A Topsy-Turvy Week of Political Hodge-Podge - Sunday Political Brunch - August 19, 2018

Sunday, August 19, 2018

 

View Larger +

Mark Curtis

Wow! What a weird week in politics. We had four state primaries, and all kinds of Washington tumult, plus our ongoing attempt in West Virginia to impeach the entire State Supreme Court. It’s a topsy-turvy hodge-podge! Let’s “brunch” on that this week!

“Vermont Transgender” – It certainly is an unusual election year, and we are in for some potential firsts. In Vermont, the first transgender person to ever be nominated for a state governorship in the nation is Christine Hallquist (D-VT). She’ll face incumbent Gov. Phil Scott (R-VT) in in November. Maybe it’s the Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner phenomenon, but people tend to look past the gender thing these days in favor of perceived competency.

“Minnesota, Not So Nice” – In 2012 two-term Gov. Tim Pawlenty, (R-MN) ran for president on the slogan that he was, “Minnesota nice.” It’s didn’t work, and Mitt Romney was the party’s nominee. Pawlenty moved on to Washington, D.C. to be a banking lobbyist, but suddenly returned to the Gopher State this year to run for Governor again. He’s a moderate, not popular with the Trump White House. Tuesday night, Pawlenty lost the primary saying, “The Republican Party has shifted. It is the era of Trump, and I’m just not a Trump-like politician.”

“West Virginia Supremes” – It is one of the most jaw-dropping events I’ve covered in my 42 years in working in mass media. On Monday the West Virginia House of Delegates impeached the four remaining members of the State Supreme Court, after the fifth justice quit last month. The following day, another justice retired. Now the remaining three face a Senate impeachment trial next month. The reason? Over three-million dollars in lavish renovations and furnishings to their personal office in the capitol, including the now-infamous $32,000 blue suede couch in the office of suspended Justice Allen Loughry, who is also under a 25-count federal criminal indictment. Wow, wow, wow!

“Pink Wave” – They call it the “pink wave” perhaps because it is happening in both the blue and red parties. Record numbers of women running and winning this year. In governors’ races, 11 of the major party nominees this year are women. Right now, only 6 women are governors, so look for some gains. There was also a record number of 476 women running for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives this year, and 184 have been nominated – again, the highest number in history. Look for big gains in November.

“Omorosa” – Why is this disgruntled ex-White House, ex-Apprentice employee news? Yes, like a train wreck it’s interesting to watch and hard to turn away. But there are a lot of critical issues facing the nation right now from the opioid crisis, to trade tariffs, to immigration problems. Omorosa hardly seems worthy of all the air time, but as a creature of reality TV culture (as fueled by Trump), it’s not a surprise. Word late in the week that Trump campaign operatives may have offered her “hush money” after she was fired will ratchet up the coverage. Trump only makes it worse by tweeting about it daily.

“Inside Baseball?” – There was a lot of clamor this week about former CIA Director John Brennan having his security clearance pulled by President Trump on Wednesday. Having been a reporter for six years in Washington, D.C., I always referred to these stories as “inside baseball.” Yes, it’s a big deal in the nation’s capital, but beyond the beltway nobody really cares. Another protected bureaucrat has lost some key privileges, but how does this matter to a struggling family in Kansas trying to make ends meet and save for their kids to maybe go to college? It doesn’t. But you watch the network news, and you’d think we were in nuclear war.

“John McCain” – President Trump and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) have had some sharp differences and have traded plenty of barbs. Trump even once questioned whether the former Vietnam War POW was a hero. This week, Trump traveled to New York to sign the “John McCain Defense Authorization Act of 2018,” yet he never even mentioned the heroic senator by name or praised his service. McCain, who is dying of brain cancer, was not there. The Trump slight of McCain – who is beloved and respected by Democrats and Republicans alike - was shameful. Maybe one of the lowest points in Trump’s presidency. It’s one thing to disagree on policy, but another matter to disrespect the heroic service of a great American.

“The Trump Factor?” – One of the big factors this November will be the so-called “Trump Factor.” In short, he may help candidates in states where he is popular; but may tank in states where he is despised. In Kansas, Trump backed Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R-KS) in the race for governor, over incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer R-KS). Kobach won by just 345 votes at last count. Colyer was more of a moderate, while Kobach was a hardline advocate against illegal immigration. Was the Trump endorsement the deal maker for Kobach? Hard to say when the margin is that close, but it helped him unseat the incumbent governor.

What races are you watching in 2018? Just click the comment button at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.

Mark Curtis, Ed.D., is the Chief Political Reporter for the five Nexstar Media TV stations serving West Virginia.

 

Related Slideshow: GoLocal Statewide Poll - Conducted by Harvard’s Della Volpe - June, 2018

View Larger +
Prev Next

Registered Voters

Q1: Are you registered to vote in Rhode Island?

Total 501 100%
Yes: 501 100%
No: 0 0%
Don't know: 0 0%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Gender

Q2: Are you ...
Total
Total: 100%
Male: 44%
Female: 56%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Age

Q3: In which age group are you?

18-24:  7%
25-34:  16%
35-44:  15%
45-54:  20%
55-64: 17%
65+      25%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Political Party

Q4: When it comes to voting, do you consider yourself to be affiliated with the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, Moderate, or Unaffiliated with a major party?

Democrat: 38%
Republican:14%
Moderate: 6%
Unaffiliated: 39%
Don't know/Refused: 3%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Likely Voters

Q5: Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices.  How likely is it that you will vote in this election?   Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...

 

Definitely be voting.............................. 81%

Probably be voting............................... 19%

All others.............................................   0%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Top Issue

Q6: What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
 

Taxes.................................................. .18%

Jobs and economy.............................. 16%

State budget.........................................11%

Roads...................................................10%

Education............................................  8%

Healthcare...........................................  5%

Corruption/Public integrity.................... 4%

Immigration..........................................  4%

Housing.............................................. ..2%

Governor............................................. ..2%

Homelessness.......................................1%

 

Other.. ............................................... 14%

Don’t know..........................................   6%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Direction

Q7: In general, would you say things in Rhode Island are headed in the right direction or are they off on the wrong track?
 

Right track........................................... 19%

Wrong track......................................... 36%

Mixed.................................................. 45%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Optimism

Q8: Thinking ahead several years, is your outlook about Rhode Island more optimistic or more pessimistic?   
 

Optimistic............................................ 52%

Pessimistic...........................................48%
 

View Larger +
Prev Next

Finances

Q9: Over the last three years or so, has your family's financial situation improved, gotten worse, or not changed at all?
 

Changed for the better......................... 24%

Changed for the worse......................... 33%

Not changed at all................................ 43%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q10: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Gina Raimondo, a Democrat

I am sure to vote for her:  9%

There is a good chance I will vote for her:  19%

It is possible that I vote for her:  24%

It is unlikely that I will vote for her:  18%

I will never vote for her:  31%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q11: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Matt Brown, a Democrat

I am sure to vote for him:  4%

There is a good chance I will vote for him:  8%

It is possible that I vote for him:  40%

It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  30%

I will never vote for him:  17%
 

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q12: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Spencer Dickinson, a Democrat

I am sure to vote for him:  3%

There is a good chance I will vote for him:  7%

It is possible that I vote for him:  37%

It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  35%

I will never vote for him:  18%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q13: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Paul Roselli, a Democrat 

I am sure to vote for him:  2%

There is a good chance I will vote for him:  7%

It is possible that I vote for him:  35%

It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  37%

I will never vote for him:  19%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q14: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Allan Fung, a Republican 

I am sure to vote for him:  7%

There is a good chance I will vote for him:  18%

It is possible that I vote for him:  28%

It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  25%

I will never vote for him:  21%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q15: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Patricia Morgan, a Republican 

I am sure to vote for her:  3%

There is a good chance I will vote for her.:   9%

It is possible that I vote for her:  32%

It is unlikely that I will vote for her:  35%

I will never vote for her:  21%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q16: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Giovanni Feroce, a Republican 

I am sure to vote for him:  2%

There is a good chance I will vote for him:  5%

It is possible that I vote for him:  24%

It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  35%

I will never vote for him:  34%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q17: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Luis-Daniel Muñoz, an Independent

I am sure to vote for him:  3%

There is a good chance I will vote for him: 6%

It is possible that I vote for him: 33%

It is unlikely that I will vote for him: 38%

I will never vote for him: 21%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q18: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Joe Trillo, an Independent

I am sure to vote for him:  1%

There is a good chance I will vote for him:  8%

It is possible that I vote for him:  37%

It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  34%

I will never vote for him:  19%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q20: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Gina Raimondo, Republican Allan Fung and Independent Joe Trillo - for whom would you vote?        

Allan Fung, a Republican..................... 33%

Gina Raimondo, a Democrat................ 33%

Joe Trillo, and Independent.................. 16%

Don't know     18%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q20: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Gina Raimondo, Republican Patricia Morgan and Independent Joe Trillo - for whom would you vote?         

Gina Raimondo, a Democrat................ 39%

Patricia Morgan, a Republican............. 20%

Joe Trillo, an Independent................... 19%

Don't know ......................................... 22%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q21: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Matt Brown, Republican Allan Fung and Independent Joe Trillo - for whom would you vote? 

Allan Fung, a Republican..................... 35%

Matt Brown, a Democrat...................... 25%

Joe Trillo, an Independent.................... 14%

Don't know .......................................... 27%
 

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor

Q22: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Matt Brown, Republican Patricia Morgan and Independent Joe Trillo - for whom would you vote?        

Matt Brown, a Democrat...................... 30%

Patricia Morgan, a Republican............. 20%

Joe Trillo, an Independent.................... 18%

Don't know .......................................... 33%

View Larger +
Prev Next

U.S. Senate

Q23: If the election for the U.S. Senate were held today and the candidates were: [ROTATE] Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse and Republican Robert Nardolillo - for whom would you vote?

Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat........... 53%

Robert 'Bobby' Nardolillo, a Republican.. 31%

Don't know............................................... 16%

View Larger +
Prev Next

U.S. Senate

Q24: If the election for the U.S. Senate were held today and the candidates were: [ROTATE] Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse and Republican Robert Flanders - for whom would you vote?           

Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat........ 54%

Robert Flanders, a Republican............. 32%

Don't know.......................................... 14%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Schools

Q25: If there was an election today, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $250 million in financing supported general obligation bonds to repair Rhode Island's deteriorating school buildings and bring them up to minimum standards called "warm, safe and dry"?

Net: Approve...................................... 74%

Definitely approve............................... 36%

Probably approve................................ 38%
 

Net: Reject......................................... 17%

Probably reject....................................   9%

Definitely reject....................................   7%


Don't know..........................................   9%

View Larger +
Prev Next

PawSox

Q26: The Rhode Island General Assembly is in the process of negotiating a $40 million public financing deal with the Pawtucket Red Sox for a new stadium, hoping to bring a vote before the House and Senate this summer.  

In general, do you favor or oppose the use of public funds to help finance a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox?
 

Net: Favor.......................................... 33%

Strongly favor...................................... 13%

Somewhat favor.................................. 21%
 

Net: Oppose....................................... 59%

Somewhat oppose.............................. 21%

Strongly oppose.................................. 38%
 

Don't know..........................................   8%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Fane Tower

Q27: The City of Providence and the state of Rhode Island are considering a proposal by New York developer Jason Fane to build a 46-story luxury residence tower in Providence, next to a public riverfront park.  The developer will invest $250 to $300 million of his own funds.  The project is called the Hope Point Tower, it would be 170-feet taller than the Superman building and would require waiving height restrictions and the use of state tax credits.

In general, do you favor or oppose development of the Hope Point Tower?

 

Net: Favor.......................................... 39%

Strongly favor...................................... 13%

Somewhat favor.................................. 27%


Net: Oppose....................................... 50%

Somewhat oppose.............................. 23%

Strongly oppose.................................. 27%


Don't know.......................................... 11%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Elorza/Traffic Cameras

Q28: How would you rate the job that Mayor Jorge Elorza has done managing issues related to speed cameras in Providence?

Net: Excellent/Good.......................... 26%

Excellent.............................................   6%

Good................................................... 20%

Net: Fair/Poor.................................... 74%

Fair...................................................... 29%

Poor.................................................... 45%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Q29: Since it was launched in 2016, UHIP -- the Rhode Island program designed to improve customer service for those who receive federal benefits -- has run into significant problems, including long lines, cost overruns, lost applications, over- and under-charging of patients and families.   

Based on what you know at this time, what percent of 
blame for this do you assign to:
 

Deloitte, the consulting company who
produced the system........................... 53.3%

Governor Gina Raimondo, who has
been governor since the system
launch in September 2016................... 47.1%

View Larger +
Prev Next

NIMBYism

Q30: Presently, there are local groups opposing the development of a natural gas facility in Burrillville, solar projects in Exeter, a LNG facility in Providence and wind projects in North Kingstown. 
Some people say that it is important for local groups to play a role in opposition 
of projects like these that could be dangerous or harmful to citizens; 

Others say that local groups have gone too far to the detriment of the state’s long-term energy needs. 

Which statement comes closer to your own view?

 

Local groups play an important role...... 46%

Local groups have gone too far............. 31%

Not sure................................................. 24%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Corruption

Q31: Compared to other states, do you think there is:

More political corruption in RI................. 63%

Less political corruption in RI................   7%

About the same level as other states..... 30%
 

View Larger +
Prev Next

Income

Q32: The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS.  Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).  

$50,000 or less.................................... 33%

More $50,000 but less than $75,000..... 18%

More $75,000 but less than $100,000... 16%

More $100,000 but less than $150,000. 13%

$150,000 or more................................ 10%

Don't know/refused.............................. 10%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Ethnicity

Q33: What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?  

Net: White, Non-Hispanic..................... 82%

Black or African American....................   6%

Latino/Hispanic....................................   5%

Other....................................................   7%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Geography

Q34: City/Town Into Region.

West Bay............................................ 28%

Metro-Providence................................ 28%

Blackstone Valley................................ 21%

South County...................................... 10%

East Bay............................................. 13%

 
 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

 
 

Sign Up for the Daily Eblast

I want to follow on Twitter

I want to Like on Facebook

X

Stay Connected — Free
Daily Email