Moderate GOP’er Bests a Conservative in R.I.
Posted on Sep 13, 2006
Sen. Lincoln Chafee, a Republican who has often clashed with Bush & Co., fended off a conservative challenger in the Rhode Island primary. It’s bad news for progressives; R.I. is a left-leaning state, so it would have been easier to defeat the conservative in November.
PROVIDENCE, R.I., Sept. 12—Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee, a moderate who has frequently clashed with the Bush administration, beat back a strong conservative challenger Tuesday night in the GOP primary in Rhode Island.
The victory came amid heavy turnout, after the same Republican establishment that Chafee has so often defied rallied to his side with money and logistical support for a vigorous get-out-the-vote effort. While there is little personal affection for Chafee at the White House, operatives there and in the Republican Party leadership calculated that he is the GOP’s best chance of holding the seat in a Democratic-leaning state in November.
The Chafee win represented a rare bit of political good news for Republicans, who are struggling to retain control of both houses of Congress in a highly volatile election year, as polls showing voters to be increasingly frustrated with GOP leadership. President Bush’s dismal approval ratings, fueled in large part by public frustration with the war in Iraq, threatens Republican incumbents around the country who are on the ballot this year.