New Poll: Chafee Strong, Lynch Slipping

Independent Lincoln Chafee holds his lead in the gubernatorial race in the latest poll from Rasmussen and, significantly, fares better than either of the Democrats in the race - Frank Caprio and Patrick Lynch - among Democratic voters.

The poll is not great news for either of the Democrats. But the results are particularly tough for Lynch. In a three-way match-up with Chafee and Republican John Robitaille, a little-known former aide to Governor Carcieri, he finishes last. Chafee gets 37 percent of the vote, to Robitaille's 26 percent and Lynch's 22 percent. In a February Rasmussen poll, Lynch finished second in that three-way tilt, just ahead of Robitaille.

In a three-way battle between Chafee, Caprio, and Robitaille, Chafee gets 39 percent of the vote, Caprio 28 percent, and Robitaille 22 percent.

Consistently faring better than Lynch in the polls, Caprio can build a case that he is the most electable Democrat. But he clearly has work to do if he is to catch Chafee. Part of his task will be suppressing the Robitaille vote and convincing moderates and conservatives that he is the Chafee alternative. The only risk there comes in alienating core Democrats in the primary. But unless Lynch can build some real momentum, Caprio may be able to walk the line.

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