July 14, 2006

Poll Fodder for the Weekend

Marc Comtois

Taken from the ProJo's 7to7 blog:

A new poll by the independent pollster Rasmussen Reports finds Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, edging ahead of incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee, 46 percentage points to 41.

The margin of error in the poll of 500 likely voters was 4.5 percent, according to Rasmussen Reports.

If Republicans nominate Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey, Whitehouse would have a larger lead: 57 percent to 29 percent, according to Rasmussen.

The independent pollster has run surveys in Rhode Island for several months. The polls show a positive trend for Whitehouse.

In early June, Rasmussen reported that Whitehouse trailed Chafee by two points. An earlier poll in April showed Whitehouse trailing Chafee by three points.

None of the Rasmussen polls have tested Chafee against Laffey.

The governor's race remains neck-and-neck, with Lt. Gov. Charles Fogarty, a Democrat, one point ahead of incumbent Republican Governor Carcieri, 43 percent to 42 percent. The two have been within a point of each other in the last three Rasmussen polls.

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Why do they report it as a lead when the democrat is ahead, but within the margin of error, but when the republican in ahead, they report it as a dead heat?

Posted by: Greg at July 14, 2006 2:07 PM


Posted by: don roachq at July 14, 2006 2:18 PM

Liberal bias. They're just dying for the chance to proclaim Whitehouse as Rhode Island's next U.S. Senator.

Posted by: Anthony at July 14, 2006 3:00 PM

Given the ProJo's Texas ownership and inclination to endorse Republicans in most competitive races (even in the pre-Belo days), I wouldn't call our statewide paper liberally biased. Historically, it's been pretty pro-Chafee, but I would think the current owners would be more sympatico with Laffey.
While there may be a few liberal-leaning reporters and editors, those who make the big decisions (editorials, endorsements, budgets, who and what gets covered and who and what doesn't) lean conservative more often than not. Would newspaper owners make such tremendous profits (one of the highest profit margin industries in America) if they were a bunch of liberals?

Posted by: Rhody at July 14, 2006 3:14 PM

I was talking about pollsters, almost all of whom are left-leaning.

Posted by: Greg at July 14, 2006 4:01 PM

Anyone else find Rasmussen's polling numbers consistently odd?
I certainly do.
All these candidates do their own internal polling and I'd be willing to bet the Darrell West stats are much more reflective of the pulse of the voting public right now than Rasmussen.

Rhody, not sure what ProJo you read but the one I read has a left of Commie news agenda and an editorial board who are very much in bed with the Democrats in the state.

Posted by: Tim at July 14, 2006 4:44 PM

I wonder if the Chafee campaign will talk about their comfortable lead in the Rasmussen poll.

This is very bad news for Chafee. Back in February 2006, he was ahead of Whitehosue 50 to 38, 12 points, in a Rasmussen poll. After spending $1.2 million in three months, he now trails 46 to 41, 5 points. The electability argument, the only argument the Chafee camp has- all though it only appeals to a handful of primary voters, is slowly fading. An incumbant at 41%, trailing by 5, who has spent millions, and will be out spent by his opponent in Nov (if by some minor miracle he wins the primary) is a burnt toast.

By the way, since Chafee and his allies went negative first and are now wasting their time siding with Cranston Democrats with complaints or absurd accusations, it is a clear sign Chafeee is losing the primary to Laffey. People can spin or rationalize all they want, but you don't go this negative unless your losing..badly.

I guess those attacks from Chafee on Laffey are giving Chafee momentum..downward momentum that is. Laffey went from 35 to 28 points down, in a month, so those attacks are not affecting Laffey while Laffey spent less than half the money Chafee did. A Repub challenger going against a Democrat who has won statewide can come back from 30 point deficits just like Pine against O'Neill(32 points deficit) in the fall of 1992 for A.G. People will not focus on the contrast between Laffey and Whitehouse until after the primary.

On another front, Stenhouse screwed up her public matching paperwork,(I think she will lose in court) so the winner of the Demo primary for Sec of Satte will be the next Sec. of State...look for people like Rhody to feel the gravitational pull of that primary because they hate Mollis so much.

The summer is so much fun.

Posted by: Fred Sanford at July 14, 2006 5:35 PM

The Projo's ownership may be Texas-based, but its reporters aren't and its political writers are to the left of left.

Fred, glad that you're back. When do you think Laffey will break that elusive 30% mark?

Posted by: Anthony at July 14, 2006 7:26 PM

And before even start to compare this year's Senate race with the '92 AG's race, you should tell everyone the number of undecideds that existed in that poll. It's mathematically impossible for Laffey to beat Whitehouse.

Posted by: Anthony at July 14, 2006 11:19 PM

Let's not base this all off 500 voters ided. Whitehouse is a real schil. Conservatives, fear not. Chafee will ride to victory or my name ain't Ian Heinekn :ang.

Posted by: Eric at July 15, 2006 2:39 AM


Posted by: Kristie J. at July 15, 2006 2:40 AM

Tim, do you ever read ProJo editorials? Ever read Ed Achorn? The op-ed page does include some left-leaning columnists for balance, but look at their endorsements. I've read the ProJo all my life (back to the 70s), and I can't recall them endorsing a Democrat for president. EVER. Sure, they endorse Democrats when they're in blowout races without a credible opponent, and because of the old Newport WASP ties, they consistently backed Pell. They'll endorse Chafee over Whitehouse, but may endorse Whitehouse over Laffey structly because of blueblood - if Whitehouse were working class, they'd endorse Laffey (or if the Texans had their way).
And Anthony, Bakst and Kerr aren't as leftist as you might think. Bakst: no campaign funding = no credibility. Kerr: very supportive of military veterans (like himself). And those guys frequently bash the General Assembly's Democratic leadership - they both would love to see more Republicans in the legislature.
Patinkin: onetime antiwar McCarthy backer, went conservative immediately upon marrying and having kids.

Posted by: Rhody at July 15, 2006 3:05 AM


When Ed Achorn first came onto the scene he wrote some very good and biting columns about corruption and how the insider game is played here in Rhode Island. Now that Achorn has become an insider himself he hasn't written a column of clout or import in a couple of years. Nothing on Beacon Mutual, nothing on the lead paint fiasco, his big contribution on the casino debate was going after Joe Montalbano and his memory loss (and rightfully so) but Achorn said nothing, did not name and did not/will not challenge his good buddy Speaker Bill Murphy over anything related to this casino mess or any other legislative issues even though Murphy controls the legislature.
Ed Achorn's a fraud.
Charlie Bakst never met a liberal social cause or tax he didn't love. They don't come much more liberal than Charlie Bakst and I can respect that because unlike a fraud like Ed Achorn Charlie does not try to present himself as anything other than what he is. I don't agree with Charlie on 99.99999% of the issues but I respect his consistency and his genuineness, two traits that are foreign to a fraud like Ed Achorn.
Bob Kerr is a boring and predictable waste of time so I don't bother.
Mark Patinkin was a brilliant writer who was heading for a big career at one of the nations top newspapers or magazines until he got married and had a kid. Now we get a steady stream of Mr. Mom columns from Mark. It's too bad really because Mark was a brilliant writer with a great career ahead of him. Now he's doing Top 50 reasons to live in RI columns. What a waste of talent.
The ProJo editorial board is definitely left leaning and is very much in bed with the Democratic leadership here in Rhode Island.
We are poorly served by this states largest newspaper.
They investigate nothing because they're in cahoots with the very hands found raiding the cookie jar.

Posted by: Tim at July 15, 2006 8:50 AM

Wake me up when we're approaching the end of August to early September. This poll means nada. --Phe

Posted by: Phe Propterhoc at July 15, 2006 7:10 PM

Anthony is getting upset, posting after 11PM on a Friday night, now that his Chafee electability argument is basically gone. For those interested, O'Neill lead Pine 54 to 22, a 32 point lead at the end of Sept. 1992 in the AG race. I guess under Anthony's theory it was mathematically impossible for Pine to win since he had to persuade O'Neill voters to vote for him.

Also, I do wonder if Chafee will cross the 30% mark when it comes to Republicans voting for him in the primary. (The RIC poll showed Chafee only geting 28% of Republicans in a primary). I think in the end he can get about a third of Republicans in the primary.

The fun never ends on anchor rising.

Posted by: Fred Sanford at July 15, 2006 8:49 PM

Welcome back, I'm glad to see that things at the PUC have slowed down. Thank you for backing up one of my previous posts with your comment. I'll get to that in a minute.

I do give you credit for reaching back to the '92 AG's race as evidence that someone can come back from a double digit margin to win. Of course, I feel obiligated to point out some of the obvious (or maybe not so obvious to the younger folks among us) reasons why your comparison fails-

1. When the poll you cite was taken, Pine was a virtual unknown whereas everyone knows Laffey.

2. Pine's negatives were no where near Laffey's.

3. There were far more undecideds in that race than there are in this Senate race.

4. The AG's office was rapidly falling into disarray. The DiPrete case had consumed the office and was a lightning rod. Most important, RISDIC had just happened and voters had no faith in incumbents. '92 was the year that the General Assembly placed a proposed amendment on the fall ballot which called for four year terms for the gov and AG, because the belief was that the Gov. and AG needed more time to focus on issues like RISDIC. O'Neill was viewed as having ignored Arlene Violet's warnings and many people considered him directly responsible for losing Rhode Islanders millions of dollars in savings.

4. O'Neil's firing of Michael Burns, a senior prosecutor, led many (yes and quite a few Democrats) in the AG's office to work against O'Neill behind the scenes.

You may recall that I previously posted a comment saying that there is no way Laffey could win unless a scandal on the scale of RISDIC happened again. When I made my comment, it was exactly Pine's race that led me to say that. Your comment reinforces exactly what I stated. Thanks!

Posted by: Anthony at July 16, 2006 12:18 AM

Anthony is now posting after midnight on a Saturday...his obesseion continues, it really makes me laugh....the midnight Chafee blogger.

There are other examples of Republicans who came back from double digit margins to win elections in RI and they are not in 1992. Anthony, should read instead getting talking points and blogging after midnight on a weekend.

The numbers are not that different between Pine and O'Neill (22 to 54) as between Laffey and Whitehouse (29 to 57). Although Laffey has higher name ID than Pine, as already explained, challengers favorables/unfavorables are very volatile. Whitehouse's favorbales/unfavorables will alter dramatically after the primary because he will not be cruising above the fray anymore. Lastly, Whitehouse as AG did not do a much better job than O'Neill.

I know Anthony will keep on posting here (well he did disappear for two months after the Alito vote) with the same little talking points that are not working (like electability). Maybe the Chafee camp can get new material..maybe they can find Aram Garabedian to brainstorm. They probably won't. Instead they will send, Anthony, the midnight Chafee blogger, to come on here after midnight on a Saturday.

Anthony,of course, will have to get the last word... with the usual stuff (I do not even know why he bothers, nobody reading this conservative blog is going to vote for Chafee because of what he says). This is just laughs and giggles for me. Well, back to important stuff, I have get back to my junk sale.

Posted by: Fred Sanford at July 16, 2006 12:41 PM

Fred, some people just work longer hours than state workers.

Posted by: Anthony at July 17, 2006 9:25 AM

Attacking someone based on WHEN they post is nothing more or less than a personal attack. Attack his issues, attack his point of view, but don't get personal. It just takes any value out of your post.

Posted by: Greg at July 17, 2006 9:56 AM

Fred's response is typical. If he didn't post that response, he would have been left with accepting an uncomfortable reality: His patron, Steve Laffey, continues to make mistakes and has put himself into a position where he can even come close to winning the general election.

Posted by: Anthony at July 17, 2006 2:29 PM

looks like its going to be a banner year for the democrats. Senator Whitehouse, Governor Fogarty and so on and so on and so on. Speaker of the house, Pelosi.

Posted by: Rino Cooke at July 17, 2006 2:49 PM

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Posted by: Gary at July 31, 2006 8:09 AM

Hi all! What do you think about conflict in Israel?

Posted by: Gary at August 3, 2006 8:04 AM