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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Poll for union has Pryor up, but in low 40s (26 comments)

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  •  Explaining the topsy-turvy RI Gov race (0+ / 0-)

    I can understand why the RI governor's race is confusing.  But actually, Lincoln Chafee joining the Democratic party makes it much likelier for a Republican to win the governor's race.  

    The thing that's really hard for most people to grasp is just how ultraconservative Democratic politicians are in Rhode Island.  Not only are most Democrats in the legislature anti-choice, most of them have at least an A- from the NRA, and most of them voted for the tax cuts for the rich.  There's a reason Rhode Island is the only blue state that has a voter ID law.

    Conservative Democrats, however, run into serious problems when they try to run in a high-profile race like Governor, where they're facing a very liberal electorate.  The reason Robitaille came so close to winning as a Republican in 2010 wasn't that Chafee was splitting the liberal vote.  It was because the Democrats nominated Frank Caprio.  That's the Frank Caprio who told Obama to "shove it" after the President refused to endorse him, presumably because he was so conservative.  In fact, if a centrist former Republican Senator named Lincoln Chafee hadn't run and won as an independent, Robitaille would have almost certainly won.

    Before Chafee jumped into the Democratic primary, it looked like Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, who is actually a real Democrat, would defeat Treasurer Gina Raimondo in the primary.  Raimondo is famous because she designed the (unconstitutional) law that eliminated pension cost of living adjustments.  But because Chafee jumped in and split the anti-Raimondo vote, it now looks like Gina Raimondo will win the Democratic primary with a minority of the votes, leaving a large contingent of angry liberals with no Democrat to vote for.  

    It's hard to predict what would happen if Taveras or Chafee doesn't win the primary.  There's a real likelihood either Taveras or Chafee could run and win as a write-in.  But if there's no write-in, the Republican nominee would be heavily favored in the general.

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