Rhode Island gubernatorial election, 2014
|Results by Municipality|
|Elections in Rhode Island|
The 2014 Rhode Island gubernatorial election took place on November 4, 2014, to elect the Governor of Rhode Island, concurrently with the election of Rhode Island's Class II U.S. Senate seat, as well as other elections to the United States Senate in other states and elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections.
Incumbent Democratic Governor Lincoln Chafee was eligible to run for re-election to a second term but decided to retire. In primary elections held on September 9, 2014, the Democrats nominated Rhode Island Treasurer Gina Raimondo and the Republicans nominated Cranston Mayor Allan Fung. Also on the ballot were Robert J. Healey of the Moderate Party and two Independent candidates. Raimondo won the election, becoming the first Democrat to be elected Governor since Bruce Sundlun in 1992 (Chafee had been elected as an Independent in 2010, switching to the Democratic Party during his term). Raimondo became the first female Governor in Rhode Island history.
In the 2010 gubernatorial election, Republican incumbent Donald Carcieri was term-limited and unable to seek a third term in office. The Republicans nominated businessman John Robitaille and the Democrats nominated State Treasurer Frank T. Caprio. Also contesting the election were Moderate Party nominee Ken Block and Lincoln Chafee, who served as a Republican U.S. Senator from 1999 to 2007. After losing a bid for re-election in 2006, Chafee left the Republican Party and became an Independent, running for Governor as such. After a close three-way race between Chafee, Robitaille and Caprio, Chafee won the election with a plurality, taking 36% to Robitaille's 34%, Caprio's 23% and Block's 6%.
After constant speculation during his term, Chafee officially joined the Democratic Party on May 30, 2013. He had previously indicated that he might run for re-election as an Independent or a Democrat. In the face of low approval ratings, polling showing him trailing in both the Democratic primary and the general election, and with weak fundraising, Chafee announced on September 4, 2013 that he would not run for re-election. Chafee thus became just the fourth Governor in the history of Rhode Island to decline to seek a second term, after Byron Diman in 1847, Royal C. Taft in 1889 and William S. Flynn in 1924.
Gina Raimondo and Angel Taveras announced their campaigns in late 2013 and the race initially seemed to be between the more fiscally moderate Raimondo and the more progressive Taveras. However, the entry of Clay Pell into the race complicated things. Unions who had criticised Raimondo for cutting pension benefits and investing in hedge funds during her tenure as Treasurer and for fundraising from Wall Street and national lobbyists were split between whether to back Taveras or Pell. A coalition of unions including firefighters, police, supermarket clerks and city employees backed Taveras, whereas the powerful teachers' unions backed Pell, unimpressed with Taveras' support for charter schools. Raimondo drew support from non-union and private sector workers and some private sector unions including iron workers. Pell spent over $3.4 million of his own money and ran a positive campaign, but he was much criticised for his inexperience and lack of ties to Rhode Island. Taveras emphasised his background as the son of poor Dominican immigrants to appeal to Latino and working-class voters. All three candidates agreed not to seek the endorsement of the state Democratic Party. Ultimately, Taveras and Pell took an almost equal share of the vote as progressive Democrats split their vote between the two, allowing Raimondo to win with a plurality. Raimondo won 36 of the state's 39 municipalities. Taveras won Central Falls and Pell won Burrillville and Foster.
- Todd Giroux, contractor and independent candidate for Governor in 2010
- Clay Pell, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for International and Foreign Language Education in the United States Department of Education
- Gina Raimondo, Treasurer of Rhode Island
- Angel Taveras, Mayor of Providence
- Ernie Almonte, former Auditor General of Rhode Island (running for Treasurer of Rhode Island)
- Lincoln Chafee, incumbent Governor
- Patrick C. Lynch, former Attorney General of Rhode Island
- Elizabeth H. Roberts, Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island
- Robert Weygand, former U.S. Representative
|Poll source|| Date(s)
| Margin of
|Fleming & Associates||August 11–14, 2014||503||± 4.38%||1.4%||25.6%||32.2%||26.8%||12.9%|
|Fleming & Associates||May 27–30, 2014||506||± 4.38%||1.6%||11.5%||29.2%||33.4%||24.3%|
|Brown University||April 3–5, 2014||395||± 4.9%||—||9.6%||29.4%||25.8%||35.2%|
|Fleming & Associates||February 3–6, 2014||503||± 4.38%||1.2%||14.7%||27%||31.2%||25.9%|
|Brown University||October 2–5, 2013||433||± 4.5%||—||—||42%||33.6%||24.4%|
|Garin-Hart-Yang^||September 10–12, 2013||400||± 5%||—||—||30%||49%||21%|
- ^ Internal poll for the Angel Taveras Campaign
- Scott Avedisian, Mayor of Warwick
- Brendan Doherty, former Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and nominee for Rhode Island's 1st congressional district in 2012
- Barry Hinckley, businessman and nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2012
- John Robitaille, former aide to Governor Donald Carcieri and nominee for Governor in 2010
|Poll source|| Date(s)
| Margin of
|Fabrizio, Lee & Ass. *||April 2014||300||± ?||46%||37%||17%|
|Brown University||April 3–5, 2014||86||± 10.6%||36%||31.4%||38.5%|
|Fabrizio, Lee & Ass. *||October 2013||?||± ?||25%||53%||22%|
- * Internal poll for the Ken Block campaign
- Robert J. Healey (Moderate), perennial candidate
- Kate Fletcher (Independent)
- Leon Kayarian (Independent)
- Ken Block (Moderate), nominee for Governor in 2010 (switched to Republican primary)
- James Spooner (Moderate)
Removed from ballot
- Thomas Davis (Independent)
- Christopher Reynolds (Independent)
- Anna Winograd Vrankar (Compassion)
- Gina Raimondo (Independent), Democratic Treasurer of Rhode Island (won the Democratic primary)
Union voter dissatisfaction with Raimondo carried over into the general election, with one poll finding they backed Republican nominee Alan Fung over her by 42% to 30%. Moderate Party nominee Robert J. Healey won 22% of the vote, having spent $35.31 to receive 67,707 votes, or $0.0005 (five ten-thousandths of a penny) for each vote he received. He later joked, "It's amazing what $35 can do. As I've been saying, if we only spent $75, $80, we might've won the race."
|Cook Political Report||Lean D|
|Daily Kos Elections||Likely D|
|The Rothenberg Political Report||Likely D|
|Sabato's Crystal Ball||Likely D|
|Poll source|| Date(s)
| Margin of
| Robert J.
|Brown University||October 25–26, 2014||500||± 4.4%||39.6%||39%||13%||1.4%||11.2%|
|CBS News/NYT/YouGov||October 16–23, 2014||866||± 6%||40%||35%||—||4%||21%|
|Brown University||October 14–17, 2014||1,129||± 2.9%||41.6%||30.5%||9.1%||0.8%||18%|
|Fleming & Associates||October 6–9, 2014||505||± 4%||41.8%||35.6%||8.1%||0.8%||13.7%|
|CBS News/NYT/YouGov||September 20–October 1, 2014||724||± 4%||41%||38%||—||2%||19%|
|Rasmussen Reports||September 23–25, 2014||750||± 4%||42%||37%||—||11%||11%|
|Public Opinion Strategies*||September 10–11, 2014||500||± 4.38%||42%||42%||—||—||16%|
|Brown University||October 2–5, 2013||638||± 3.9%||37.6%||35.9%||—||—||26.5%|
|Public Policy Polling||January 28–30, 2013||614||± 4%||46%||27%||—||12%||14%|
- * Internal poll for the Allan Fung campaign
|Moderate||Robert J. Healey||69,070||21.4|
- Klepper, David (December 14, 2012). "RI Gov. Chafee open to running for 2nd term as Dem". Associated Press. Boston.com. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
- Sullivan, Sean (September 4, 2013). "Why Lincoln Chafee's decision not to run for reelection is more good news for Democrats". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
- Taylor, Jessica (September 4, 2013). "Gov. Chafee won't run for a second term". NBC News. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
- Ostermeier, Eric (September 6, 2013). "Chafee Just 4th Rhode Island Governor Since 1790 to Pass On 2nd Term". Smart Politics. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
- Stephanie Simon (September 8, 2014). "Dem divisions on display in Rhode Island race". Politico. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
- Faccenda, Anthony (October 4, 2013). "The Scoop: Giroux to Run for Gov, RI Tea Party Talks Obamacare". GoLocalProv. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- The Associated Press (January 27, 2014). "Clay Pell, husband of Michelle Kwan, to run for Rhode Island gov". POLITICO. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
- Nesi, Ted (December 18, 2013). "Gina Raimondo announces she'll run for governor". WPRI-TV. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
- Gregg, Katherine (October 26, 2013). "Providence Mayor Taveras confirms run for R.I. governor". The Providence Journal. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
- DeQuattro, Dee (April 30, 2013). "Almonte to run for General Treasurer, not Governor". ABC 6. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- Nesi, Ted (May 16, 2013). "Ernie Almonte abandons campaign for governor to run for RI treasurer". WPRI. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
- Lt. Gov. Roberts won't challenge Chafee
- "Former Congressman Bob Weygand mulling run for governor - WPRI.com Blogs". Retrieved September 12, 2014.
- "2014 Statewide Primary". State of Rhode Island Board of Elections. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
- Gregg, Katherine (October 28, 2013). "Ken Block, Moderate Party's 2010 candidate for governor, seeking GOP nomination in 2014". The Providence Journal. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
- Rob Borkowski (November 4, 2013). "Mayor Fung Announces Bid For Governor". Woonsocket Patch. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
- Nesi, Ted (July 12, 2013). "Warwick's Avedisian may run for lieutenant governor in '14". WPRI-TV. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
- Kalunian, Kim (May 17, 2013). "NEWS: Brendan Doherty will not seek office in 2014". Retrieved May 20, 2013.
- "Dan McGowan on Twitter: "Barry Hinckley tells me he has no interest in running for Governor. Clears field for @peterbaptista"". Retrieved September 12, 2014.
- "Robitaille says no plans to run for RI governor". Associated Press. NBC 10. October 18, 2013. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- Towne, Shaun (September 12, 2014). "Moderate candidate Healey could impact governor's race". WPRI. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
- "12 candidates file papers in RI governor's race". NBC 10 News. June 25, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
- Katherine Gregg (September 15, 2014). "R.I. GOP challenges Healey as Moderate Party's 11th-hour candidate for governor". Providence Journal. Retrieved September 24, 2014.
- Nesi, Ted (October 26, 2013). "The Saturday Morning Post: Quick hits on politics & more in RI". WPRI. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
- "Pension Cuts Cost Democrat Union Support in Rhode Island". Wall Street Journal. October 28, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
- "Bob Healey spent $0.0005 for every vote he got". WPRI-12. November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
- "Healey: It's amazing what $35 can do". WPRI-12. November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
- "Governor Maps". Retrieved September 12, 2014.
- "Daily Kos Elections gubernatorial race ratings (2013-14)". Retrieved September 12, 2014.
- "Handicapping the 2013-2014 Governors Races: The Democrats". Retrieved September 12, 2014.
- "RealClearPolitics - 2014 Election Maps - 2014 Governor Races". Retrieved September 12, 2014.
- David Russell. "Gubernatorial Ratings - The Rothenberg Political Report". Retrieved September 12, 2014.
- "Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball » 2014 Governor". Retrieved September 12, 2014.
- Kate Fletcher (I) 1.2%, Leon Kayarian (I) 0.2%
- Kate Fletcher (I) 0.3%, Leon Kayarian (I) 0.5%
- Kate Fletcher (I) 0.4%, Leon Kayarian (I) 0.4%
- Ken Block (I)
- Rhode Island gubernatorial election, 2014 at Ballotpedia
- Campaign contributions at FollowTheMoney.org
- Official campaign websites
- Robert J. Healey for Governor
- Ken Block for Governor
- Allan Fung for Governor
- Todd Giroux for Governor
- Bob Healey for Governor
- Clay Pell for Governor
- Gina Raimondo for Governor
- Angel Taveras for Governor
- Kate Fletcher for Governor 2014