Newspaper Analysis of Impact of Working Families Party on Connecticut 2010 Election

Thanks to Ballot Access News for the tip…

(excerpt from) The Bristol Press
Measuring the influence of the Working Families Party on elections
by Scott Whipple / December 4, 2010

Last Election Day, millions of voters nationwide frustrated with the current administration in Washington, voted Republican.

But not in Connecticut.

Here in The Land of Steady Habits, the Grand Old Party failed to pick up a single seat in Congress and fared almost as poorly in state elections. Former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy, buoyed by a surge of late votes in Bridgeport and New Haven, became the state’s first Democratic governor in a generation. His margin — a slim 6,700 votes.

What made the difference? Like most close elections, political observers were eager to cite various factors. In the gubernatorial race there was an unprecedented mobilization by union members, an increased voter turnout in the cities and what might have been the deciding factor — the showing at the polls of the state’s Working Families Party.

An independent, grassroots political party the WFP and its ballot line attracted 26,000 votes for Malloy — a much larger total than his actual margin of victory…

This election year, the Working Families Party [in Connecticut] endorsed 93 candidates in the state — mostly Democrats. However, the occasional Republican and independent also received the party’s nod. In total, 73 WFP candidates were victorious, including four who — like Malloy — would have lost their race without the votes cast on the Working Families line…

4 thoughts on “Newspaper Analysis of Impact of Working Families Party on Connecticut 2010 Election

  1. Dave Schwab

    This article makes a big deal out of candidates who would have lost their races without the votes cast on the WFP line, but it has no information about whether those voters would have voted Democratic anyway had there been no WFP line. So, it doesn’t really measure the impact of the WFP, as the headline boasts.

  2. citizen1

    Independent? Grassroots? A party that says they will endorse another parties candidate no matter who the are is not independent. A party made up of Democrat and union organizers is not grassroots.

  3. Bryan

    @1 In a presidential election year some of thier total probably would/could have been filed under “protest” vote. But in an off year election, I would be curious to know how many may not have bothered going to the polls if the WFP had not been on the ballot.
    @2 They are much more grassroots than the astroturf T-Party.

  4. Kimberly Wilder

    I do not think the article is perfect. I think that it is interesting for looking at different ways to perceive and/or describe the influence of third parties.

    Overall, in NY, the Working Families Party has pandered a lot to the Democratic Party. And, I believe that the whole structure of the NY party is about unions getting power/representation by the amount they invest in the party. So, it is questionable how grassroots they truly are.

    Though, I like how the article points out that independents do vote on third party lines, even if others think of that party as only pulling left votes, or only pulling right votes. And, I like how it points out that a third party/left can help the Democrats, by taking protest votes from a bad Dem candidate, and giving them to a third party, instead of the major party/Republican opponent.

    I am not thrilled with the Working Families Party. And, I don’t think the article is entirely accurate or fair. Though, I think it is interesting. And, worth thinking about.

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