Flipping Rhode Island Red…Or At Least a Shade of Purple
I have a friend who is a Pittsburg Pirates fan and I’m constantly shaking my head at the lack of effort that franchise makes to become a championship contender. The reason for this is the Pirates play in the National League Central division, which with its six teams is actually one of the weakest in baseball and often sends its champion to the postseason with the fewest wins of all playoff teams. In 2006, the St. Louis Cardinals went to the post-season and won the World Series after only winning 83 regular season games. That’s only two wins better than having equal wins and losses. Pretty mediocre.
So what’s my point here? As easy as it is for a team to get to baseball’s post season from the National League Central, I think it could be just as easy for the Republicans to make major gains in Rhode Island for relatively short money. Rhode Island has just as many Senate seats as any other state and currently, the House is very close on its makeup and we have a sitting Congressman who has to be more nervous than a long-tailed cat in a rocking chair factory.
I say short money because Rhode Island only has one media market and one statewide newspaper where the Republican National Committee could spend on advertising and touting the benefits of the fiscally conservative candidates. Start advertising with the three television media outlets (channels 12 and 64 seem to function as one) especially during the all important national news and Wheel of Fortune hour. Start dispelling rumors and misstatements by certain elected officials and start getting out a positive message.
I have walked door to door with multiple candidates over the last eight years and one thing I find when we talk to people is while Rhode Island is viewed as one of the bluest states in the country, many people do actually have fairly conservative opinions, especially on the fiscal side. People try to tell me that Rhode Island is a Democratic state, but actually, it’s not. It is an “Unaffiliated” state. The greatest percentage of voters are listed as Unaffiliated. They don’t align themselves with either party and many of them will tell you that they often have a split ballot and will vote for who they think is the best candidate.
If the RNC were to come in and focus on the fiscal conservatism of its candidates and sway these on-the-fence-unaffiliateds, great inroads could be made toward moving Rhode Island’s seats in Washington to the other side of the aisle and at least turn our deep blue to some shade of purple.