Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Rhode Island Primary Today

Moderate Chafee Faces Conservative Laffey

For some reason, this isn't being called a battle for the soul of the Republican Party. How odd.

In any event, today's primary in next-door Rhode Island will still be one to watch, as its expected to go down to the wire. An interesting R.I. primary tidbit:
Rhode Island has a hybrid primary, meaning independents -- technically called unaffiliated voters -- can vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary. Registered Republicans are limited to voting in the GOP primary, and enrolled Democrats can cast ballots only in their party's primary.

There are 365,658 independents eligible to vote in either primary, 68,864 Republican voters who cast only GOP ballots, and 236,665 Democrats who can vote only in their party's primary. (MacKay)

Laffey is supported by the conservative Club for Growth, which almost took out Sen. Arlen Specter in 2004. There have been some reports that Republicans will essentially abandon the field in Rhode Island, a heavily Democratic state, should Laffey win.

The race is being seen as a test of anti-incumbent sentiment, and has been compared to the August primary between Lieberman and Lamont. However, this race is not drawing national media attention, nor are pundits lining up to decry a too-conservative tilt to the GOP or a purge of moderates. Funny, that. I suppose only liberals have purges.

The seat could be a pickup for Democrats regardless of the outcome.

Source
MacKay, Scott. "It's a nail biter in the Chafee, Laffey primary contest." Providence Journal 8 September, 2006.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

There's a simple response to your musings here, GC. The main issue that seperates Laffey from Chaffee is economics. Not the war on terror. The former issue is certainly being debated within the GOP. The latter is, quite truly, forming a schism among Democrats nationwide.

The Architect said...

There is an obvious response to your smug comments regarding how this attention isn't garnering national attention, how "only liberals have purges" GC: Since unaffiliateds can vote, the pool is tainted. It isn't purely an intra-party battle.

GMR said...

Chafee is fundamentally different from Lieberman: Chafee was not the party's VP candidate 6 years ago, nor woulld he have ever been a serious presidential candidate (although it is certainly debatable whether Lieberman fits this description).

Chafee didn't even vote for George W. Bush in the 2004 election. His ACU (American Conservative Union) rating is in the 30s, Lieberman's was in the 90s. In other words, Chafee is truly a Republican in name only. If you examined his voting record and actions, and didn't know his party label, you'd be hard pressed to determine which party he belonged to.

Compare this to Lieberman, who usually votes with the Democrats, except on the Iraq war. The Alito vote was more of a tactical vote as part of his membership in the Gang of 14: had he voted for filibuster, the Republicans would have used the "nuclear option".

cgg said...

The RI primary has drawn national attention. It wasn't convered as widely as Jo v. Ned, but I think it's a race people interested in politics are watching.

Anonymous said...

Most Republicans don't give a darn whether Chafee wins or loses. And R's outside of the Northeast would prefer that the Northeast float away. Northeastern Republicans are a different bird than the rest of the country.

BrassBoy said...

Lieberman's ACU rating is nowhere near in the 90s:

CT Delegation ACU ratings

Rick Melita said...

I agree with Architect in that reliable polling is scarce on this race (because there is no real way to predict who is a likely voter since U's can vote) and that may be a factor in depressing national media attention.

But I would guess that U's would heavily favor Chaffee. And that Laffey 's support comes almost exclusively from true believing Republicans anxious to rid themselves of a closet democrat. So the RI-GOP is indeed engaged in purging. So GC's smugness,dare I say snark, is still warranted.

Chris MC said...

The main issue that seperates Laffey from Chaffee is economics. Not the war on terror. The former issue is certainly being debated within the GOP. The latter is, quite truly, forming a schism among Democrats nationwide.

Two points to offer here:
A lot more than economics is being debated within the Republican Party nationally. Libertarians are pretty much done, if only they felt they could join the Democrats. Without the overwhelming turnout from Religious conservatives, John Kerry is very probably President. And there is a significant anti-Bush opinion amongst long-time CT GOPers, although you don't hear about it much.

Second, it is simply not the case that the war is dividing the Democratic Party nationwide. The Lieberman / Lamont battle is a unique and perfect storm in the microclimate of CT. It hasn't got legs in Rhode Island, nevermind nationwide.

Anonymous said...

Chris MC--From what do you say their is anti Bush opinion among Ct Gop'ers???

Bush increased his votes in Ct in 2004, granted that was among all voters, but your "analysis" does not hold true.

And look at the Lamont/Lieberman primary--Joe captured 48% of the Dem vote after Ned virtually recast Joe as the second coming of George W. So even among Dems, the anti-Bush mantra may not be holy grail so many seek.

Chris MC said...

The Architect is right about the "sample" in Rhode Island. The pool, and the Republican primary in Rhode Island, are certainly tainted by admitting U's to the voting booth. There is no national Republican acid test possible in Rhode Island. Pennsylvania maybe. Ohio maybe. Washington or Arizona maybe. Bottom line on Rhode Island, nobody on either side of the aisle gives a damn about Linc Chaffee. If he survives, it is a testament to his father's long service and the extent to which the Rhode Island Dems are still too comfy and parochial to do what needs to be done for the good of the country and send another Democrat to the Senate.

And that is the only reason anybody outside of Providence is paying attention to how this turns out. The potential for the Democrats to get control of the Senate, while a long shot at this stage, is still there, and if they pick up this seat, we're one step closer and the odds get a bit better that it will happen.

Wanna see for the Senate, btw?

Chris MC said...

God I hate blogger.

That last sentence should read:
"Wanna see an excellent candidate and campaign for the Senate, btw?"

Chris MC said...

Chris MC--From what do you say their is anti Bush opinion among Ct Gop'ers???

If you heard the things coming out of the mouths of staunch Connecticut Republicans that I (and others) have about George W. Bush, you would be as amazed as I was. This ain't Bush country, just because John Kerry couldn't get it done.

And look at the Lamont/Lieberman primary--Joe captured 48% of the Dem vote after Ned virtually recast Joe as the second coming of George W. So even among Dems, the anti-Bush mantra may not be holy grail so many seek.

Do you doubt that if two unknown neophytes with the respective positions that our incumbent and our challenger have were contesting for the primary that the Lamont position would win and Lieberman's would lose? Joe's strength is Joe's strength. He's a franchise, and without his unique position on Iraq he would have 70% of the vote in November without even showing up, just like last time. There would have been no Democratic challenger, certainly not a successful one.

hartford_for_lamont said...

good work Genghis -

you and tparty are right on the money to put some light on the chafee-laffey race:

http://lamontblog.blogspot.com/2006/09/monday-morning-round-up.html

I now see why the NRSC is fighting FOR chafee, and it isn't just about repub control of the senate; while chafee is more ANTI-bush than some Dem senators, chafee is also BEING PUBLICALLY FRAMED as being PRO-bush by laffey, thus a primary defeat for chafee ironically becomes a public defeat for bush, just like joe's primary loss here was also a public defeat for bush, which was why cheney had to come out shooting the day after joe lost, since joe's primary loss was also a major loss for bush/cheney.

if laffey can defeat chafee by tying chafee to bush, then the leperous bush touch of political cancer for swing state congressional repubs (like our own 3 right here in CT) will be abundantly evident and confirmed, coming on the heels of the lieberman primary defeat for the same reason.

in other words, if laffey can defeat chafee by tying chafee to bush, then simmons, johnson, and shays can also ALL be brought down with the same tactic!

Ned's a man of the people said...

Can we get back to CT, please?

I heard that Ned Lamont was seen playing golf at his former Country Club last week.

Can anyone confirm or deny this?

Seems pretty hypocrital, if true.

hartford_for_lamont said...

Rick Melita: "But I would guess that U's would heavily favor Chafee."

yes, that would be the conventional wisdom; however, if chafee loses, it will be because the RI unaffiliateds wanted to make their vote against chafee a statement vote against bush, and THEN ALL H*LL will break loose among the DC beltway punditry, because their standard template calculi will go right out the window!

if the RI unaffiliateds vote against chafee to punish bush, then joe L is doomed.

and THAT is why the laffey-chafee primary is VERY important!

The Architect said...

Another angle to consider: Dem-leaning Us may favor Laffey in an effort to boot Chaffee, all but ensuring a Democratic pickup in the fall as well.

GMR said...

Lieberman's ACU rating is nowhere near in the 90s:

My bad: I meant it was in the 10s, which would make him a 90% democrat!

bluecoat said...

you got it GMR; Liberman is a neo-con for sure but he is not a Republican or bi-partisan leader either.

CC said...

Chaffee is easily the biggest RINO (Republican in Name Only) in the Senate. As pointed out above, he was never the GOP's VP nominee, and never would be. The party is supporting him because even though his politics largely flout the GOP agenda Laffey has virtually no chance in the general election and would therefore help the Dems pick up the seat. To compare this to Lieberman-Lamont is to compare apples and oranges.

BrassBoy said...

GMR,

Ahhhh... that makes a bit more sense!

And Chris MC... Harold Ford? Seriously?

TrueBlueCT said...

Anon11:18--
I think this is an important debate we are engaging in. Next time I see him, I'll certainly ask Ned about who he plays golf with. (and if he really visited his old country club.)

In exchange, could you ask Senator Lieberman why he gets his Joe at Starbucks? You'd think he'd be happier getting his Joe at a local establishment like Cafe Bottega. Or Moka. Or the Safari Lounge.

In fact, why is Joe drinking such high-priced Joe? Is he too good for Dunkin' Donuts Joe? And is there any truth to the rumor that Joe won't touch Diner Joe with a ten foot spoon?

Thanks. This is really important to me, and I think everyone should know that Joe favors Starbucks Joe over local Joe, AND over Dunkin Donuts Joe and that Joe really has a problem with Diner Joe. It all says a lot about Joe.

Anonymous said...

What does the Rhode Island Republican Senate Primary have to do with Connecicut politics??

hartford_for_lamont said...

CC: "To compare this to Lieberman-Lamont is to compare apples and oranges."

uh huh -

that is a convenient blanket statement which basically says nothing.

since you have not refuted any of my chafee vs. laffey talking points on a point-for-point basis, you are saying nothing here basically.

not good enough. try harder.

turfgrrl said...

Truebluect-- Maybe because Starbucks provides healthcare to it's employees and what's up with your diss of Koffee? Why pick on Starbucks btw ... too much Austin Powers?

bluecoat said...

Starbucks may buy or subsidize their employees health insurance as part of a salary and benefits package but I doubt they have many nurses, medical doctors and others on staff to provide healthcare services from behind their countere - to be truthful, neevr been in a Starbucks unless by accident in an airport.

Anonymous said...

Any comparison between CT and RI begins and ends here:

“Rhode Island has a hybrid primary, meaning independents -- technically called unaffiliated voters -- can vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary. Registered Republicans are limited to voting in the GOP primary, and enrolled Democrats can cast ballots only in their party's primary.”

This means that Republicans – and Democrats – in RI do not control their own primaries. That is not the case in CT.

When Tom D’Amore was the chairman of the Republican Party, he proposed a similar scheme for both parties. Unwilling to commit suicide, Republicans rebuffed him. And later, after Weicker refused to run against for governor (wonder why?) he went off to work on other national campaigns, backing some winners (Jesse Ventura) and some losers. He’s now working for Ned Lamont, who would not be the nominee of the Democrat Party had D’Amore’s plan to destroy the parties been adopted way-back-when.

Ain’t life full of ironies?

Chris MC said...

quoth bluecoat:
Starbucks may buy or subsidize their employees health insurance as part of a salary and benefits package but I doubt they have many nurses, medical doctors and others on staff to provide healthcare services from behind their countere - to be truthful, neevr been in a Starbucks unless by accident in an airport.

What does this even mean? Doctors or nurses behind the counter? Are you just trying to snipe at turfgrrl? Honestly, I don't know what to make of this comment?

bluecoat said...

I am making the diatinction between the insurance for services and the services themselves, which the baby boomers constantly seem to faahget aabout it.

Chris MC said...

Again, bluecoat, I'm not trying to be snarky about it, but you aren't actually getting your point across. Unless your position is that the health insurance provided by Starbucks to its employees is somehow not valuable or doesn't afford them access to healthcare they wouldn't otherwise have?

If that is your argument, then you'll have to explain why so many people who go to work there do so specifically for the benefits. I personally took a job almost purely for the benefits (not with Starbucks).

And, if I am following that argument correctly, how the heck to you square that with your point in another post about the health care industry glutting the market in this region? You don't seem to have a coherent viewpoint at all on the subject.

Ned's a man of the people said...

truebluect I can understand why you want to avoid answering my question and, instead, attack Joe Lieberman for the kind of coffee he drinks (which, by the way, is a pathetic attack).

Perhaps I should spell it out for you so even someone with your limited intelligence can understand it.

Ned made a big deal about leaving his country club because it was not diverse (as if he hadn't noticed that during the 10 years he was a member). Therefore, his going back there to play golf calls his statements into question and damages his credibility.

Now, I would argue, this is a pattern with Ned. He leaves a club, but goes back there to play golf. He praises Lieberman's floor speech regarding the Clinton affair, then he attacks him for it. He supports Lieberman with a hefty campaign contribution, then says that Lieberman hasn't done the job the last 18 years. He was for withdrawing our troops immediately, now he says he's not.

Get it! Want more ... there's planty of it. It's a pattern that shows hypocracy and political opportunism. It shows that he is an amatuer!

bluecoat said...

Chris there is the healthcare delivery system/industry and the health insurance industry. And you say you took a job for the benefits - I recall you saying you owned a company that bought insurance for its employees but no matter. Glad you can explain an industry that makes up greater than 15% of our GDP in a couple of soundbites.

TrueBlueCT said...

Man, I wish I knew if this was Eric Blankenbaker or Dan Gerstein that I am debating. It's just great that a country club membership is such an overriding concern for the Lieberman campaign. It's not like Americans are dying each and every day b/c of a utopian dream for Iraq.

But you didn't answer my question. Joe Lieberman puts himself out as a regular Joe, but then buys his coffee as a yuppie at Starbucks? Why doesn't he support the local cafes? Is it b/c he drinks one of Starbucks specialty drinks that he just can't get at Dunkin Donuts?

Get it! Joe is a hypocrite through and through. He's one big phoney, and his "I'm a regular Joe" act is patently false. Don't you understand that his Starbucks habit shows a real pattern. He pretends he's down with the working guys that won't spend their hard-earned dough at Starbucks, (not when there's a Dunkin Donuts around), but push come to shove, Joe Lieberman is a Starbucks guy.

Chris MC said...

Chris there is the healthcare delivery system/industry and the health insurance industry. And you say you took a job for the benefits - I recall you saying you owned a company that bought insurance for its employees but no matter. Glad you can explain an industry that makes up greater than 15% of our GDP in a couple of soundbites.

Condescension and sneering don't cover up the fact you have no coherent point of view nor argument, bluecoat. Nor does misrepresenting what I write, nor suggesting that I in some sense was or am lying. If you're out of material, why not take a break? Nobody can post as frequently as you do and consistently contribute substantively. We've all hit the wall like you have. Maybe give it a rest for a bit.

Chris MC said...

Joe Lieberman puts himself out as a regular Joe, but then buys his coffee as a yuppie at Starbucks? Why doesn't he support the local cafes? Is it b/c he drinks one of Starbucks specialty drinks that he just can't get at Dunkin Donuts?
Mr. Anderson -
You're kinda torturing this. If he drank the local coffee you'd vote for him? If he pretended to be something he isn't people would support him? It was the blue collar lunch bucket dems that voted for him Ed. Many of whom have little patience for your point of view. They don't seem to care where Joe gets his Joe.

And, it's yuppies that voted for Ned in the primary (go ask someone whose looked at the map). Without yuppies, Ned would be doing something besides contending for the Senate. So don't knock the yuppies Ed. That went out with padded shoulders and cigars. Without yuppies Ed, you'd be - what is it that you do Ed? Nevermind.

ProgCT said...

Lieberman vs Lamont was pro-Iraq debacle vs anti-Iraq debacle.

Laffey vs Linc is pro-Iraq debacle vs anti-Iraq debacle.

I hope Laffey wins just to show how out of touch the GOP is with the American people.

bluecoat said...

I answered you question Chris; it's not my problem you don't understand how the healthcare delivery system works. And I don't see anywhere where I said you lied.

You're free to ignore my comments or even ban me from the site if you so choose.

Chris MC said...

LOL bluecoat. How can you be so petulant?

Don't worry, nobody's forcing you to stop hurting yourself in public. [chucking] Guess we're all kinda "conservative" that way.

GMR said...

Why do people care where the guy buys coffee? (I hate coffee, so I have no preference). Is Starbucks that upper class?

When William F. Buckley's brother was running for CT's senate seat a bunch of years ago, he went to some factory, and then the blue collar guys invited him to some bar they frequented. At the bar, Buckley ordered a sherry. Not the thing to order there...

Oh, and unless Lamont is yammering about inequality of incomes or something, don't mention his art collection. It's not a very good argument, unless that purchase falls into "OK for me but not for thee".

bluecoat said...

Chris: notwithststanding your screwups in posting my comments on the wrong thread yesterday, better than half of the volume I post is links to articles in current periodicals on items that seem topical for CLP; maybe your afraid of the power of the blog to expose the truth????