When Republican congressman Christopher Shays of Connecticut lost his reelection bid in 2008, he left office as the last of the New England House Republicans. The New York Times has a story about Republican Dan Debicella and Democratic incumbent Jim Himes, who replaced Shays in the Fourth Congressional District. RealClearPolitics ranks this race as a "Toss Up", and the scant polling of the district, which consists of Connecticut's wealthy New York suburbs, shows Himes slightly ahead and well within the margin of error. Here's the Times' takeaway:
Polls show the race as virtually dead even, but Mr. Debicella raised far more money in the last reporting period, and there are plenty of reasons for Mr. Himes to be worried. He won in 2008 as Barack Obama swept the state, mostly because of a startling turnout in Bridgeport, in which Mr. Shays got only 19 percent of the vote. Mr. Obama is expected to campaign in Bridgeport on Saturday, followed by Bill Clinton on Sunday, signs of how hard the Democrats are trying to stimulate turnout in the city.
In other New England election news, President Obama is next door in Rhode Island today, but he isn't there to endorse Democratic gubernatorial candidate Frank Caprio out of "respect" for Lincoln Chafee, the former Republican senator who endorsed Obama in 2008 and is now running for governor as an independent. Caprio artfully responded that Obama can "take his endorsement and really shove it."