With less than eight months to go until Election Day and polls showing Rhode Island’s gubernatorial race as a statistical tie, Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo’s path to reelection continues to grow increasingly difficult. Over the weekend, the Providence Journal published an editorial in response to a recent poll, writing that Raimondo “has failed to persuade many Rhode Island voters that anything much has changed since she won the office” in 2014. And with multiple bottom ten business rankings from CNBC and Forbes to go along with months of consecutive job losses to start off the year, there is little evidence that Raimondo is on track to turn things around.
The Journal also blasted Raimondo’s “bloated press operation” and their tendency for “hype,” a habit that was on full display last week when they ignored hundreds of new job losses due to a factory closure in Rhode Island under Raimondo’s watch. And as Raimondo’s “window for changing minds closes a little every day,” her lackluster record as governor leaves voters ready for new leadership this November.
It is striking that, after more than three years in office, Gov. Gina Raimondo has barely budged the needle of her support.
A Democrat, she was elected in 2014 with 41 percent of the vote to Republican Allan Fung’s 38 percent. A WPRI-12/Roger Williams University poll released this month found her leading the Cranston mayor 38 percent to 36 percent, well within the margin of error.
This frozen landscape suggests that… she has failed to persuade many Rhode Island voters that anything much has changed since she won the office with a bold promise to shake up the State House. And the window for changing minds closes a little every day.
Meanwhile, the possible entry of another candidate — former Democratic Secretary of State Matt Brown, who would run as an independent with a hard-left agenda — could make her job all the harder.
In the recent poll, which did not include Mr. Brown, the governor handily won over Democrats, but lost independents, who now make up half of the voters.
Mr. Brown, who flamed out in a 2006 Democratic U.S. Senate run with campaign irregularities and then moved out of state for a time, would not seem to be strong enough to beat the governor in the November election. But he could well be strong enough to ensure her defeat to the Republican, since he could drain her of crucial left-wing votes in the base that they share, Providence’s East Side…
All this creates a very murky picture of what will happen in November…
Ms. Raimondo would be wise to explain — clearly, directly and honestly — what she has done to move Rhode Island forward since she took office, without the hype that is habitual to her bloated press operation.