Alex Plitsas, a Republican RTM candidate for Fairfield’s 8th district, told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Trump’s influence on local elections throughout Connecticut was unmistakable.
“How do you know that’s just not an excuse for poor performance? Well, one, it wasn’t a couple of candidates, it was Republicans across the board. We weren’t just beaten, we were annihilated at the polls,” he said. “Second, in many of these local races, including several in my town, there were Democrats on the ballot who literally didn’t campaign, I mean did nothing. No signs, no advertising, no door-to-door, no engagements with people, nothing, who won or came very close to winning.”
Pam Iacono, a Republican RTM candidate for Fairfield’s 8th district, described the phenomenon as force of nature that herself and her fellow Republicans found themselves powerless to stop.
“We got caught up in what I call the Trump Tsunami,” Iacono told TheDCNF. “We did a good job getting our base out but it wasn’t enough because the people who came out to vote were the angry voters, who were upset with the Trump administration. They wanted to send a message and they did, in droves.”
“I ran candidate recruitment,” she said. “I know in speaking with a lot of the other candidates, there were people that were approached and said I like you but I can’t vote for you because you’re a Republican and I don’t like Donald Trump.”
Many rightly think of Connecticut as deeply blue; however, the assumption betrays the state’s socioeconomic diversity, a factor that has traditionally become evident in local elections.
“They came out in droves, I mean we were slaughtered and this was across the state. I’m talking some of the most conservative towns in the state. These are big money Republican towns on the southwestern side,” Iacono said. “And there were some towns where the entire town council was swept pure, straight Democratic across the board. I mean we lost a seat in town in an area that hasn’t voted Democrat in over 100 years.”
Plitsas explained that, except for the “gold coast” — the four or five towns on the New York border largely populated by bankers — Connecticut actually has “the economy of West Virginia.”