2018 RI Governor’s Race Playbook: Did Raimondo’s Disastrous Week Redefine the Gov’s Race?

Monday, June 11, 2018

It was kind of the week every politician fears — a steady stream of terrible news and all of it self-inflicted.

Then, a leading national pollster reports that you're in a dead heat and that poll was conducted almost entirely before the news came out.


The poll gave new life to everyone from Democratic challenger Matt Brown to GOP candidate Allan Fung, and provided new energy to independent and pro-Trump candidate Joe Trillo.

Functionally, this past week reset the governor’s race and diminished the importance of Raimondo’s tremendous fundraising advantage.


  • Momentum: Up

    Allan Fung (R)


    Overall, it was a dream week for Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.

    First, Raimondo’s administration had multiple self-inflicted faux pas which raises questions about her management and her team’s accountability.

    Second, a series of stories about her fundraising practices raise concerns about the relationship between her fundraising and public policy.

    Third, a GoLocal poll conducted by Harvard’s John Della Volpe reports that Fund and Raimondo are in a dead heat for election.

    Fourth, Fung in the poll performs significantly better against both Raimondo and her fellow Democrat Matt Brown than does the other leading GOP candidate Patricia Morgan.


    The is a big concern in the Fung camp -- Joe Trillo pulling strongly from the RI base of President Donald Trump. Raimondo may be trapped now in the 30s and only get to 40 percent of the vote, but Fung needs to find a path to get to the low 40s.

    X-Factor:  Needs to build on the momentum of the week. 

  • Momentum: Up

    Matt Brown (D)


    Scored some points this week. 

    Greatly benefitted from Governor Gina Raimondo's bad week. 

    The GoLocal poll showed that he is competitive with leading GOP candidates in head-to-head matchups.

    As pollster John Della Volpe said, “Absolutely there is a path for Matt Brown."

    "Again, I think it starts with expanding the franchise, including him really kind of focusing on young people, moving some independents towards the ballot in September, but there's absolutely a path," said Della Volpe. 



    X-Factor:  His best week in the race.

  • Momentum: Up

    Joe Trillo (I)


    Joe Trillo scores 16 percent of the vote in the three-way matchup with Governor Gina Raimondo (33 percent) and GOP candidate Allan Fung (33 percent), according to the GoLocal poll. 

    He has a clear portion of the Trump-base vote in RI, but is there a path to victory?


    Trillo could be the sole reason that Raimondo wins re-election.

    X-Factor: Trump, Trump, Trump. Expect more Trumpisms from Trillo.

  • Momentum: Flat

    Paul Roselli (D)

    Wins: Quiet week for Roselli.


    Received no momentum from the GoLocal poll:

    Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Paul Roselli, a Democrat 

    I am sure to vote for him:  2%

    There is a good chance I will vote for him:  7%

    It is possible that I vote for him:  35%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  37%

    I will never vote for him:  19%

    X-Factors: N/A

  • Momentum: Down

    Spencer Dickinson (D)





    X-Factors:  Far too quiet. 

  • Momentum: Down

    Patricia Morgan (R)


    On Monday, June 11, Patricia Morgan has a press conference with representatives of the trucking industry to take on Raimondo’s toll plan which goes into effect this week.


    It was a tough week for Morgan across the board.

    In the match-ups with both of the leading Democratic candidates in the GoLocal poll, Morgan trailed Governor Gina Raimondo by 19 and progressive Democrat Matt Brown by 10 points.

    X-Factor: Morgan needs to change the GOP race.

  • Momentum: Down

    Luis Daniel Muñoz (I)


    Quiet week for Muñoz.


    Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Luis-Daniel Muñoz, an Independent


    I am sure to vote for him:  3%

    There is a good chance I will vote for him: 6%

    It is possible that I vote for him: 33%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for him: 38%

    I will never vote for him: 21%

    X-Factor: What is his base?

  • Momentum: Down

    Gina Raimondo (D)


    The only good news for Governor Gina Raimondo of the week was that Joe Trillo scored 16 percent of the vote in the GoLocalProv poll -- which creates a problem for GOP challenger Allan Fung.


    For Gina Raimondo it was about as bad a week as an elected official can have:

    The Providence Journal unveiled that Raimondo’s administration failed to file proper documents in a pending lawsuit and may have cost the state $24 million

    GoLocal unveiled that the host of Raimondo’s NYC fundraiser was the former CEO of Lorillard Tobacco company who once testified before Congress that he did not believe there was a link between smoking and cancer

    A Hummel Report story unveiled that at DOT the Raimondo administration failed to properly file another appeal — that miscue may cost the state an additional $4M

    GoLocal reported that two of the most powerful Boston players and Board members of mega-hospital giant Partners HealthCare are hosting a $1,000 a person Raimondo fundraiser. Raimondo has recently softened her concerns about the adverse impact Partners’ entrance will have on RI jobs.

    A GoLocal poll conducted by Harvard’s John Della Volpe reports that Raimondo is in a dead heat for election.

    X-Factor: Competency is her selling point - needs to get back to doing the state's business.

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