Connecticut’s presidential primaries kick off this morning so we thought we’d take this opportunity to see how the election played out during the last big contest in 2008.
Registered Democrats participated at a higher rate than registered Republicans in the state. In 2008, the average turnout by town for Democrats in the primaries was 55 percent. For Republicans, that average was just 38 percent.
In 121 towns, more than half the registered Democrats voted in the primaries to help decide between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
In contrast, no towns in Connecticut saw more than 50 percent of registered Republicans participate in the race between Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Mike Huckabee.
Towns with best Democratic voter participation in 2008 were Kent and Lyme with 73 percent each.
Union and Sprague had the highest rate of Republican voter participation with 48 and 47 percent of those registered in that party respectively.
The parallels between the 2008 and the current 2016 primaries are hard to miss.
In the Democratic primary, Clinton once again faces an opponent who has a lot of support from young voters.
Back in 2008, Obama won 89 towns in Connecticut, taking 28 delegates.
Meanwhile, Clinton won 79 towns and got 22 delegates.
This year, with polls indicating a close race in Connecticut, records show Clinton and Sanders have spent more than a million dollars on television ads.
The highest percentages of votes for Obama were in Canaan and Bloomfield, with 75 and 71 percent respectively.
Clinton had her strongest town support in East Haven and Derby, with 70 and 63 percent of votes going her way.
We shall see tonight whether the towns that supported her eight years ago will continue to do so and which towns switch.
In the 2008 Republican primary, John McCain won Connecticut overwhelmingly.Only Colebrook, Hartland, Somers and Suffield bucked the tide by voting for Romney.
It will be interesting to see if Donald Trunp, who polls indicate has a strong lead in Connecticut, can approach McCain;s pattern.
Large cities like New Haven, Hartford and Waterbury have seen an increase in registered Democrats (between 5,000 and 10,000 each) since 2008. Many towns saw decreases in the number of registered Democrats, with New Britain and West Haven losing more than 2,000 registered voters each.
There are 800 more registered Republicans in Middletown this year compared to the 2008 presidential primary election.