Mitt Romney, Linda McMahon and other Republicans will get top billing on the ballots in Connecticut after the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of Republicans, according to the Associated Press.
Republicans sued for the placement because although Gov. Dannel P. Malloy beat Republican Tom Foley in 2010, the governor’s votes were split between the Working Families Party and Democrats. Connecticut law says that the party with the most votes gets top billing in the next election, and the Republicans had 20,000 more votes than Democrats due to the two-party split.
Secretary of State Denise Merrill, a Democrat, fought against the Republican request for top billing. According to the Associated Press, she said she “‘interpreted the statute in good faith and with due diligence.”
Local Republican party leaders said they were pleased that the ruling was 7 to 0 because it showed that the decision was truly unpartisan.
"They’re just following the law, which is what the secretary of state should have done," said Rowland Ballek, chairman of the Lyme Republican Town Committee. Ballek said he felt the victory was more symbolic than anything else.
Neither Ballek nor John Bysko, chairman of the Republican Town Committee in Old Lyme, expected top billing on the ballot to have much effect on voters' behavior on Election Day.
"I think voters are sophisticated enough to know which candidate they want to vote for," said Ballek.
"I guess it doesn’t hurt and maybe it will help a little bit. Getting the top line is psychologically for some reason a positive," said Bysko. "We’ll see what happens in November."