Battleground: Waterbury - NBC Connecticut

Battleground: Waterbury

Linda McMahon & Chris Murphy are battling for votes in a city that could go either way



    You may have noticed that the candidates for U.S. Senate are spending a lot of time campaigning in one of Connecticut's largest cities.

    On Monday, Linda McMahon held a rally with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. This weekend, Chris Murphy is bringing in former president Bill Clinton.

    Where is this all happening? In Waterbury.

    Both campaigns have made several stops there in the last month.

    Waterbury Is A Swingtown For The Senate Race

    [HAR] Waterbury Is A Swingtown For The Senate Race
    Both candidates have been spending a lot of time in Waterbury as the election draws near. The reason is because of the 20,800 unaffiliated voters that could swing the vote either way. Almost everywhere you go in the city people are talking about the upcoming election and experts feel that winning Waterbury will be the key.
    (Published Friday, Oct. 26, 2012)

    That's because Waterbury has become a battleground city in the race to fill Joe Lieberman's seat.

    The numbers explain why. As of mid-October, there were about 20,400 registered Democrats and just over 7,000 Republicans, according to the registrar's office. But the key number is the 20,800 unaffiliated voters.

    Furthermore, Waterbury has had a history of electing both Democrat and Republican mayors. And it's the only large city in the state that has Republican representation in the General Assembly.

    "Linda barely lost to Richard Blumenthal here," Jason Van Stone, Waterbury Republican Chair, said. "Ambassador Foley barely lost to Gov. Malloy. This is a town where Republicans really do have a fighting chance."

    McMahon's campaign said Waterbury is important.

    "We have focused a significant amount of time and resources on Waterbury during this campaign," Todd Abrajano, McMahon spokesman, said. "We've knocked on thousands of doors and made thousands of phone calls to voters there."

    Both campaigns have field headquarters within the city limits.

    But Chris Murphy is popular among Waterbury residents. It's in the heart of the Fifth District.

    "Chris practically lives here," Sean Mosely, the chair of the Waterbury Black Democratic Club, said. "Even though he lives in Cheshire, he's everywhere."

    Murphy is confident he can win the city.

    "I've been lucky to have support from Republicans, Independents and Democrats," Murphy said.