Update 4 p.m.
Four hours before polls close on one of Connecticut’s most widely anticipated races, supporters for the two major party candidates for retiring U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman’s seat say they’re eager and optimistic.
Mary Howard, a registered Republican from Stamford, broke away from the phones at her city’s GOP headquarters to say she sees in party candidate Linda McMahon—longtime CEO of the WWE, based just one mile away—many of the same qualities she sees in presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
“She is such a good businessperson and has created so many jobs here in Connecticut, which [Democrat Chris] Murphy has not done,” said Howard, a Manhasset, N.Y. native and former New Canaan resident who formerly worked as a flight attendant.
The McMahon-Murphy race has drawn a national spotlight as one of a handful in Congress where Democrats and Republicans have been neck-and-neck in much of the polling since primaries this summer. The race also has drawn attention and criticism for what’s been described as the personal, vitriolic nature of many campaign ads.
Murphy, a congressman in the Fifth District, received a vote today from 75-year-old Barbara Spitzer of Stamford, a native of the Chicago area and former Greenwich resident who volunteered with the city’s Democratic party during the campaign season.
For Spitzer, a psychologist, Murphy stands for women in important ways.
“I think he wants women to have choice and equal pay, and I think he stands for the environment and that’s so important, especially after this storm,” Spitzer.
Even as a separate storm approaches for Wednesday, the lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy could be felt in Stamford and elsewhere. Nearly 5,000 customers of Connecticut Light and Power, the state’s major utility, remained without power as of 3:30 p.m.—down from a high of more than 600,000 one week ago.
According to Stamford Democratic City Committee Chairman John Mallozzi, overall turnout in Stamford is projected to hit about 78 percent today—down from about 81 percent four years ago.
Meanwhile, McMahon cast her vote Tuesday afternoon at North Street School in Greenwich. Speaking to the media afterwards, McMahon said she felt she had gotten her message across to constituents.
“It was my intention from the beginning to let the people of Connecticut know that I had a plan to put them back to work, to jump-start our economy and I think that message has been resonating loud and clear,” she said.
In a video released on YouTube Tuesday (attached), Murphy—who is casting his vote Tuesday afternoon in Cheshire—urged his supporters to cast their ballots.
“This election is going to be close so make sure you reserve enough time today to get out to the polls,” he said.
The libertarian candidate for the senate seat is Paul Passarelli of Norwalk.
On his campaign website, Passarrelli paints himself as a Washington outsider who will bring fresh perspective to the senate seat.
“It bears repeating, that I will go to Washington for the State of Connecticut, the Constitution of the Unites States, and the Republic that is the Unites States of America; not for the Democrats, not for the GOP, or even the Libertarians, the Objectivists, the Greens, etc… regardless of whether he earns their support or their vilification,” the campaign website says.
For months, Senate hopefuls Linda McMahon and Chris Murphy have traded barbs over the airwaves and during several debates. Voters will soon decide which of the candidates will replace outgoing U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman.
The most recent poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling and released on Nov. 2, says that Murphy has a 52-43 advantage.
McMahon, former CEO of WWE and a 2010 candidate for U.S. Senate, has been running a self-funded campaign focused on the economy. Chris Murphy, a congressman in the Fifth District, has sought to differentiate himself from McMahon on women’s issues.
Paul Passarelli, of Norwalk, is running on the Libertarian ticket.