Connecticut's 4th Congressional District elections, 2012

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Connecticut's 4th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
August 14, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
James A. Himes Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
James A. Himes Democratic Party
James A. Himes.jpg

Connecticut U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Connecticut.png
The 4th Congressional District of Connecticut held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.
This was the 4th Congressional District prior to the 2010 redistricting.

Incumbent Jim Himes won re-election.[1]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
June 12, 2012
August 14, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: Connecticut was one of 16 states to use an open primary system. However, there was a three month waiting period if voters switched parties.[2]

Voter registration: Voters could register in person to vote in the primary up until noon the day before the primary.[2] (Information about registering to vote)

See also: Connecticut elections, 2012

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was Jim Himes (D), who was first elected in 2008.

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. Connecticut's 4th Congressional District was located in the southwestern portion of the state. Oxford, Shelton, Monroe, Trumbull, Fairfield, Redding, Ridgefield, Wilton, Stramford, Norwalk, Easton, Westport, Greenwich, and Darien counties are included in the new district boundaries.[3]


General election candidates

Democratic Party Working Families Party Jim HimesGreen check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Steve Obsitnik

August 14, 2012, primary results

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Republican Party Republican Primary

Working Families PartyWorking Families Party

Election results

General Election

U.S. House, Connecticut District 4 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJim Himes Incumbent 60% 175,929
     Republican Steve Obsitnik 40% 117,503
Total Votes 293,432
Source: Connecticut Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Race background

A substantial portion of Republican challenger Steve Obsitnik's fundraising in the second quarter, at least $43,000, was money that he could only spend if he in fact had an actual primary contest.[6] Instead, he had to refund it. That meant he raised less than $200,000 in the second quarter, rather than the $236,000 he reported, a figure that the Himes' (D) campaign called "padded."[6] For his part, Himes brought in $553,000 in the second quarter.[6]

Republican challenger Steve Obsitnik was included in the National Republican Congressional Committee's Young Guns program. The program highlighted challengers who represented the GOP's best chances to pick up congressional seats in the general election.[7]

Blue vs. Red

Possible race ratings are:

     Solid Democratic
     Likely Democratic
     Lean Democratic


     Lean Republican
     Likely Republican
     Solid Republican

     Connecticut's 4th District was a solidly Democratic district.

In June 2012, Sabato's Crystal Ball rated Connecticut's 4th as solidly Democratic.[8]

Campaign donors


Steve Obsitnik (2012)[9] Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[10]April 15, 2012$43,231.06$367,330.88$(43,231.06)$558,445.17
Pre-Convention[11]May 6, 2012$558,445.17$15,000.00$(58,482.70)$514,962.47
July Quarterly[12]July 15, 2012$514,962.47$224,367.04$(85,088.75)$654,240.76
Running totals

Jim Himes (2012)[13] Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[14]April 15, 2012$1,022,847.34$389,483.16$(100,732.76)$1,311,597.74
Pre-Convention[15]May 2, 2012$1,311,597.74$92,753.67$(45,979.21)$1,358,372.20
July Quarterly[16]July 15, 2012$1,358,372.20$461,469.08$(122,121.77)$1,697,719.51
Running totals

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Connecticut

The Connecticut Supreme Court completed the redistricting of the state’s five congressional districts, leaving intact, for the most part, the configuration adopted 10 years ago when Connecticut was forced to relinquish one district because of declining population.[17] Under the new map, less than 30,000 residents statewide are affected by the changes.[17] Looking at the congressional map, one can clearly see that the design of the 1st and 5th Districts are oddly shaped. There was no disputing that 10 years prior, it was done so for political advantage — with both political parties agreeing to the changes in the hopes of capitalizing on that.[17]

Democrats held a 5-4 advantage on the bipartisan Reapportionment Commission, but the commission chose instead to honor the long-standing tradition of unanimous agreement or none at all.[17]

The district was composed of the following percentages of voters of the old congressional districts.[18][19]

District partisanship

FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study

See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012

In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. Connecticut's 4th District's partisanship was unaffected by redistricting.[20]

  • 2012: 56D / 44R
  • 2010: 56D / 44R

Cook Political Report's PVI

See also: Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index

In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measured each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. Connecticut's 4th Congressional District had a PVI of D+5, which was the 143rd most Democratic district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 60-40 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, John Kerry (D) won the district 53-47 percent over George W. Bush (R).[21]

District history

Candidate ballot access
Ballot Access Requirements Final.jpg

Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.


On November 2, 2010, Jim Himes won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Dan Debicella (R) and Eugene Flanagan (I) in the general election.[22]

U.S. House, Connecticut District 4, General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJim Himes Incumbent 52% 110,746
     Republican Dan Debicella 47.9% 102,030
     Independent Eugene Flanagan 0% 10
Total Votes 212,786

See also

External links


  1. ABC News, "2012 General Election Results," accessed November 6, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 Connecticut Secretary of State Elections Division, "Registration Deadlines" accessed April 17, 2012
  3. Connecticut Redistricting, "Map" accessed July 7, 2012
  4. CT "Westport businessman running for Congress" accessed December 2, 2011
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named list
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Connecticut Post, "Obsitnik plans to refund some campaign funds" accessed July 19, 2012
  7. NRCC "Young Guns 2012"
  8. Center for Politics, "2012 House Ratings," Updated June 27, 2012
  9. FEC Reports, "Steve Obsitnik Summary Report" accessed July 18, 2012
  10. FEC Reports, "April Quarterly" accessed July 19, 2012
  11. FEC Reports, "Pre-Convention" accessed July 19, 2012
  12. FEC Reports, "July Quarterly" accessed July 19, 2012
  13. FEC Reports, "Jim Himes Summary Report" accessed July 19, 2012
  14. FEC Reports, "April Quarterly" accessed July 19, 2012
  15. FEC Reports, "Pre-Convention" accessed July 19, 2012
  16. FEC Reports, "July Quarterly" accessed July 19, 2012
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Norwich Bulletin, "Our View: Redistricting map has minimal changes" accessed February 16, 2012
  18. Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer, "Connecticut's congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
  19. Labels & Lists, "VoterMapping software voter counts"
  20. "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in Connecticut," September 2012
  21. Cook Political Report, "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" accessed October 2012
  22. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013