John McKinney

The fact that a small minority of Tea Party Republican conservatives in Congress have shut down the federal government isn't playing well with the American people and has lots of GOP leaders worried about their party's future.

Connecticut state Senate Republican Leader John McKinney clearly isn't happy with the situation, but he insists (perhaps a tad optimistically) that the wave of anti-GOP sentiment against those Republican hard-liners in Congress won't have any impact on his own campaign for governor.

McKinney's says "It's no surprise" that Connecticut's rather liberal voters would be angry about a right-wing inspired federal government shutdown. He also believes Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy will attempt to make that an issue in next year's gubernatorial race.

According to McKinney, voters in this state won't fall for that sort of attempted linkage, and will be far more concerned about local stuff like Connecticut's economy - at least as far as the governor's race is concerned.

"Will it play a role in our congressional races? You bet," he says.

McKinney is one of those old-fashioned moderate Republicans that once-upon-a-time could get elected to high office in Connecticut. Yet he still hasn't found it in himself to clearly condemn the tactics of those congressional Tea Party-ers.

Instead, McKinney is calling the present federal shutdown a product of "bipartisan politics" and is taking a "plague on both their houses" approach.

The other contenders for Connecticut's Republican gubernatorial nomination are also apparently skittish about knocking the conservative hard-liners in Washington.

Tom Foley, who narrowly lost of Malloy last time around, has defended the anti-Obamacare tactics of the GOP extremists, while Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton also took the attitude that it's a problem of both Democrats and Republicans.

Connecticut has become overwhelmingly Democratic in recent years. They control every single statewide office, every single congressional district, and both chambers of the General Assembly.

The one thing the Connecticut GOP doesn't need right now is a Republican-triggered federal disaster that damages this state's economy. Which is apparently exactly what they've got right now.