September 5, 2006

Fogarty leads Carcieri? What am I missing?

Marc Comtois

According to a post on ProJo's 7to7 blog, the Lt. Governor Charles "Mr. Insider" Fogarty is leading Governor Carcieri in a recent poll.

Lt. Gov. Charles J. Fogarty is leading Governor Carcieri in the battle for the state's top elected office, according to a poll released today by the independent pollster Rasmussen Reports.

Forty-six percent of likely voters supported Fogarty, a Democrat, while 41 percent supported the Republican Carcieri, in the telephone survey of 500 likely voters conducted Aug. 23. The margin of error is 4.5 points.

Today's poll is the first to show the incumbent Carcieri behind. In a similar poll conducted last month, Fogarty and Carcieri were neck-in-neck, 42 percent to 43 percent respectively.

That means there are 13% undecided. Michael Barone has recently postulated that New England incumbents actually tend to get these voters in the end (contra the conventional wisdom). Be that as it may, why does Fogarty even have a lead? Are people really buying that Fogarty, an insider if ever there was one, will fight "corruption"? Or are there simply that many union-linked folks in this state who detest Carcieri? What if these numbers are merely reflective of the fact that Carcieri only started running political ads on TV this weekend?

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Simple question. What time of day are they calling to ask this survey? If you call during business hours, you're far more likely to get Democrat voters to answer the phone (conservatives are at work) and that will EASILY skew your numbers. That may explain how Charlie the Ferengi (as my liberal wife has dubbed him) is up in this poll.

Posted by: Greg at September 5, 2006 4:37 PM

Local political pollster Joe Fleming released a poll just last week that showed Carcieri ahead 45 to 41.
Go with the locals and their polling for accuracy. Rassmussen phone polls every major race in every state on a regular basis. They're a generic pollster who produce generic results.
The governor's race will be a very close election and we've talked about the reasons why. Number one reason is Don Carcieri started far too late in getting his team organized (inexcusable) and raising money for his re-election bid and then turns around and hires inexperienced people to run his campaign. (again inexcusable)
I opined months ago that Carcieri is writing the definitive book on how not to run a winning re-election campaign in what is a very winnable race. Based on things said by Carcieri's campaign people when they're asked about these polls it's obvious they're basing their entire re-election campaign on what their and only their internal pollster has been telling them for months now.
We will find out just how good Carcieri's internal pollster is because what we keep seeing with all these polls is somehow different than what he's being told by his polling people.

Posted by: Tim at September 5, 2006 5:27 PM

Fogarty went up on the air weeks ago, Carcieri just went up. I'd expect to see Carcieri put move up over the next couple of weeks.

I suppose the Laffey people don't want to talk about the Senate general election numbers, but it looks like Chafee has picked up some ground against Whitehouse, but remains a dead heat. Laffey's numbers, big surprise, still show Whitehouse blowing him out in a landslide.

Posted by: Anthony at September 5, 2006 5:51 PM

As a Republican running for municipal office in Hopkinton,I am GREATLY ANNOYED by the Governor for not reaching out to the GOP "grass roots" more;retaining Patricia Morgan as state GOP Chair; selfcenteredness,and inconsistency.
His involvement in the US Senate race with his hands off on the Lieutenant Governor's race leaves me sour.Kerry King who stood up for Carcieri when Centracchio and others would not run as Lieutenant Governor then when Centracchio changed his mind at the last minute,and the Governor then claims neutrality, does not set well with me.The Governor needs to appreciate that although he is not the only politician guilty of this, he is NOT the only politician around!

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at September 5, 2006 6:09 PM

I'm certainly no expert when it comes to polls but four years ago at this time, Carcieri was well behind Bennett in the polls leading up to the primary. It tightened up and Bennett went dirty and that was all the ubknown Carcieri needed.

Myrth York had a good lead coming out of the primary and we all know how that went ... the points she had never moved and that was exactly what she got in the election.

One would have to think that in such an extremely heavily democratic state that Fogarty having low to mid 40's does not fair well for him. And where are Charlies numbers? Where's the bragging on those?

Charlie Bakst has a nice column out today and even he sees Carcieri "just" beginning his campaign. Late? I don't think so. Most people (the average voter) don't want to see this much campaigning and get fed up with candidates when they do. I'm seriously thinking of changing my vote for US Senate I am so sick of the ads! (just kidding!)

Polls are nice but in my opinion meaningless at this point. More important is getting the word out and if the fine citizens of RI seriously believe Charlie Fogarty is and has been the anti corruption candidate without him naming names and if they really think after his 16 years (8 as Senator, 8 as Lt Governor) he has changed his stripes, then that is who they deserve.

Posted by: Jake at September 5, 2006 6:23 PM


Having viewed your RI Republican party from afar I observe that you don't have grass roots as much as you have hissy fitting, whining, backstabbing factions in your party. If you're that unhappy with Carcieri just vote Fogarty. You know other fine "Republicans" like John Holmes, Linc Almond and Steve Laffey will be. lol
What a P-A-R-T-Y! Not!!!!!!!

Posted by: Tim at September 5, 2006 6:24 PM

HEY! Charlie got the Gen Assembly to pass that redundant nursing home inspection bill a couple of years ago and even got them to name it after the woman who died in a nursing home.

[$1,000,000 X eight years...]

Yes, that's plenty of return for $8,000,000. So let's hear no more criticism of Charlie's accomplishments as Lt. Gov.

Posted by: SusanD at September 5, 2006 7:53 PM

Dear Friends,

Nice attempts at spin. Let me explain it to you:

1.) Rasmussen was the only polling organization to get the Presidential Race in 2004 within 4 points in each Congressional District. Fleming has a noted higher income bias. So much for your outside/inside theory.

2.) The Governor has failed on just about everything. His current ad suggests he's created 15,000 jobs. The Pro-Jo numbers, an organization that loves the Governor, suggests that this is not true. His original pledge was a meager 20,000 and he's already admitting defeat. He's made some 64 state of the state address promises. He has yet to come through on 25% of them.

3.) He's great when it's time for a headline but nowhere to be found when the hard work needs to get done. Would you like to know why only half the field has GOP candidates this time? It is because of all the broken promises from last time.

4.) For someone who is supposed to be a great communicator, he says "ok" an awful lot and is speeches are snore fests. No one on the Hill fears him now.

5.) His wife has infuriated or offended everyone from Rep. Gemma in Warwick to every female swing voter. What she has done in the state founded by Roger Williams is simply outrageous. She's makes it so easy to get motivated to work against him.

6.) We know him now. We know he is socially conservative like George Bush. We know he hates unions. We know he's about ego and not hard work. Anyone who studied his original fundraiser later in the 1st quarter knew we were headed here.

7.) For those who want to buy into some crazy comback story: Charlie Fogarty is not Myrth Yorke. Don Carcieri is a lot like Bernie Jackvony.

8.) The Big Audit is still a Big Joke. Nobody buys the number in the latest ad because it's not real. Adelity Orefice, a non trustworthy bean counter, never should have been in charge of Senior Affairs. This was considered to be a "savings".

9.) Everybody knows about the no-bid contracts going to Grybowski's old form.

10.) The BLB deal, and the gaming issue in general, makes him look like a hypocrite.

The bottom line is this: only 1 poll with a huge oversampling of the GOP has him over 50. Whether you like the Rasmussen number or the Fleming number, any incumbent who can't break 50 before Labor Day (especially a member of the fringe right in a Blue State) should be very concerned.

Only the sheep who serve as talk radio hosts buy him now.

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at September 5, 2006 9:34 PM

Umm...Carcieri was trouncing Bennett this time of year. Bennett had some momentum at the start, but it was very clear to most people by late June that Carcieri would be the nominee.

Posted by: Anthony at September 5, 2006 10:26 PM

Blah, blah, blah ... I have a pithier way to deal with all this ... ignore Rasmussen polls, and Democrats offering free advice to Republicans. The one thing about anything "free," is that you usually end up getting something worth exactly what you paid for it. General election polls in early September are beyond meaningless.

If Almond can get two terms, and do almost nothing in the eight years of it, Carcieri should trounce Fogarty. However, I think that Carcieri should run like he's "behind," so he doesn't become complacent about eventually winning the race. People like to see officials making some effort to get reelected, not just cruising to victory. He'll win, because he's just about the only thing keeping this state from going completely down the drain, and the people of Rhode Island know it.

I don't think Charlie's problem is so much Charlie -- as he appears to be non-threatening and maybe a little naive -- it's more about who he chooses to associate himself with and who's backing him. Kind of like Mollis going to mob funerals... perhaps he's good guy, but most regular people aren't going to like the appearance. His backers probably think he's the kind of guy that they can "work with" -- in other words, a person that they can manipulate like a puppet, and who won't really threaten their grasp on power.

Posted by: Will at September 6, 2006 1:35 AM

I can't figure out of Bobby is here to try to convince us that being Republicans is wrong or if he just likes spouting off liberal gibberish.

Charlie is going to lose the election by more than 10 points.

Posted by: Greg at September 6, 2006 7:05 AM

Politics is not played out in a vacuum. When Lincoln Almond was sleeping on his Smith Hill sofa for eight years as slimeballs like Bob Carl ran his office and all kinds of corrupt things were going on with his boys at Blue Cross, CVS etc. the economy was humming right along and heavily Democrat leaning Rhode Island had their boy hero Slick Will in the White House.
Now compare that world with today's world. Comparing what Linc Almond did with what Carcieri is facing doesn't wash. It's an entirely different political world.
You're naive if you can't see how the political dynamics of these times (the war, gas prices etc) are directly affecting these races. That's why Carcieri made a big miscalculation with taking his time in getting his re-election act together. He's not only fighting Charlie Fogarty and the Democrats but he's fighting the Bush legacy and a Republican Congress that's been a big spending/do nothing about illegals disaster.
Where do you think the 'throw out the incumbents' mood is coming from in this nation?
I do agree that Carcieri is much better off being behind because that will motivate him and he's already proven to be a strong finisher. Question is does he have a team in place to get out the vote and has he lost too much momentum in this bad political environmnet that he can't get back?
We'll find out.

Bobby is a union hack. He's merely spouting what he's been indoctrinated with. Show him pity because he could not survive outside the womb. lol

Posted by: Tim at September 6, 2006 7:39 AM

I find it disturbing, although certainly not surprising, that some "Republicans" on this blog are now criticizing Carcieri as well as Chafee.

You are like the gang who can't shoot straight. RI has a Republican governor and a Repulbican senator, but we can't unite to support the only TWO elected GOP statewide officials in the state.

Instead, some people would rather support Steve Laffey (let's just overlook those ethical lapses and the fact that he's unelectable) and criticize Carcieri (after all, he's self-centered).

The irony is that Scott Bill Hirst, who criticizes Carcieri for being self-centered, supports Laffey---who apparently is not self-centered?!?

Three words: GET OVER IT

The reason the Republican Party is so small is because of people who think like this.

No, it's not because of "RINO's" like Chafee. Like it or not, Chafee has helped several Republican candidates far more conservative than himself. He has been consistent and will still be around long after Laffey leaves RI. And no, it's not because Carcieri is "self-centered", which besides being the first time I have ever heard this criticism, is simply wrong. Yes, he is so self-centered that he became the director of Catholic Charities in one of the poorest countries on earth. I could just see Steve Laffey doing that. Right.

The Republican Party in RI is small because some Republicans choose to make it irrelevant. People would rather complain, make noise and "send messages" than really work.

Posted by: Anthony at September 6, 2006 8:55 AM

For people who moved to RI from somewhere else, the greatest indictment of the RI GOP is the amount of frustration and anger you hear expressed about what Democratic domination of the General Assembly for 70 odd years has produced. But all too often, these conversations end on a note of dark cynicism, and the conviction that things will never change. And, all to frequently, a bemused inquiry as to why the newcomer has actually chosen to move to RI.

That such a level of frustration and cynicism can coexist with continued Democratic domination of the General Assembly is a perpetual mark of shame on the RI GOP. On the other hand, perhaps it reflects a certain genius on the part of the RI Dems for so effectively and perpetually pitting one local GOP faction against another. Food for thought.

Posted by: John at September 6, 2006 9:09 AM

Dear Greg,

Be whatever your background, your family, your education, your religion lead you to be.

What is Liberal about pointing out the Governor's pathetic jobs performance, especially for a pro-business type, or his lack of achievement, as defined by his own promises?

This is not a 10 point race either way. This will be a 3 point race with no winner declared until late in the evening. Like Chaffee's race, it could have been a coronation but it won't be.

I've campaigned in 37 states. I've been up against all different types of Republicans. Even in Massachusetts, I've never witnessed the kind of clueness I've seen in the last 4 years: i.e. handing over the entire future of your party to an inarticulate political neophyte who can every two weeks or so parrot some talking point from the fringe right. 8 years of "the Don" will produce less Federal seats, at one time you had 3, less statewide seats, you usually are competitive in 3 of the races - this year only 1, and less members of the General Assembly, which is getting to the point of being impossible.


I don't work for a union, I'm not a union member. I'm a 1099 employee who's the vacation sales director for a great resort among other things. I'm all commission all the time. Benefits are paid for out of pocket. I live 2 blocks from the Harbor and 1/2 mile from the ocean. I think it has been established I can survive outside the womb.

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at September 6, 2006 10:51 AM

Just some random thoughts-

First, I don't think that the RI Republican disarray is due to "Democrat genius". It's due to our own stupidity and until we fact that fact, the GOP will also be a distant second party in RI.

As for the governor's race, Carcieri will win, but it won't be a double-digit win. Carcieri does not seem to like the political part of his job. He'd rather just lead than deal with polls, campaigning and shaking hands, which is fine provided you do enough on the political front to win. Fogarty isn't Myrth and you have to assume that he'll give Carcieri a stronger challenge than York.

Onto performance. Bobby, you know that RI has one of the weakest executive branches and that the General Assembly has most of the power, so I don't think you can pin this state's poor economic performance on Carcieri. If anything, he has helped this state despite having to deal with a General Assembly that likes to feed at the trough.

As for you being a union member, I wouldn't feel the need to respond. Even I have been called a union "stooge, hack, plant" etc. on this blog and I'm far more conservative than you.

Posted by: Anthony at September 6, 2006 11:26 AM

If Carcieri had a little more leadership in him, he'd have recruited strong candidates to go up against Murphy and Montalbano. He talks a good game about having to fight the General Assembly, yet he won't go after the Democratic leaders - he'd rather just bash unions instead.
Carcieri can sit back because he doesn't even to veto any piece of progressive legislation that might gain public support - he uses the Democratic stooges running the House and Senate to keep it off his desk. After all, they're the idiots who gave us Ralph Mollis for secretary of state and are trying to shove the casino down our throats.
You just wonder if a good number of Republicans who ran for GA seats in '04 felt cheated of the party support they were promised. Were they abandoned by the state GOP if they ran for seats occupied by Good 'Ol Boy Democrats in the Murphy/Montalbano camp who are the real problem?

Posted by: rhody at September 6, 2006 11:45 AM

Re: Fogarty I'm baffled; pondering


Posted by: Tom W at September 6, 2006 9:00 PM

>>yet he won't go after the Democratic leaders - he'd rather just bash unions instead.

The unions ARE the Democratic leaders!

Posted by: Tom W at September 6, 2006 9:07 PM

"I don't think Charlie's problem is so much Charlie -- as he appears to be non-threatening and maybe a little naive -- it's more about who he chooses to associate himself with and who's backing him. .... His backers probably think he's the kind of guy that they can "work with" -- in other words, a person that they can manipulate like a puppet, and who won't really threaten their grasp on power."

With respect, Will, that's why he would be a dreadful governor (and why Carcieri has been a very good one).

An amiable puppet (but also just a little too fond of being in office) of the special interests that have given us high taxes, bad business climate, disproportionate benefits for public employees, disappearance of minimal management rights, mediocre education results, etc.

Pliability and a power rush - what a combination. Let's keep it out of the executive branch.

Posted by: SusanD at September 6, 2006 10:08 PM


Excellent analysis of Charlie Fogarty.
If Carcieri's team is even remotely awake (a big question right now) they'll be able to take Fogarty's silly anti-corruption commercials and use them to destroy Charlie. Imagine a commercial featuring a collage of old photos and video stills of Charlie Fogarty hanging with his corrupt friends playing over and over again on TV. Only question about Fogarty as governor would be which special interest would run him and his office.

Posted by: Tim at September 7, 2006 6:35 PM


So you're a salesman (among other things??) who rents in Newport. Big whoop! That does explain your woeful lack of knowledge with economics but doesn't explain your rather odd union indoctrination. Do opine further.

Posted by: Tim at September 7, 2006 7:11 PM


Seeking co-pays is not union bashing.
Try to think for yourself rather than swallowing the lies whole.

Posted by: Tim at September 7, 2006 7:17 PM

Dear Tim,

What does one's occupation or one's residence have to do witrh one's knowledges of economics?

(For the record, it was my intended minor and I am a Gilder disciple.)

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at September 7, 2006 8:42 PM

"Imagine a commercial featuring a collage of old photos and video stills of Charlie Fogarty hanging with his corrupt friends playing over and over again on TV."

That's good. And maybe stamped on each still, phrases like "sixth highest taxed state" or "anti-business climate" or "500,000 Rhode Islanders underwriting the overpaid jobs of 100,000", concluding with "Charlie will bring a lot to the Governor's office".

Posted by: SusanD at September 7, 2006 9:58 PM

Tim, I have no problem with Carcieri seeking co-pays from state employee unions (I've been a union member in the private sector for 15 years, and I've always had co-pay, which rose every year, even when my pay didn't).
I do have a problem with Carcieri's rhetoric blaming unions for every failure of his and the General Assembly's. I also have a problem with him blaming GA Democrats for the state's woes while essentially giving a pass to the Democratic leadership, his biggest enablers.
He now plays ball with the same House Speaker trying to ram the casino down our throat and the Senate president who's trying to strongarm an adult day care operator over a political sign (comparing Montalbano to Tony Soprano would be an insult to T).

Posted by: Rhody at September 8, 2006 1:16 AM


The problem is your union rhetoric isn't reality. Carcieri doesn't run around bashing unions and blaming them for all the world's ills. That's the unions rhetoric against Carcieri not the reality of what Carcieri has ever said or done. That's why I advised you to think for yourself rather than swallowing the lies whole. Not sure where you got the inpression that the governor is cozy with the House Speaker and Senate President but that could not be further from the truth. Carcieri and Murphy have a genuine dislike for one another. Agree that Montalbano is a thug. What does it say about Rhode Island when an individual like that becomes Senate President and is also a municipal court judge? Rhody, would you waste your time and energy and money running against these creeps? Creeps that are adored by their dopey and uneducated constituents?

Posted by: Tim at September 8, 2006 6:48 AM


Your commentary on the Rhode Island economy is a humorous read. Stick to selling timeshares and leave the economics talk to people who get it.

Posted by: Tim at September 8, 2006 7:02 AM


Former Republican party chair John "Insider" Holmes was on the Lively Experiment last night and thinks Fogarty's anti-corruption theme is brilliant because more indictments of legislators are coming with Celona singing like a bird and Fogarty needs to distance himself from the Assembly. That means Team Carcieri needs to find photos of Fogarty with Bill Irons, etc. when both were in the Senate for their commercial. lol Carcieri's team is crazy if they don't use Fogarty's own history against him when educating Rhode Island voters about him.
By the way is there a bigger phony around than John Holmes? He was lamenting how everyone's using anti-corruption themes and how those labelled as "insiders" are being tarnished. Of course John Holmes is an insider so him commentary was just so laughable. Holmes is the Republican party version of a Guy Dufault type. Smarmy!

Posted by: Tim at September 8, 2006 7:15 AM

Dear Tim,

Do you actually ever present points? Do you even know who George Gilder is or what he wrote?

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at September 8, 2006 10:44 AM

Tim, trust ne: If any major gay marriage (or a constitutional amendment to ban it) or abortion bill ever comes up, you know Carcieri and Murphy will be falling over each other praising what a good God-fearing Catholic citizen the other is.
True, they're on opposite sides of the casino debate, but for a guy who earlier this year showed some leadership in the fight to keep that monstrosity out of our state, Don's silence about it lately has been pretty ominous.

Posted by: rhody at September 8, 2006 1:28 PM