RGA Target?

We'd heard, as Scott MacKay reports over at WRNI, that the Republican Governors Association is preparing to drop some cash into the Rhode Island gubernatorial race. If the group does, indeed, spend some real money, it'll be interesting to see what its message will be.

The GOP nominee, John Robitaille, has run an above-the-fray race designed to capitalize on the Caprio-Chafee slugfest - and, perhaps, to play to the public mood. One Republican source says the national party's public opinion research suggests that negative advertising - which voters usually say they hate, but which is often effective - may actually backfire this year.

This dynamic will undoubtedly play into the RGA's thinking. But the RGA may believe it can go negative without tainting Robitaille himself. If it does, who does the organization target - Caprio, Chafee, or both? Caprio is, arguably, the more logical target - competing for more of the right-of-center voters than Chafee. And if Caprio is drawn into a fight with Robitaille in the closing days of the campaign, it could be trouble. Particularly when a shift of a couple of points, in a close race, could make the difference. We'll see.

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