Polls can be proven wrong, of course, but WPRI is reporting that Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo has a 45/34% lead over Republican challenger Allan Fung. Independent candidate Joe Trillo’s take is 9% would put the race within the margin of error if we assume that Allan Fung would pick most of that up in his absence.
The bigger effect of Trillo in the race, however, may be seen in the favorability ratings. Until this poll, Rhode Islanders have had a strongly favorable impression of Fung, but this latest poll sees his unfavorable rating up from 35% to 45%. To be sure, Raimondo’s team has been spending its millions in part on relentlessly negative ads, but attacking Fung has been Trillo’s primary strategy. The public expects to hear attacks from the candidate from the other party; having them reinforced by a third candidate formerly of the target’s own party gives them added force.
The presence of Trillo in the race probably also played a role in the decision of the Republican Governor’s Association to cancel advertising on Fung’s behalf. This left him with fewer defenses against attacks.
So, without an unexpected outcome next Tuesday, Raimondo’s millions in out-of-state campaign funds and the presence of the spoiling kamikaze Trillo will ensure she spends another four years pushing progressive policies, discriminating against school boys, and flubbing the management of the state while she travels the country replenishing her political war chest and preparing for her own personal advancement to the national stage and a lifetime political sinecure.