Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in RI Politics?

Friday, October 05, 2012


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Who’s Hot

David Cicilline -> The embattled Congressman has watched his race swing by over 20 points since February and now holds a slight lead over Republican Brendan Doherty. The race is still a tossup, but it certainly appears Cicilline has successfully pinned what he calls the “radical agenda” of the national GOP to his opponent.

Sheldon Whitehouse & Jim Langevin -> The latest WPRI poll has Senator Whitehouse and Congressman Langevin comfortably ahead of their Republican opponents. Both have always been heavy favorites in their respective races, but 20-plus point leads a month before the election at a time when Congress has such low approval ratings is still impressive.

Angel Taveras & Gina Raimondo -> The two most popular politicians in the state were approaching 60 percent approval in the WPRI poll and it appears they both remain the most promising potential Democratic candidates for Governor in 2014. Keep watching the fundraising numbers. Those close to Raimondo say she raked in approximately $250,000 in the third quarter (although the official number won’t be released until the end of the month) and Taveras seems to have a slew of fundraisers lined up before the end of the year.

Mitt Romney -> There is no question who won the first Presidential debate. The Republican candidate got the boost he desperately needed by outperforming Obama and setting the tone for the next month. Even the MSNBC pundits thought this thing was a landslide.

Twin River -> Twin River has now surpassed the $3 million mark in spending and it looks like it will pay off. The WPRI poll suggested that over 58 percent of likely voters support expanding to table games when they head to the voting booth next month.

Abel Collins -> His campaign has spent far too much time complaining about being excluded from the upcoming television debates (will anyone even watch anything but Cicilline/Doherty debates?) but that doesn’t mean the Independent candidate in the 2nd District doesn’t have a point. If there’s space for Chris Young, there certainly should be space for Abel Collins.

Who’s Not

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Lincoln Chafee -> The Governor’s approval is still in the tank and more than half of the likely voters polled by WPRI don’t even believe he handled the 38 Studios debacle well. Chafee remains most popular among Democrats, which makes one wonder whether he’ll officially join the party between now and 2014.

Barry Hinckley & Mike Riley -> Neither candidate was pleased with their poll results this week, particularly when it comes to name recognition. Hinckley has been running for well over a year and Riley has been all over television and radio, but when over 60 percent of voters have no opinion of you, something is clearly not working.

Curt Schilling -> It’s not easy to feel bad for Curt Schilling, but it’s sad to see anyone lose everything. Now Schilling, who says he’s put more than $50 million of his own money into 38 Studios, is selling his house and he may have to sell off a significant portion of memorabilia, including the infamous bloody sock from the 2004 American League Championship Series.

West Warwick -> Many have considered West Warwick the next municipality to go bankrupt and without significant changes, that may very well be the case. Here’s hoping the town’s leaders take the Providence approach over the Central Falls option.

General Assembly -> When 43 percent of voters say they would like to throw every member out of office, something is not right. We hear a lot about the approval rating for Congress, but it would be interesting to see that question put to Rhode Islanders about the legislature.

Bobby Valentine -> No matter how bad Governor Chafee has it, at least he can look in the mirror every day and know that at least he’s not Bobby V.


Dan McGowan can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @danmcgowan.


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