RI-Governor: Lincoln Chafee Is Poll Rich, Cash Poor

To the extent that developments in the Rhode Island governor's race generate buzz, a poll showing independent Lincoln Chafee leading Democratic and Republican competition ...
by | November 11, 2009

To the extent that developments in the Rhode Island governor's race generate buzz, a poll showing independent Lincoln Chafee leading Democratic and Republican competition is generating buzz.

With State Treasurer Frank Caprio as the Democratic nominee, the Chafee-funded poll showed the former U.S. senator with a two-point edge. With Attorney General Patrick Lynch as the Democratic nominee, his advantage ballooned to 13 points.

But, there's a reason to doubt whether Chafee truly is the frontrunner: money. From the Providence Journal:

But he still trails Caprio and Lynch by wide margins in dollars in his campaign account, having added $120,210 in the three months that ended on Sept. 30. That included a new $50,000 personal loan. Lynch raised $112,653 during the same period. Caprio raised $200,127, but only netted $135,377 after returning $64,750 amid Journal inquiries about campaign dollars he received from people aligned with out-of-state firms that had sought, and in some cases won, work from his office. At the end of the quarter, Chafee had $200,122 left, Lynch, $562,167 and Caprio, $1.504 million.

Independents, of course, miss out on party-supported fundraising infrastructure. What's more, one of the lessons out of the New York-23 congressional race is that in the current political climate moderates will struggle to raise money (hence Dede Scozzafava's fundraising problems). As an independent and a moderate, Chafee seems destined to be outspent by the Democratic nominee.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com

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