Evans – Novak Political Report: Laffey leads Chafee
Laffey supporter The Club for Growth passes this news from the Evans-Novak Political Report on its blog (UPDATE: Thanks to Reconcilable Differences for the link to a free version of the full E-N report.):
Republicans in Rhode Island say that Sen. Chafee had given private assurances that he would be supporting the Alito Supreme Court nomination. His reversal on this issue drew a public rebuke from his most reluctant supporter, popular Gov. Don Carcieri (R), and endangers him in his primary race against Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey (R). Laffey must now be considered the narrow frontrunner in the Republican Senate primary after crossing the $1-million mark and outraising Chafee in individual contributions for the quarter.
Chafee maintains a two-to-one cash advantage after beating Laffey with PAC money and making himself a $330,000 campaign loan. But he may need a lot more than that to survive. Another negative for him on the Alito issue is the fact that it is probably impossible for him to win a Republican primary in Rhode Island without significant support from the state’s large Italian population.
Rhode Island’s primary doesn’t happen until September. If he sees the writing on the wall, Chafee could well choose to run as an independent.
It would make sense, it is Rhode Island’s largest voting bloc, after all.