In RI, Different Interpretations Of Democratic Wins In NJ And VA

Nov 9, 2017

Democratic victories in elections Tuesday are mostly a comment on President Trump. That’s according to a former chairman of the Rhode Island Democratic Party.

Bill Lynch says he isn’t yet sure that the results signify a broad victory for Democrats. But Lynch said wins by Democrats running for governor in Virginia and New Jersey do mark a repudiation of President Trump.

“Clearly, it sends a strong message to the White House, for sure, that people have a different feeling about Trump now than they did just about a year ago,” Lynch said.

According to Lynch, it’s hard to tell how anti-Trump sentiment may affect Rhode Island’s race for governor next year. He said voters usually draw less of a connection between national politics and state-based political candidates.

The chairman of the Rhode Island Republican Party Brandon Bell said Democrats may overreach in trying to claim that the victories in Virginia and New Jersey will lead to broader gains.

“People need to be careful about blaming Trump for everything within the state. I’m not really sure there’s going to be that negative an impact,” Bell said.

Bell notes that Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo’s approval rating has remained below 50 percent in public surveys. According to Bell, that shows that Rhode Islanders are ready for change in the governor’s office.