Raimondo Trapped Between ‘Ole Boy’ and New Progressives

Friday, July 06, 2018
GoLocalProv Political Team

Hilary Clinton and Gina Raimondo 2016
The past week, Governor Gina Raimondo has looked anything like an elected official cruising to her third straight statewide election victory. Instead, nearly every utterance and decision has looked pained. In an attempt to satisfy everyone, she seemed to satisfy no one.

Often, Raimondo looked like she was just trying to avoid being caught in the crossfire between the Democratic Party’s leadership and progressives.

"Calling Out" Insider Bill

One overlooked example was the wording in her veto message regarding Speaker of the House Nick Mattiello’s last minute special legislation pushed through the legislature the last night for one of his constituents and political donors. The legislation had only one supporter, but was widely criticized by a range of business leaders and if enacted would increase cost for a large number of consumers.

Raimondo's veto message was wildly deferential to Mattiello. "This is a well-intentioned bill that is intended to help local insurance agents and consumers. However, I have heard from insurance brokers, carriers, and some local agents that the timeframe allowed in this legislation might be too long. After consultation with the legislature, I have decided that the bill needs additional work." 

For Raimondo, who consistently has been unable to break 40 percent support in any public polls in the past 12 months, a second threat is now emerging and growing momentum — the candidacy of Matt Brown. SEE POLLING RESULTS BELOW

Brown’s emergence and a series of missteps by the Raimondo administration have turned the Democratic primary into a viable race with Brown gaining significant momentum. Last week, Brown picked up the endorsement of former Governor Lincoln Chafee.

Raimondo, Mattiello and former President Bill Clinton in 2016
On One Side: ‘Ole Boy’

On one side of the push-and-pull is Speaker Mattiello. Raimondo and Mattiello have had a strained relationship, but as incumbent Democratic Governor and Speaker, there is a desire to coordinate state party resources during the election cycle.

It was Mattiello’s organization that pushed the controversial endorsements of very conservative Democrats over, in some cases, incumbent Democratic woman candidates.

Mattiello himself is facing two political challenges. First, Mattiello is facing a rematch with GOP national committeeman Steve Frias in the election for District 15. Mattiello has turned hard right politically to stave off Frias. Mattiello only defeated Frias by 85 votes two years ago and since then has been involved with a series of political controversies.

"After Mattiello barely escaped defeat in 2016, I thought he would begin to listen to the voters. Unfortunately, he hasn't. He refuses to give the public a chance to vote on a line-item veto constitutional amendment. Instead, he pushed through a costly new taxpayer-funded PawSox stadium deal, which the voters do not want. Rather than putting together an honest budget, his budgets rely on gimmicks," said Frias in announcing to run again.

As Speaker,  Mattiello blocked much of the progressive agenda from passing this session and in so doing has sparked a political movement in the House to knock him from the most powerful leadership position in the state — Speaker of the House.

For Raimondo, the challenge is to avoid Mattiello’s political challenges and stay clear of progressive backlash, but this past week showed the effort to thread the proverbial needle is far more complex.

Endorsement Controversies

After the Democratic Party and committee structure recruited and endorsed a series of ultra-right wing candidates and some with criminal charges pending, Raimondo was caught in the middle.

SEE LIST OF CONTROVERSIAL ENDORSEMENTS HERE

“To be clear, Governor Raimondo supports all of our incumbent Democrats. She does not support Earnheart, and would not endorse any candidate who supports President Trump's divisive agenda,” said David Ortiz of the Raimondo campaign told GoLocal on Tuesday evening.

Raimondo's statement drew fire from Brown.

“Raimondo's support for all incumbent Democrats means supporting anti-choice, anti-union, anti-immigrant and anti-gun control incumbents against Dem candidates who reflect core party values. This machine politics is over. We're going to bring core Dem values back. #ChangeIsComing," Tweeted from Brown.

Matt Brown during a recent interview on GoLocal LIVE
Raimondo’s Threat From the Left

The complexity of Raimondo’s path to Democratic primary victory seems to be getting narrower and narrower.  Raimondo’s refusal to speak out clearly in support of incumbent Democratic women candidates or to criticize the endorsement of candidates like former Representative John Carnevale has caused some head-scratching in some political circles.

Carnevale was forced from office in 2016 amid a series of charges  — presently, Carnevale is facing three felony charges.

Brown continues to pound away on the nomination process and push for the resignation of Democratic Party Chair Joe McNamara, "The days of this kind of backroom establishment politics is over. The party urgently needs new leadership. Party Chairman McNamara should resign." While the nomination process seems less and less defendable, Raimondo refuses to comment on the series of controversial endorsements.

"The @RIDemParty decision to rescind the endorsements of Michael Earnheart and Greg Acciardo because of a torrent of bad press does not solve the problem. It is a sign of the chaos within the party establishment," added Brown in a Tweet on Thursday.

  • Registered Voters

    Q1: Are you registered to vote in Rhode Island?

    Total 501 100%
    Yes: 501 100%
    No: 0 0%
    Don't know: 0 0%

     
  • Gender

    Q2: Are you ...
    Total
    Total: 100%
    Male: 44%
    Female: 56%

     
  • Age

    Q3: In which age group are you?

    18-24:  7%
    25-34:  16%
    35-44:  15%
    45-54:  20%
    55-64: 17%
    65+      25%

     
  • Political Party

    Q4: When it comes to voting, do you consider yourself to be affiliated with the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, Moderate, or Unaffiliated with a major party?

    Democrat: 38%
    Republican:14%
    Moderate: 6%
    Unaffiliated: 39%
    Don't know/Refused: 3%

     
  • Likely Voters

    Q5: Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices.  How likely is it that you will vote in this election?   Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...

     

    Definitely be voting.............................. 81%

    Probably be voting............................... 19%

    All others.............................................   0%

     
  • Top Issue

    Q6: What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
     

    Taxes.................................................. .18%

    Jobs and economy.............................. 16%

    State budget.........................................11%

    Roads...................................................10%

    Education............................................  8%

    Healthcare...........................................  5%

    Corruption/Public integrity.................... 4%

    Immigration..........................................  4%

    Housing.............................................. ..2%

    Governor............................................. ..2%

    Homelessness.......................................1%

     

    Other.. ............................................... 14%

    Don’t know..........................................   6%

     
  • Direction

    Q7: In general, would you say things in Rhode Island are headed in the right direction or are they off on the wrong track?
     

    Right track........................................... 19%

    Wrong track......................................... 36%

    Mixed.................................................. 45%

     
  • Optimism

    Q8: Thinking ahead several years, is your outlook about Rhode Island more optimistic or more pessimistic?   
     

    Optimistic............................................ 52%

    Pessimistic...........................................48%
     

     
  • Finances

    Q9: Over the last three years or so, has your family's financial situation improved, gotten worse, or not changed at all?
     

    Changed for the better......................... 24%

    Changed for the worse......................... 33%

    Not changed at all................................ 43%

     
  • Governor

    Q10: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Gina Raimondo, a Democrat

    I am sure to vote for her:  9%

    There is a good chance I will vote for her:  19%

    It is possible that I vote for her:  24%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for her:  18%

    I will never vote for her:  31%

     
  • Governor

    Q11: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Matt Brown, a Democrat

    I am sure to vote for him:  4%

    There is a good chance I will vote for him:  8%

    It is possible that I vote for him:  40%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  30%

    I will never vote for him:  17%
     

     
  • Governor

    Q12: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Spencer Dickinson, a Democrat

    I am sure to vote for him:  3%

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

    It is possible that I vote for him:  37%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  35%

    I will never vote for him:  18%

     
  • Governor

    Q13: 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%

     
  • Governor

    Q14: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Allan Fung, a Republican 

    I am sure to vote for him:  7%

    There is a good chance I will vote for him:  18%

    It is possible that I vote for him:  28%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  25%

    I will never vote for him:  21%

     
  • Governor

    Q15: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Patricia Morgan, a Republican 

    I am sure to vote for her:  3%

    There is a good chance I will vote for her.:   9%

    It is possible that I vote for her:  32%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for her:  35%

    I will never vote for her:  21%

     
  • Governor

    Q16: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Giovanni Feroce, a Republican 

    I am sure to vote for him:  2%

    There is a good chance I will vote for him:  5%

    It is possible that I vote for him:  24%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  35%

    I will never vote for him:  34%

     
  • Governor

    Q17: 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%

     
  • Governor

    Q18: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Joe Trillo, an Independent

    I am sure to vote for him:  1%

    There is a good chance I will vote for him:  8%

    It is possible that I vote for him:  37%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  34%

    I will never vote for him:  19%

     
  • Governor

    Q20: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Gina Raimondo, Republican Allan Fung and Independent Joe Trillo - for whom would you vote?        

    Allan Fung, a Republican..................... 33%

    Gina Raimondo, a Democrat................ 33%

    Joe Trillo, and Independent.................. 16%

    Don't know     18%

     
  • Governor

    Q20: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Gina Raimondo, Republican Patricia Morgan and Independent Joe Trillo - for whom would you vote?         

    Gina Raimondo, a Democrat................ 39%

    Patricia Morgan, a Republican............. 20%

    Joe Trillo, an Independent................... 19%

    Don't know ......................................... 22%

     
  • Governor

    Q21: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Matt Brown, Republican Allan Fung and Independent Joe Trillo - for whom would you vote? 

    Allan Fung, a Republican..................... 35%

    Matt Brown, a Democrat...................... 25%

    Joe Trillo, an Independent.................... 14%

    Don't know .......................................... 27%
     

     
  • Governor

    Q22: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Matt Brown, Republican Patricia Morgan and Independent Joe Trillo - for whom would you vote?        

    Matt Brown, a Democrat...................... 30%

    Patricia Morgan, a Republican............. 20%

    Joe Trillo, an Independent.................... 18%

    Don't know .......................................... 33%

     
  • U.S. Senate

    Q23: If the election for the U.S. Senate were held today and the candidates were: [ROTATE] Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse and Republican Robert Nardolillo - for whom would you vote?

    Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat........... 53%

    Robert 'Bobby' Nardolillo, a Republican.. 31%

    Don't know............................................... 16%

     
  • U.S. Senate

    Q24: If the election for the U.S. Senate were held today and the candidates were: [ROTATE] Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse and Republican Robert Flanders - for whom would you vote?           

    Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat........ 54%

    Robert Flanders, a Republican............. 32%

    Don't know.......................................... 14%

     
  • Schools

    Q25: If there was an election today, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $250 million in financing supported general obligation bonds to repair Rhode Island's deteriorating school buildings and bring them up to minimum standards called "warm, safe and dry"?

    Net: Approve...................................... 74%

    Definitely approve............................... 36%

    Probably approve................................ 38%
     

    Net: Reject......................................... 17%

    Probably reject....................................   9%

    Definitely reject....................................   7%


    Don't know..........................................   9%

     
  • PawSox

    Q26: The Rhode Island General Assembly is in the process of negotiating a $40 million public financing deal with the Pawtucket Red Sox for a new stadium, hoping to bring a vote before the House and Senate this summer.  

    In general, do you favor or oppose the use of public funds to help finance a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox?
     

    Net: Favor.......................................... 33%

    Strongly favor...................................... 13%

    Somewhat favor.................................. 21%
     

    Net: Oppose....................................... 59%

    Somewhat oppose.............................. 21%

    Strongly oppose.................................. 38%
     

    Don't know..........................................   8%

     
  • Fane Tower

    Q27: The City of Providence and the state of Rhode Island are considering a proposal by New York developer Jason Fane to build a 46-story luxury residence tower in Providence, next to a public riverfront park.  The developer will invest $250 to $300 million of his own funds.  The project is called the Hope Point Tower, it would be 170-feet taller than the Superman building and would require waiving height restrictions and the use of state tax credits.

    In general, do you favor or oppose development of the Hope Point Tower?

     

    Net: Favor.......................................... 39%

    Strongly favor...................................... 13%

    Somewhat favor.................................. 27%


    Net: Oppose....................................... 50%

    Somewhat oppose.............................. 23%

    Strongly oppose.................................. 27%


    Don't know.......................................... 11%

     
  • Elorza/Traffic Cameras

    Q28: How would you rate the job that Mayor Jorge Elorza has done managing issues related to speed cameras in Providence?

    Net: Excellent/Good.......................... 26%

    Excellent.............................................   6%

    Good................................................... 20%

    Net: Fair/Poor.................................... 74%

    Fair...................................................... 29%

    Poor.................................................... 45%

     
  • Q29: Since it was launched in 2016, UHIP -- the Rhode Island program designed to improve customer service for those who receive federal benefits -- has run into significant problems, including long lines, cost overruns, lost applications, over- and under-charging of patients and families.   

    Based on what you know at this time, what percent of 
    blame for this do you assign to:
     

    Deloitte, the consulting company who
    produced the system........................... 53.3%

    Governor Gina Raimondo, who has
    been governor since the system
    launch in September 2016................... 47.1%

     
  • NIMBYism

    Q30: Presently, there are local groups opposing the development of a natural gas facility in Burrillville, solar projects in Exeter, a LNG facility in Providence and wind projects in North Kingstown. 
    Some people say that it is important for local groups to play a role in opposition 
    of projects like these that could be dangerous or harmful to citizens; 

    Others say that local groups have gone too far to the detriment of the state’s long-term energy needs. 

    Which statement comes closer to your own view?

     

    Local groups play an important role...... 46%

    Local groups have gone too far............. 31%

    Not sure................................................. 24%

     
  • Corruption

    Q31: Compared to other states, do you think there is:

    More political corruption in RI................. 63%

    Less political corruption in RI................   7%

    About the same level as other states..... 30%
     

     
  • Income

    Q32: The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS.  Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).  

    $50,000 or less.................................... 33%

    More $50,000 but less than $75,000..... 18%

    More $75,000 but less than $100,000... 16%

    More $100,000 but less than $150,000. 13%

    $150,000 or more................................ 10%

    Don't know/refused.............................. 10%

     
  • Ethnicity

    Q33: What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?  

    Net: White, Non-Hispanic..................... 82%

    Black or African American....................   6%

    Latino/Hispanic....................................   5%

    Other....................................................   7%

     
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