September 12, 2006

Primary Day Open Thread

Carroll Andrew Morse

Election day. One-man (or woman) one-vote. The day when the voice of the lowliest blogger counts as much as the vote of the most powerful official.

Election day makes us all equal in another way. We all know that no one knows, better than anybody else, how the biggest news story of the day is going to turn out. In that spirit, weíre going with open source coverage (i.e. an open thread) of primary day itself; Anchor Rising readers are invited to use the comments section of this post to give their own real time thoughts and observations on todayís primary.

The comments are open now!


The Projoís 7-to-7 blog has made a few tea leaves available for reading. Cranston is low on disaffiliation forms, and turnout is high in Richmond.


Dan Yorke is valiantly trying to explain to his callers that that you canít vote in both the Democratic and Republican primaries, and that registered Democrats canít vote in the Republican primary.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.


If today is the Primary, does that make Nov 7 the secondary?

Posted by: Brian at September 12, 2006 8:59 AM

I look forward to a slight respite once the primaries are over - my answering machines, both home and work have been bombarded with prerecorded messages. I can't speak for anyone else, but this tactic is counterproductive with me. If anyone thinks such annoyance is persuasive, they need better pollsters.

Posted by: rhodeymark at September 12, 2006 9:06 AM


About 2 1/2 weeks ago, I came home to an answering machine that was filled up. Alas, I haven't been able to receive any messages since then. I think I'll finally get around to clearing it tonight...

Posted by: Andrew at September 12, 2006 9:25 AM

Believe it or not, I have not received one recorded message throughout this election season. Is it because my number is unlisted and nonpublished? Whatever the reason, I'm grateful.

Posted by: mike at September 12, 2006 10:04 AM

This day brings me back to primary day back when I lived in New York. In New York, you have to be a member of the party if you want to vote, which is the way it's SUPPOSED to work. The Primary's main function is to allow the PARTY members to choose who will appear on the ballot in the general election.

How it got so screwed up here in Fantasy Land...err...Rhode Island, I'll never totally understand but I have the strangest feeling that it was the union's attempt to cripple the Republicans by allowing union members to pervert the process and put the WEAKEST candidates on the ballot.

The first thing the Republicans need to do if they want to be taken seriously as a party in this state, is to fix the primary system and return it to its original intent. Letting REPUBLICANS choose the REPUBLICAN candidate and the DEMOCRATS choose the DEMOCRAT candidate.

So what about the unaffiliated and independent voters, you may ask? Well, like in every other state with a proper primary system, they stay home today. If they want a say in party politics, they should join a party.

Posted by: Greg at September 12, 2006 10:11 AM

I knew somebody would find a way to blame unions for his unhappiness with the system. Just as the sun rises in the east...
But seriously, in these days of increasing partisanship of everything, closed primaries will only make matters worse. Barring independents from the primaries will only give us more polarized candidates comes November, and candidates will have even less reason to appeal to independent voters like myself.
Don't forget, plenty of union households vote Republican - union political participation is not a monolith and not strictly partisan.

Posted by: rhody at September 12, 2006 11:19 AM

Closed primaries are the standard across most of the states in the Union, and most of the states aren't recognized as the most corrupt state...

'Barring' independents from the primaries will simply cause people to reveal their party affilitations if they want to be involved in the primary process. No one who wants to be involved in the system at this level will be 'barred' from participation.

Plenty of union HOUSEHOLDS vote republican, but your union leaders and all of your union dues support DEMOCRATS. I'm having a hard time remembering the last time the AFL/CIO supported a Republican.

Posted by: Greg at September 12, 2006 11:38 AM

Just got back from voting AGAINST Linc Chafee.

James Brown is now wafting through my mind:



Posted by: Tom W at September 12, 2006 11:45 AM

Taking Andrew up on his invitation to jump around a little ...

I am conflicted about the Dem Secretary of State primary. I want Sue Stenhouse to win so I want her to face the weakest candidate.

Let's see - five separate ethics incidents. Senate President Montalbano calling a North Providence business doing his best Edward G. Robinson imitation about the DeRamel sign on his lawn ("Yeah, see? It ainít respectful, see?"). Contributions from mob types perfectly fine. So go Ralph Mollis.

But to risk someone of such questionable values get that close to holding state office is a little scary.

Posted by: SusanD at September 12, 2006 12:05 PM

Why not stack the deck, Susan? The Dems are trying to do it to us. And it might blow up in their faces, too.

Posted by: Greg at September 12, 2006 12:12 PM

Funny you mention Sue Stenhouse. Stay tuned over the next few days for an AR interview I did with her recently. Personally, I don't think it matters who she faces off against. de Ramel might have a little more cash, but he probably has less political friends than Mollis.

Stenhouse should use the Democratic primary just like Whitehouse should use the Republican primary: make her montra be she is not into negative campaigning and run on her record and what she wants to do in the office. I think many people have been turned of by de Ramel and Mollis, and Stenhouse should use that to her advantage. So either way, I think it doesn't matter who her opponent will be.

My money's on Mollis though. I think he's squeaks by to the shagrin of our friends at RI Future, of course.

Posted by: don roach at September 12, 2006 12:38 PM

I'm actually thinking that the Sec of State primary might actually be Linc's undoing since I'm sure many of those union hacks that were going to cross over to pervert our primary will instead stay within their party to vote for Ralph.

Posted by: Greg at September 12, 2006 12:49 PM

In today's case Republicans should be happy that Rhode Island is one of the only states which allows Independents to vote in either primary.

Chaffee could be hurt if this occurs in large numbers, as those in support of Whitehouse are praying for a Laffey win. I think Chaffee is naive to assume that a huge turnout from Independent voters will work in his favor. These switches could just as easily by voting in the Republican primary to clinch a Laffey-Whitehouse race.

As for the Sec. of State primary, I think de Ramel could come out on top, by a small margin. Polls have been good for his recently, and I think the majority of Democrats realize he is a crook. Stenhouse does not have as much of an edge as one may presume.

Langevin-Lawless primary is also pretty suspenful. A great primary year for sure!

Posted by: Joel at September 12, 2006 1:44 PM

I had some difficulty voting this morning. First I had to find an unmarked elevator to find my way down to the polling area at Phillips Memorial Baptist Church, this after trying several locked doors.

Then I had to contend with an elderly poll worker who kept sticking the pages together in the notebook. She couldn't find my name and wished me a good day - that I couldn't vote. After appealing to another poll worker, she found my name, and almost had me sign on the wrong line!

Then, after voting, the darn thing jammed the machine, and I couldn't really tell if the vote counted. Though I did see the counting meter go from 16 to 17.

I thank my Good Lord, though, that I have the right to vote, and I look forward to a new US Senator from RI.

Posted by: Chuck at September 12, 2006 1:51 PM

Rush just made reference to the race here in RI and once again reiterated that Linc is not a MODERATE but is, in fact, a LIBERAL. Good to see him get that right.

Posted by: Greg at September 12, 2006 1:53 PM

Greg, I think I agree with you on this one. The union endorsements on that race have been pretty split, but the Teamsters, Laborers International...the folks that give unions a bad name are definitely down with Mollis. My own is silent, but due to the nature of our work, my local doesn't endorse candidates or engage in partisan political activities.
In a Mollis-Stenhouse race, the Laffey crowd may tip the race toward Mollis because (A she backs Chafee, (B Mollis is probably more conservative than Sue and (C the Cranston-Warwick dynamic - look at the friction between Laffey and Avedesian. They won't hesitate to slash Sue's throat from behind.
Looking forward to a rather colorful scene when I vote at Fruit Hill Fire Station tonight...

Posted by: rhody at September 12, 2006 1:54 PM

I wonder if I'll be voting at the library in Cranston this year or if they'll send us across the backyard again.

Last primary the old farts that apparently had nothing better to do than hang around the polls noted how many people had turned out and how 'A lot of people must hate that Laffey guy'. Luckily they're getting old and dying.


Posted by: Greg at September 12, 2006 2:00 PM

Next time they say that, tell them to watch it - or you'll beat 'em like a fireman's wife :D

Posted by: rhodeymark at September 12, 2006 2:18 PM

I assume that the high number of dissafiliations in Cranston is good for Laffey, since it means that Cranston independents (who voted overwhelmingly for Laffey for Mayor) are turning out in force. But what does high turnout in Richmond indicate?

Posted by: AuH2ORepublican at September 12, 2006 2:22 PM

Cranston, Richmond, a city and a small town...sounds like turnout's strong throughout the state. I can't even begin to speculate who benefits anymore.

Posted by: Rhody at September 12, 2006 2:40 PM

when do we start getting early results? Is there exit polling data?

Posted by: chris at September 12, 2006 2:47 PM


The Richmond result indicates that the Projo has a contact they like to talk to in Richmond.


To the best of my knowledge there's no exit polling going on. I don't think there will be results of any sort until the polls close at 9 pm.

Posted by: Andrew at September 12, 2006 3:16 PM

want to make a comment on the quantity of attack flyers I received from Linc's campaign, all sponsored by Libby Dole and her crew.

first: GTF out of my state. We will make our decision on who we want - as RI republicans - to run as our candidate for senate in the general election.

Second: these mailings made me sick. To think that my national party would say these things about a good guy Steve Laffey makes me crazy. disclaimer: I live in Cranston, and Laffey IS a good guy.

The republicans are likely to get their asses kicked this year. I hope that we point to Libby Dole and her cohorts with their do-anything-say-anything attacks as one of the primary reasons.

Has anybody noticed that the senate standard bearer for the dems - presumably Sheldon - is even whiter and less in touch than linc?

A joke. When laffey wins, we ahd better all get behind this and get him to the senate.

Posted by: dr.rick at September 12, 2006 3:47 PM

To no one's surprise, I'm going to disagree with Greg on the whole "vote in your own darn primary" thing. The fewer restrictions on voting, the better. The primary is the best opportunity to vote for whomever you wish, rather than just Choice A or Choice B (I simplify for convenience, and not to slight the Cool Moose Party).

And do you really think that there will be a huge number of independents voting for Chafee? If so, how is that a bad thing? Isn't that what we're supposed to be doing here? Selecting the people's choice? I mean, if a large enough number of people cross over to vote against Laffey, doesn't that mean that he's the weaker candidate? That, even if he won the primary, he'd just get hammered in Nov?

I mean, it comes down to whether the majority of the people want a particular candidate or not. It's just a question of whether it happens now, or happens in Nov. Either way, it's the people who have spoken, because if there's enough Dem/Ind votes to beat Laffey now, those same votes would be there to beat him in Nov.

And, having an "open" primary does help keep the vote towards the middle, rather than giving undue influence to an extreme wing--of either party.

Posted by: klaus at September 12, 2006 3:47 PM

After the bumgling of the presidential race two years ago, exit polls don't hold much water for me. Either they're not conducted right, or people flat-out lie when they get hit up right after leaving the polling place.

Posted by: rhody at September 12, 2006 3:51 PM

What exit polling? I was told there was none today.

As for Dr. Rick's comments, if Republicans have ANY chance in November it is with Chaffee. A win by Laffey is an automatic loss in November, and the national party knows this, which is why they have promised to pull out.

Whitehouse is well over 20 points ahead of Laffey in EVERY poll.

Bottom line, if Chaffee loses today say goodbye to November.

Posted by: Joel at September 12, 2006 3:55 PM


How serious a Chafee supporter can you be when you misspell his name TWICE in such a short post?

Posted by: Greg at September 12, 2006 4:07 PM


Your post just reflects to me that this state has no idea WHY we have primaries, which is for the PARTY to select who they want to run in November. This ain't the semi-finals on American Idol.

Posted by: Greg at September 12, 2006 4:09 PM


1/3 of all Warwick polling stations running low on voter disaffiliation forms. Good news for Chaffee, former Mayor of Warwick.

Posted by: Joel at September 12, 2006 4:19 PM


1/3 of all Warwick polling stations running low on voter disaffiliation forms. Good news for Chafee, former Mayor of Warwick.

Posted by: Joel at September 12, 2006 4:20 PM


1/3 of all Warwick polling stations running low on voter disaffiliation forms. Good news for Chafee, former Mayor of Warwick.

Posted by: Joel at September 12, 2006 4:20 PM

1/3 x 3 posts = 1 whole.

Posted by: Greg at September 12, 2006 4:25 PM

And it's not good news for Chafee if those who are disaffiliating again after voting Republican are voting for Laffey in order to attempt to spoil the general election.

Posted by: Greg at September 12, 2006 4:35 PM

Maybe so Joel - but personally I can't sit back and let something as cynical as the Bolton Maneuverô go unanswered. I may become more energized for RI politics than I have ever been, and who knows - others may feel the same.
It ain't over till it's over

Posted by: rhodeymark at September 12, 2006 4:35 PM

I was a poll checker today in Barrington. I actually had an old lady come in saying she was happy to vote for John Chafee (she thought he was still senator). Oh, boy.

Anyway, I get the feeling that it's going to be a very good night for Laffey. Remember, tonight's Laffey victory party will be at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick (Plaza Ballroom), anytime after 7:00pm. See you there!

PS I voted, too, and it felt great!

Posted by: Will at September 12, 2006 4:41 PM

the disaffiliations are unquestionably good for laffey. I, and several of my friends, are voting strategically for Laffey in the hopes of a walk for sheldon in the general.

you're kidding yourself if you think dems are crossing over to save their dear old senator.

Posted by: chris at September 12, 2006 5:50 PM

Huge turnout...

All polling location in this area (Warwick/Cranston) are loaded with people. To me this seems like a bigger turnout then many general elections in this state.

Closest polling location from here completely ran out of disaffiliation forms earlier.

Posted by: Joel at September 12, 2006 7:08 PM

Hannity & Colmes will be covering this race tonite at 9pm est on Fox News .

Posted by: Greg at September 12, 2006 7:53 PM

I'm curious. Has any city or town in District 1 reported a shortage of disaffiliation forms? So far, I've only heard about Cranston and Warwick, which could mean that bunches of Democratic -leaning independents are voting in Langevin/Lawless race.

Posted by: Andrew at September 12, 2006 7:59 PM

Contrary to all these stories, I got to Fruit Hill Fire Station in North Providence to vote at about 7:40, and there was no line at all - the high school kids working the tables were practically asleep. There was no Chafee or Laffey sign or volunteer presence at all, and believe it or not, not even anything from Mollis! The only people and signs out there were for a town council at-large seat, the only contested local race.
Not a big Yorke fan, but I felt his pain this afternoon. His prediction on the big one: there won't be a winner decided tonight.

Posted by: rhody at September 12, 2006 8:29 PM

C-Span 2 is covering the RI Senate GOP primary (and a Maryland race) tonight as results come in.

Ditto what Greg said. To open primaries to everyone is not a party primary but the first step of a run-off election - something completely different.

Posted by: SusanD at September 12, 2006 9:20 PM