Page last updated at 16:59 GMT, Tuesday, 30 October 2007

State profile: Connecticut

Connecticut map
Connecticut is something of a floating voter. It backed the Democrats in the 1960s, flirted with the Republicans in the 1970s and 1980s but reverted to the Democrats in the 1990s.

And although the state moved ever more decisively into the Democrat column in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, it elected Republican governors in 2002 and 2006.

In an attempt, perhaps, to split the difference between the two parties, Connecticut voters elected the independent candidate Joe Lieberman to the Senate in 2006. Mr Lieberman was the incumbent Senator, and had been a centrist Democrat, but opted to run as an independent after losing the Democratic primary.

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.

Population: 3,504,809 (ranked 29 among states)
Governor: Jodi Rell (R)
Electoral college votes: 7

The state did not impose an income tax until 1991 and the big industries here are financial services, along with helicopter and submarine manufacturing. Many of the biggest hedge funds are based in Connecticut.

The biggest employer is the Foxwoods Casino, which makes many billions of dollars annually from slot machines alone.

House of Representatives:
4 Democrat, 1 Republican
Senate: 1 Democrat, 1 Independent
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.

2004: Bush 44%, Kerry 54%
2000: Bush 38%, Gore 56%
1996: Clinton 53%, Dole 35%

During the most recent recession, the unemployment rate again rocketed from 2.1% in 2000 to nearly 5% in mid-2003, and it has yet to return to the earlier level.

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Electoral College votes

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