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By CT Sheepdog

In Connecticut, the gubernatorial race in November appears to be all about name recognition, not about a candidates’ views on gun ownership. Not a surprise in a state where just less than 20% of residents own firearms according to old poll data. The latest Quinnipiac poll shows the 2014 race to be a rehash of the 2010 race with incumbent Governor Malloy potentially facing off against his 2010 challenger, Tom Foley. The two men are in a dead heat tied at 43% each . . .

This is not a done deal as the GOP convention is still a week away but, unless the Republican poobaahs try to defy popular opinion and pick one of their own (State Senate Minority leader McKinney), Foley will likely be the candidate. If there is a squabble that leads to a primary, well, voters will have their say then.

As far as what the Q-Poll says about the GOP contenders:

Foley, the 2010 nominee, was favored by 39 percent of GOP voters, with five others in single digits: Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, 9 percent; Senate Minority Leader John P. McKinney, 8 percent; Martha Dean, 5 percent, Joseph Visconti, 4 percent; and Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, 3 percent.

Now this is where the issue of gun owners’ rights may not be making a difference. Malloy’s politics are well known and he’s a ardent gun grabber. Foley isn’t known as a staunch gun guy, but he has made many positive comments about gun owners’ rights so he gets a check in that column. The most vocal and staunchly pro-gun contenders are Visconti and Dean who can’t muster ten percentage points between them. Lack of name recognition certainly hurts them, but their gun views have not done much with the general population.

Mayor Boughton recently made headlines here and other gun sites for withdrawing his membership in Nanny Bloomberg’s MAIG but that was seen by gun folk as too little too late.

The big surprise, and the contender with the beat state-wide name recognition after Foley should be Leader McKinney and yet he only draws eight percent support to Foley’s nearly 40 percent. And here is where I think a candidate’s stance on guns might have made a difference – McKinney was instrumental in the creation of SB1160 which became the basis of the new law in Connecticut.

In concert with the three other leaders in Hartford, McKinney crafted a “compromise” bill that was designed to draw “bipartisan” support. However, along with fellow Democrat Larry Cafero, McKinney rightly earned the ire of gun owners across Connecticut for his complicity in crafting a bill strong enough to infuriate thousands and yet not strong enough to instantly meet with judicial rebuke.

You see, McKinney, like many Republicans who voted in favor of passage of SB1160, has been suggesting to gun owners that “it could have been worse”. By that he means that certain powers in Hartford were lobbying for a new law so restrictive that it would have outlawed possession of all “assault weapons” and all 7+ round magazines with no grandfathering of existing, lawfully-owned firearms and mags. Such restrictive change would have mandated out-of-state sale, surrender to LE or provable destruction of such items. Oh, and there would have been no compensation to owners for loss of their private property.

In McKinney’s mind, the bill he helped craft with the Democrats (who held both parts of the legislature and the governorship) was a “compromise” that “let you keep your guns and magazines”. This compromise bill pulled more than a few Republican votes, including those of McKinney and Cafero, and allowed a few pro-gun Democrats from gun-friendly districts to vote against the measure. So the leadership achieved what they wanted, claiming bipartisanship support.

But what they created, while grandfathering existing firearms and mags, wasn’t strong enough to be openly challenged as overly restrictive, which the Democrats’ bill might have been. Clearly, the Democrat leaders could have rammed through the most restrictive bill on a party-line vote, but they did not want to do that. They wanted some GOP votes to diffuse the ire of gun owners and to spread the blame should the law prove to be unpopular, ineffective or unconstitutional. And McKinney gave them just what they wanted.

Anyway, McKinney has been harangued about his vote on SB1106 at almost every public event since he has launched his bid. There are YouTube videos where he gets visibly frustrated when confronted with pointed questions on guns, owners rights and his vote. As the CTCarry bumper stickers seen around the state say: “SB1160 – Never Forgive, Never Forget”.

And 2A supporters have taken that to heart. McKinney is getting virtually no support from gun rights voters. It will be interesting to see of the establishment in the Connecticut GOP will rally behind Foley or try to force a primary. I’m not familiar with the machinations of such things so can’t opine further. Stay tuned.

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  1. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Hopefully there are enough people that care about their constitutional rights to make a show of strength in this election. We can only hope and pray.

  2. Say the GOP runner wins, will he actually try and roll back the infringements or is he a RINO like Christie?

    • Unfortunately, a pro-Second Amendment Governor can’t reverse Malloy’s infringements upon our Constitutional rights without widespread support from the State Legislature.

      • True, though unlike Malloy, a GOP Governor would presumably not be pushing to make the law tighter, and to close “loopholes” like that Ares gun, which Malloy promised to do. Apprently he told Stag Arms that they needn’t bother trying to make a rifle that was compliant under the new law, because he’d just get the law changed again to ban whatever they came up with.

        But yes, absent a large swing in BOTH houses, the only way to get rid of that travesty of a law is via the courts.

        Of course, Obama has taught us that there are many ways to use executive action and inaction to modify the effects of a law . . .

  3. I find it hard to believe that only 20% of Connecticut’s residents are firearms owners in light of the fact that approximately 350,000 people (10%) of the state’s residents chose felony status over registration of so-called assault rifles and standard-capacity magazines. The vast majority of Connecticut firearms owners possess other types of weapons including rimfires, shotguns, handguns and rifles. I’d bet that well over 50% of Connecticut residents are armed.

    • It depends. In the major urban areas Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport, Danbury, Hartford, New London not so much. As you go further from those urban centers some town do not even have their own PD and rely on a single often part-time State Trooper. Outside of Urban centers which is also less populated, plenty of guns. As is always the case, the urban centers and gerrymandering have made such that it is very difficult to win if you are not a democrat. The DNC has done a great job of carving up the state and it is a great example of how to work the system.

      What will win or loose for Malloy completely depends on how you believe your personal fiscal situation has changed with Malloy. Malloy is all for tax the rich and businesses at the same time giving tax breaks to exiting businesses who complain loud enough to get the tax breaks and at one point it became a game of “me too, me too” — his plan is, he has no plan.

    • The polling data on this issue is know to be undercount, and increasingly an undercount with gun ownership discretion, concern over theft, and stigma increasing. People are getting their doors kicked in down for posting legal pics of their kid with a .22 on facebook.

      If the federal GSS surveyer were to bang on my door to ask me if ask me, I would say “no guns here.” I would also likely tell a Gallup (phone) pollster “no guns” as well.

      The GSS polling for example is a known undercount of between 10% to 800%, likely an average undercount of 20% or so. If you look at the full GSS numbers for example last year in Washington DC, they show their polling within that jurisdiction extrapolates to 1,400 “gun owning households.” In fact DC registration by individuals, which is known from FOI was last year at the time of the polls over 20,000 individuals owning over 30,000 guns. Assuming some spouses also registering guns that has to be at least 15,000 gun owning homes (all registered within the 36 months prior, so no dead guys) in Washington DC. Yet GSS says 1,400.

      DC’s harsh laws make gun ownership low, but GSS massively undercounts it there on top of that.

      Now to be sure GSS did not undercount by that much everywhere, BUT everywhere where gun registration individuals or households are known, public record, it is clear GSS undercounts by an average of 20% and Gallup by an average of 10%

  4. If Republicans would stop “compromising” then the crap laws the Democrats pass will lose them votes and fail before the judiciary. Stop compromising rights.

    • Yup, and less “republicans” Like Romni, McClown and Kristie that sign away our rights while licking the heels of the Dems in the name of compromise. The wolves in sheeps clothing.

      • NO offense, but as someone who lives in Virginia, I would say extreme candidates in the GOP are also killing GOP chances and gun rights.

        I am not for compromising on my rights, but Cuccinelli and the hard right, as well as a libertarian spoiler are exactly why we have a Democratic Governor and not a Republican.

        I held my nose and voted for Cucinelli but I know a LOT of long time republicans, especially woman who stayed home because he was too extreme.

        That election was handed to McAuliffe by the Tea Party on a silver platter, and McAuliffe is an expert at leveraging his office. He will help elect even more democrats nationally, locally and statwide

        • exactly.

          gun rights are also damaged by right wing statists tying them to social conservative issues.

      • that’s BS. Mourdock and Akin didn’t “compromise”, and they got smoked because they made stupid comments about women. So did Cucinelli.

        Ya wanna kill 2nd amendment rights? then tie them to theocratic social conservatives.

        • Where they’ve been tied for decades. While declining for decades. The GOP needs to withdraw its desired control so it stays outside a person’s skin. Forget drug laws, forget changing the constitution regarding abortion, stay outside my body.

        • I disagree, because I can make the same argument in a national election when you don’t get the conservative vote out, you will still lose. Romney and McCain bent over backwards to look moderate, and win the independent vote (which Romney actually did win in the last election over Obama) but both failed to excite the base of conservative voters to go to the polls. The problem with Virginia (NOVA specifically), is the influx of liberals fleeing their own mess in MD and DC, but still voting for the same failed policies that led to them seeking better pastures. I also add that the previous Governor, a Republican, compromised too much with the left on the budget and was under investigation for improper campaign donations, which didn’t help the Cucinelli as a candidate. Stupid comments (as well as acts on women) are done by the Democrat left all the time, but we are supposed to give them a pass because they are “liberal”? Give me a break.

  5. The most important thing is to get Malloy out of office. The guy is a total thug and very dangerous, and not only to gun owners.

    Anyone who thinks that the Clintons are rough company have never compared them to Dan Malloy.

    • Agree 1000%.

      There are enough gun owners in CT to positively effect the choice of the GOP candidate. In the general, the PotG have much less influence, and the GOP candidate for governor will have to win on Malloy’s abysmal economic stewardship and all-round unpleasant thuggishness.

    • Thug is a good word for Malloy. He continues to display vicious hostility towards lawful gun owners, and took every opportunity he could to link us not only with Sandy Hook, but with the urban gang shootings that we also have nothing to do with. The funny thing is, his own son was convicted of an armed home invasion robbery of a drug dealer 5 or so years ago, so he needs to look at his own seed if he wants to “end gun violence”. I am doing everything I can to boot him out of office, and I know many others who are donating their time and money as well.

  6. I wonder – how much of the polling was done outside of the cities? If they did their usual “1,000 telephone numbers,” then I think the respondents were primarily city dwellers.

    • The last time he ran, Malloy won by a landslide — 6,500 votes.

      Any Democrat worth his salt can steal enough votes to win by 10,000, but this thug could only manage 6,500.

  7. In CT, it a race between “Who wants free stuff’ Malloy versus “I ran a hedge fund I can fix the states fiscal mess” Foley.

    It is a dead heat because we have equal parts people who “want free stuff” and “people who want to fix the fiscal mess” In the last duel between these two, the “I want free stuff” crowd took Malloy over the top.

    From a gun perspective, I see no changes with Foley either good or bad but perhaps the state’s fiscal crises and debt load may be fixed by not giving away so much free stuff that we cannot pay for to begin with.

    49% want to move out, the state is ranked 44 in terms of business friendly (it is over regulated, and over taxed and has an infrastructure that is falling apart), Forbes said about the state “Get out before you die”, it has an aging population does not to pay taxes for schools and urban centers that cannot get enough ‘free stuff” — it is an example of socialism with a fiat currency and with people who want more of the same.

    Given the margin of the last election, gun owners CAN make a difference unless once again they stay home “on principle” — a lot of good that did them last time

  8. I’m running out of money to donate to pro-gun Republican campaigns. The real issue in my mind is that anyone who writes a blatantly unconstitutional law does not receive summary punishment. Instead, many of the laws pass. Some, like the SAFE Act, are passed in the middle of the night.

    Is anyone else out there contributing to the Foley campaign?

  9. People of the gun might be 20% of the population but what percentage of the voter pool could they actually represent? Consider the following:

    197,520 valid pistol permits (18Sept2013)
    3,590,347 = CT 2012 Population

    22% or 774,000 = CT 2012 under 18

    2,800,470 = CT 2012 over-18 population
    – 252,235 = CT 2012 population not US citizens
    – 17,000 = CT 2012 prison population
    – 100,000 = estimate of others ineligible to hold pistol permit
    2,431,235 = CT 2012 permit-eligible adults

    8% = CT 2012 eligible adult population holding pistol permits

    21% = CT 2012 eligible adult population who are gun owners

    Voter statistics from Nov 2012 election:
    2,112,159 = Registered voters
    1,709,385 = Actual voters

    9.3% = pistol permit holders / 2012 registered voters
    11.6% = permit holders / actual 2012 voters

    23.7% = gun owners / registered voters
    29.2% = gun owners / actual 2012 voters

    And let’s not forget that the number of pistol permit applications is near or at an all-time high and is increasing far faster than the state’s population. Thus, compared to past elections, the percentage of eligible voters who are permit holders is increasing, right into November and the 2016 elections.

    Add in the animus post the new gun law, and gun owners could make a material difference in another close Foley v Malloy election. Remember, Malloy won by less than 7,000 votes in 2010. If a small fraction of gun owners become more engaged this cycle, they could be quite material at the margin.

    Malloy is vulnerable and voter turnout will be everything.

  10. The problem with these kind of compromises is that they ask for something that is so ridiculous it would never fly so they can back off and get what they really want.


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