As the gubernatorial elections come around the corner, voters may experience deja-vu when they head to the polling booths. On one end of the political spectrum, we have the nominee from the Democratic Party, which has reigned in this royal blue state. His spot was hardly contested by other members of the party, and the polls currently signal his victory over his opponent. The other end offers the Republican Party’s choice, who has been critical of the current administration due to the mounting taxes that have blown our debt through the roof. A self-proclaimed businessman with the skills to fix the economy, he has accepted endorsement from at least one controversial figure but adamantly continues to stand by his central message. Both campaigns have issued strong rhetoric against each other regarding blunt associations about their opponent, but predictions about who will be victorious in this war of words may prove to signify little, as affiliations are silently shifting in the demographic background. I’ll throw in an extra hint: the name “Trump” frequently features in discussions. Sounds familiar? Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Connecticut’s version of the 2016 presidential election!
This may appear to be a grotesque exaggeration of the nature of the race for governor, but the parallels are unmistakably evident. Though the manner in which they have manifested themselves is not yet blatantly obvious, there is no doubt that the shadow of the 2016 election will be lingering over ballots across the state. It seems that legacy will be playing an especially important role in this race as “Ned Malloy” and “Bob Trumpanowski” try to shake off the denomination of lackey to the leaders of both the state and the nation, instead reminding voters of their own promises and how they will emulate the better qualities of the polemic men with whom they are associated. However, unlike two years ago when we had no idea what was going to happen, we are now aware of what factors contributed to the outcome and how they could potentially repeat themselves or swing to the other side of the political pendulum. This background knowledge will prove to be monumental when it comes to the ultimate showdown. Of even more importance, the issues which the candidates debate about are relevant to everyone in the state; their ideas may not be polar opposites, but the ones that prevail will impact all of us directly in our daily lives.
For those who will be able to cast their decision this November, they must take all of this into account before they make their choice, considering what is similar to 2016 and what isn’t. But if there is one thing that they should know from both past and present, it is this: every person matters, and every vote counts.