Another $1.2 million flowed into Connecticut’s deadlocked race for governor over the past 48 hours as two super PACs allied with the Democratic and Republican governors’ associations fought for superiority in a war of negative advertising.
The Republican Governors Association reported Saturday that it spent $640,000 in the previous 24 hours, most of it on television ads attacking Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, the first-term Democratic incumbent. On Friday, a super PAC affiliated with the Democratic Governors Association reported spending $550,000 in the previous 24 hours, most it attacking the GOP challenger, Tom Foley.
And major political names are joining the flow of dollars into the state, with visits scheduled next week from President Obama and Bill Clinton on behalf of Malloy and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana on behalf of Foley.
Connecticut Forward, an affiliate of the Democratic Governors Association, notified the State Elections Enforcement Commission on Friday it had raised $550,000 and spent $713,000 in the previous 24 hours, bringing its total receipts and expenditures to more than $3.4 million.
Those transactions briefly drew the Democratic super PAC even with Grow Connecticut, a super PAC largely funded by the Republican Governors Association. But Grow Connecticut regained the monetary lead Saturday with nearly $640,000 in receipts and expenditures, bringing its total spending to more than $4 million. All new money came from the RGA, whose total stake in the race is now $3.4 million.
In its filing Friday, Connecticut Forward reported receiving $250,000 from the national political arm of the Service Employees International Union and $300,000 from the DGA, bringing total contributions from SEIU to $500,000 and from the DGA to $1.5 million.
The bulk of the funds have underwritten negative television ads, with smaller amounts going for radio and internet advertising. In addition to the outside spending, Malloy and Foley each are spending $6.5 million in public financing on their general election campaigns.
The outside dollars and politicians are coming as a recent Quinnipiac University poll showed Malloy and Foley each with support from 43 percent of likely voters in the Nov. 4 election. Petitioning candidate Joe Visconti was at nine percent.
Clinton will headline a rally Monday night in Hartford, his second in Connecticut in the past five weeks, while Obama is scheduled to campaign with Malloy on Wednesday night in Bridgeport.
Christie will be with Foley in Rocky Hill on Tuesday for his fourth visit in support of the GOP nominee. Foley said Jindal of Louisiana, who clashed with Malloy outside the White House earlier this year, is among the other Republicans coming to help him.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida congresswoman who chairs the Democratic National Committee, will campaign Saturday in Hartford and West Hartford with Malloy, holding a roundtable discussion on women’s issues.
On Friday, Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts campaigned with Malloy in Hartford, highlighting the role Malloy played in winning passage of a $10.10 minimum wage law. Patrick and other New England governors have helped the DGA raise money in Connecticut.
Obama campaigned with Malloy in March, addressing a rally in New Britain in anticipation of Connecticut’s passage of the first state law imposing the $10.10 minimum wage, effective in January 2017.