2018 Gov’s Playbook: GOP’s Growing Problems

Monday, October 01, 2018

 

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Cranston Mayor Allan Fung

Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung has a growing number of problems that he has to overcome to win the 2018 election.

First, Fung has a “Trump” problem. In Rhode Island, Trump won nearly 40 percent of the vote in 2016, but since then polling shows his popularity falling. An October 2017 poll conducted by Harvard’s John Della Volpe for GoLocal found that 71 percent of Rhode Islanders rank Trump’s performance as fair or poor.

Fung during a recent debate hosted by WPRI tried most everything possible to deflect why he was wearing a “Trump hat” at the January, 2017 inauguration of the President.

Second, all GOP candidates in 2018 face the unknown impact from the fallout of the confirmation hearings of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. There is a growing belief that the hearings will add to the growing gender gap problem for Republican candidates especially in purple and blue states like Rhode Island.

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“By muscling forward with a floor vote next week, Republicans would also imperil several Senate Democrats from strongly conservative states who have opposed Judge Kavanaugh or expressed ambivalence about his nomination. Yet in doing so, Republicans would energize many Democrats and a share of independents in suburban congressional districts and big-state governor’s races where female voters were already enraged by Mr. Trump and polls have shown a gender gap stretching to canyon-sized proportions. Republicans’ ability to keep their thin House majority depends on political moderates who were already skeptical of Judge Kavanaugh before this past week,” reported the New York Times on Sunday.

The implication is that the Kavanaugh debate is a motivating issue for women voters especially in a Democratic state where a male Republican is running against an incumbent Democratic woman — Governor Gina Raimondo.

Third, Fung has a “Trillo problem.” Joe Trillo, Trump’s 2016 RI campaign chairman, is running as an independent and continues to hammer both Fung and Democrat Raimondo.

His line of the campaign asked if voters wanted “giveaway Gina or flip-flop Fung.”  By most estimations, most of Trillo votes would revert to Fung if Trillo was not in the race.

 

 

Related Slideshow: 2018 Governor’s Race Playbook - October 1, 2018

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Momentum: Up

Joe Trillo (I)

Wins:

His debate performance set him apart from Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and the "play it safe" Gina Raimondo.

His one-liners were memorable and his constant attacking of Fung caused the GOP candidate problems.

Losses:

He is on track to be the spoiler. Will he step up the media spending and go for the win?

X-Factor: Will he go for broke and go after the core GOP conservative vote and ask Trump to come to RI?

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Momentum: Flat

Gina Raimondo (D)

Wins: 

Uninspiring but mistake free debate performance. A good score in getting former VP Joe Biden in town to rally the faithful.

The Governor continues to keep Fung on the defensive and trapped in a Trump-like MMA cage. In one fundraising letter Raimondo worked to raise money off of the Kavanaugh hearings.

I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

The stories out of Washington have implications in Rhode Island. The cyberbullying and coordinated efforts to dismiss her and other women’s credible accusations against Brett Kavanaugh send a dangerous signal to Rhode Island girls, women and anyone else who has been abused or assaulted.  

Losses:

Two of the top activist artists came to Providence and blasted Raimondo for taking tainted opioid money from the Sacklers -- owners of Purdue Pharma. 

“So it’s okay to take money from them but not from Pablo Escobar or El Chapo in Mexico? It’s the same thing — it’s probably worse, because they have sugar coated it,” said Luis Alvarez. “Have they become so cynical and weak to the point where some Americans have become complacent to this?”

“The time has come…Americans are not going to put up with this anymore. They’re going to stand up to these politicians, and they’re going to do their own research. Absolutely don’t vote for people like that — do your homework,” said Alvarez. “Do not for her. Get her out of office. We need better answers than what she’s telling us.”

“Americans are not stupid. We are fed up. Tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people have died because of this,” said Alvarez.  READ THE REST HERE AND SEE THE VIDEO INTERVIEWS

X-Factor: If she keeps Fung on the defensive things look smooth, but if he can shift the paradigm -- watch out.

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Momentum:Down

Allan Fung (R)

Wins:

N/A

Loses:

A rough week. A missed opportunity in the first gubernatorial to score points against Governor Gina Raimondo. Instead, Fung played defense in the debate and during the week defending his record and fighting off criticisms from Independent candidate Joe Trillo

X-Factor:  Tic Toc. Five weeks to go and Fung needs to take the race to Raimondo. 

 
 

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