A GOP candidate for the Connecticut State Legislature's 53rd District about 70 miles northeast of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown won election on Tuesday, marking the first time the seat has gone to a Republican since Richard Nixon was president.
Republican Samuel Belsito defeated Democrat Anthony J. Horn by a 58.5%-41.5% margin, largely because his stances in support of citizens' Second Amendment rights and fiscal restraint were more convincing. Based on a review of Newsday's Associated Press Connecticut feed carrying stories from throughout the Nutmeg State (most June 11 and June 12 stories as of the time of this post are here and here), it appears that the AP did not run any stories on the result, and almost certainly made no attempt to discern its meaning.
A post-election Hartford Courant editorial summarized the situation as follows (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Connecticut's continuing poor economic performance, general disdain for what are perceived as shenanigans at the Capitol in Hartford and unhappiness among gun rights advocates at strong gun-control laws after the Sandy Hook massacre are said to have revved up District 53 voters.
Given the Courant's typically liberal posture, it's likely that it reversed the priority of three issues it mentioned in voters' minds.
It's understandable that AP didn't treat the result as a national story (a search at the AP's national site on Belsito's last name also quite predictably came up empty), but its failure from all appearances to carry a story within the state is pretty weak, and appears to be agenda-driven.
The AP seems to be constantly on the lookout for supposed bellwether elections signaling good news for the left and virtually celebrates them, sometimes even at its national site, when they occur. When things go the other way, the typical result is silence or, at best, a terse, perfunctory blurb.
Fortunately, several New Media outlets, among them Breitbart and Examiner.com, did not ignore the story.
From Breitbart's AWR Hawkins:
Although Democrats and progressives have claimed politicians who oppose gun control will lose their offices at the hands of angry, pro-gun control Americans in coming elections, a pro-gun Republican just won in Connecticut. It is the first time a Republican has held the seat in 40 years.
... Belsito's election runs 100% counter to the argument that pro-gun positions will hurt politicians. For example, Belsito won although he made it clear he would have opposed the recent body of gun control legislation that passed in Connecticut.
In fact, the pro-gun control sentiment is at such a low ebb that Belsito's Democrat opponent Anthony Horn said he would have voted "no" on the gun control legislation as well.
Examiner.com's David Codrea brought up something Democrat Horn told the Courant which the AP and national Democrats would prefer the rest of America not know:
For those gauging the impact of the gun issue, Belsito “said he would have voted against the recent gun control legislation.” Importantly, his opponent, Democrat Anthony Horn, felt the same way.
"I would have voted 'no'," Horn told The Hartford Courant, adding "Even though they say it is just registration, I don't think that's the end of it.
"Every day I was out knocking on doors, I would get at least one person who was really ticked off about the gun bill,” he recalled. “There were an awful lot of people, including Democrats, who are really ticked off about the gun bill -- and the budget."
That is significant, particularly in Connecticut, where draconian measures were enacted in the wake of Newtown, and where Democrat Gov. Dannell P. Malloy has made “gun control” a defining platform of his administration, one he’s been vocal about extending to the national level. Yet Belsito and Horn were competing for the gun owner vote, not for the citizen disarmament faction.... The "compromises" officeholders and seekers are being told they need to make with rights that aren't theirs to bargain with appear more and more to be based on a myth created by anti-gunners relying on media amplification to give their bluff the appearance of substance.
In a deep blue state, based on what Horn has said, gun control appears to have strong bipartisan opposition.
So much for gun-control being an automatic winner as an electoral issue.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.