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banner Friday, 7 January, 2000, 17:51 GMT
Connecticut

Connecticut is something of a floating voter. It voted Republican in the 1970s and 1980s but supported the Democrats in the 1960s and 1990s.

Key facts
Population: 3,274,238 (ranked 27 among states
Governor: John G Rowland (R)
Electoral College votes: 8
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.

The state did not impose an income tax until 1991 and the big industries are making clocks, combs, matches, furniture and guns. Guns have been central to the economy since the Civil War, so the gun reform debate will be an important election issue. The biggest employer is the Foxwoods Casino, which makes more than $5bn annually from slot machines alone.

1998 Congress
House of Representatives: 4 Democrats, 2 Republicans
Senate: 2 Democrats
But it has not all been relentless prosperity.

There was a deep recession in the early 1990s and the skilled workforce suffered. 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. Insurance companies cut jobs and merged and many cities witnessed an uncharacteristic rise in crime.

Voting record
1996: Clinton 53%, Dole 35%
1992: Clinton 42%, Bush 36%, Perot 22%
1988: Bush 52%, Dukakis 47%
The state's population declined through much of the 1990s, a development that was only matched by Rhode Island and the District of Columbia over the same period.

But house prices are rising again and the state's confidence is bouncing back.

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Links to more States stories are at the foot of the page.


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