Rhode Island gubernatorial election, 2014

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Rhode Island Gubernatorial Election

Primary Date:
September 9, 2014

General Election Date:
November 4, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
Gina Raimondo Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Lincoln Chafee Democratic Party
Lincoln Chafee.jpg

Rhode Island State Executive Elections
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The Rhode Island gubernatorial election took place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Lincoln Chafee (D) was eligible but chose not to run for re-election, turning this election into a race for an open seat. The contest to replace Chafee featured State Treasurer Gina Raimondo (D), Cranston Mayor Allan Fung (R), Moderate Party candidate Robert Healey and two independent candidates. Raimondo won a four-year term in office.

Raimondo and Fung were close in polls throughout the summer and fall, as detailed in the polls section below. Chafee, who switched affiliation to the Democratic Party in 2013, won election to the governor's office as an independent and Republicans previously held the seat from 1995 to 2013. Learn more about trends in the state's recent gubernatorial races by jumping to the past elections section.

Both legislative chambers and the governor's office were held by a single party prior to the general election, making Rhode Island a state government trifecta. If Fung had won the 2014 election, the state would have lost trifecta status. Learn more about the latest developments in state government trifectas by clicking here.

Rhode Island is one of 21 states with a mixed primary system. Unaffiliated voters may vote in a party's primary, but they will then be considered affiliated with that party. In order to disaffiliate, they must file a "Change of Party Designation" form.[1]

Candidates

General election

Democratic Party Gina Raimondo - State Treasurer[2][3]Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Allan Fung - Mayor of Cranston[4][5]
Moderate Party Robert Healey - Moderate Party candidate[6]
Independent Kate Fletcher[7]
Independent Leon Kayarian[7]

Withdrawn or removed from ballot

Independent Thomas Davis[8]
Independent Christopher Reynolds[7]
Moderate Party James Spooner - Moderate Party candidate[7]
Independent Anna Winograd Vrankar - Compassion Party candidate[7]

Lost in primary

Democratic Party Angel Taveras - Mayor of Providence[9]
Democratic Party Todd Giroux - 2010 Independent candidate for governor[10]
Democratic Party Clay Pell - U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for International and Foreign Language Education[11]
Republican Party Ken Block - Founder and former head of the Rhode Island Moderate Party[12]

Declined

Democratic Party Lincoln Chafee - Incumbent[13]
Democratic Party Ernest Almonte - Former State Auditor[14][15]
Republican Party Scott Avedisian - Mayor of Warwick[5][16]
Republican Party Brendan Doherty - Former state police superintendent and and 2012 Republican nominee for Rhode Island's 1st Congressional District
Republican Party John Robitaille - 2010 candidate for governor[17][18]

Results

General election

Governor of Rhode Island, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngGina Raimondo 40.7% 131,899
     Republican Allan Fung 36.2% 117,428
     Moderate Robert Healey 21.4% 69,278
     Independent Kate Fletcher 1.1% 3,483
     Independent Leon Kayarian 0.4% 1,228
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.2% 739
Total Votes 324,055
Election Results via State of Rhode Island.

Primary election

Democratic primary

Governor of Rhode Island, Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngGina Raimondo 42.1% 53,990
Angel Taveras 29.1% 37,326
Clay Pell 26.9% 34,515
Todd Giroux 1.8% 2,264
Total Votes 128,095
Election Results Via:Rhode Island Board of Elections.

Republican primary

Governor of Rhode Island, Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngAllan Fung 54.9% 17,530
Ken Block 45.1% 14,399
Total Votes 31,929
Election Results Via:Rhode Island Board of Elections.


Race background

Unexpected results for Robert Healey

The biggest surprise on November 4 may have been the strong third-place finish of Moderate Party candidate Robert Healey. Healey was projected to receive about 9 percent of the vote in polls prior to the election. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Healey received 21.4 percent of the vote, far exceeding the 4.5 percent margin between the top two finishers. His vote haul earned national attention because his campaign used hand-painted signs and only spent $35 prior to the election. Healey received 39.2 percent of the vote to place second in the 2010 lieutenant gubernatorial race, though there was only one major-party candidate on the ballot.[19]

Chafee's decision not to run

In October 2013, The Washington Post named the Democratic primary in the governor's race as one of the top 10 primaries of 2014.[20]

On May 30, 2013, Republican-turned-Independent Governor Lincoln Chafee formalized his long-rumored intention to once again change his party affiliation, this time switching to the Democrats.[21][22] Until officially joining the Democratic Party on May 30, 2013, Chafee was the country's only sitting Independent governor.[23] He endorsed former U.S. Senate colleague President Obama in 2008 and 2012, but the main reason Chafee cited for changing to a major party affiliation was the need to finance a competitive re-election campaign. "There is no independent governors association throwing money around ... but there is a Democratic Governors Association," he told The Associated Press in December 2012. Reaffirming his concerns, a report released by Governing in December 2012 named Chafee as one of five governors considered vulnerable to losing re-election in 2013-2014.[24]

Chafee was expected to seek re-election, but announced on September 4, 2013 that he would not run for a second term so that he could focus on governing instead. "I want to devote all my time, all my energy, to the task at hand," he stated.[25][26]

Money in the race

General election
Fundraising advantage to Fung

In the dying days of the campaign, campaign finance reports from Fung and Raimondo showed a distinct advantage for the Republican candidate. Fung reported $124,203 in contributions and $780,442 in expenditures from October 7 to 27 with $272,314 on hand by the end of October. Raimondo reported $469,625 in contributions and $770,712 in expenditures over the same period, though she only held $32,557 on hand. Fung's participation in the state's matching-funds program meant a contribution of $1.1 million from the state following the primary. Raimondo did not participate in the matching-funds initiative because she did not want to limit her spending during the election. She spent $5.4 million during this election cycle, including $5 million during the primary election, while Fung spent a total of $1.8 million.[27]

Outside spending

Outside groups associated with the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) and the Republican Governors Association (RGA) spent $849,000 on TV ads in late October. The DGA-backed Alliance for a Better Rhode Island and the RGA-funded Mid America Fund flooded this relatively small media market with ads taking aim at Fung's record as mayor of Cranston and Raimondo's stance on taxes, respectively. By comparison, the candidates reported approximately $1.2 million cash on hand by early October.[28]

Primary election

Campaign finance reports detailing April 1 to June 30, 2013 were due July 31. They showed Gina Raimondo (D) leading the pack of gubernatorial contenders with nearly $2.1 million cash on hand at the end of June. Among other potential candidates, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras reported a balance of $692,590, and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung showed $256,498 cash on hand. Moderate Party candidate Robert Healey reported $73,987.[29]

In February 2014, the three candidates in the Democratic primary began to work out a mutual agreement, a so-called "People's Pledge," to limit outside funding for their campaigns.[30]

For the reporting period ending on March 31, 2014, Gina Raimondo had $3.3 million cash on hand, followed by fellow Democrats Clay Pell ($2 million on hand) and Angel Taveras ($1.4 million on hand). The two Republicans were far behind: Ken Block had $650,000 cash on hand while his primary opponent Allan Fung had $450,000 on hand.[31]

Debates

Debate media

October 21 debate
October 21 debate

Gina Raimondo (D), Allan Fung (R) and Robert Healey (M) sparred over job growth, healthcare and the state's loan to 38 Studios during a debate at the Providence Performing Arts Center. Raimondo argued on behalf of a proposed innovation institute that would leverage the state's relationships with industrial leaders and universities to generate new businesses. Fung countered that the state needed to cut taxes by $200 million and reduce barriers like the business corporation fee to spur job growth. Healey spoke generally about reducing regulations on businesses and cutting taxes, though neither Fung nor Healey indicated the source of proposed cuts.[32]

The candidates split into two camps when asked about the state's health exchange, HealthSource RI. Fung and Healey were optimistic that the exchange would work if control were given back to the federal government. Fung elaborated that the state needed to trim "bells and whistles" from the program to keep costs low. Raimondo suggested licensing the state's healthcare services to neighboring states in order to make the program self-sufficient as required by federal law.[32]

Fung and Healey also joined together to criticize the state's $75 million loan to video game company Studio 38, which entered bankruptcy in 2012. The company founded by ex-Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling received a loan from the state's Economic Development Corporation but did not repay the loan before shuttering its doors. Both candidates suggested that a broad investigation should be completed before the state repays bondholders who funded the loan. Raimondo stated that while she shared the frustrations of her opponents over the circumstances, the bonds need to be repaid to maintain the state's bond rating.[32][32]

Campaign themes

Gina Raimondo and Allan Fung made public statements about their policy positions on issues facing the voters of Rhode Island. The following sections quote these statements verbatim from candidate websites:

Economy

Allan Fung

Rhode Island needs a proven leader who understand the urgent need to bring about economic development through creation of a business friendly environment. Too often, tax cut initiatives focus on just one tax and not the entire tax system. We need an overhaul of our tax system that is based on principles of fairness, competition, efficiency and transparency. Our state’s tax structure is one issue that weighs heavily upon the minds of business leaders in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. We need a tax strategy that will convert Rhode Island’s tax system from an impediment to job growth into a competitive advantage.

Mayor Allan Fung proposed a $200 million tax reduction package earlier this year. No candidate for Governor has proposed a more comprehensive tax reform plan to grow jobs in our state. In the first year of its implementation, this plan will make Rhode Island one of the most attractive states for business taxes and business friendliness in the Northeast. The resulting expansion of our tax base will make possible additional tax reform in the years to come.

Corporate tax: Reduce the corporate tax rate to 6.5% making Rhode Island’s one of the lowest in the Northeast. The corporate tax rate is one of the first considerations for any business owner deciding on a location and we must make Rhode Island competitive with neighboring states. This reduction would also send a signal to business owners in Rhode Island that we value them and are committed to helping them succeed in our state.

Estate tax: Match the federal estate tax exemption to permit small business owners to remain in Rhode Island and pass the results of their lives’ work onto the next generation without crippling estate tax liability. The current Rhode Island estate tax structure makes it prohibitively expensive for some in the next generation to continue a family business and drives other business owners out of the state. The General Assembly has taken a preliminary step in this regard, but we must complete this reform. 
Minimum corporate tax: Reduce the $500 minimum corporate tax to $250. This tax applies to every entity; even those with no income. For many small business owners struggling to make their first profit, a $500 tax can make a real difference. In subsequent years, the goal would be to reduce this tax further or eliminate it altogether.

Sales tax: Reduce the state sales tax to 6.25% to become equal with Massachusetts and lower than Connecticut (6.35%). In the first year, this would help to eliminate the flight of our consumers, particularly those in border communities, across state lines. The future goal is to reduce the sales tax further to attract consumers from Massachusetts and Connecticut into our state to support Rhode Island businesses and increase our state sales and income tax revenues through additional economic activity.

The above reforms were estimated to result in an initial reduction in revenue (without accounting for any increased revenue from the resulting increase in economic activity) of $200 million. This amount would be less now that the General Assembly has taken preliminary steps by reducing the corporate tax rate to 7% and increasing the estate tax exemption to $1.5 million. The anticipated reduction in revenue would be offset by refusal to make the annual repayment of the 38 studios bonds and a reduction in the growth of state spending from the projected 4% to 2%, which is roughly the rate of inflation. Additional savings would come from reductions in state personnel and a projected operating surplus of $70 million. These responsible spending reductions are similar to those undertaken by Mayor Fung in the City of Cranston, which resulted in a stabilized economy and real job creation without a loss of essential services for residents. [33]

—Allan Fung's campaign website, (2014), [34]

Gina Raimondo

Rhode Island has a long legacy of economic prosperity. For decades, we were a manufacturing powerhouse – and with manufacturing driving our economic growth, Rhode Island was able to grow a healthy, prosperous middle class. Our state thrived, and so did our families.

But when the global economic climate changed, our state failed to adapt. Since then, we’ve relied on risky, poorly-planned gambles and insider deals. That approach has left us with the highest unemployment rate in the country, and a reputation as a state that is unfriendly to economic development.

But there is a lot to be hopeful about in Rhode Island. We have some of the greatest colleges and universities in the country; we’re a first-class tourist destination; and we have incredibly hard-working and entrepreneurial people.

Gina’s jobs plan takes a comprehensive approach to economic development and takes advantage of our state’s unique competitive edges.

Manufacturing

Jobs in the manufacturing sector have a big impact on the economy: they pay higher wages than jobs in other industries and provide good benefits. They also have a powerful ripple effect across the economy: every new manufacturing job creates another 1.6 local service jobs, and each dollar in manufacturing sales adds another $1.34 to the local economy.

Manufacturing jobs are coming back to the United States for the first time in years. Since 2010, our country’s economy has added more than half a million new jobs in manufacturing, gaining an average of more than 12,000 new jobs per month.

As governor, Gina will:

  • Establish the Rhode Island Innovation Institute (RI II), a center dedicated to taking the good ideas coming out of our colleges and universities and turning them into products that we make right here in Rhode Island. Click here to watch a quick video on how it would work.
  • Use our state’s competitive advantages to become a leader in marine science, food technology and medical device manufacturing.
  • Create a “Manufacturers’ Toolkit” to help our existing manufacturer grow, expand product lines and gain exposure in new markets.

Infrastructure

Rhode Island spends more on its roads and bridges per lane mile than almost any other state, yet we are consistently ranked among the worst in the country. 70 percent of Rhode Island roads are in poor or mediocre condition. And 411 of our state’s 757 bridges are considered structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and they cost Rhode Island motorists an average of $476 per year in vehicle repairs.

Rebuilding Rhode Island’s roads and bridges will put people to work in the short term, while ensuring that we have the infrastructure we need to be competitive for years to come. As governor, Gina will:

  • Allow cities and towns to immediately upgrade their worst roads and bridges through low-interest loans in an expanded Municipal Road and Bridge Revolving Fund, a program she helped create as Treasurer.
  • Establish a Road and Bridge Funding Formula to pay for ongoing maintenance so that our local roads never become as deteriorated and dilapidated as they are now.
  • Establishing a stable, sustainable funding formula for RIPTA that is less reliant on a gas tax, a source of revenue that actually decreases as more Rhode Islanders choose to take the bus.

Workforce Development

Today’s jobs require 21st-century skills and a new level of technical competency. Employers are looking for critical thinking abilities; knowledge of science, engineering and technology; and computer proficiency. If we are going to position our state to succeed, our workforce development efforts need to reflect this reality.

As governor, Gina will:

  • Pair CCRI with local businesses to develop curriculum and training programs in skills that they need.
  • Expand internship and apprenticeship opportunities for CCRI students.
  • Create opportunities for our high school students who choose not to attend college by expanding career and technical training throughout the state.

Tourism

Rhode Island is home to hundreds of miles of gorgeous coastline, dozens of beautiful beaches, renowned restaurants, breweries and vineyards, and countless museums and cultural attractions. Together, these industries support thousands of jobs and bring millions into our state. But our tourism industry has even more untapped potential.

By investing in a coordinated marketing effort, we can create more than 5,000 new jobs and generate millions in spending and tax revenue. As governor, Gina will:

  • Develop a highly-targeted, coordinated state-wide marketing and advertising campaign to expose Rhode Island to people around the world and across the country.
  • Make Rhode Island a world-class culinary destination by improving the branding of our state’s thriving food industry.
  • Improve our state’s tourism infrastructure, with new signage on highways, new visitors centers and efforts designed to move tourists to various attractions throughout the state.

Small Businesses and Startups

Small businesses are the backbone of our state. They represent over 95 percent of all employers in Rhode Island, and employ more than half of our state’s private sector workforce. Yet too often, our state makes it difficult to run a small business, or to start a new one. A recent study reported that half of Rhode Island’s small businesses spend more than $2,000 a year complying with regulations and a third of small businesses have to hire a consultant just to understand the regulations. Rhode Island needs to partner with its small businesses. That’s why, as governor, Gina will:

  • Review all of the state’s regulations within her first year of office, and eliminate overly burdensome or duplicative rules.
  • Create a Concierge Service to help small businesses navigate state and federal regulations, and connect them with the resources they’ll need to thrive.
  • Create a single, online source for all state and municipal permitting.

[33]

—Gina Raimondo's campaign website, (2014), [35]

Government reform

Allan Fung

To inspire business owners to embrace Rhode Island and commit to our future, we must reform the way our government operates. As Governor, Allan Fung will stand up to the insider politics and special deals that cast a dark shadow on the reputation of our state. The most egregious example right now is the 38 Studios loan guaranty. Mayor Fung called on Governor Chafee and the General Assembly to place a hold on repayment of the 38 Studios bonds – even to place funds in escrow if necessary – pending the outcome of ongoing investigations into serious allegations of fraud and misrepresentation. He also called for an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into the possibility of insider trading.

Mayor Fung has proposed a series of fundamental government reforms including term limits for legislators, a line item veto, and reestablishment of State Ethics Commission authority over the General Assembly. These reforms will bring added transparency and accountability to state government. Mayor Fung strongly supports the call for a Constitutional Convention to bring about these and other critical government reforms.

Restoring Ethics Commission oversight of the General Assembly will subject state legislators to the same degree of accountability that has been imposed on other elected office holders and appointed public officials. Oversight by an independent body such as the Ethics Commission, with authority to enforce ethics standards, can serve as a check on concentrated political power and help to provide accountability and balance that are otherwise lacking.

Providing line item veto authority to the governor will also help to restore a balance of power to Rhode Island government and force accountability on the legislature. The line item veto and enhanced veto override protection would act as a financial accountability amendment to our State Constitution by allowing the governor to challenge specific budget items. Governors in forty four other states have similar authority, which would help to focus attention on items that are fiscally irresponsible and eliminate last minute budget deals that may be added without public hearings or input.

Term limits for the General Assembly are crucial to government reform and accountability. All of Rhode Island’s statewide general officers, as well as many local elected officials including mayors and town councilors are subject to term limits and it is time to put the same restrictions on the General Assembly. Term limits would help to limit the power of any individual legislator and encourage new candidates who wish to serve the public to run for office. Mayor Fung would propose a five term/ ten year limit for Rhode Island’s State Representatives and Senators in the General Assembly. [33]

—Allan Fung's campaign website, (2014), [36]

Gina Raimondo

Interactions with state government can often be burdensome and confusing. And the decision-making process can seem arbitrary and opaque. We must fix the way Rhode Island's state bureaucracy works with citizens and small businesses, assuring top-quality customer service.

As treasurer, Gina implemented a streamlining management strategy called Lean Management. With this effort, her Treasury team eliminated a 900-claim backlog in the Crime Victims Compensation Program and streamlined processes and workflow in the Unclaimed Property Program, shortening claim-processing time from six to eight weeks to about two weeks. During her tenure, Treasury has returned more than $8 million to Rhode Islanders through that program. These techniques can be expanded across state government.

As governor, Gina will:

  • Review all government regulations within her first year in office to eliminate duplicative or burdensome rules that prevent small businesses from growing.
  • Establish single sourcing for permits and mandatory time limits for turning around applications.
  • Create an Office of Economic Empowerment, an initiative in the governor’s office dedicated to creatively improving the way that government delivers services, and breaking down the silos between government agencies that create waste and inefficiency

[33]

—Gina Raimondo's campaign website, (2014), [37]

Polls

General election

Governor of Rhode Island, Raimondo, Fung and Healey
Poll Gina Raimondo (D) Allan Fung (R)Robert Healey (Moderate)OtherUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
WPRI 12/Providence Journal
October 6-9, 2014
42%36%8%1%12%+/-4.38505
Brown University
October 14-17, 2014
41.6%30.5%9.1%0%18%+/-2.91,129
Brown University
October 25-26, 2014
38%37.4%11.8%0%11.2%+/-4.4500
AVERAGES 40.53% 34.63% 9.63% 0.33% 13.73% +/-3.89 711.33
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.
Governor of Rhode Island, Raimondo vs. Fung
Poll Gina Raimondo (D) Allan Fung (R)Other/UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling
January 23-30, 2013
46%27%27%+/-4614
Taubman Center for Public Policy
October 2-5, 2013
38%36%26%+/-3.9638
Rasmussen Reports
September 23-25, 2014
42%37%21%+/-4750
New York Times/CBS News/YouGov
September 20-October 1, 2014
41%38%21%+/-4724
New York Times/CBS News/YouGov
October 16-23, 2014
40%35%25%+/-6866
AVERAGES 41.4% 34.6% 24% +/-4.38 718.4
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Primary elections
Democratic primary

Democratic primary, Four candidates, Governor of Rhode Island
Poll Gina Raimondo Angel TaverasClay PellTodd GirouxUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
WPRI-TV/Providence Journal
Feb. 3-6, 2014
27%31%15%1%25%+/-4.38503
WPRI-TV/Providence Journal
May 27-30, 2014
29%33%12%1.6%22%+/-4.38506
AVERAGES 28% 32% 13.5% 1.3% 23.5% +/-4.38 504.5
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.
Democratic primary, Three candidates, Governor of Rhode Island
Poll Gina Raimondo Angel TaverasClay PellUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Brown University
April 3-5, 2014
29.4%25.8%9.6%35.2%+/-4.9395
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.
Democratic primary, Two candidates, Governor of Rhode Island
Poll Gina Raimondo Angel TaverasUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Taubman Center for Public Policy
Oct. 2-5, 2013
42.0%33.6%24.4%+/-4.5433
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Republican primary

Republican primary, Governor of Rhode Island
Poll Allen Fung Ken BlockUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Brown University
April 3-5, 2014
31.4%36%32.6%+/-10.686
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Campaign media

Allan Fung


Allan Fung ad: Friend of Wall Street

Allan Fung ad: The Cranston Success Story

Gina Raimondo


Gina Raimondo ad: 'Gansett

Outside organizations

Alliance for a Better Rhode Island


Alliance for a Better Rhode Island ad: Allan Fung: Wrong for Rhode Island

Alliance for a Better Rhode Island ad: Fearless Leadership

Alliance for a Better Rhode Island ad: Allan Fung: More of the Same

Past elections

2010

Governor of Rhode Island, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Independent Green check mark transparent.pngLincoln Chafee 36.1% 123,571
     Republican John F. Robitaille 33.6% 114,911
     Democratic Frank T. Caprio 23% 78,896
     Moderate Ken Block 6.5% 22,146
     Independent Ronald Algieri 0.2% 793
     Independent Todd Giroux 0.3% 882
     Independent Joseph M. Lusi 0.3% 1,091
Total Votes 342,290

2006

Governor of Rhode Island, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDonald Carcieri Incumbent 51% 197,306
     Democratic Charles J. Fogarty 49% 189,503
Total Votes 386,809

2002

Governor of Rhode Island, 2002
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDonald Carcieri 54.8% 181,827
     Democratic Myrth York 45.2% 150,229
Total Votes 332,056

Voter turnout

Political scientist Michael McDonald's United States Elections Project studied voter turnout in the 2014 election by looking at the percentage of eligible voters who headed to the polls. McDonald used voting-eligible population (VEP), or the number of eligible voters independent of their current registration status, to calculate turnout rates in each state on November 4. He also incorporated ballots cast for the highest office in each state into his calculation. He estimated that 82,596,338 ballots were cast in the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, representing 36.4 percent of the VEP.[38] By comparison, 61.6 percent of VEP voted in the 2008 presidential election and 58.2 percent of VEP voted in the 2012 presidential election.[39]

Quick facts

  • According to PBS Newshour, voter turnout in the 2014 midterms was the lowest since the 1942 midterms, which took place during the nation's involvement in World War II.[40]
  • Forty-three states and the District of Columbia failed to surpass 50 percent turnout in McDonald's analysis.
  • The three states with the lowest turnout according to McDonald's analysis were Indiana (28 percent), Texas (28.5 percent) and Utah (28.8 percent).
  • Maine (59.3 percent), Wisconsin (56.9 percent) and Alaska (55.3 percent) were the three states with the highest turnout.
  • There were only 12 states that increased voter turnout in 2014 compared to the 2010 midterm elections.[41]
Voter turnout rates, 2014
State Total votes for top office  % voter eligible population Top statewide office up for election Size of lead (Raw votes) Size of lead (%)
Alabama 1,200,000 33.5 Governor 320,319 27.2
Alaska 290,000 55.3 Governor 4,004 1.6
Arizona 1,550,000 34.4 Governor 143,951 12.5
Arkansas 875,000 41.2 Governor 118,664 14
California 7,750,000 31.8 Governor 1,065,748 17.8
Colorado 2,025,000 53.0 Governor 50,395 2.4
Connecticut 1,089,880 42.3 Governor 26,603 2.5
Delaware 234,038 34.4 Attorney general 31,155 13.6
District of Columbia 150,000 30.3 Mayor 27,934 19
Florida 5,951,561 42.7 Governor 66,127 1.1
Georgia 2,575,000 38.2 Governor 202,685 8
Hawaii 366,125 36.2 Governor 45,323 12.4
Idaho 440,000 39.1 Governor 65,852 14.9
Illinois 3,550,000 39.5 Governor 171,900 4.9
Indiana 1,350,000 28.0 Secretary of state 234,978 17.8
Iowa 1,150,000 50.6 Governor 245,548 21.8
Kansas 875,000 42.8 Governor 33,052 3.9
Kentucky 1,440,000 44.2 U.S. Senate 222,096 15.5
Louisiana 1,472,039 43.8 U.S. Senate 16,401 1.1
Maine 625,000 59.3 Governor 29,820 4.9
Maryland 1,750,000 41.9 Governor 88,648 6.1
Massachusetts 2,150,000 43.9 Governor 40,361 1.9
Michigan 3,151,835 42.7 Governor 129,547 4.3
Minnesota 2,025,000 51.3 Governor 109,776 5.6
Mississippi 650,000 29.7 U.S. Senate 141,234 33
Missouri 1,450,000 32.3 Auditor 684,074 53.6
Montana 365,000 46.1 U.S. Senate 65,262 17.9
Nebraska 550,000 41.3 Governor 97,678 18.7
Nevada 600,000 31.8 Governor 255,793 46.7
New Hampshire 500,000 48.8 Governor 24,924 5.2
New Jersey 1,825,000 30.4 N/A N/A N/A
New Mexico 550,000 38.3 Governor 73,868 14.6
New York 3,900,000 28.8 Governor 476,252 13.4
North Carolina 2,900,000 40.7 U.S. Senate 48,511 1.7
North Dakota 248,670 43.8 U.S. House At-large seat 42,214 17.1
Ohio 3,150,000 36.2 Governor 933,235 30.9
Oklahoma 825,000 29.8 Governor 122,060 14.7
Oregon 1,500,000 52 Governor 59,029 4.5
Pennsylvania 3,500,000 36.1 Governor 339,261 9.8
Rhode Island 325,000 41.7 Governor 14,346 4.5
South Carolina 1,246,301 34.8 Governor 179,089 14.6
South Dakota 279,412 44.5 Governor 124,865 45.1
Tennessee 1,400,000 29.1 Governor 642,214 47.5
Texas 4,750,000 28.5 Governor 957,973 20.4
Utah 550,000 28.8 Attorney general 173,819 35.2
Vermont 193,087 38.8 Governor 2,095 1.1
Virginia 2,200,000 36.7 U.S. Senate 16,727 0.8
Washington 2,050,000 41.6 N/A N/A N/A
West Virginia 460,000 31.8 U.S. Senate 124,667 27.6
Wisconsin 2,425,000 56.9 Governor 137,607 5.7
Wyoming 168,390 38.7 Governor 52,703 33.6
United States 82,596,338 36.4

Note: Information from the United States Elections Project was last updated on November 19, 2014. The results in this table draw from unofficial results as of November 12, 2014.

Key deadlines

Deadline Event
June 25, 2014 Filing deadline
September 9, 2014 Primary election
November 4, 2014 General election
November 12, 2014 Last day for recount requests
January 6, 2015 Inaugurations for executive officials

Recent news

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See also

External links

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References

  1. Rhode Island Board of Elections Website, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed January 3, 2014
  2. The Associated Press, "RI Gov. Chafee open to running for 2nd term as Dem," December 14, 2012
  3. Public Policy Polling, "Chafee unpopular; Rhode Island voters support gay marriage," January 31, 2013
  4. GoLocal Providence, "Cranston Mayor Allan Fung: 13 To Watch in RI in 2013," January 1, 2013
  5. 5.0 5.1 WPRI TV, "Fung, Robitaille, Block may run for gov against Dems, Chafee," August 7, 2012
  6. Facebook, "Robert J. Healey for Governor, accessed September 15, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Rhode Island Secretary of State, "Candidates," accessed June 27, 2014
  8. Thomas Davis for Governor of RI, "About," January 28, 2014
  9. Rhode Island Public Radio, "Angel Taveras hires top Washington, D.C. firm to plan governor race," March 22, 2013
  10. GoLocalProv, "The Scoop: Giroux to Run for Gov, RI Tea Party Talks Obamacare," October 4, 2013
  11. GoLocalProv, "Clay Pell Looks To Run For Governor in 2014," October 15, 2013
  12. WPRI, "Ken Block to run for governor in '14," May 21, 2013
  13. Governing Politics, "2013-2014 Governor's Races: Who's Vulnerable?," December 11, 2012
  14. governor-in-2014/ WPRI "Let the games begin – Almonte files to run for governor in 2014," accessed May 15, 2012
  15. WPRI, "Ernie Almonte abandons campaign for governor to run for RI treasurer," May 16, 2013
  16. Rhode Island Public Radio, "Avedisian Says He's Not Considering Gov's Office Following Chafee's Stunner," September 5, 2013
  17. WPRI, "Republican Robitaille eyeing 2014 governor's race," August 5, 2013
  18. Boston.com, "Robitaille says no plans to run for RI governor," October 18, 2013 (dead link)
  19. The Washington Post, "This Rhode Island governor candidate won 22 percent of the vote. He only spent $35.," November 5, 2014
  20. Washington Post, "The Fix’s top 10 primaries of 2014," October 4, 2013
  21. Boston.com, "RI Gov. Chafee poised to join Democrats," May 30, 2013 (dead link)
  22. Politico, "Lincoln Chafee switches affiliation to Democrat," May 30, 2013
  23. Brown Political Review, "BPR Talks with Gov. Lincoln Chafee (Video)," May 22, 2013
  24. Governing Politics, "2013-2014 Governor's Races: Who's Vulnerable?," December 11, 2012
  25. The Associated Press, "RI Gov. Chafee open to running for 2nd term as Dem," December 14, 2012
  26. ABC News, "RI Gov. Lincoln Chafee Won't Run for 2nd Term," September 4, 2013
  27. WPRI, "Fung keeps big cash advantage over Raimondo," October 28, 2014
  28. WPRI, "Outside groups pouring big money into RI gov race," October 22, 2014
  29. Providence Journal, "Raimondo fundraising leads group of potential R.I. candidates for governor," August 1, 2013
  30. Rhode Island Public Radio, "Dem’s In RI Governor’s Racing Hammering Out A People’s Pledge," February 21, 2014
  31. Washington Times, "$9.8M raised for 2014 Rhode Island governor’s race," May 1, 2014
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 WPRI, "Fung, Raimondo go on the attack in first TV debate," October 21, 2014
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  34. Fung for Governor, "Tax Reform," accessed October 16, 2014
  35. Gina Raimondo for Governor, "Jobs and Economy," accessed October 16, 2014
  36. Fung for Governor, "Good Government Reform," accessed October 16, 2014
  37. Gina Raimondo for Governor, "Making Government Work," accessed October 16, 2014
  38. United States Elections Project, "2014 November General Election Turnout Rates," November 7, 2014
  39. TIME, "Voter Turnout in Midterm Elections Hits 72-Year Low," November 10, 2014
  40. PBS, "2014 midterm election turnout lowest in 70 years," November 10, 2014
  41. U.S. News & World Report, "Midterm Turnout Down in 2014," November 5, 2014