Former Republican U.S Senator and Democratic Governor of Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee, will make it official next week that he will join the Democratic primary for president. Lincoln entrance into the race and the fact that he is even interested in running for the White House, might be the most surprising thing so far in this very early stage of the 2016 presidential elections. Lincoln Chafee back in April just kind of brought the idea out of the blue and it is hard to see how a lot of Democrats are going to get excited about a former governor who had his approval ratings in the low 30’s before leaving office earlier this year.
None the less, Mr. Chafee will make his bid official on June 3rd. Lincoln took over for his father in the U.S Senate after his death in 1999 and won a full six year term as Rhode Island’s junior U.S Senator. Lincoln Chafee was a moderate Republican and one of the few that voted against the Iraq War in 2003, but that wasn’t enough to save him for being voted out in 2006 during the blue wave that took place that midterm. Even though Chafee had his approval rating way above 50%, he got hammered in the polls by Sheldon Whitehouse (D), the now junior U.S Senator from Rhode Island. The voters liked Chafee, they just didn’t liked the R at the end of his name and the distaste for the Bush administration policies brought him down. He would eventually run for governor as an independent and won and later in office switched over and became a Democrat and endorsed Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
The major issue for most liberals is the fear that Hillary Clinton isn’t liberal enough and is a hawk on foreign policy issues. This has opened up a market for Bernie Sanders, by far the most liberal candidate running for president. Lincoln and former Maryland governor O’Malley both are going to have to find a way to wow the base away from Clinton, which seems like an impossible feat. For one they can’t go after the traditional base, Clinton has that locked down. You can’t go for the liberal fraction of the party, Bernie Sanders already has that part of the Democratic Party base fired up. For Lincoln though he faces a tougher task than O’Malley, he used to be a Republican. The extreme of both parties make up a large amount of primary voters, it is hard to see them voting for a former Republican. Then again, Ben Carson is a former Democrat and Obama supporter and the extreme right loves him. I guess anything is possible, the problem is though, Ben Carson doesn’t have to run against Clinton for the GOP nomination.