ken block

Ahead of Easter, RI governor hopefuls discuss their faiths

April 18th, 2014 at 12:01 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – It’s Holy Week and Passover for Christians and Jews around the world, and among those commemorating the solemn religious periods will be the five major candidates for Rhode Island governor, all but one of whom say they’re Christians.

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Most gov candidates oppose NECAP, support testing

March 13th, 2014 at 7:28 am by under General Talk

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – All but one of Rhode Island’s major gubernatorial candidates have found something they agree on: The NECAP standardized test should not be part of the state’s high school graduation requirements.

Democrats Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, state Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Clay Pell as well as Republican Cranston Mayor Allan Fung all said Tuesday they oppose tying results on the test to a high school diploma, but indicated they aren’t completely against the use of standardized testing in education.

Businessman Ken Block, who is challenging Fung in the Republican primary, said he supports the graduation requirements that are already in place, which include the use of the NECAP – short for the New England Common Assessment Program – for the classes of 2014, 2015, and 2016 before moving to another assessment beginning the following year.

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Republican Ken Block calls for state tax overhaul

February 25th, 2014 at 1:46 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – If he’s elected governor, Ken Block is going to have a busy first year in office.

The Republican candidate for Rhode Island’s top job unveiled an ambitious plan to overhaul the state’s tax structure Tuesday, pledging to reduce the car tax, corporate tax and estate tax all in his first year as governor.

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Pell loans his campaign $1M; Raimondo has $2.5M

February 2nd, 2014 at 4:15 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Clay Pell has jumped to the front ranks of Rhode Island’s best-funded politicians after putting more than $1 million of his own money into his campaign for governor, as his rivals Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Mayor Angel Taveras continue to sock away six-figure sums.

Here’s a rundown of how much money all the candidates for statewide office had as of Dec. 31.

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• Related: Ex-Enron trader Arnold gave $100K to pro-Raimondo PAC (Jan. 31)


Taveras, Raimondo back higher minimum wage; GOP opposed

January 23rd, 2014 at 4:48 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Both announced Democratic candidates for governor agreed Thursday that Rhode Island should raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. They just don’t see eye to eye on when to do it. But the two Republican candidates disagree.

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• Related: Watch gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo on Newsmakers (Jan. 23)


Raimondo, Taveras back Chafee budget; Fung wants lower taxes

January 16th, 2014 at 4:48 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The two announced Democratic candidates vying to succeed Gov. Lincoln Chafee expressed initial support for the governor’s final budget proposal Wednesday night, while a leading Republican hopeful called on state leaders to consider lowering taxes this year.

General Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, both Democrats, said they still want to dig in to Chafee’s $8.5 billion budget proposal, but agreed that the governor’s plans to spend an additional $38 million on public schools, freeze tuition at state colleges and invest in infrastructure are all good starting points in an election year.

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Watch Newsmakers: GOP governor candidate Ken Block

November 17th, 2013 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Republican Allan Fung enters Rhode Island governor’s race

November 4th, 2013 at 11:36 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – The Republican mayor of Rhode Island’s third-largest city officially launched his campaign for governor Monday, promising to create 20,000 new jobs and freeze college tuition rates for four years beginning in 2015.

Describing himself as “respectful, result-oriented and fiscally responsible,” Cranston Mayor Allan Fung pledged to be a hands-on governor who will spearhead an economic development strategy that will be centered on lowering taxes, improving public schools, fixing the state’s aging infrastructure.

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Raimondo grows war chest over $2.3M; Taveras at $759K

November 1st, 2013 at 12:14 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – R.I. General Treasurer Gina Raimondo is now sitting on a campaign war chest that is more than three times the size of her closest rival’s as she prepares for a likely run for governor in 2014.

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Q&A: Orr explains how Brown University’s poll was conducted

October 9th, 2013 at 12:38 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Marion_OrrBrown University released a new opinion survey on Wednesday morning showing Treasurer Gina Raimondo leading Providence Mayor Angel Taveras in the Democratic primary for governor. The findings are strikingly different from those of the poll Taveras commissioned and released last month that put the mayor 19 points ahead.

Marion Orr is director of Brown’s Taubman Center for Public Policy and Frederick Lippitt Professor of Public Policy & Political Science. He talked with WPRI.com on Wednesday about how the new poll was conducted. The interview has been lightly edited and annotated for length and clarity.

What are the headlines to you out of today’s new Brown poll?

The headline out of this poll is that Gina Raimondo is leading pretty good among likely voters in the Democratic primary. This is a fairly good lead, I think, within the margin of error.

Now, the lead narrows a bit – that is, her lead narrows a bit but she still leads – when you focus only on those people who tell us that they typically are Democrats. But she still leads. But the lead narrows.

What I’m suggesting here is that when you add in, say, independents who could perhaps vote in a Democratic primary, her lead increases. So I think that’s one thing.

(more…)


Brown U. Poll: Raimondo leads Taveras in Dem gov primary

October 9th, 2013 at 9:20 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Treasurer Gina Raimondo has the early advantage over Providence Mayor Angel Taveras in next year’s Democratic primary for governor, but Taveras is a stronger candidate against Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, according to a new poll released Wednesday by Brown University.

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Joe Paolino throwing $500-a-head fundraiser for Mayor Taveras

September 17th, 2013 at 6:53 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

A former mayor of Providence who ran unsuccessfully for governor is raising money for Mayor Angel Taveras as he gears up to run for the state’s top job in 2014.

No, not Buddy.

Joseph Paolino, who ran Rhode Island’s capital city from 1984 until 1990 before losing a Democratic primary for governor to Bruce Sundlun, is hosting a $500-a-head fundraiser for Taveras at Circe, the popular downtown restaurant located two blocks from Paolino’s real estate business. (more…)


Taveras has teachers’ union, ed reform support as he eyes bid for governor

September 17th, 2013 at 1:31 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Just three years after a national labor leader accused Providence Mayor Angel Taveras of trying to “crush unions,” political analysts say the first-term Democrat’s hopes of becoming governor may hinge on how much support he wins from organized labor.

Taveras, who succeeded David Cicilline as mayor in 2011, is widely expected to jump into next year’s race for governor, where he’s likely to square off against General Treasurer Gina Raimondo in the Democratic primary. Incumbent Gov. Lincoln Chafee, who recently became a Democrat, announced earlier this month he won’t seek re-election.

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Republican Robitaille eyeing 2014 governor’s race

August 5th, 2013 at 2:53 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Just when you thought he was out, the Republican runner-up in the 2010 governor’s race on Monday said he is considering running for the state’s top job again in 2014.

John Robitaille, who finished two percentage points behind Gov. Lincoln Chafee in a four-way race in 2010, said Chafee’s decision to join the Democratic Party and Moderate Party standard bearer Ken Block’s flirtation with the Republican Party have prompted him to reassess his options.

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Raimondo, McKee, de Ramel, Caprio lead political money race

August 1st, 2013 at 1:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The latest quarterly finance reports from Rhode Island’s state and local politicians were due to the R.I. Board of Elections by midnight last night, and the results offer a glimpse at who’s got an early advantage heading into next year’s campaign.

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• Related: DreamWorks CEO, Facebook executive among Raimondo donors (July 31)


Raimondo’s campaign war chest jumps to $2M; gov bid looms

July 31st, 2013 at 6:02 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Chafee_Raimondo_TaverasTreasurer Gina Raimondo’s campaign war chest now tops $2 million, about three times more than her second-closest rival in the 2014 governor’s race, as the first-term Democrat continues to be a fundraising juggernaut.

Raimondo raised $399,420 from April 1 to June 30, finishing the second quarter with $2.06 million on hand, her campaign disclosed Wednesday in a filing with the R.I. Board of Elections. She had $1.7 million on March 31.

As a comparison, former Treasurer Frank Caprio, who was a prodigious fundraiser in his own right ahead of his 2010 gubernatorial bid, had $1.4 million on hand at the same point in the last election cycle.

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, Raimondo’s fellow Democrat and another potential candidate for governor next year, raised $157,705 during the second quarter to finish with $692,590 on hand, his campaign disclosed in its Board of Elections filing. Taveras had $560,779 on March 31.

(more…)


Education board votes to extend Deborah Gist’s contract

June 7th, 2013 at 5:02 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) – It will be two more years for embattled R.I. Education Commissioner Deborah Gist.

The R.I. Board of Education voted Thursday to allow Gist to continue guiding the state’s public schools until 2015, a deal that will throw her square into the middle of a Democratic primary for governor next year that is expected to be contentious.

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Analysis: Chafee scrambles 2014 race with Dem Party switch

May 29th, 2013 at 3:16 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

It’s nearly official: Lincoln Chafee will be a Democratic candidate for governor in 2014.

Chafee spokesman Christian Varieka told WPRI.com the governor will make his announcement at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Warwick City Hall. (Yes, Varieka made the call on personal time.) The news – first broken hundreds of miles south of Rhode Island by Politico and The Washington Post – struck the state’s political class like a thunderbolt Wednesday, despite the fact that Chafee has long indicated he was open to the possibility and amid rising speculation the move was coming.

Ideologically speaking, the switch makes perfect sense: Chafee is more aligned with the national Democratic Party than many of its nominal officeholders in Rhode Island. Think about it: this is a governor elected with the support of the state’s teachers’ unions on a platform of raising taxes to fund social services who just signed a law legalizing same-sex marriage in the nation’s most Catholic state.

Politically, Chafee has been a Democrat in all but name for a long time now – in 2012 he not only co-chaired President Obama’s re-election campaign and spoke at the Democratic National Convention, he even endorsed Sheldon Whitehouse’s bid for the very U.S. Senate seat he took from Chafee in 2006.

Clearly, Chafee and his savvy chief of staff, former Patrick Kennedy aide George Zainyeh, decided the approval-challenged governor’s best bet for a second term was in the Democratic Party. (Indeed, Chafee’s 2011 decision to replace the more Republican-friendly Pat Rogers with Zainyeh now seems telling.) But what’s the path? And are they right? Here are a few initial thoughts.

(more…)


Analysis: Field of RI governor candidates coming into focus

May 21st, 2013 at 12:36 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

That escalated quickly.

The field of likely 2014 candidates for governor of Rhode Island has come sharply into focus over the last week thanks to three key announcements: Democrat Ernie Almonte’s switch to the treasurer’s race on Thursday, Republican Brendan Doherty’s decision to sit out the race on Friday, and Moderate Party founder Ken Block’s announcement this morning that he’s running again.

Almonte’s exit leaves Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras as the two potential heavyweights in the Democratic primary, setting up a head-to-head clash between the two. Almonte’s absence could boost Raimondo, since both of them have reputations for pension truth-telling and fiscal responsibility, issues that appeal to moderates and conservatives; Taveras has a more wide-ranging portfolio.

That assumes, of course, both Raimondo and Taveras actually jump into the gubernatorial race. While the two Democrats are taking the steps necessary to mount campaigns, until there’s an official announcement the possibility remains that one of them won’t pull the trigger. Raimondo has $1.7 million already and her fundraising shows no sign of slowing, while Taveras has $560,779 and can tap the deep-pocketed network of former DSCC chief J.B. Poersch; a lengthy primary fight could be expensive and bruising.

(more…)


Ken Block to run for governor again in 2014

May 21st, 2013 at 10:34 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Moderate Party founder Ken Block will once again be the face of his party’s 2014 gubernatorial run, according to a website that went live this morning.

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Gov. Chafee backs Ken Block in battle with Speaker Fox

May 10th, 2013 at 11:07 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – R.I. Gov. Lincoln Chafee on Thursday sided with former campaign rival and Moderate Party Chairman Ken Block after Block ripped House Speaker Gordon Fox’s plan to restructure the state’s troubled Economic Development Corporation.

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Chafee releases report on waste, fraud in Medicaid, food stamps

March 13th, 2013 at 2:43 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A company hired to investigate waste and fraud in the state’s welfare programs found problems including prisoners and deceased people receiving food stamps, retailers purchasing EBT cards and Section 8 housing recipients underreporting their benefits, according to a report released by Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s office Wednesday.

Read the rest of this story »

• Related: Read Ken Block’s full 16-page report (PDF)


Block blasts Raimondo for hiring campaign operative as chief of staff

February 21st, 2013 at 2:20 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

By Dan McGowan

The sparring ahead of the 2014 governor’s race has begun.

A day after Rhode Island Public Radio reported that likely gubernatorial candidate General Treasurer Gina Raimondo is bringing in veteran political operative Andrew Roos as her chief of staff, Moderate Party Chairman Ken Block accused Raimondo of hiring a campaign manager on the state’s dime.

“If this person has no relevant experience for running the treasurer’s office and is there mainly as a campaign manager then that person’s salary should not be at taxpayer expense,” Block, a potential candidate for governor himself, told WPRI.com.

Roos, who managed Myrth York’s unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2002, is leaving a Google’s elections and issue advocacy division in Washington D.C. to join Raimondo’s staff. Joseph Pratt, Raimondo’s current chief of staff, has been moved to deputy treasurer/chief of administration.

But Block said campaign managers should be paid out of campaign finance accounts.

“It would be absurd for taxpayers to have to pay a large salary for a campaign operative with no relevant executive experience for one of our statewide elected officials,” Block said. “Last I knew the treasurer had plenty of campaign cash to pay for these services.”

Raimondo spokeswoman Joy Fox did not respond directly to Block’s comments, but said the treasurer is ”committed to having the strongest, most diverse team possible to help deliver results for Rhode Islanders.”

Although she has deflected questions about her political future, Raimondo has established herself as the early favorite in the governor’s race, ahead of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and current Gov. Lincoln Chafee. The Democrat had more than $1.3 million in her campaign account as of Dec. 31, more than Chafee, Taveras and Block combined.


Poll: Raimondo is favorite for gov; Chafee does best as a Dem

January 31st, 2013 at 9:22 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Democrat Gina Raimondo is the early favorite to win the 2014 governor’s race, according to a new poll released Thursday morning to WPRI.com.

The Public Policy Polling survey [pdf] shows Raimondo would win anywhere from 32% to 46% of the vote depending on which hypothetical opponents she faces. She is the only candidate to crack 40% support in any of 10 ballot tests conducted by PPP.

If Raimondo is out of the picture, however, there’s no clear frontrunner: the leading candidates in non-Raimondo scenarios shift between Republican Brendan Doherty, Republican Allan Fung and Democrat Angel Taveras depending on the match-up. Moderate Party founder Ken Block starts out with double-digit support in most scenarios, suggesting his presence could have a major impact on the outcome.

Independent Gov. Lincoln Chafee faces an unsurprisingly uphill battle to win a second term, with more than half of voters saying they don’t want him to run again. His strongest shot at re-election comes if he runs as a Democrat: running under the party banner, Chafee starts out trailing Republicans Doherty and Fung by just four points. Among voters who do want Chafee to run again, 20% say he should run as an independent and 18% say he should run as a Democrat.

(more…)


Watch Newsmakers: James Diossa, Block on the master lever

January 13th, 2013 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site


Fung, Robitaille, Block may run for gov against Dems, Chafee

August 7th, 2012 at 3:54 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

The list of Rhode Island politicians seriously considering a run for governor in 2014 is getting longer.

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, former candidate John Robitaille and Moderate Party founder Ken Block all suggested in interviews with WPRI.com Tuesday that they could make a bid for the state’s highest office.

They join three Democrats – Treasurer Gina Raimondo, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and former Auditor General Ernie Almonte – on the list of individuals who may be on the ballot in 2014. (Almonte has already launched his campaign.) And of course there’s also incumbent Gov. Lincoln Chafee, an independent who says he expects to run for a second term.

Republican Fung, mayor of the state’s third-largest city, has a bigger campaign war chest than anyone else in the GOP and is running unopposed for a third term this November.

(more…)


Block: Chafee plan will decimate RI manufacturing

April 5th, 2011 at 7:00 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ken Block

Among the many shocking facts that I learned on the campaign trail last year was the fact that there are more than 100,000 illiterate adults in Rhode Island (data from The Poverty Institute).

Rhode Island desperately needs manufacturing jobs to provide employment to our seriously undereducated work force. Governor Chafee’s proposed tax scheme is certain to cause our already decimated manufacturing base to shrink further as some of our remaining manufacturing businesses bolt for less expensive locales.

It is important to remember that Rhode Island’s once vibrant manufacturing industry has withered away due to competition from other regions of our country, and competition from around the world.

Governor Chafee’s tax increases will further deteriorate our already decimated manufacturing industry. To illustrate how the Chafee tax scheme will hurt manufacturing businesses, I will use my traffic-signal manufacturing business as an example.

For starters, Governor Chafee is proposing a 1% tax on “purchases for manufacturing purposes.” Everything that goes into my traffic signals is sourced from other companies. My business assembles the final product and ships the signals out around the country. So, my margins will now shrink by 1% – a huge competitive disadvantage in a highly competitive market.

This 1% tax has a more sinister aspect to it. I source the printed circuit boards for my traffic signals from a Rhode Island-based company. This company has to buy a lot of small electronic components then mounts those components on a circuit board – they are manufacturing my boards for me.

So, the cost of my in-state-purchased, made-to-order circuit boards will go up by 1% because the manufacturer will pass the cost of the 1% materials on to me – and then I will have to pay a 1% tax on the finished circuit board because my business integrates the board into a larger assembly.

I now have a powerful incentive to look for a manufacturer for my circuit boards outside of Rhode Island. I can save 1% on the cost of my boards by doing so and I can save 2% on the boards by moving my manufacturing business out of the state!

The majority of states do not tax the raw materials used in manufacturing. More importantly – our immediate neighbors do not have this tax.

If Rhode Island has a stated goal to increase the number of manufacturing jobs in the state, the proposed Chafee tax scheme takes the entire industry in the opposite direction.

We know that consumer behavior can be modified through tax policy. Witness the existing tobacco taxes and the proposed tax on sugary drinks for prime examples. We aren’t going to get new manufacturing businesses to locate in Rhode Island by increasing the cost of doing business in the state. We have already witnessed a mass exodus of vital manufacturing businesses to lower cost regions. Why can’t our leaders see that by increasing costs further that we will only cause more of these businesses to leave our state?

Additionally, other elements of Governor Chafee’s tax plan will result in a significant increase in the cost and headache attached to doing business in Rhode Island.

For example, the governor proposes taxing a whole range of goods and services used by businesses. Some of these goods and services are provided by Rhode Island-based companies, and some not. Where the company providing the good or the service is not based in the state, it would be up to the purchasing Rhode Island-based company to track, file paperwork and pay a “use tax.”  This is a substantial new regulatory burden to place on Rhode Island businesses (although it may stimulate some additional spending on accounting services).

Business owners have a choice on where to locate their businesses. Ultimately, most owners will choose a location that provides their business with the best chance of achieving long-term success. Rhode Island, which has for years been suffering from not being competitive in terms of the cost of doing business, will become substantially less competitive with the Chafee tax scheme.

Tax policy and regulatory burdens absolutely drive business decisions regarding where to locate a business.

Governor Chafee has to decide if he wants to encourage the creation of manufacturing jobs or the destruction of manufacturing jobs in Rhode Island. In the same way that you cannot lose weight while gobbling every sweet and fatty food in sight, you cannot encourage the creation of manufacturing jobs in Rhode Island while making Rhode Island’s manufacturing industry even less cost competitive than it is today. •

Ken Block is founder of the Moderate Party of Rhode Island and a former candidate for governor.

Ted Nesi will return on Friday.


Cost of RI governor’s office in 2010? $2.5 million

November 30th, 2010 at 3:28 pm by under General Talk

Lincoln Chafee spent $2.5 million over 19 months to win the Rhode Island governor’s office, including more than $1 million in the final four weeks, an analysis of campaign finance records by WPRI.com shows.

More than half that money came straight out of the Chafee family’s bank account. The independent former senator loaned his campaign a total of $1.61 million over the course of the campaign, according to his final campaign finance report, which was filed Tuesday with the Board of Elections.

Chafee spent four times as much as the man who came in second, John Robitaille. The Republican nominee spent a comparatively paltry $603,833 but managed to come within 8,660 votes of defeating Chafee.

Moderate Ken Block spent $500,709, almost as much as Robitaille, but came in a distant fourth, though he did crack the 5% mark to keep his nascent party on the ballot.

And then, of course, there’s Frank Caprio.

The Democrat’s candidacy suffered an epic collapse in the final weeks of the campaign. He’d already spent well over $2 million as of Oct. 25, and almost certainly added to that in the final week of the race.

Caprio hasn’t filed his final report yet – he has until 11:59 tonight to send it in. I’ll have a new post, more analysis and charts (of course!) once all the numbers are in.

Update: Lincoln Chafee spent $2.5 million to win the election. Frank Caprio spent even more to lose. Read my full story on WPRI.com.


Robert Corrente out as Moderate Party chairman

November 19th, 2010 at 10:27 am by under General Talk

Tim White foreshadowed this in a story earlier this month, but now it’s official – former U.S. Attorney Robert Corrente has resigned as chairman of the fledgling Moderate Party, Ken Block said during this morning’s taping of “Newsmakers.” The full story is up on WPRI.com.

The full episode of “Newsmakers” will be posted online later today and will air on TV at 5:30 a.m. Sunday on both WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. (Football takes its regular time slot this time of year – set your DVRs.)


Is Chafee the Democrat? Digging into our latest poll

November 1st, 2010 at 2:51 pm by under General Talk

The big headlines from our new WPRI 12 poll last week were Frank Caprio’s seven-point drop, which put Lincoln Chafee in the lead for governor, and John Loughlin’s rapid gain on David Cicilline in the space of a month. But there were other interesting nuggets buried in the poll’s crosstabs – here are a few that stuck out to me.

• Is Lincoln Chafee the Democrat in the governor’s race? Looking at the coalition he’s put together, you could make the case. Chafee is either winning or nearly tied with Frank Caprio among some of the Democratic Party’s core consistencies.

Chafee is winning 52% of union households to Caprio’s 22%. The pair are tied among women at 29%, and statistically tied among younger voters (ages 18 to 39), with Chafee at 35% and Caprio at 34%. Among registered Democrats, Caprio’s lead over Chafee is just four points, 45%-41%. In the Democratic-leaning 1st District, Chafee leads Caprio 33%-27%.

The problem for Caprio is he hasn’t made up for that with new support elsewhere – Chafee leads him among men, 37%-23%; independents, 34%-13%; and seniors, 31%-28%. Among Republicans, Caprio only leads Chafee by one point, 12%-11%, while John Robitaille has 67%.

• Who’s persuadable at this point in the governor’s race? Only a few groups still have a double-digit number of undecided voters: independents, 17%; women, 14%; people ages 40 to 59, 14%; and 2nd District residents, 12%. They are taking their time, too – the number of undecideds in those groups was not statistically different from our previous poll a month earlier.

• Moderate Party founder Ken Block gets his strongest support from independents, at 7%. He’s also polling at 6% – two points above his overall rating – among men, younger voters, and Republicans.

• Unlike Caprio, David Cicilline is hanging on to traditional Democratic supporters, which is helping him keep a six-point lead over John Loughlin. Cicilline is winning women, seniors, and union members. But independents have deserted him over the past month, giving Loughlin 58% to Cicilline’s 28% – a 24-point gain for Loughlin and a 10-point loss for Cicilline, with 14% still undecided.

• Will Bob Venturini be our own Ralph Nader? Elizabeth Roberts should thank her lucky stars that the Pawtucket cable TV fixture is still in the lieutenant governor’s race – if his 5% support were added to Bob Healey’s 35%, the lieutenant governor’s race would be a statistical tie. It’s also a tad surprising that Healey is only winning 50% of Republicans – did they not get the message when Heidi Rogers dropped out? Or do they dislike the message?

• We also found 16% of likely voters still unsure who to support in the lieutenant governor’s race. With Roberts at 42% and Healey at 35%, which way those undecideds break could decide the outcome. Democrats have rallied to Roberts, but 22% of independents and 18% of Republicans still haven’t made up their minds.

• Ken Block’s fellow Moderate, attorney general candidate Chris Little, is doing far better than his party’s founder, polling at 12% in a five-man field. Little is winning 16% of middle-aged voters, 15% of independents and 13% of men. That may help explain why front-runner Peter Kilmartin, a Democrat, has trained his fire on Little in addition to Republican Erik Wallin.

• Congressman Jim Langevin does best among younger voters – those aged 18 to 39 – at 65%. The older you are, the less you like Langevin – he gets 55% of those ages 40 to 59 and 49% of those ages 60 and older. Langevin also has 23% of Republicans.

• The campaign to change Rhode Island’s formal name by deleting “and Providence Plantations” has gotten very little traction, with just 16% of voters saying they will approve the switch.

• Caprio is winning 14% of voters who say his association with “old-style politics” will prevent them from voting for him. Chafee is winning 8% of voters who say his sales tax proposal will, again, prevent them from voting for him. Yet Robitaille is only winning 1% of voters who say his service in the Carcieri administration will prevent them from voting for him. Weird.