Five things to know about the elections Tuesday in Connecticut:
1. CONNECTICUT SENATE
The hottest race in Connecticut is also among the most closely watched races in the country. The matchup between Republican wrestling magnate Linda McMahon and Democratic Congressman Chris Murphy could help decide which party controls the Senate. More than $10 million worth of independent expenditures had been spent on the race, more than any other Senate race in New England, or in New York, New Jersey or Pennsylvania.
2. WHAT SUPERSTORM?
A week after Superstorm Sandy battered the shoreline, election officials say flooding and power outages will not be an obstacle. Of 773 voting precincts in Connecticut, only two are being moved to alternate locations — one in New London, the other in Bridgeport. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m., and officials expect between 75 and 80 percent of the state's nearly 2.1 million registered voters to cast ballots.
3. CONNECTICUT HOUSE
For now, Connecticut does not have a single Republican in its congressional delegation. But national Republicans see good opportunities to pick up seats in two of the state's five U.S. House districts. In the race for the open seat in the 5th Congressional District, Republican state Senator Andrew Roraback is facing former state Representative Elizabeth Esty. In the 4th District, the GOP's Steve Obsitnik is trying to capture a seat the party held for decades before Democratic Representative Jim Himes was elected four years ago.
4. THE OBAMA FACTOR
He may not win Connecticut by the 23-point margin he did in 2008, but President Barack Obama is still seen as mighty popular in the state. So popular, in fact, that even McMahon, a Republican, used his image in campaign literature. Obama also appeared in a television commercial that began airing over the weekend to appeal for Murphy, the first Senate candidate to receive that kind of aid from the president.
5. CONNECTICUT LEGISLATURE
Democrats controlled the state Senate since 1996, and with 22 of 36 seats in the upper chamber, they are not expected to lose their majority in this election. Still, Republicans are pushing for gains in districts including the 19th, where Edith Prague, of Columbia, one of the state's most liberal Democrats, is retiring after 18 years.
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