Rhode Island – U.S.

Democrat Candidate Funds On Hand Recent Poll Sheldon Whitehouse $1,537,178 51% Republican Lincoln Chafee $846,260 43%

**Poll Closing Hours Vary Town to Town in Rhode Island, so printed call sheets don’t include polling hours. Voters should check with their local elections board if they don’t know when the polls close in their town.** Caught between an unpopular president and a heavily Democratic state, Lincoln Chafee is a member of the endangered species known as Republican moderates. Sheldon Whitehouse is looking to put this seat in its logical column in one of the year’s most highly anticipated races. The Cook Political Report ranks this race a “Tossup.” Rhode Island Rhode Island is among the country’s most Democratic states. It gave Kerry a higher vote percentage in 2004 than anywhere but his home state of Massachusetts. It sends two Democrats to the House, and Bush’s approval ratings have lingered in the 20s for a year. Indeed, the only Republican who could win in this state is one as publicly critical of Bush as Chafee. The GOP’s chances to hold this seat were saved from utter impossibility this September, as a huge influx of national GOP cash helped Chafee fight back a conservative primary challenger. The national Republicans had to expend resources turning out moderate, independent voters. About Sheldon Whitehouse Rhode Island Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse is running on a message of change. He is stressing health care, ethics, Social Security protection, and an exit strategy in Iraq. He supports a higher minimum wage and improvements in Medicare and energy policy. He has been strongly endorsed by the state’s labor community. About Lincoln Chafee Chafee is the son of late GOP Senator John Chafee. The younger Chafee was appointed to fill the seat in 1999 after his father’s death, and he won with little opposition in 2000. Unfortunately for Chafee, today’s Republican Party is not the one typified by his father: it has rapidly moved further to the right and grown unpopular in the northeast. While he touts his “traditional Republican values,” he is left as a largely irrelevant enabler of a GOP majority out of line with his state’s, and the country’s, interests. www.chafeeforsenate.com Fundraising and Polling Chafee has raised a little more than $3.5 million and reported $846,260 on hand as of August 23. He also received heavy support from national Republicans. Whitehouse and Chafee have been close in polling for several months, with a Rasmussen Reports poll giving Whitehouse a 51-43 lead over the incumbent. Sources: www.washingtonpost.com, www.centerforpolitics.org, www.surveyusa.com, www.rasmussenreports.com, www.fec.gov
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