Lincoln Chafee presidential campaign, 2016

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Lincoln Chafee for President
Chafee for President.png
Campaign U.S. presidential election, 2016
Candidate Lincoln Chafee
Governor of Rhode Island
(2011–2015)
U.S. Senator (1999–2007)
Affiliation Democratic Party
Status Announced: June 3, 2015
Suspended/Withdrew: October 23, 2015
Headquarters 1800 Post Road Unit 17B
Warwick, Rhode Island
Key people Debbie Rich (spokeswoman) Jonathan Stevens
Receipts US$418,135 (2015-12-31[1])
Slogan Fresh Ideas for America
Website
www.chafee2016.com (Archived)

The 2016 presidential campaign of Lincoln Chafee, the 74th Governor of Rhode Island, and former United States Senator from Rhode Island, was formally launched on June 3, 2015. His campaign for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2016 election was his first campaign as a Democrat, after having previously been elected senator as a Republican, and governor as an independent. He received zero votes either formally or by write-in, meaning he got the fewest votes of any major party candidate in the Democratic or Republican Primaries 2016.[2]

Background[edit]

Political career in Rhode Island[edit]

Chafee's father, John Chafee, was the senior United States Senator from Rhode Island, who had intended to retire, and not seek reelection in 2000; Lincoln had intended to run to win his father's seat the same year. On October 24, 1999, John Chafee died, and Republican Governor Lincoln Almond appointed his son, then a Republican to fill the vacancy of his Republican father. Due to the proximity between his appointment and the scheduled election in 2000, no special election was called. Chafee was elected to his seat outright with a large majority.

Having been seen as the most liberal Republican senator, Chafee was faced with a tough primary battle against Steve Laffey in 2006, which he won by a 55 to 45 percent margin. His battle with Laffey in the primary excessively drained his campaign funds. Chafee lost to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, and was one of six Republican seats lost when Democrats regained their majority in the midterm elections of 2006.

After his Senate loss, Chafee left the Republican Party, saying, "it's not my party anymore".[2] After a hiatus following his loss, he announced his candidacy for Governor of Rhode Island; in a seven-way race, Chafee won the governorship with 36 percent of the vote. Having previously indicated the possibility that he might run for re-election for Governor as a Democrat, Chafee officially joined the Democratic Party on May 30, 2013.[3] He chose against running for re-election in 2014.

Presidential politics[edit]

In the 2008 presidential election, he formally endorsed the Democratic nominee Barack Obama.[4] In 2012, Chafee was one of 35 co-chairs selected to serve on President Barack Obama's re-election campaign.[5]

On April 9, 2015, Chafee announced that he had formed an exploratory committee in preparation for a potential candidacy for the Democratic Party's 2016 presidential nomination.[6] The following month, on May 29, it was confirmed that Chafee would announce his decision regarding a 2016 presidential bid on June 3.[7]

Campaign[edit]

Chafee formally announced his presidential candidacy in a speech he delivered at the George Mason Center for Politics & Foreign Relations in Arlington, Virginia on June 3, 2015.[8][9]

Chafee's Ten Points for Prosperity through Peace[edit]

  • No Ambassadorship for Sale
  • No Torture
  • No warrantless wiretapping
  • Bring Edward Snowden home
  • No drone strikes
  • Fair Trade Agreements
  • Reduce Tensions with Russia
  • Repair Relations with South America and revisit the War on Drugs
  • Ban Capital Punishment
  • Go Metric

Polling[edit]

Chafee had been the lowest-polling candidate out of the five major declared candidates, often narrowly behind former Virginia Senator Jim Webb and former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, oftentimes polling at less than 1%.[10][11][12]

Debate performance[edit]

Chafee participated in the first of the Democratic primary debates on October 13, 2015. Many felt the format favored the predominant candidates Clinton and Sanders, who received much more time than the others. In addition, Chafee was repeatedly interrupted by moderator Anderson Cooper. His performance was widely panned by voters and commentators alike, primarily citing his poor responses to questions regarding how he voted while in the Senate, as well as changing his party affiliation multiple times.[13] A Gravis Marketing poll held immediately after the debate showed that more viewers considered Chafee the loser than any other candidate, with 43% saying that Chafee lost. He also came in second-to-last in the reverse question of who viewers thought was the winner, with only 2% saying that Chafee won. In addition, more viewers said that they left the debate with a "less favorable" view of Chafee than any other candidate, with 57% saying they were less favorable towards Chafee after the debate.[14] In the aftermath of the debate, Chafee's candidacy was further discredited by pundits, with some even describing it as "futile."[15] His performance was mocked by "Saturday Night Live," which portrayed him as a bumbling space cadet. "Good night America, bye forever," his doppelgänger said with a wave.[16]

Withdrawal[edit]

Following a poor debate performance, low polling numbers and paltry fundraising, Chafee announced on October 23, 2015 that he would be suspending his campaign.[17]

Endorsements[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Candidate (P60008075) Summary Reports – 2016 Cycle". Federal Election Commission. Retrieved July 20, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "The Green Papers 2016 Presidential Primaries, Caucuses, and Conventions". March 5, 2018. Retrieved March 19, 2018.  line feed character in |title= at position 17 (help) Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "ex" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  3. ^ Klepper, David (December 14, 2012). "RI Gov. Chafee open to running for 2nd term as Dem". Associated Press. Boston.com. Retrieved June 3, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Former Rhode Island senator endorses Obama". CNN.com. February 14, 2008. Retrieved June 3, 2015. 
  5. ^ Tau, Byron (February 22, 2012). "Obama campaign announces co-chairs". Politico. Retrieved May 15, 2012. 
  6. ^ Merica, Dan (April 9, 2015). "Lincoln Chafee launches 2016 exploratory committee, goes after Clinton on Iraq". CNN.com. Retrieved June 3, 2015. 
  7. ^ Foley, Elise (May 29, 2015) "Lincoln Chafee to announce presidential run on June 3", Politico. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  8. ^ DelReal, Jose A. (June 3, 2015). "Lincoln Chafee announces long-shot presidential bid". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 3, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Rhode Island's Chafee enters 2016 Democratic contest". Boston Herald. Associated Press. June 3, 2015. Retrieved June 3, 2015. 
  10. ^ "2016 National Democratic Primary - Polls - HuffPost Pollster". Retrieved 2015-10-18. 
  11. ^ "2016 - 2016 Democratic Presidential Nomination | RealClearPolitics". www.realclearpolitics.com. Retrieved 2015-10-18. 
  12. ^ "2016 Democratic President Nomination". www.270towin.com. Retrieved 2015-10-18. 
  13. ^ Niall Stanage; Amie Parnes (October 16, 2015). "Dem debate winners and losers". The Hill. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Post DNC Debate Poll Results". Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Wolf Blitzer asks Chafee when he will end "futile" bid". The Hill. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
  16. ^ Chafee withdraws from race NYTimes, October 23, 2015
  17. ^ Merica, Dan; LoBianco, Tom (October 23, 2015). "Lincoln Chafee drops out of Democratic primary race". CNN. As you know, I have been campaigning on a platform of Prosperity Through Peace," Chafee said at the DNC's annual Women's Leadership Forum in Washington. "But after much thought I have decided to end my campaign for president today. I would like to take this opportunity one last time to advocate for a chance be given to peace.