CT: Small Prize, But Big-Name Visits
By Lyndsey Layton
Just 60 Democratic delegates are at stake in Connecticut -- a sliver of the 2,025 needed to secure the nomination. But Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton are neck-and-neck and battling hard there, giving it the kind of attention normally reserved for states with bigger jackpots.
Today, Clinton was in New Haven in the morning, and Obama hit Hartford in the late afternoon. Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, is expected in Hartford tonight, while Obama's wife, Michelle, visited Greenwich on Wednesday.
That kind of attention is unknown in Connecticut, which used to hold its primary in March, long after the front-runners were determined by New Hampshire and Iowa. By holding an earlier primary in a year when the race is competitive, Connecticut is suddenly off the sidelines and into the game.
Both Clinton and Obama have been running frequent television ads, and Clinton has sent direct mailings targeted to female voters.
A SurveyUSA poll taken over the weekend showed Obama leading Clinton, 48 percent to 46 percent.
The tightening race follows a spike in voter registration. About 32,000 people have joined the rolls in recent weeks, with Democrats outpacing Republicans by two to one, said Adam Joseph, spokesman for Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz.
Three of the five members of the state's congressional delegation are backing Obama -- Rosa DeLauro, John Larson and Chris Murphy. State Attorney General (and Clinton's Yale Law School study buddy) Richard Blumenthal is supporting Clinton. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, who dropped out of the presidential race, is staying neutral.
On the Republican side, McCain is the clear leader, with 53 percent to Romney's 31 percent. McCain is campaigning with Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and also has the support of Rep. Christopher Shays.
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