With fewer than 24 hours to go before Republican voters chose their nominee for governor, Tom Foley and John McKinney sought to fire up supporters and sharpen their ground game in a final, last-minute blitz for votes.
McKinney campaigned in Fairfield in the morning, then took Metro-North to Grand Central Terminal in New York to target afternoon commuters returning home to Connecticut.
Foley briefly joined a crowd of supporters waving signs along Park Road in West Hartford on Monday afternoon, hoping to catch commuters exiting I-84 during the afternoon rush. He then headed to Farmington and Southington.
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Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said Monday she expects a low turnout Tuesday and that primaries traditionally have a turnout of "usually around 25 to 30 percent at the top."
"Sadly, I think it might be lower than that,'' Merrill told reporters Monday in the Capitol press room. "Despite all this gloomy talk about turnout, I am hoping that people are paying attention.''
Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
McKinney, who has made commuter issues a central pillar of his campaign, began his morning swing as he has most days in recent weeks: on a train platform. After greeting commuters at the Fairfield station, the eight-term state senator stopped by at a diner in his hometown before heading to a ceremonial bill signing at the local police station.
"I can get to more people closer to home because I'm not spending an hour and a half in a car... I want to make sure I get every last vote out of Fairfield that I can," he told The Courant. "I need to win my hometown, there's no doubt about that."
When he reached Grand Central, he greeted Connecticut commuters as they boarded northbound trains.
"We'll be on the platform, we'll have our signs [and] we'll see literally the entire New Haven line coming home, just to say 'Don't forget to vote tomorrow,'" McKinney said earlier in the day.
Foley, the party-endorsed candidate, reiterated his belief that he will win by a "comfortable margin" but said he's not taking anything for granted. He said he is building on the support from his 2010 run for governor, adding that his campaign's internal polls show "there hasn't been any erosion of our support."
In Farmington, Foley campaigned at a golf tournament fundraiser at the Tunxis Plantation Country Club, hosted by the Independent Electrical Contractors of New England. He went from table to table, urging members of the non-union trade organization, a mostly Republican group, to get out and vote Tuesday.
He then headed to his Southington field office.
With the get-out-the-vote effort of paramount importance at this stage of the race, Foley said his campaign was "on track" to make 50,000 calls to supporters between this past Friday and Monday night.
"I'll be making some of those calls myself tonight," Foley said.
The state has about 400,000 registered Republicans, and some Republican insiders believe that fewer than 100,000 will vote Tuesday.
Merrill's office also announced Monday that it was opening an election hotline to respond to any problems at the polls.
To report an issue or concern, voters are asked to call 1-866-SEEC-INFO (1-866-733-2463) or to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Concerns about problems may be reported anonymously, but the town and specific polling place should be identified, and callers are asked to provide as many details as possible.
Polls are open Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. for registered Republicans to vote in statewide primaries and a number of local and regional primaries, and for registered Democrats to vote in a number of regional and local primaries.
For more information on all the primary elections, go to courant.com/elections. To locate your polling place, go to courant.com/pollingplaces.