Friday, October 29, 2010
The Fix - Democrat Frank Caprio slipping in Rhode Island gubernatorial race
In 2008, President Obama won Rhode Island with 63 percent -- his third-highest percentage in the country.
Two years later, in the four-way race to succeed term-limited Gov. Don Carcieri (R), it appears that the onetime Democratic frontrunner could well finish third.
A new poll out today shows former GOP Sen. Lincoln Chafee (I) leading the four-way race with 35 percent, while Republican John Robitaille takes 28 percent, state Treasurer Frank Caprio (D) 25 percent and Moderate Party candidate Ken Block 2 percent.
The new results mark a big shift from a survey conducted in late September showing Caprio leading with 36 percent, Chafee at 24 percent, Robitaille trailing with 13 percent and Block winning 2 percent.
Much of the reason for Caprio's decline can be chalked up to a spat with the White House over its endorsement in the race. Caprio has come under fire for remarks he made Monday in an appearance on a radio show in which he told Obama to "take his endorsement and really shove it" after his campaign learned that the president would not get behind any candidate in the race. Much of the new survey, though not all of it, was conducted after Caprio made the comments.
(Obama served in the Senate with Chafee until Chafee lost his re-election bid in 2006, and Chafee endorsed Obama's presidential bid ahead of the 2008 primary. Caprio backed then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) in the 2008 presidential primary; Clinton went on to an overwhelming 58 percent to 40 percent win over Obama in the primary.)
While Obama did not offer an endorsement in the race, former President Bill Clinton is slated to visit the state on Sunday to campaign for Caprio. On Monday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) will campaign for Chafee. And on top of all that, Caprio had been rumored to be considering a switch to the GOP earlier this year. (Caprio tamped down again on those rumors earlier this week.)