The White House has eyes on the Connecticut gubernatorial race between incumbent Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Republican challenger Tom Foley. Both the president and vice president gave phone interviews on Connecticut radio stations Tuesday about the race and encouraged people to vote.
"Turnout's high across Connecticut," President Barack Obama said on "The Colin McEnroe Show "on WNPR on the afternoon of Election Day. "It's going to be a close election."
After visiting Bridgeport to stump for Malloy at a campaign event at Central High School in Bridgeport on Sunday, Obama continued to rally support for the governor in his interview with McEnroe.
Obama said that Malloy "deserves four more years" and that "Dan's the guy" for people who care about issues like college education, increased education funding and working families.
Vice President Joe Biden also took the opportunity to throw support behind Malloy in an interview on Chaz & AJ's morning show on 99.1 PLR, right before Foley gave an interview with the hosts.
“You know it is a big deal. There’s a lot of people in your state...84,000 people right now who didn’t have Medicaid coverage, women and children mostly now have it because of the president and because Malloy had the guts to say he’s going to go out there and say he’s going to expand health care," Biden told Chaz & AJ. “Dan Malloy’s out there pushing for a minimum wage. You’ve got 20 million people working 40 hours a week out there…and they’re living in poverty.”
But most of all, Obama and Biden encouraged people to go out and vote in Connecticut and in other elections nationwide.
"Do not give away your power. Do not buy into the idea that it doesn’t make a difference. It really does," Obama said in his interview with McEnroe.
Obama told McEnroe that about a dozen or so gubernatorial races in the country are tied in the polls, which he said "probably speaks to the fact that voters are frustrated with government... The polarization has gotten worse." He emphasized the message he said he sought to spread in Bridgeport that "that cynicism is something we've got to fight against" and encouraged people to vote to get their views represented.
Biden told Chaz & AJ that while other states have made voting more restrictive, Connecticut is not one of those states and spoke to the importance of representing the middle class on a national and local level.
“There’s a whole lot at stake. The country’s really poised to do some great things relative to the rest of the world," Biden said. "The economy’s coming back. We just have to deal the middle class back into this. The middle class is getting clobbered.”
Regarding reported voting problems in Hartford Tuesday morning, Obama stressed the importance of making voting "as easy as possible" in his WNPR interview.
Hartford Superior Court began hearing a complaint Malloy's campaign filed to extend voting hours Tuesday afternoon after several issues from delays to missing voter registration books.
Just a day before that, unaffiliated candidate Joe Visconti announced he was suspending his campaign at a Brookfield Republican Town Committee event and asked his supporters to vote for Foley. Visconti's name remains on the ballot.
The polls are scheduled to remain open until 8 p.m. unless the Malloy campaigns complaint results in extended voting hours.