RI Senate: Toss-up with Chafee, Democrat Landslide with Laffee
Rasmussen‘s latest poll finds that incumbent Lincoln Chaffee is now in a dead heat with Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse. If, however, Stephen Laffey upsets Chafee in the primary, Whitehouse wins easily.
Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee (R ) has pulled to within two points of challenger Sheldon Whitehouse in his bid for re-election. The latest Rasmussen Reports poll in Rhode Island shows Whitehouse earning support from 44% of voters while Chafee attracts 42%. Whitehouse had a six point lead last month.
Based upon this poll we are shifting the Rhode Island Senate race from “Leans Democrat” to “Toss-Up” in our Senate Balance of Power ratings. Rhode Island is the fifth race in the Toss-Up category.
Though he has his sights set on Whitehouse, Chafee must first face off against his primary challenger, Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey. The Providence Journal reports that Chafee has outspent Laffey $2.85 million to $1.18 million thus far as they head toward the September 12 showdown. The Whitehouse campaign will be cheering for Laffey on primary night, as the current poll shows Whitehouse leading that potential head-to-head contest 58% to 31%.
If Laffey defeats Chafee in the Republican Primary, this race will immediately be shifted to the Democrats column in our Senate Balance of Power ratings.
Now, I understand why groups like Club for Growth would prefer Laffee to Chafee, aside from a slightly-easier-to-spell name. What I don’t understand is why they’d prefer Whitehouse–and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Judiciary Committee Chair Teddy Kennedy, and so forth–to Chafee.
via Taegan Goddard