Chafee popping up in stories about why Walker survived recallJune 6th, 2012 at 3:48 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
One of the noteworthy statistics in the exit polls from Tuesday’s recall election in Wisconsin was this one, flagged by The Fix’s Aaron Blake: 17% of voters who backed Republican Gov. Scott Walker say they also support President Obama for reelection this fall. Blake called the number “stunning.”
If there’s one thing I’ve learned by covering state and federal politics concurrently, though, it’s that plenty of voters’ views on optimal public policy don’t lead to unwavering support for either party as a national-eye-view might suggest. Rhode Island voters haven’t backed a Republican for president since 1984 – and they haven’t backed a Democrat for governor since 1992.
Meanwhile, Governor Chafee and Rhode Island are being used to put Walker’s victory in context. Here’s Molly Ball reporting for The Atlantic:
It’s not only Republican governors, Walker noted, who are pushing to reform the pension, benefit and pay privileges enjoyed by public workers. He pointed to the efforts of Deval Patrick in Massachusetts, Lincoln Chafee (a liberal independent) in Rhode Island, Andrew Cuomo in New York and Jerry Brown in California, all of whom have approached the issue of public sector pension reform, if in less inflammatory manner.
And here’s The Wall Street Journal:
Labor fights are raging in other states. In Ohio, Republican Gov. John Kasich signed a law removing collective-bargaining rights for public employees until a union-driven referendum repealed it last November.
In Rhode Island, Gov. Lincoln Chafee, an independent, proposed bills that would allow a few financially troubled cities to reduce disability pensions for police and firefighters.
In Michigan, tea-party Republicans who pushed—so far, unsuccessfully—for right-to-work legislation, said a Walker victory could reinvigorate their cause. …
MSNBC (perhaps after reading the WSJ) also lumped together Ohio, Rhode Island and Michigan this afternoon in a report on states where labor wars are raging. Forbes’ Josh Barro argued back in March these strange bedfellows prove “necessity has trumped political coalitions,” while local union activists have described Chafee’s municipal bills as “Wisconsin heavy.”
Chafee and Walker have very different styles, though – a Wisconsin paper suggested voters recall Walker for someone like Chafee, and last year Chafee cautioned Walker against taking on Wisconsin’s unions: “You don’t want a war you can’t win.” Walker, for his part, won more than half the vote in Wisconsin last night, while Chafee won office in 2010 with barely a third.
An earlier version of this story said Rhode Island last elected a Democratic governor in 1994; that was the final full year in office for the state’s last Democratic governor, Bruce Sundlun.