PC Professor of Politics Myers on Blue — and Red — Waves in Midterms

Thursday, November 08, 2018

 

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Adam Myers

Providence College Professor of Politics Adam Myers joined GoLocal News Editor Kate Nagle on GoLocal LIVE following Election Day to talk about the gains by the Democrats to take back the United States House of Representatives — and President Donald Trump’s ability to turn out Republican voters in the final weeks to fend off more challengers. 

“Nationally, a lot of folks were dissatisfied [with Trump] and so Congressional districts on those kinds of areas saw a surge of turnout among folks who wanted to send President Trump a message,” said Myers.

“But in part because the economy’s doing so well and in large part because the country is so polarized right now his supporters in other parts of the country turned out in droves to support the candidates [Trump supported].”

Myers, who focuses on state governments and politics at PC. spoke specifically to races in Rhode Island, including Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello’s win for the second straight election over Republican challenger Steve Frias — and how progressive interest groups’ involvement in the race could have worked to Mattiello’s advantage. 

 

Related Slideshow: Big Winners and Losers in 2018 Election

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Winner

Landslide Mattiello

Speaker of the House Nick Mattiello fought off another vibrant challenge from Steve Frias to set up his effort to continue to control the most powerful political office in Rhode Island -- Speaker of the House.

Nicholas A. Mattiello (DEM)    3101    50.9%

Steven Frias (REP)                  2960    48.6%

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Winner

Democrats in East Greenwich

The top five vote-getters win seats on the East Greenwich Town Council.

Democrats swept the top five seats. It was a terrible night for the GOP in the affluent East Greenwich -- once a Republican hotbed.

Mark Schwager (DEM)              4153    14.1%

Michael P. Donegan (DEM)        3850    13.1%

Renu R. Englehart (DEM)          3716    12.6%

Michael J. Zarrella (DEM)          3302    11.2%

Caryn P. Corenthal (DEM)          3115    10.6%

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Winner

If at First, You Don’t Succeed

In 2016, Democrat Chris Milea lost narrowly -- just 90 votes to Republican Bob Lancia. This time revenge was sweet for Milea who is a close ally of Speaker of the House Nick Mattiello.

Christopher T. Millea (DEM)    2989    52.5%

Robert B. Lancia (REP)          2692    47.3%

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Winner

Progressive Win, GOP Loss

Progressive Democrat Justine Caldwell defeated small businessman and moderate incumbent Republican Antonio Giarrusso -- a candidate who was seen as a potential building block for Republicans.

District 30

Justine A. Caldwell (DEM)    3319    50.6%

Antonio Giarrusso (REP)    3237    49.3%

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Winner

Congressional Democrats and Senate Republicans

Big win for Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats. They have regained the House, but may not by the margin they had hoped for. With Dems in control get ready for the subpoenas to start flying towards the White House.

But, in the Senate, the Republicans have picked up seats which make confirmation hearings all the easier for Trump and moderates like Maine Senator Susan Collins less relevant.

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Winner

Only GOP Bright Spot?

Former GOP State Senator Jack Lyle won the House seat in District 46 beating Representative Mary Ann Shallcross. Lyle once ran statewide as a GOP nominee as Secretary of State.

District 46

John W. Lyle, Jr. (REP)   2776    46.1%

Mary Ann Shallcross Smith (DEM)   2664  44.2%

John J. Cullen (Ind)   573   9.5%

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Winner

Governor Gina Raimondo

The victory was not a surprise -- the 15 point margin was. Now, she emerges as a player at the national level.

Her fundraising skills are unmatched in Rhode Island history. Now she has the potential of being in the discussion as a potential VP candidate or a replacement for Jack Reed in the future. 

Raimondo scored a big win and overcame big negatives.

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Loser

GOP Chairman Brandon Bell

The Republican Chair had a horrific night. He lost his bid for State Representative. His close political partner Steve Frias lost again to Speaker Nick Mattiello. The GOP lost all of the federal and state offices.

Alex D. Marszalkowski (DEM)    3583    58.5%

Brandon Scott Bell (REP)    2534    41.4%

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Loser

Keable Goes Down

House Judiciary Committee Chair and close ally to Speaker of the House Nick Mattiello, Cale Keable was defeated. Just ten days before the election reports that Keable had allegedly sexually harassed fellow State Representative Katherine Kazarian emerged.

He was suspended by his law firm. A GOP win.

Dictrict 47

David J. Place (REP)        2959    56.7%

Cale P. Keable (DEM)        2244    43.0%

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Loser

Susan Cicilline-Buonanno

She made national news when she was pulled over by Warwick police on national live TV.

Then, she announced she was withdrawing from the race.

Then, she refused to sign her withdrawal letter so she remained on the ballot.

Well, Narragansett voters ended the endless machinations - they knocked Cicilline-Buonanno of the town council. 

Top five vote-getters win seats -- Cicilline-Buonanno finished sixth.

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Loser

Joe Trillo

He created a distraction. Took GOP candidate Allan Fung functionally out of the race with constant attacks. 

Trillo dominated every debate. 

He claimed his "internal polling" had him with over 30 percent of the vote. In the end, he scored less than 5 percent of the vote.

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Loser

Building Trades

Mike Sabitoni has a great relationship with Governor Gina Raimondo and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, but the House of Representatives may be very frosty for the union boss.

After the PawSox stadium deal became a political football and the team announced it was moving to Worcester, Sabitoni decided to target Mattiello for defeat. Well, Mattiello lives.

 
 

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