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Raimondo's Primary Problem

Ian Donnis over at Rhode Island Public Radio has an interesting post on Treasurer Gina Raimondo emerging as the darling of national conservatives - with praise cascading down from the Wall Street Journal and National Review, among other publications.

Donnis mentions some Brown University polling data, near the end of the post, that suggests strong support among Rhode Island Republicans (61 percent) and independents (60 percent), but not so much among Democrats (37.5 percent).

Those numbers - broadly speaking - are enviable. Raimondo, after her big push to overhaul the state's troubled pension system, is one of the most popular politicians in the state. But her poor showing among Democrats suggests a potential problem for Raimondo should she run for governor in 2014, which many in the political class now expect her to do. After all, assuming she remains a Democrat, she'd have to run in a Democratic primary; state workers, a reliable voting bloc, could be a particular problem given all the angst around the pension changes.

Of course, it's early. Very early (but never too early for N4N to prognosticate). Raimondo has time to mend fences. And the opposition matters. In 2010, Frank Caprio - a relatively conservative Democrat - was able to take the gubernatorial nomination when no formidable opponent took hold on the left.

If Raimondo faces a weak field, the primary may not be a big problem. But if a well-regarded Democrat emerges whom labor considers more friendly, things get interesting.

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