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Time for a Political Smackdown Sunday Political Brunch April 1, 2018

Sunday, April 01, 2018


Mark Curtis

We were on the road this week for the West Virginia Broadcasters Association annual meeting and awards dinner. I am proud to report our team came home with the award for Network Long-Form Newscast, for our Sunday public affairs program, “Inside West Virginia Politics.” It’s a network show in that it airs on Nexstar Media’s five TV stations serving West Virginia. Certainly, we have plenty of political news to “brunch” on, too!

“When the ‘Stormy’ Blows Over” – Pardon the pun, but as I have been hinting at over the last few weeks, I don’t think this story has “legs!” I watched Stormy Daniels on “60 Minutes” and have no reason to doubt her story. The networks were all doing follow-up stories this week, but working in a local and statewide news
operation, our focus was on the old adage, “All politics is local.” The Clinton-Lewinsky scandal was 20 years ago, and I don’t see a national groundswell to go back down that road again. People I know on both sides of the aisle are just shrugging their shoulders and saying, “Who cares?”

“Time for a Political Smackdown” – Honestly, the best political story of the past week was the veiled threats between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump. At an appearance in Miami, Biden, age 75, told students he’d “beat the hell” out of Trump if the two men were back in high school. Trump tweeted Biden was "crazy" and "weak, both mentally and physically." The president said Biden would "go down fast and hard, crying all the way." Trump, age 71 - as you may recall - has professional wrestling experience though his friend Vince McMahon at the WWE, World Wresting Entertainment. McMahon’s wife, Linda, is Trump’s Director of the Small Business Administration. Seems like a Trump v. Biden pay-per-view fight is in the cards! I’d pay to see that!

“Primary Colors” – Many of us are focusing on the November 2018 elections to see who wins control of both houses of Congress, as well as many governors’ mansions across the nation. But a big precursor to all of that is the spring primary season. May 8th is a date to mark on your calendar, with primary races for U.S.
Senate seats in Ohio, West Virginia, and Indiana. All three Democratic incumbents are vulnerable, and despite President Trump’s national unpopularity, it’s possible Democrats could lose all three of these seats, with the GOP gaining overall strength in the Senate. Stay tuned!

“Let’s Roll the Eggs!” – The annual White House Easter Egg Hunt will be held on Monday, April 2nd, the day after Easter. The annual (chaotic) tradition became a permanent thing in 1872 under President Rutherford B. Hayes, but other occasional egg rolls were held dating back to First Lady Dolly Madison (I thought she was best known for inventing snack cakes – just joking folks).

“The Census ‘Counts’” – A big issue flying under the radar right now is the looming 2020 census count across the United States, which determines how many seats are appropriated in each state for the U.S. House of Representatives. President Trump, who is mad about lack of funding for his border wall and the continuation of sanctuary cities, is considering adding a question to the census form about whether respondents are U.S. citizens or not. Because of the prospect of legal action, there are concerns that California, Florida and other states with a high population of illegal immigrants will be undercounted in the census, and lose seats in Congress. The Trump Administration can write the 2020 census questionnaire even though he could also be voted out later that year.

“Go Celebrate!” – Hey, it’s Easter weekend, and it’s Passover, too. So, go eat, pray, and enjoy your families. We’ll get back to all the serious, heavy politics next Sunday!

Mark Curtis, Ed.D., is an award-winning political reporter and author. He is now based in Charleston, West Virginia, for the five Nexstar Media TV stations serving the Mountain State. He’s been a political contributor to Patch.com for ten years.


Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017

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Sponsor: GoLocalProv

Sample: N=403

Rhode Island General Election Voters Margin of Error: +/- 4.9% at 95% Confidence Level

Interviewing Period: October 9-11, 2017

Mode: Landline (61%) and Mobile (39%)

Telephone Directed by: John Della Volpe, SocialSphere, Inc.

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Are you registered to vote at this address?

Yes: 100%

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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?

Unaffiliated: 49%

Democrat: 32%

Republican: 15%

Moderate: .4%

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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: 78%

Probably be voting: 13%

50-50: 9%

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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: 39%

Wrong track: 45%

Mixed: 10%

Don't know/Refused: .6%

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

Jobs and economy:  21%

Education: 12%

Taxes: 12%

Roads: 12%

State budget: 9%

Corruption/Public integrity: .8%

Healthcare: 3%

Governor: 3%

Homelessness: 2%

Immigration: 2%

Other: 7%

Don’t know: .9%

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Over the past three years or so, would you say the economy in Rhode Island has improved, gotten worse, or not changed at all?

Changed for the better: 35%

Changed for the worse: 16%

Not changed at all: 43%

Don't know/Refused: 5%

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Over the same time, has your family's financial situation improved, gotten worse, or not changed at all?

Changed for the better: 26%

Changed for the worse: 19%

Not changed at all: 54%

Don't know/Refused: 1%

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Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?

Net: Approve: 28%

Definitely approve: 15%

Probably approve: 14%

Net: Reject: 67%

Probably reject: 19%

Definitely reject: 48%

Don't know: 4%

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Could you please tell me your age?

18-24: 7%

25-34: 15%

35-44: 15%

45-54: 20%

55-64: 17%

65+: 25%

Don't know/refused: 1%

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What was the last grade you completed in school?

0-11: 2%

High school grad: 16%

Technical/Vocational school: 1%

Some college: 23%

College grad: 34%

Graduate degree: 24%

Don't know/refused: 1%

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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: 27%

More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%

More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%

More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%

$150,000 or more: 13%

Don't know/refused: 17%

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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?

American/None: 21%

English: 13%

Italian: 13%

Irish: 12%

Black or African American: 6%

Latino/Hispanic: 6%

French: 6%

Portuguese: 3%

Jewish: 3%

German: 1%

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Would you say that Donald Trump has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as President?

Excellent: 13%
Good: 12%
Fair: 14%
Poor: 57%
Never heard of:  0%
Cannot rate: 3%

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Would you say that Jack Reed has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as a United States Senator?

Excellent: 22%
Good: 29%
Fair: 23%
Poor: 15%
Never heard of: 6%
Cannot rate: 6%

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Would you say that Sheldon Whitehouse has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as a United States Senator?

Excellent: 17%
Good: 22%
Fair: 21%
Poor: 28%
Never heard of: 6%
Cannot rate: 7%

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Would you say that David Cicilline has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as a Member of Congress?

Excellent: 9%
Good: 29%
Fair: 21%
Poor: 27%
Never heard of: 6%
Cannot rate:  8%

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Would you say that James Langevin has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as a Member of Congress?

Excellent: 7%
Good: 30%
Fair: 20%
Poor: 18%
Never heard of: 13%
Cannot rate: 11%

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Would you say that Gina Raimondo has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Governor?

Excellent: 6%
Good: 28%
Fair: 30%
Poor: 31%
Never heard of: 1%
Cannot rate: 3%

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Would you say that Daniel McKee has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Lieutenant Governor?

Excellent: 3%
Good: 16%
Fair: 21%
Poor: 8%
Never heard of: 26%
Cannot rate: 25%

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Would you say that Peter Kilmartin has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Attorney General?

Excellent: 3%
Good: 20%
Fair: 28%
Poor: 17%
Never heard of: 13%
Cannot rate: 19%

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Would you say that Seth Magaziner has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as General Treasurer?

Excellent: 4%
Good: 18%
Fair: 24%
Poor: 13%
Never heard of: 21%
Cannot rate: 21%

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Would you say that Nellie Gorbea has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Secretary of State?

Excellent: 5%
Good: 21%
Fair: 21%
Poor: 10%
Never heard of: 20%
Cannot rate: 23%

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Would you say that Jorge Elorza has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Mayor of Providence?

Excellent: 4%
Good: 24%
Fair: 24%
Poor: 22%
Never heard of: 9%
Cannot rate: 15%


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