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Off to the races: GOP's New England problem

MAINE: Gov. Paul LePage (R) was denied a request to address the legislature, and he’s mad about it. 

NEW YORK: New York’s going back to the old lever machines, at least for the mayoral race. 

New Weiner same as the old Weiner, writes Maggie Haberman: “anyone searching for signs of lasting modesty or introspection two years removed from his lewd-picture scandal is, after his initial foray, bound to come away disappointed. In fact, Weiner seems to be banking on New York voters not wanting those qualities in their mayor, anyhow.” 

RHODE ISLAND: Lincoln Chafee is switching from independent to Democrat. Chafee, in 2010, only won by 2 points – 36%-34% over a Republican. The Democrat got 23%. Winning a Democratic primary almost insures the governorship in this state Obama carried with 63% of the vote. And Chafee might find it harder to cull enough votes if a strong Democrat emerges from that primary, if he were to run as an independent. 

The Providence Journal: “The move is not unexpected for Chafee, who spoke at the National Democratic Convention. Asked his reasons, [his spokeswoman] said: ‘a recognition that the Democratic party and he are aligned on policies and principles,' and that there is ‘strength in numbers when it comes to fighting for Rhode Island taxpayers.'” 

The Boston Globe’s take: “The frequency of incumbents leaving their longtime parties – often accompanied by the pat explanation that their parties have, in fact, left them – reflects the region’s decades-long leftward trend and the collapse of the Republican Party as an electoral force in what was once fertile territory.” 

Said the Rhode Island REPUBLICAN Party chairman: “It is a regional problem. We have to make inroads. Eventually, if we don’t, we won’t be able to make anyone president or have a majority or anything. We’ll have no chance nationally. … “What works in Alabama doesn’t work here. Here in Rhode Island, Republicans need to talk about business-friendly ideas, jobs, getting government out of the way of the people and allowing them to become prosperous.”