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Last Updated: Monday, 22 December, 2003, 17:42 GMT
State profile: Connecticut
Connecticut is something of a floating voter. It backed the Republicans in the 1970s and 1980s but switched to the Democrats in the 1960s and 1990s.

Although it moved even more firmly into the Democrat column in 2000, it elected Republican Governor John Rowland to a third term just two years later.

Small and densely populated, Connecticut is one of the nation's wealthiest states - partly thanks to its proximity to New York City, where many of its residents work.

KEY FACTS
Population: 3,405,565 (ranked 29 among states)
Governor: John Rowland (R)
Electoral college votes: 7

The state did not impose an income tax until 1991 and the big industries here are insurance, along with helicopter and submarine manufacturing.

The biggest employer is the Foxwoods Casino, which makes more than $5bn annually from slot machines alone.

2003 CONGRESS
House of Representatives:
2 Democrat, 3 Republican
Senate: 2 Democrat
But it has not all been relentless prosperity. Small cities like New Haven and Bridgeport were hit hard at the end of the Cold War when cuts in defence spending cost 150,000 manufacturing jobs.

The early 1990s recession forced insurance companies to cut jobs and merge, and many cities witnessed an uncharacteristic rise in crime.

VOTING RECORD
2000: Bush 38%, Gore 56%
1996: Clinton 53%, Dole 35%
1992: Clinton 42%, Bush 36%, Perot 22%

During the most recent recession, the unemployment rate again rocketed - from 2.1% in 2000 to nearly 5% in mid-2003. And, just as in the early 1990s, the skilled workforce suffered.



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