Rhode Island: Lt. Governor to Run
Lt. Gov. Dan McKee (D), who has virtually no role in the Raimondo Administration despite being a member of the same party, confirms that he will become a gubernatorial candidate in 2022 when the position is open. The incumbent, Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) is ineligible to seek a third term. Much Rhode Island press attention has been given to the fact that a major rift exists between the two office holders.
A crowded field is expected in the Democratic primary, in which claiming victory is virtually tantamount to winning the general election. Another key figure considering running is ten-term US Rep. Jim Langevin (D-Warwick). Rhode Island is likely to be reduced to at-large status in the next congressional reapportionment, meaning Rep. Langevin would at least face a Democratic primary with fellow Rep. David Cicilline (D-Providence) if he chooses to continue seeking public office. Therefore, he is not ruling out a run for Governor.
Rhode Island looks to be among the losing states in reapportionment, meaning its two Democratic congressional districts will be collapsed into one. Veteran Rep. Jim Langevin (D-Warwick), who was first elected in 2000, could be the odd man out in a race against Providence-based Rep. David Cicilline. Therefore, it looks as if Mr. Langevin is testing the waters for a gubernatorial campaign instead of going head-to-head with Rep. Cicilline. Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) is ineligible to seek a third term, meaning that we will see an open gubernatorial race in 2022, sure to be decided in a crowded September Democratic primary that can be won with only a plurality of the vote.
Term Limited Governors
As we look to the next election cycle that will feature a preponderance of 38 gubernatorial bids, several will be open due to state term limit laws. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who is the only state chief executive limited to just one term, is barred from seeking re-election in 2021. The 2022 open gubernatorial races are: Arizona (Gov. Doug Ducey-R), Arkansas (Gov. Asa Hutchinson-R), Hawaii, (Gov. David Ige-D), Maryland (Gov. Larry Hogan-R), Nebraska (Gov. Pete Ricketts-R), Oregon (Gov. Kate Brown-D), Pennsylvania (Gov. Tom Wolf-D), and Rhode Island (Gov. Gina Raimondo-D).
Primaries: Super June Begins
A total of 24 states will host nomination elections in June, ten of which are postponed from earlier dates. Tomorrow is the biggest day, with ten states holding elections. Eight will vote in their presidential primaries (Iowa and Idaho held their presidential nominating votes earlier in the year).
June 2nd hosts regular state primaries on their originally scheduled date in Iowa, Montana, New Mexico, and South Dakota. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has postponed the presidential and state primary to July 7th, thus opting out of its traditional early June nomination date because of Coronavirus precautions.
A presidential stand-alone event is occurring in Rhode Island tomorrow, necessary since their regular state primary is scheduled as one of the latest in the country on September 15th. Postponed state primaries from earlier in the year are happening in the District of Columbia, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
Governors and election officials in several more states are making changes in their election calendars due to COVID-19 virus precautions.
The Alaska presidential primary will now be an all-mail operation. Therefore, the deadline for sending in ballots has been moved from April 4th to April 10th. The state primary remains scheduled for August 18th.
Hawaii officials have cancelled the in-person option for the April 4th presidential primary. Instead, the election will be conducted solely through the mail. The state primary remains on August 8th.
The New York Attorney General has recommended to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) that the state’s presidential primary remain on April 28th but be conducted through the mail. No action has yet occurred regarding changing the June 23rd state primary election date.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R), who postponed the March 17th presidential and state primary and potentially moved it to June 2nd, is considering changing to an all-mail system. This is largely because thousands have votes were already cast through the mail in anticipation of the originally scheduled primary.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has reached an agreement with Republican legislative leaders to move the April 28th presidential and state primary to June 2nd. An announcement of such is imminent.
The Puerto Rico presidential primary has been transferred from March 29th to April 26th.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) also signed an executive order moving the state’s presidential primary from April 28th to June 2nd. The state primary will remain set for September 1st.
Reapportionment: 2019 Calculations
The US Census Bureau officers released their latest population projections in order to measure national population growth for the period between July 1, 2018 and July 1, 2019. The results find the national rate of growth slowing to 0.5%, mostly as a result of decreased immigration. The peak period for the decade came during the July 1, 2014 – July 1, 2015 period when the growth rate registered 0.73%.
With these numbers come the ability to project which states will gain and lose congressional seats in 2020 reapportionment. The national reapportionment will be calculated and announced after the 2020 census is completed. The states will receive their congressional seat quota a year from now, with a release typically coming during the period between Christmas and New Year’s.
If current projections prove correct, Texas looks to gain three seats, Florida two, with Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon each slated to gain one. The losing states look to be Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
If these projections prove true, California will lose a seat for the first time in history. It’s also realistic that the actual totals could yield a two-seat loss for Illinois or New York, and possibly both. Right now, it appears ten congressional seats will change states, but that number could grow. Usually, the actual numbers tend to differ slightly from the early published projections.
Rhode Island: Gov. Raimondo Rebounding
First term Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) looked to be in a vulnerable position as she began seeking a second term, but a new University of New Hampshire poll (9/27-10/6; 561 RI registered voters; 503 likely voters) finds the Governor leading Cranston Mayor Allan Fung (R) by a substantial 48-34% margin. On the other hand, the UNH polls have routinely been among the most inaccurate within the public polling sector. Therefore, this race could still be relatively close. It is evident that Ms. Raimondo is leading the campaign, whatever the margin, and must be considered at least a slight favorite for re-election.
Rhode Island: Gov. Raimondo Falling
In 2014, then-state Treasurer Gina Raimondo (D) won a tight 41-36-21% victory over Cranston Mayor Allan Fung (R) and Independent Bob Healey to become Rhode Island’s governor. A new WPRI 12 News/Roger Williams University survey (7/28-31; 407 RI likely general election voters) finds the Governor leading Mr. Fung by only a 39-37% margin for the 2018 re-match.
Both individuals face credible primary opposition in the late September 12th primary election, so the two again facing each other in November is not guaranteed. Still, it appears that this gubernatorial campaign will see many twists and turns before voters finally decide who will lead the state during the next four years.
Rhode Island: Fung Builds Landslide Lead
Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, who lost the 2014 Governor’s race to then-state Treasurer Gina Raimondo (D) in a close 41-36% vote with Independent Bob Healey capturing over 21%, is again challenging for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.
Yesterday, Mr. Fung’s campaign released the results of their latest Public Opinion Strategies survey (7/11-14; 400 RI likely Republican primary voters) and projects their candidate to a huge GOP primary lead over state House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan, 62-22%. Ms. Morgan claims the results are so lopsided because the survey was a “push poll”, designed to test an extreme situation. It will take some time to determine who is correct. The Rhode Island statewide primary is not scheduled until September 12th.
Rhode Island: Filing Closes
Now that the Rhode Island candidate filing deadline has passed, 48 of the 50 states have their political fields set for November. Only Louisiana and Delaware, which set respective filing deadlines of July 10th and July 20th, remain outstanding.
Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) stands for a second term, and unfavorable job approval ratings, only winning with a plurality in 2014, and a stiff Democratic primary challenge places her re-election prospects in questionable status.
Her opponents include former Secretary of State Matt Brown, who is her serious Democratic primary challenger, and ex-state Rep. Spencer Dickinson. Once coming through the September 12th Democratic primary, the nominee will likely face 2014 nominee Allan Fung, the Cranston Mayor who held Raimondo to a 41-36% win four years ago. State House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan (R-West Warwick) and former state Sen. Giovanni Feroce round out the Republican field. Five individuals are running as Independents or minor party candidates.
The Rhode Island Governor’s race looks to be much more competitive than one would expect from such a strong Democratic state, but the New England states have a penchant for electing Republican Governors. Despite only one Republican being elected to the House from all six states along with one US Senator (both from Maine), four domains have sitting GOP Governors. Additionally, three of Rhode Island’s last six Governors have also been Republicans.
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