Expert: Raimondo has 2 years to win voters’ approval

Newsmakers political round table 11/11

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With Campaign 2016 in the rear-view mirror, local lawmakers are now looking ahead to the next big year in politics: 2018.

Rhode Islanders will decide that year whether they want to stay the course or if they want a new governor.

In 2014, Gov. Gina Raimondo was elected with barely 40 percent of the vote and lawmakers say voters expressed frustration with her as they campaigned this year.

“People don’t like her right now,” said Christine Hunsinger, former Director of Communications for Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

Joining a political round table on this week’s Newsmakers, Hunsinger noted that Raimondo still has two years to turn it around.

“She picked a lot of programs that take a long time to implement. The 195 land, still what will happen with it, and things like that,” said Hunsinger. “When she fully begins to run for reelection, I think it will depend on the list of accomplishments she’s got in her hand.”

Lisa Pelosi, who worked for former Gov. Lincoln Almond, said recent issues such as computer glitches and delays in distributing tax refunds haven’t helped.

“She has to manage her departments and what we’ve been seeing, especially in the past few months, is week after week of mismanagement at the departments that is truly hurting people here in Rhode Island,” Pelosi explained.

“Jobs and economy is going to be the key in 2018,” added Eyewitness News Political Analyst Joe Fleming. “If she starts bringing good paying jobs to Rhode Island and starts turning things around, that’s going to help her.”

Fleming said a lot also depends on the candidate put forth by the GOP and whether or not there’s a third-party candidate like there was in 2014.

Watch this week’s Newsmakers for more analysis on this week’s election.