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Connecticut GOP lost 5,000 registered voters after Capitol breach

NEW HAVEN (AP) — More than 5,000 Connecticut Republicans left the political party in the six weeks after the Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol, according to a published report.

That is far more than the number of Democrats who changed their affiliation, the New Haven Register reported.

In all, 5,302 Republicans left the party, or slightly more than 1% of the state's roughly 484,000 GOP voters registered on Jan. 6. In contrast, 1,957 Democrats left their party, or about 0.2% of the 856,559 registered in the state.

Republican voters interviewed by the newspaper who had left the party in January and February gave a variety of reasons, including the party's support for former President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud; general political polarization and a fear of backlash over being associated with the Republican party.

“It really doesn’t boil down to any of the candidates. I just felt there became a real viciousness on both sides regarding party allegiance,” Lisa Purdy, a Fairfield resident who runs an insurance company, told the newspaper.

Most of the voters who left the GOP switched to unaffiliated or Independent status, the newspaper reported, using voter registration data from Connecticut Secretary of the State’s office. About 2,000 unaffiliated voters re-registered with another party during the same time period.

The data showed the most defections came from residents of Greenwich, Glastonbury, Milford, Fairfield and Stamford.

“I don’t think it’s anything that Republicans can or should run away from,” Dan Quigley, chair of the Republican Town Committee of Greenwich, told the newspaper.

“I think a lot of those people who are sort of centrist Republicans have decided to align themselves with unaffiliated party label because they weren’t happy with how things went after the election,” he said. “I’m sure Jan. 6 played a role into it and how thing happened on a national level after that. But it’s something we have to face.”

Party-switching is not uncommon in Connecticut around elections because residents are required to be affiliated with a party to vote in that party's primary.

 

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