Sunday, September 02, 2012

Rhode Island U.S. Senate Race

Race of the Day

Rhode Island U.S. Senate

September 2, 2012
65 Days Until Election Day

Status: Democrat Incumbent
2008 Presidential Result: Blue State (East)

Outlook: Safe Democrat

Not many people know that the full name of the nation's smallest state is The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation and even fewer may realize that a U.S. Senator is being elected there this year. The primary is coming up in about a week, and then of course comes the general election in November, but there's really not much to see or talk about in regards to this race.

Six years ago, much attention was paid to the Ocean State as Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse knocked off an incumbent Republican Senator, helping the Democrats gain the majority. The ideological makeup of the particular seat changed very little though as a liberal Democrat replaced the most liberal Republican on Capitol Hill. The man Whitehouse defeated, Lincoln Chafee, would quickly rebound by winning the Governorship two years later in a three way race, as an Independent, and is considered more liberal than even many Democrats in his state.

Of course, Rhode Island may very well prove to be Barack Obama's strongest state in this year's Presidential election. Republican efforts will largely be spent trying to displace an embattled freshman Democrat Congressman, assuming that he even wins the upcoming primary. In the Senate race, Whitehouse will have no difficulty at all in defeating the presumptive Republican nominee, Barry Hinckley, a young businessman and Tea Party activist. All the more prominent members of the GOP in the state had declined to attempt an uphill battle against the incumbent. Polls show Whitehouse ahead by an insurmountable margin, so he will gain a second term in the Senate, while Hinckley hopes to gain some name recognition in the state for the future.

Hinckley campaign link:

2012 U.S. Senate races predicted thus far: 15 D, 9 R
Predicted U.S. Senate Balance of Power thus far: 45 D, 46 R