A poll released last week by the public policy polling center has Governor Lincoln Chafee slumping in the polls and basically losing all potential election prospects.
In the poll, Chafee falls to both the Republican and Democratic Candidate.
The poll focuses on Republican prospective candidates Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, and Former Congressional Candidate Brendan Doherty and Democrat Prospective candidates, General Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras. Also included is Moderate Party Candidate Ken Block, who polls at around 10% in all scenarios (Not bad for a third party guy).
The problem with a poll… is it's a poll.
The results are surprising. It seems General Treasurer Raimondo is the favorite in a Democratic primary between herself, Angel Taveras and former state auditor General Ernie Almonte. Almonte polls at between 9%, not bad considering he is not a well-known politician having spent most of his career in the private sector.
More interesting is if Chafee is in the mix as a Democrat. Chafee gets 22% over Taveras's 19% and Raimondo still hold the lead with 35%.
Don't Count Chafee Out
The social media world is hot with commenters' saying that Chafee is a "one-termer." I would not dismiss him quite so fast.
The poll suggests Chafee may run as a Democrat, that seems unlikely. Chafee is better off as an independent and he knows it. There he is ensured a spot in the General Election and despite what this poll reports as low approval number the Governor should not be underestimated.
For starters: he is the Governor. He gets media attention daily because he is basically the figure head of the state. The first rule in politics is, after all, name recognition.
Two: He may have initially had some issues with local labor leaders following his election but it seems that relationship is being repaired as he opted to renew talks with labor leaders regarding pension reform even before it was court ordered.
Three: Chafee might not have a huge campaign coffer now with just under $400,000 but the Chafee family has private money and a huge fundraising capacity. Plus, he has national contacts. Don't forget the President invited him to speak at the Democratic Convention.
Chafee V. Raimondo?
Chafee and Raimondo already have exchanged political barbs so if that was the General Election we can expect that to get ugly maybe even to the level of the Caprio/Chafee battle in 2012. If that happens Mayor Allan Fung might find himself with a better shot at the Governor's race.
Despite the poll it is still likely that Raimondo falls in a primary. While she has a lot of money and plays well on both sides of the aisle she is also a target for local labor groups and union members are known for turning out to vote. The Democratic primary will be held in an off year election, on a primary date: which usually coincides with very low turnout. Because of the low turnout situation it is likely that Raimondo will struggle against the union vote which is likely to go for Taveras.
Names that were not mentioned in the poll but maybe should have been:
Democrat Elizabeth Roberts should be considered a serious contender. She is a progressive favorite and she is the current Lt. Governor. Unless she plans on making a Congress or Senate run, Governor is the only upward movement she has. Roberts could give Raimondo a run for her money when it comes to the women's vote.
Former Central Falls Receiver Bob Flanders still seems like a possible Republican candidate for Governor. He is popular among members of the RIGOP but it is unlikely he would be popular across party lines, or among the Latino community.
Karl Wadensten: The CEO of VIBCO and the only guys who was on the EDC and voted AGAINST the 38 Studios deal. He would be a possible candidate for the Republican side or possible a moderate if Ken Block could convince him to put the big "M" next to his name.
Also on the Republican side, what if Almonte decided to lose the ‘D' and take up an ‘R.' He is a money guy and very charismatic so he might also bring some stamina to the Republican Party.
Dee DeQuattro is the assignment desk manager and digital news coordinator for ABC6. She studied politics and communications and holds a master's degree from Providence College. Follow her on twitter @deedequattro and log on to ABC6 .com for her latest in depth coverage of politics and news.