By Danielle Brignola
Finding a candidate that best fits your needs is like finding a love interest. You look at who they are and what they stand for, their values, how they make you feel, but most importantly, you want a connection. Or at least that’s what the ad campaigns try to synthetically simulate. The countdown has begun with political advertisements increasing in frequency. The internal groans of the electorate are heard as the same commercials dub opposing candidates as inefficient, self-serving, untrustworthy, and generally the wrong person for the job. It can be hard, when bombarded by negative accusations being thrown like snowballs in January, to distinguish plain truth from embellished half-lies. This is something voters need to be wary of because, whether or not you think they do, political ads do affect the way some people see the candidate and consequently vote.
The Democratic candidate for 2014 is incumbent governor Dannel Malloy, who ran uncontested through the primary round. The governor is rerunning with current lieutenant governor Nancy Wyman. Malloy is known for raising taxes, signing gun control reform, promoting education reform, reining in state finances, and investing in job growth programs. His platform for 2014 promises to subsidize small businesses, further improve public education through the new Common Core initiative, reform veteran services, and improve job growth in both the private and the public sectors.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley won the primary against John McKinney and is running with Heather Somers for the lieutenant governor position. Foley lost the 2010 gubernatorial election to Malloy by roughly 6,400 votes. Foley’s policy plan includes lowering taxes, freezing spending, supporting job creators, and improving education. Foley is pro-choice, supports equal marriage rights for all, supports economic reform, and wants change in government direction.
The overarching issues in this debate that tend to decide which candidate a voter will support are education, taxes, and job growth. These are not uncommon differences for a Democrat versus Republican governorship election. But, do not fret, there is a third option, however statistically unlikely to win, and that is Independent candidate Joe Visconti. As the underdog, Visconti has to have more specific platform and counters Malloy’s education reform with recommendations to abandon the Common Core, improve health care and the economy by offering student loan forgiveness for graduating college students and doctors who train and stay to work in Connecticut for at least four years, repeal gun control, and reform entitlements and the judiciary. He supports the elimination of sales tax, gas tax, and estate tax, which he will balance with a hiring and spending freeze and opting out of expensive federal programs. But none of these facts matter because the update of November 2nd is that Visconti has dropped out. He is no longer a candidate for governor.
One hand over the eyes, swirl your hand around a few times and where the pen falls, the choice is made. This is just one method that even experienced voters have admitted to using especially when there are a limited number of candidates in the pool. I challenge all the voters out there to leave behind the blind pick and the randomized game methods of deciding upon a candidate. If you must look at a candidate as the lesser of two evils, as the saying goes, then do so. Any informed decision is better than none at all. Hopefully this election doesn’t come down to the weather this year, but you never know when it’s a dead heat like this one. Remember, November fourth is your day to influence history. Vote!
Image Credit Wall Street Journal