governor’s race

RI gov candidates spent more than $15M on race

December 3rd, 2014 at 2:14 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The six major candidates for Rhode Island governor spent more than $15 million on their campaigns when all was said and done, according to a review of R.I. Board of Elections filings by WPRI.com.

Read the rest of this story »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


Outside groups pouring big money into RI gov race

October 22nd, 2014 at 10:32 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A huge amount of outside money is suddenly pouring into Rhode Island’s tight race for governor.

In the last 24 hours, two groups with no previous history in the state – one backed by the Democratic Governors Association and one backed by the Republican Governors Association – have dropped a combined $849,014 into the race to air TV ads attacking the top two candidates, Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung, according to a WPRI.com review of R.I. Board of Elections filings.

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


Arnold donates another $100K to pro-Raimondo super PAC

October 15th, 2014 at 8:42 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The wealthy Texas billionaire who previously backed a pro-pension-overhaul group has donated another $100,000 to a “super PAC” formed to boost Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s bid for governor, with the money set to be used against her GOP rival.

Read the rest of this story »


New WPRI 12/Journal Poll: Raimondo holds a slim lead

October 15th, 2014 at 4:30 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Gina Raimondo has a slim lead over Republican Allan Fung in the race for Rhode Island governor, with Moderate Robert Healey pulling a meaningful share of the vote, an exclusive WPRI 12/Providence Journal survey released Wednesday shows.

The new survey of 505 likely Rhode Island voters shows Raimondo in the lead at 42%, Fung in second place at 36% and Healey far behind at 8%. An additional 12% of voters remain undecided.

Read the rest of this story »

• Related: New WPRI 12/Journal Poll: Dems lead for 4 RI lower offices (Oct. 14)


NYT/CBS/YouGov Poll: Raimondo, Fung in tight race

October 11th, 2014 at 12:45 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Gina Raimondo holds a slim lead over Republican Allan Fung in the race for Rhode Island governor, according to a newly released online-only poll by The New York Times, CBS News and YouGov.

Read the rest of this story »


Doherty backs Raimondo as Fung stays on attack

October 9th, 2014 at 5:39 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former GOP congressional candidate Brendan Doherty announced Thursday he is backing Democrat Gina Raimondo for governor, even as his fellow Republican Allan Fung launched a new TV ad attacking her as too close to the financial sector.

Read the rest of this story »


Fung has financial edge over Raimondo in gov race

October 8th, 2014 at 11:12 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Republican gubernatorial nominee Allan Fung is entering the final four weeks of the campaign with a sizable financial advantage over his Democratic rival Gina Raimondo, 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 »


Clay Pell spent $3.45M of his own cash to run for gov

October 7th, 2014 at 4:16 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Clay Pell loaned his losing campaign for governor a grand total of $3.45 million by the time all was said and done, according to a R.I. Board of Elections disclosure filed Tuesday.

Read the rest of this story »


NJ Gov. Chris Christie to campaign for Fung in RI

October 7th, 2014 at 10:42 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – One of the nation’s most prominent Republican governors, New Jersey’s Chris Christie, will swing through Rhode Island later this week to campaign for GOP gubernatorial nominee Allan Fung in Johnston and Providence.

Separately, The New York Times reported Tuesday that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC will air TV ads to support Raimondo’s campaign as part of a $25-million push on behalf of centrist candidates nationwide.

Read the rest of this story »


First Raimondo TV spot ties her to Jack Reed

September 28th, 2014 at 8:40 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gina Raimondo is leaning on party elder statesman U.S. Sen. Jack Reed to give her a boost as she launches her first television commercial of the fall campaign. The state party is spending $90,000 on the ad this week.

Read the rest of this story »


Watch Newsmakers: Political roundtable on mayor, gov races

September 28th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Poll: Raimondo has slim lead over Fung for gov

September 27th, 2014 at 12:41 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Gina Raimondo has a small lead over Republican Allan Fung in the race to become Rhode Island’s next governor, according to a new poll released Saturday by Rasmussen Reports that did not include Moderate Bob Healey.

The survey of 750 likely voters in Rhode Island shows Raimondo on top at 42%, with Fung a relatively close second at 37%. An additional 11% of voters said they were supporting a different candidate, while 11% said they were undecided.

Read the rest of this story »


A handful of RI cities powered Raimondo and Fung victories

September 17th, 2014 at 11:59 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Raimondo Fung primary night 2014Rhode Island may have 39 cities and towns, but the state doesn’t have an Electoral College, so it doesn’t matter how many different municipalities a candidate wins – run up the score enough in a few and you could conceivably win an election while losing a majority of the 39.

That’s not what happened in last week’s Democratic and Republican gubernatorial primaries; both Gina Raimondo and Allan Fung came out on top in a majority of the 39 cities and towns, with Raimondo winning 36 of them and Fung winning 28 of them.

But a closer look at the results shows a majority of Raimondo’s votes came from just seven cities and towns, while a majority of Fung’s votes came from only eight.

Raimondo’s top three cities for votes matched the state’s top three cities for population precisely: Providence (9,738 votes), Warwick (4,387) and Cranston (3,593). Her fourth-best community was Cumberland, only the eighth-biggest by population, which gave her 3,150 votes. Add in Pawtucket (2,912), North Providence (2,599) and East Providence (2,527), and you have a majority of Raimondo’s 54,041 accounted for. Her biggest outlier was probably Central Falls, which ranks 19th by population but was 30th for Raimondo votes. (Angel Taveras won the city with help from Mayor James Diossa.)

Raimondo got 50,041 votes total; here are the rankings with cumulative percentages:

  1. Providence: 9,738 (18%)
  2. Warwick: 4,387 (26%)
  3. Cranston: 3,593 (33%)
  4. Cumberland: 3,150 (39%)
  5. Pawtucket: 2,912 (44%)
  6. North Providence: 2,599 (49%)
  7. East Providence: 2,527 (54%)

Fung’s vote totals don’t match up as precisely with population centers. His top cities were his hometown of Cranston (3,040 votes) and Warwick (2,428), which together contributed almost one in three Fung votes. But his third-best town was North Kingstown (834), which ranks 13th by population, whereas the state’s biggest city, Providence, gave him only 616 votes, even fewer than Coventry (734). Another town with outsized impact was East Greenwich (512 votes), 26th by population but sixth for Fung votes. The rest of his majority came from South Kingstown (506) and East Providence (477).

Fung got 17,531 votes total; here are the rankings with cumulative percentages:

  1. Cranston: 3,040 (17%)
  2. Warwick: 2,428 (31%)
  3. North Kingstown: 834 (36%)
  4. Coventry: 734 (40%)
  5. Providence: 616 (44%)
  6. East Greenwich: 512 (47%)
  7. South Kingstown: 506 (49.5%)
  8. East Providence: 477 (52%)

The results in Central Falls were even more striking for Fung than for Raimondo. He won more votes on Block Island (36) than he did in Central Falls (26), even though the latter has 18 times more residents.

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


Ken Block: I didn’t recruit Bob Healey to run for gov

September 16th, 2014 at 11:40 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Block said Tuesday he’s not yet ready to endorse his former opponent Allan Fung, but emphasized he had nothing to do with Robert Healey becoming the candidate of the fledgling Moderate Party that Block founded.

“I literally haven’t spoken to [Healey], and I won’t, because I just don’t want to,” Block told WPRI.com on Tuesday morning in his first interview since the primary.

Read the rest of this story »