Poll Suggests Rhode Island Congressional Seat Could Flip Red
It is not unusual for Rhode Island, the biggest little blue state in the Union, to send Republicans to Congress.
When I was a reporter in Providence, Rhode Island in the 1990s, Republicans Claudine Schneider and Ronald M. Machtley represented the Ocean State in the U.S. House of Representatives. Republican John Chaffee served in the U.S. Senate for years.
In recent times, Democrats have dominated Rhode Island's tiny congressional delegation. Currently, Jim Langevin and David Cicilline represent Ocean Staters in the House, and Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed hold court in the Senate – but the tide may be turning in Rhode Island.
Congressman Langevin is retiring, and there are six Democrats vying for his House seat this fall. But a recent Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll of Rhode Islanders indicates Republican Allan Fung has a fairly comfortable six-point lead, 45 percent to 39 percent, over Democrat frontrunner Seth Magaziner. The poll says 17 percent of voters are undecided.
Fung's chances are boosted by 82 percent of voters who say Rhode Island's economy is either fair or poor. Nine out of 10 undecided voters in the congressional race describe the economy as fair or poor.
The poll shows Joe Biden with a 39 percent approval rating in Rhode Island, with 53 percent of voters disapproving. The poll shows that 69 percent of Rhode Islanders would prefer Biden not seek a second term in 2024. Dissatisfaction with the way things are going in the country can also benefit Fung.
The fact that Fung was a popular Mayor of Cranston for 12 years gives him a great deal of name recognition that Magaziner doesn't have.