My new cover story, gaming out the 2014 governor's race, lands today. What struck me most, in reporting the piece, was the fluidity of the contest.
Many have already written off Governor Chafee, whose approval ratings are stuck in the 20s. But his team made a reasonably convincing case for the power of incumbency. If he can articulate a compelling economic development message and sign a gay marriage bill, his stock could rise. An economic recovery that the voters can feel would also be a big help.
But none of those things are locks, by any means. And Chafee, an independent, could radically alter the race if he decides to become a Democrat and face off against some combination of Treasurer Gina Raimondo, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, and former Auditor General Ernest Almonte in the primary.
Even without Chafee, that primary is in flux. Raimondo will almost certainly run. But insiders are far from convinced that Taveras will take the plunge. Turning away from his mayoral work, the source of his popularity, is a big decision. And it's hard to imagine him matching Raimondo's remarkable fundraising totals.
On the Republican side, former superintendent of state police and Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty has indicated that he's not interested in running in a primary. That means he's waiting on Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, among other Republicans, to decide if he's going to run.
All of this makes prognostication especially difficult in this race. But that's never stopped the Phoenix. Click on that cover story link if you haven't already.