and Bethany Schmidt said they are registered as independents, but both backed Blumenthal.
Although Bethany was turned off by reports earlier in the year that Blumenthal on occasion misrepresented his military service during Vietnam, she likes his "experience."
Democrat Ann Kokoszka said she is optimistic that Blumenthal will win.
"It was nice to see his opponent's (poll) numbers dropping, but I'm just really nervous based on what I see on the news about the confidence Republicans have."
Out to shore up her Republican base in Fairfield County, McMahon was squired by a cavalcade of GOP loyalists from her hometown of Greenwich to Scofield Magnet Middle School in Stamford, where she did a rendezvous with current Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele.
From there, the former WWE CEO hit Norwalk, Trumbull, Stratford and Milford before lunching at Five Guys in Orange for their famous burgers in an election-day tradition. She went to Five Guys in Westport the day of her GOP primary victory in August.