campaign 2014

Watch Newsmakers: Election 2014 political roundtable

November 9th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


RI Democrats’ 2014 victory was most sweeping since 1960

November 7th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Projo_JFK_1960_RI_SOSJust how sweeping was Rhode Island Democrats’ election victory on Tuesday night? As it turns out, it was their biggest set of wins since the year John F. Kennedy was elected president.

On Tuesday, for the first time since 1960, Rhode Island Democrats managed to win all nine major offices on the ballot: governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, general treasurer, U.S. senator, 1st District congressman, 2nd District congressman, and Providence mayor, according to a WPRI.com review of past election results.

Democrats have had big years before – Republicans won no federal races in 2012, 2008, 2004 or 1996, for example – but it’s been 54 years since the party won all nine of those top offices in a single November election.

(more…)


Mail ballot numbers pad Gina Raimondo’s victory

November 5th, 2014 at 11:01 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Democrat Gina Raimondo won the governor’s race by a slightly wider margin than first thought.

The R.I. Board of Elections updated its count on Wednesday to include the results from roughly 15,000 voters who used mail ballots. Those mail ballots increased Raimondo’s total number of votes to 131,452, a jump of about 8,000 from the preliminary results.

Republican Allan Fung’s total votes rose to 117,106 and Moderate Bob Healey’s rose to 69,070 with mail ballots included. Raimondo received more than half the votes for governor cast by mail ballot. Fung received about 2,000 more votes than John Robitaille did in 2010, a 2% increase. Robitaille was running in a four-way against a former Republican U.S. senator (Lincoln Chafee) and two other candidates with moderate policy priorities (Frank Caprio and Ken Block).

The results in the governor’s race now round to Raimondo 41%, Fung 36% and Healey 21%.

Overall Raimondo defeated Fung by a decisive 4.5 percentage points, or more than 14,000 votes, the biggest vote margin in a governor’s race since Don Carcieri’s first election in 2002.

Raimondo’s victory was entirely thanks to the city of Providence, which she took by a plurality of about 16,000 votes; in Rhode Island’s other 38 cities and towns, Fung beat her by nearly 2,000 votes combined. Turnout in Providence was higher than four years ago as voters decided the high-profile mayoral race.

Raimondo won with more votes than Lincoln Chafee, who received 123,571 in 2010. Excluding Chafee, however, Raimondo received the smallest number of votes for a victorious gubernatorial candidate in Rhode Island since 1930, when Republican Norman Case won with 112,070, historical records show.

Here are the margins in all the big races with mail ballots included:

  • Governor: Raimondo 41%, Fung 36%, Healey 21%
  • Providence Mayor: Elorza 52%, Cianci 45%, Harrop 3%
  • Lt. Governor: McKee 54%, Taylor 34%, Gilbert 8%, Jones 3%
  • Secretary of State: Gorbea 60%, Carlevale 39%
  • Attorney General: Kilmartin 57%, Hodgson 43%
  • General Treasurer: Magaziner 57%, Almonte 43%
  • U.S. Senate: Reed 71%, Zaccaria 29%
  • 1st District: Cicilline 60%, Lynch 40%
  • 2nd District: Langevin 62%, Reis 38%

In Cranston, despite the presence of the city’s mayor on the ballot, turnout this year was the lowest in the past four gubernatorial elections, with only 26,935 ballots cast for governor there. Fung won Cranston with 14,820 votes or 55% of the total, above Lincoln Chafee’s 9,499 (35%) in 2010 but lower than Don Carcieri’s 16,938 (52%) in 2006 or Carcieri’s 16,959 (58%) in 2002.

Eight Rhode Island communities have voted Republican in the last four gubernatorial elections: Coventry, Exeter, Foster, Hopkinton, Lincoln, Narragansett, Richmond and Scituate.

Only one community voted Democratic for governor all four times: Central Falls. Three others voted in 2010 for Lincoln Chafee (then an independent, now a Democrat) and for Democrats the other three times: East Providence, Pawtucket and Providence.

Ted Nesi ( tnesi@wpri.com ) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com and writes the Nesi’s Notes blog. Follow him on Twitter: @tednesi

This post has been updated and expanded.


Bob Healey spent $0.0005 for every vote he got

November 5th, 2014 at 5:36 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Moderate Party gubernatorial nominee Bob Healey may have set a new record when it comes to how little money a candidate has to spend to win piles of votes.

Read the rest of this story »


Big East Side victory helped Elorza beat Buddy Cianci

November 5th, 2014 at 9:37 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The East Side has spoken. Democrat Jorge Elorza will be the next mayor of the city of Providence.

Elorza won a convincing victory over independent former Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. Tuesday, riding a tidal wave of support to capture every precinct from Fox Point to the Pawtucket line on the vote-rich East Side. Republican Daniel Harrop, who said he was voting for Elorza, placed third.

Read the rest of this story »


Analysis: 18 takeaways from the 2014 election in RI

November 5th, 2014 at 3:25 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Gina Raimondo will be the next governor of Rhode Island and Jorge Elorza will be the next mayor of Providence.

Those are the big headlines from Tuesday’s election in Rhode Island. Here are 18 other takeaways from the election, what it means for the state and what it tells us about local politics going forward.

Read the rest of this story »


Republicans pick up seats in RI General Assembly

November 5th, 2014 at 1:10 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – On an otherwise tough night for local Republicans, the party could find a silver lining in the results for Rhode Island House elections, as six incumbent House Democrats went down to defeat.

Read the rest of this story »


WPRI.com Live Blog: Election Night 2014 Coverage

November 4th, 2014 at 4:45 pm by under Nesi's Notes

Click here to read our Election Night 2014 live blog on the new WPRI.com website »


RI, Mass. voters head to polls to choose new govs

November 4th, 2014 at 12:01 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and WPRI.com Staff

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Voters in Rhode Island and Massachusetts are heading to the polls Tuesday to choose new governors, elect lawmakers, decide on ballot questions and make dozens of other big decisions about their states’ futures.

The last time the two states held an election for governor – back in 2010 – roughly 340,000 voters went to the polls in Rhode Island and about 2.3 million did so in Massachusetts. It remains to be seen how turnout in this year’s election will compare with four years ago.

Read the rest of this story »


Still undecided? Watch our Campaign 2014 debates here

November 3rd, 2014 at 5:18 pm by under Nesi's Notes

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Tuesday is Election Day in Rhode Island, but if you still aren’t sure who you want to vote for, WPRI.com has you covered.

Click here to watch our Campaign 2014 debates on WPRI.com »


Watch Executive Suite: RI ballot questions; background checks

November 3rd, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Watch Newsmakers: Lt. Governor Debate – McKee vs. Taylor

November 2nd, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


McKee, Taylor tout experience in lt. governor debate

October 31st, 2014 at 6:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – With just days left before Election Day, the two leading candidates for lieutenant governor touted their experience Friday as they made a final pitch to voters during their final televised debate.

Democrat Dan McKee and Republican Catherine Taylor largely agreed on ways to improve an office that has long been criticized for having little constitutional authority other than being first in line to take over if the governor is unable to complete his or her term.

Read the rest of this story »

• Watch: Newsmakers Lt. Governor Debate: Catherine Taylor vs. Dan McKee (Oct. 31)


Race for RI gov now a ‘toss up,’ top forecaster says

October 31st, 2014 at 3:48 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – One of Washington’s top election prognosticators is upgrading Republican Allan Fung’s chances of winning the race for Rhode Island governor next week.

Separately, the Democratic Governors Association disclosed it has now spent $755,000 in Rhode Island on Raimondo’s behalf through Thursday; the Republican Governors Association had spent $125,000 on Fung’s behalf through Oct. 20, R.I. Board of Elections disclosures show.

Read the rest of this story »


Fung, Raimondo stay on attack in last TV debate

October 30th, 2014 at 9:17 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The two leading candidates for Rhode Island governor attacked each other fiercely and frequently during their final debate on Thursday night, lobbing charges and countercharges about everything from 38 Studios to pension funding.

Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung clashed throughout most of the 60-minute debate, televised live from Rhode Island College on WJAR-TV before a boisterous crowd, as they sought to press their cases to the undecided voters who are likely to decide what polls show to be a tight race.

Read the rest of this story »


Mayoral candidates stay on the attack in final debate

October 30th, 2014 at 12:22 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Keeping with the tone of the entire campaign, the three candidates for mayor of Providence didn’t lead with the issues during their final televised debate Wednesday evening.

Instead independent Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr., Democrat Jorge Elorza and Republican Dr. Daniel Harrop used the hour-long debate at Rhode Island College to squawk about mail ballot fraud and defaced signs while hurling insults at one another. The debate was aired on WJAR-TV.

Read the rest of this story »


Mail ballots suggest a big turnout in Providence this year

October 29th, 2014 at 5:30 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Wondering how many people will show up to vote in next week’s Rhode Island election? Try looking into the same crystal ball used by local political professionals: mail ballot requests.

Figures obtained by WPRI.com this week from the secretary of state’s office show 15,509 mail ballots have been requested across Rhode Island to cast votes in next week’s election, a sizable increase from the last gubernatorial election in 2010, when 13,485 were requested. But the increase is almost entirely due to a whopping 123% jump in the number requested in Providence.

Read the rest of this story »


Fung keeps big cash advantage over Raimondo

October 29th, 2014 at 1:10 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Republican Allan Fung continues to hold a big financial advantage over Democrat Gina Raimondo in the race to be Rhode Island’s next governor, with just a week left before voters cast their ballots, according to R.I. Board of Elections disclosures filed Tuesday.

Here’s how the money race is playing out for statewide offices on the ballot this year in Rhode Island.

Read the rest of this story »


Raimondo, Fung break little new ground in 2nd debate

October 28th, 2014 at 9:08 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The two leading candidates for Rhode Island governor clashed over familiar topics and themes in their second debate on Tuesday night, just as a new poll showed an extremely tight race between them with a week left until the election.

Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung sparred over their records and plans during much of the 60-minute debate televised from Roger Williams University, but it was Moderate Bob Healey who frequently stole the show by turning in a much more animated performance than in last week’s debate on WPRI 12.

Read the rest of this story »


Donors backing anti-Raimondo group still a mystery

October 27th, 2014 at 3:48 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – For nearly a week, an Ohio nonprofit called the Mid America Fund Inc. has been airing TV ads attacking Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gina Raimondo. But Rhode Island voters still don’t know who’s actually paying for them.

The nonprofit’s biggest funding source – a second Ohio nonprofit, this one known as the Government Integrity Fund Inc. — is the only one of the major outside groups spending big on the race for governor that has failed to disclose its underlying donors.

Read the rest of this story »


NYT/CBS/YouGov Poll: Raimondo maintains lead over Fung

October 27th, 2014 at 10:30 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Gina Raimondo continues to hold a small but clear lead over Republican Allan Fung in the race to be Rhode Island’s next governor, according to a new online-only poll released Sunday by The New York Times, CBS News and YouGov.

The new results came the same day the Alliance for a Better Rhode Island, an outside group partly funded by the Democratic Governors Association that’s been attacking Fung in TV ads, disclosed nearly doubling its total spending in the state to $561,776 as of Thursday.

Read the rest of this story »


Bishop Tobin takes abortion off the table for convention

October 27th, 2014 at 5:01 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence Thomas Tobin says he wouldn’t push for a Rhode Island constitutional convention to tackle social issues such as abortion, potentially depriving opponents of a key argument they’ve been using to sway voters.

“If there is a constitutional convention, I don’t think it would or should deal with cultural/moral/religious issues,” Tobin told WPRI.com in an email sent through his spokeswoman. “These particular, discrete issues are better dealt with in the normal legislative process.”

Read the rest of this story »


Poll: Jack Reed has a 45-point lead for re-election

October 26th, 2014 at 11:02 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – U.S. Sen. Jack Reed continues to hold a massive lead in his bid for a fourth six-year term ahead of next month’s election, according to a new online-only poll released Sunday by The New York Times, CBS News and YouGov.

Read the rest of this story »


Watch Newsmakers: WPRI 12/Journal RI Governor Debate

October 26th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Clinton swings through RI to boost Raimondo bid

October 24th, 2014 at 5:28 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and Susan Campbell

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a full-throated endorsement to Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gina Raimondo on Friday, using a campaign rally to tie Raimondo’s themes to those Clinton may run on in a 2016 presidential bid.

Raimondo’s Republican opponent, Allan Fung, dismissed the Clinton rally as something that isn’t a big deal to most voters. He spent the morning visiting Brutopia, a brewery and restaurant in Cranston that he said demonstrated how his stewardship of that city has prepared him to improve the state’s economy.

Read the rest of this story »


New Brown U. polls give Raimondo, Elorza the lead

October 23rd, 2014 at 12:45 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Gina Raimondo has a double-digit lead over her Republican opponent Allan Fung in the race for Rhode Island governor, with less than two weeks to go before voters head to the polls, according to a new survey released Thursday by Brown University.

Read the rest of this story »


By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – With less than two weeks before Election Day, Democratic Jorge Elorza holds a commanding lead over independent Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr in the race for Providence mayor, according to a poll released Thursday by Brown University.

Read the rest of this story »


Analysis: 5 takeaways from the RI governor debate

October 21st, 2014 at 11:45 pm by under Nesi's Notes

Click here to read my five takeaways from the debate on the new WPRI.com website »


Fung, Raimondo go on the attack in first TV debate

October 21st, 2014 at 11:42 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The two leading candidates for Rhode Island governor questioned one another’s leadership skills during their first televised debate Tuesday evening, launching attacks at political decisions each has made in recent years while touting their plans to create jobs and turn the state’s lagging economy around.

Read the rest of this story »

• Related: Watch the full debate on WPRI.com | Analysis: 5 takeaways from the debate


Watch Newsmakers: Political roundtable on Campaign 2014

October 19th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


For mayoral candidates, repetition is everything

October 17th, 2014 at 11:50 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – When Buddy Cianci gets upset with Jorge Elorza during a mayoral forum, he likes to say, “This isn’t your classroom, professor.”

Elorza always has the same response. “This isn’t your talk show, Buddy.”

With under three weeks to go before the Nov. 4 election, the professor, the talk show host and Republican Dr. Daniel Harrop have perfected their acts, repeating the same talking points for new crowds as they travel across the city making the case for why one of them should be elected Providence’s next mayor.

Read the rest of this story »