2018 Governor’s Race Playbook - Can Little Known Muñoz Disrupt The Gov’s Race?

Monday, May 28, 2018

 

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The 9 announced candidates for governor

It is like he was built in a laboratory — the perfect Democratic or Republican candidate for Governor.

Luis-Daniel Muñoz is a physician, successful businessman, family man, and Latino. In a state that thrives on ethnic politics, starting with the fastest growing and most mobilized block of voters, is a plus.

With the growing political influence of the Latino community in electoral politics, Muñoz could start off the campaign with a solid base.

This coming this Wednesday he functionally relaunches his campaign. He will be appearing on GoLocal LIVE on Wednesday and is expected to announce his vision for Rhode Island after conducting what he calls his listening tour of Rhode Island.

When Muñoz initially announced he was running there was a bit of head scratching about why he decided to a) seek the Governorship and, b) run as an independent.

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Luis-Daniel Muñoz

His initial burst of press quickly diminished into near invisibility and with little fundraising Muñoz needs to quickly define himself and his vision for Rhode Island.

For both the Democrats and Republicans, Muñoz is a wildcard and a potential game changer.

In a general election that could come down to less than 5 percent, Muñoz would pull enough dissatisfied traditionally left-leaning Latino voters to harm the Democrat nominee.

Or, Muñoz depending on the further definition of his platform and ideology, he could damage the GOP by collecting Republican voters who are looking for a GOP alternative, but not inclined to support the pro-Trump candidate Joe Trillo.

Presently, it is hard to determine where Muñoz sits ideologically as his policy posts are vanilla at best, “Schools are crumbling as private education institutions acquire millions of dollars in public funding to expand their own facilities. It is time to stand with the children of Rhode Island in defense of education and reforms that will sustain a strong and vibrant talent pool.”

This week’s announcements by Muñoz may determine if he is a 2-3 percent, Ralph Nader like the spoiler or elevates his campaign to the next tier.

 

Related Slideshow: 2018 Governor’s Race Playbook - May 28, 2018

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Momentum: Up

Allan Fung (R)

Wins:

Mayor Allan Fung wants the appointment of magistrates to be under the purview of the Judicial Nominating Commission, allowing for more public vetting and transparency. This is a winning issue - Raimondo has been trading magistrate appointments with legislative leaders -- a plethora of insiders and staffers have been appointed.

Secondly, Fung wants to eliminate from consideration any family members of current legislators for these positions. And, he proposes extending the current revolving door length from one to two years - for all positions - so that a legislator would not be asking for advice and consent during the same term and (in theory) with the exact same legislators with which they served.

"There is an unusually high correlation between being good friends or family members of legislators, or being a former legislator yourself, and being named a magistrate," said Mayor Fung. "In order to peel back our 'I've got to know a guy' culture, we need to start making profound changes in the way Smith Hill operates."

Losses:

Morgan is scoring wins with GOP insiders. Fung is running a general election campaign. Dangerous strategy.

X-Factor:  Fight Raimondo on one front, can let Morgan outflank him on the primary front.

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Momentum: Up

Patricia Morgan (R)

Wins:

Democratic Governors Association attempt to hit Patricia Morgan for her recent meeting at the White House with Vice President Mike Pence, maybe the type of criticism that will help her in the GOP primary against Allan Fung.

The DGA charges:

Patricia Morgan Rubs Elbows With Trump Administration

Trump Approval Underwater with Rhode Island Voters by 30 Points

Yesterday, Rhode Island’s Patricia Morgan visited the White House and hobnobbed with President Trump and high ranking Administration officials, an interesting campaign strategy for a candidate running in a state where the President’s approval rating is underwater by a whopping 30 points. Photos on Twitter show that Morgan saw President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Secretary Carson while she was there.

Losses:

N/A

X-Factor: Morgan is pilling up conservative wins. White House meetings are a positive to win a GOP primary.

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Momentum: Up

Gina Raimondo (D)

Wins: 

Stop & Shop/Ahold company and 700 jobs are a win.

This week's announcement of Deepwater jobs -- win.

Losses:

The constant effort to differentiate from GOP candidates Allan Fung and Patricia Morgan would have a lot more credibility if she returned campaign donations from NRA lobbyist.

X-Factor: Living and dying on the economy, any bump in the road in the economy could be devastating.

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Momentum: Flat

Paul Roselli (D)

Wins: Another active week. Running from event to event and working hard at the State House on some key environmental issues. Had a better week than Matt Brown, but that is not saying a lot.

Losses:

N/A

X-Factors: High energy. Is it turning into votes?

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Momentum: Flat

Matt Brown (D)

Wins:

Quiet week for Matt Brown's campaign.

Losses:

Can't have too many weeks like this. When you trail the incumbent by millions and name recognition, you need every week to be impactful.

X-Factor:  What is the big issue?

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Momentum: Down

Luis Daniel Muñoz (I)

Wins:

This week he hits the reset button. It needs to be compelling and substantive. 

Losses:

N/A

X-Factor: This is the week he gets into the race or fades away.

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Momentum: Down

Giovanni Feroce (R)

Wins:

Feroce's only press release this week targeted Governor Gina Raimondo claiming that her economic development strategies are flawed:

 “In a dangerous sign for businesses in RI, Governor Raimondo has created a scenario in which only businesses that engage with Commerce RI (an organization she chairs) and accept state money or tax credits will be given attention,” said Feroce in the press release.

 “The Governor wants all the credit for bringing jobs to Rhode Island when in fact she has forced a business climate that cannot succeed without the state stepping in,” continued Feroce.  “It is not the United States we grew up in and we are proud of.  Her progressive policies have now firmly embedded themselves in her economic policies and it must be stopped immediately,” said Feroce.

Losses:

Still no sign of any viable fundraising to fund a credible campaign.

X-Factor: Hard to see a strategy in which he does not fall into the bottom rung of the candidates.

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Momentum: Down

Joe Trillo (I)

Wins:

Not anticipated, but no one has offered more substantive policy papers than Joe Trillo. This week he argued that sports betting should go before the voter in November, "My advice to Governor Gina Raimondo is that instead of ramming this through without letting Rhode Island voters completely digest what they’re signing up for, she works with the General Assembly before it adjourns for this session.  A referendum needs to be put on the ballot to ask voters whether or not they approve of sports betting, before relying on anticipated revenue to balance her budget.  If she does so, and someone challenges the constitutionality of it, and the state loses, it will be another headache for Rhode Island taxpayers.”  

Losses:

Will any Republicans endorse Trillo? Will Trump?

X-Factor: Can he demonstrate he has more than single-digit support?

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Momentum: Down

Spencer Dickinson (D)

Wins:

Crickets

Losses:

Crickets

X-Factors:  Crickets

 
 

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