Sabatos Crystal Ball

Rhode Island Races

Senate Outlook for 2008

Can Democrats Take Advantage of the Turf?

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Rhode Island

Outlook: Solid Democratic


June 18, 2008 Update:

While Democratic Sen. Jack Reed finally has an opponent, he still doesn’t have any real competition. Reed will face off in November against Republican Robert Tingle, who was Reed’s 2002 opponent and was renominated at the state GOP’s convention in early June. Thus far, Reed has banked over $3 million, while Tingle has yet to file with the FEC. In 2002, Tingle lost a lopsided 78-22 result. Don’t expect much to be different in this November’s rematch.

April 14, 2008 Update:

Seven months to go, and still no Republican opponents for Democratic Senator Jack Reed. Reed is a wildly popular incumbent in a very Blue state, so we can understand the hesitancy to put forward a challenger. If someone does decide to step up, Reed should be able to handle them without much trouble, as he had more than $2.7 million in the bank at the end of the third quarter.


Background

Second-term incumbent Democratic Senator Jack Reed has little to worry about in 2008. The Providence Journal called him ”probably the safest incumbent of the cycle,” an assessment that is spot on. Reed enters the race bolstered by a November 2006 poll showing that 66% of people polled approved of the job he was doing as a US Senator, while a paltry 27% disapproved.

No challenger has stepped up to date, and though speculation continues, it appears that Republicans are hard-pressed to find a candidate willing to step up against such a popular and successful legislator. Rhode Island Democratic chair Bill Lynch says, ”I don’t see any way you can beat the guy unless he puts his arm around George Bush and says, ‘Bush is the best president we’ve ever had.”’ Don’t expect to hear Reed to start talking like that any time soon, and don’t expect a close race in Rhode Island either.

Candidates

Jack Reed (I) – Democrat – current Senator
Website

Robert Tingle – Republican – casino pit boss