Caprio Factor: Who’s Hot and Who’s a Democrat? - Part II
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
At this point, it’s no surprise to anyone that Democrats are doomed to undergo a dreadful election season. There are some, however, who are still surprised to see that the Democrats’ troubles are so pervasive that the national conservative uprising has spread into the most solidly Democratic state in the country. The Caprio factor is now is play.
In fact, things are so bad for Ocean State Democrats right now that President Obama was forced to make a special campaign trip to the presumed-liberal State of Rhode Island in an attempt to save Jim Langevin and David Cicilline from the Republican storm.
But it gets even worse for Ocean State Democrats. Frank Caprio, the party’s endorsed gubernatorial candidate, couldn’t even secure the President’s endorsement while he was in town. Obama wished to remain neutral between Caprio and Lincoln Chafee (the other liberal candidate in the governor’s race). Caprio reacted by telling Obama to take his endorsement and “shove it.”
Regarding Caprio’s ill-advised remark, Republican gubernatorial candidate John Robitaille said that Caprio was “losing it and acting like a petulant little child.” Caprio responded by saying, “I know you are but what am I?”
But it gets even worse for Ocean State Democrats! Amazingly, a recent WJAR poll showed that Cool Moose Bob Healey, the ultimate underdog candidate wishing to abolish the seat currently held by Elizabeth Roberts, was trailing Roberts by only five points. Healey’s message of limited government has been resonating with Rhode Island voters so much that Roberts was forced to run a despicable, misleading, and message-less TV ad that accentuated Healey’s scruffy and unflattering appearance. The only positive thing to come out of Robert’s ad was that it raised an interesting question - “Who’s a more attractive individual? Healey or Roberts?”
For the past several months, Chafee and Caprio have been so busy attacking one another, that neither one of them remembered to tell Mayor Cicilline that Democrats secure their best chances of getting elected when they pretend to be conservatives. As a result, Cicilline managed to squander a one-time nineteen-point lead against Republican John Loughlin by performing his best Nancy Pelosi impression. During several debates, Cicilline informed the voters of his plans to raise taxes and enact even more stimulus legislation. In the midst of a recession and a shaky business climate, he advocated for more government intrusion into the energy industry, justified by even shakier science on climate change. You might know it as “global warming.” Others might know it as “global cooling.”
The scandal-ridden mayor, who has managed to bankrupt the City of Providence, also argued for immediate troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, socialized medicine, gay marriage, and the repeal of Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell. The result? Last week, Public Opinion Strategies released a poll that showed Loughlin tied with Cicilline at 41 percent, and leading by five points among “those most likely to vote.”
Democrats are also now forced to deal with John Robitaille’s latest rise in the polls. Two months ago, the Caprio camp was spending their time trying to convince Robitaille to drop out of the governor’s race, a request that was based on Robitaille’s “lack of name recognition.” When Robitaille refused, Caprio and Chafee chose to strategically ignore Robitaille, simultaneously conducting identical mud-slinging campaigns against one another. The result? Public Opinion Strategies revealed late last week that Robitaille’s slow-and-steady approach has earned him a share of the lead with Caprio (28%), with Chafee close behind (27%).
Anybody who doubts the validity of what were certainly Republican-commissioned polls should consider the fact that, after viewing the poll results, the Republican Governors Association directed $400,000 to Robitaille’s efforts. And even before the disclosure of these poll results, the Caprio campaign finally decided to attack Robitaille within a negative mailing piece. Unless Republicans are in the business of self-deception, and unless Frank Caprio just felt like wasting some money and erratically telling someone else to “shove it,” it’s a safe assumption that there is a high level of authenticity to the polling being conducted by Public Opinion Strategies.
With the RGA’s $400,000, and with roughly $150,000 of his own cash remaining, John Robitaille is poised to be the most visible candidate in the week approaching November 2nd.
Take it to the bank: John Robitaille’s quiet surge is real. The Republican movement here in Rhode Island is real.
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