On Tuesday, the Republicans flipped a seat in the Connecticut state senate. Republican Ryan Fazio, a member of Greenwich’s local council, defeated Democrat Alexis Gevanter, a gun control advocate. The race was in Connecticut’s 36th district, a wealthy suburban pocket not far from New York City. The median household income in this district is around $160,000 per year.
Joe Biden carried this district by 25 percentage points last year, a function of Donald Trump’s weakness in the suburbs. But Fazio, the Republican, carried it by 3 points.
Republicans are hailing Fazio’s victory as a preview of the 2022 congressional midterms. They hope it signals renewed viability with suburban voters.
That hope is reasonable because it’s reasonable to think that Biden’s margins in the suburbs were more a reflection of Trump’s unpopularity with upscale voters than a function of underlying Democratic strength. It’s also reasonable to think that Biden and his party, in trying to govern from the left, have eroded whatever strength they possessed with these voters less than a year ago.
What did the Connecticut senate candidates advocate? According to the Daily Caller, the Democrat, in addition to his gun control positions, supported universal absentee voting and state funding for Planned Parenthood. The Republican reportedly focused primarily on government spending and deregulation.
The victor says the result “is not a Connecticut-specific trend, this is a national trend.” Mayoral races in Texas, driven by Latino voters rather than wealthy suburbanites, suggest that he is right.
In related news, a June poll showed that 78 percent of Capitol Hill staffers believe the GOP will take back the U.S. House in 2022. And this was before the Afghanistan debacle.