The 5th District is a collection of towns stretching from the state’s western border with New York to the suburbs of Hartford. It includes the bucolic Litchfield Hills and the Farmington River Valley, which tend to vote Republican, as well as heavily Democratic towns like New Britain. Overall the district has a slight Democratic tilt, with a Cook PVI of D+3.
The district was represented by Nancy Johnson, a moderate Republican, from 1982 until 2006. She lost that year to Chris Murphy, a young, ambitious state legislator. In 2012, Connecticut voters gave Murphy a promotion to the Senate, and narrowly elected Elizabeth Esty to replace him. This year, Esty has a well-funded challenger in businessman Mark Greenberg, but she seems to have maintained the edge here.