National Republicans Showing Interest in Whitehouse/Hinckley Race
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
The chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and eight other Republican Senators will host a $500-a-head fundraiser this evening in Washington, D.C. for Senate candidate Barry Hinckley.
Joining chairman John Cornyn (TX) will be Senators Pat Toomey (PA), David Vitter (LA), Ron Johnson (WI), Michael Lee (UT), Chuck Grassley (IA), Scott Brown (MA), Saxby Chambliss (GA) and Richard Burr (NC).
By while Senator Brown is neck and neck with Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren, Hinckley trailed Whitehouse by 22 percentage points in a February WPRI poll and Rasmussen has the seat labeled as “Safe Democrat.”
In that poll, less than 38 percent of registered voters said they believed Whitehouse has done a “good” or “excellent” job in the Senate while 24.3 percent say the Senator was doing a “poor” job.
Among Independent voters, Whitehouse held an 8 point lead with 23.5 percent of voters saying they were unsure. Hinckley was most popular among men, Independents and non-union voters, but he struggled with young people and women.
In addition to Whitehouse having a campaign war chest seven times the size off Hinckley’s, the Democrat is also expected to benefit from having President Obama at the top of the ticket. Obama won Rhode Island with 62 percent of the vote in 2008.
But Hinckley, who would join every member of his host committee with the exception of Grassley in signing the Grover Norquist no tax pledge, does benefit from being an established businessman in an anti-incumbent atmosphere.
Hinckley maintains that Whitehouse has been out of touch with everyday Rhode Islanders since joining the Senate. Two weeks ago, he ripped the Senator for focusing so much of his efforts on campaign finance reform when Rhode Island has the second highest unemployment rate in the country.
Last week, Hinckley criticized Whitehouse and all Senate Democrats for passing legislation that would eliminate the Bush-era tax cuts on the wealthiest two percent of Americans while extending them for everyone else.
Hinckley blamed partisan politics for getting in the way of one of his top priorities: reforming the tax code.
“I have long been an advocate for comprehensive tax reform with the end goal of a fairer, simpler tax code with fewer loopholes and carve-outs for special interests,” Hinckley said. “There is already bipartisan agreement that this needs to happen, but partisan gridlock continues to prevent any progress. This is yet another sign that we need to send new leaders to Washington on our behalf.