Democrats gear up for presidential primary in Connecticut

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HARTFORD - The race to the White House is heating up and candidates are not wasting any time.

Recently, Republican candidates Donald Trump and John Kasich made stops in Connecticut, and Democratic supporters are also ramping up efforts in the state.

Clinton supporters statewide held a weekend of action to contact voters ahead of the Democratic primary, included garnering support from elected officials.

Congressman Joe Courtney was one of several representatives who spoke on behalf of the Democratic frontrunner at the New London office.

“Even though I’ve voted many times with Senator Sanders on issues like trade, and I voted against the bank bailout with him, I just feel like Clinton's portfolio and her experience is really what distinguishes her and makes her the best candidate for our party in November,” Courtney said.

With the primary coming up on April 26, Courtney said eyes are in on Connecticut.

“Connecticut is usually called a flyover state because all the early primaries tend to settle the issues for both parties,” he said. “ The eyes of the country are going to here watching our state, which is actually pretty unusual.”

This means, ramping up efforts in the coming days, hosting phone banks and sending volunteers door-to-door canvassing.

“I think Secretary Clinton, she’s got so much experience, she’d be a great top of the ticket and I think she’d make a great president,” volunteer Atul Shah said.

The Sanders campaign is also relying on volunteers, sending out hundreds from 25 locations across Connecticut.

“I think grassroots campaigning is how you get it done in a race like this,” Connecticut State Director for the Sanders Campaign Paul Feeney said. “This campaign is built on values and ideals and the way you talk about those values and ideals is going out and having conversations with voters. It is about amplifying the senator's message.”

Volunteers like Kenneth Taylor said this is the first time a candidate has got him excited enough to get involved.

“He hasn’t taken money from super PACs and he’s endorsed by us,” Taylor said. “He’s gonna listen to our opinions as opposed to large corporations, which I think will influence a lot of change with inside the system.”

Taylor, alongside volunteer Jill Kashmann, said their goal is to get as many people registered as Democrats, and voting for Sanders, as possible.

“There's a city in Massachusetts where Bernie won by just one vote which points out how important it is for everyone to vote in the primary,” Kashmann said.

There is no word yet if the two Democratic candidates will make a trip to Connecticut before the primary on Tuesday, April 26.

Chelsea Clinton will be in the state campaigning for her mother, Wednesday, at Dunns River in Hartford.

For more on the presidential race, click here.