At first glance, Tuesday’s gubernatorial election looks like a replay of the one in 2010, when Dan Malloy and Tom Foley also faced off in a tight race. But data from the Secretary of the State’s office and the Associated Press shows that Malloy emerged the victor with a slightly differently geographic look this time around.
Now, some major things did remain the same. Malloy’s margins of victory were huge in the cities, while Foley hoped he could build a large-enough lead in smaller towns. With a margin of about 13,000 in Hartford, 16,000 in Bridgeport and 19,692 in New Haven, the cities came through for Malloy again. A larger percentage of voters in those cities went for Malloy this time than in 2010.
But elections aren’t won with percentages; they are won with votes. And in fact Malloy came away with about 2,500 more votes than last time in those cities, but it looks like Malloy is going to win by significantly more than the 6,500 he won by last time. So where did the extra breathing room come from?
The maps below show four things, which are toggled using the toolbar: 1) the percentage of votes won in each town, 2) how many votes were won in each town, 3) the change in the percentage of votes won versus 2010 and 4) the change in the number of votes won. Results were not available for the towns shown in white.
Compare the 2014 vote counts to those in 2010 (the last toolbar item), and it’s clear Malloy had better margins in two key places. One is the shoreline — especially north and east of New Haven. The towns of Branford, Guilford and Madison alone provided almost 2,500 more votes for Malloy in this election than in 2010. Another big factor shows up in the towns around and including Newtown — Bethel, Danbury, Brookfield, New Fairfield, Ridgefield and New Milford — in which more than 7,500 votes swung toward Malloy, hinting that the candidates’ stands on gun control played into the election.
The map for Foley, below, is just the mirror image of the Malloy map. But it does highlight the areas that improved for Foley, mostly small towns. But his improved margins there weren’t enough to overcome the results in regions that swung toward Malloy this time.