Thursday, September 03, 2020

Race of the Day- Rhode Island U.S. Senate

Rhode Island U.S. Senate

61 Days Until Election Day

Status: Democrat Incumbent
2016 Presidential Result: Blue State (East)

Outlook: Safe Democrat

Yes, there is actually a contest for a Senate seat in Rhode Island this year. The primary is this coming Tuesday and the general election of course is in November. There is not a contested primary to be had though this year for the seat and for all intents and purposes, there will not be much of a general election either.

Rhode Island has long been one of the most solidly blue states in the country. Despite his lack of overt partisanship, the state is happy with the service of Jack Reed, who was first elected to the Senate in 1996 and who before that served six years in the U.S. House. In all of his Senate races, he has never gotten below 63 percent of the vote and in seeking reelection has gotten over 70 percent each time. Had he wanted to, Reed likely would have Secretary of Defense at some point in the Obama Administration. It is likely he will be standing pat in the Senate after this election, although the 5'7'' former Army officer hopes to be chairing the Senate Armed Forces Committee next year.

The one Republican who filed to face Reed and who had the state party endorsement was Allen Waters, an African-American financial consultant who in 2014 had run for the Senate in Massachusetts as an Independent. In fact, as this cycle began, and before Ed Markey had to tangle with and ultimately defeat Joe Kennedy II, Walters announced he would be running against him in the Bay State as a Blue Dog Democrat. Instead though, Waters moved to Rhode Island, decided he was a Republican, and is running against Reed. The party was likely happy to have him as they might not have had anybody else. However, recently. allegations came to light regarding a domestic disturbance between Waters and his wife from last year and the Executive Committee of the party voted to rescind the endorsement. It is always noteworthy when candidates for lower offices are seemingly held to a higher standard of conduct than Donald Trump.

So, like the situation for Democrats in Nebraska, the GOP nominee in Rhode Island will likely be proceeding without any party backing. In both cases, it will not really mean much difference anyway.

U.S. Senate races predicted thus far:

15 D (6 Safe, 3 Likely, 3 Lean, 3 Tossup) 
13 R (4 Safe, 4 Likely, 3 Lean, 2 Tossup)

Total with predictions thus far:

50 Democrats (35 holdovers, 6 Safe, 3 Likely, 3 Lean, 3 Tossup)
43 Republicans (30 holdovers, 4 Safe, 4 Likely, 3 Lean, 2 Tossup)


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