Connecticut Local Politics, which was a finalist in the Best Political Coverage category in last year's Weblog awards, shows how Connecticut's 5th Congressional District shifted strongly to the left in 2006 and offers analysis of this trend and what it means in 2008. It's an odd district, the merger of the old 5th and 6th districts which were combined after the 2000 census. There are some larger cities in the south and east and some very small communities elsewhere, and it includes my Town, North Canaan, which has a good deal more Republicans than Democrats and went slightly for Democrat Chris Murphy in 2006. All but 6 of the 33 towns in the district went for Murphy, yet most have a majority of registered Republicans. The really interesting statistic, though, is how that plays out in terms of overall population, as this cartogram from CLP illustrates. More swing towns in the suburbanizing Farmington River Valley, solidly Republican outside the larger cities. Odds are Murphy will be reelected to a second term, but largely because his core issues (healthcare and the environment) are also important to people in this region and his opponent hasn't gotten much traction yet, despite a George Bush / Henry Kissinger that brought Marine One and a couple of extra choppers over our office a couple of months ago.