Connecticut 5th District
Over the years, Connecticut’s stony soil has become home to some of the most affluent people in the nation and the world. This is true even in the hills of northwest Connecticut, off the interstates and far from Connecticut’s small urban capital of Hartford and its sometime booming edge city of Stamford. In Litchfield County are exquisite Yankee towns like Washington and Kent, which were prosperous in the post-Revolutionary era, when Connecticut’s shipowners accumulated capital and invested it in factories and mills, and now are considered the “anti-Hamptons,” a country-home mecca for ultrarich New Yorkers seeking to avoid the glitz of Southampton and East Hampton. Not far away are small industrial cities like New Britain, America’s ball-bearing capital for years; Meriden, which turned from making ivory combs, clocks, cutlery, and silver to producing electrical signaling equipment, biotech filters, and nuclear instruments; and Waterbury, once the nation’s largest producer of brass, where political corruption and economic malaise resulted in the state taking over its finances in 2001. Danbury, once the nation’s leading producer of hats, is now a growing corporate headquarters with an eclectic mix of recent immigrants from South America, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. Over the hills from Hartford are Avon and Simsbury, booming towns that have become comfortable bedroom communities and home to champion international ice-skaters.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 5th Congressional District of Connecticut covers much of the western side of the state, dipping down to include the northern towns of Fairfield County. It has two arms that reach into the hills of central Connecticut—one to Democratic Meriden and the other to the affluent and Republican-leaning Farmington Valley suburbs of Hartford. This district was carefully drawn by a bipartisan redistricting commission to provide a “fair fight” between two incumbents forced into the same district after Connecticut lost a House seat in the 2000 census. Until recently, small towns like Kent and Salisbury in Litchfield County were dominated by Republicans, but the influx of newcomers has altered voting patterns. In 2006, the district recorded 17,000 new registered voters; 48% of them were unaffiliated, 34% were Democrats and 17% were Republicans. Barack Obama won this district by 45,056 votes; George W. Bush lost it in 2004 by only 1,112 votes.