Scott MacKay

Political Analyst

With a B.A. in political science and history from the University of Vermont and a wealth of knowledge of local politics, it was a given that Scott MacKay would become a commentator for Rhode Island Public Radio's Political Roundtable.

As a former political reporter for The Providence Journal, MacKay has spent more than thirty years documenting the ins and outs of politics in Rhode Island and New England. MacKay is married to Dr. Staci Fisher, an infectious diseases specialist at Rhode Island Hospital.

Follow Scott on Twitter: @ScotMackRI

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On Politics
5:15 am
Wed November 5, 2014

The Genesis Of Gina Raimondo's Candidacy

Gina Raimondo announces her bid for governor back in January.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

At the Democratic victory party at the Providence Biltmore Hotel late last night, no one had a wider smile than Kate Coyne McCoy, the longtime advocate for electing women to political office in Rhode Island and around the nation.

``Twenty years ago, I was walking up the stairs to this room (the 17th floor ballroom, where media and pols meet on election night) with Myrth York,’’ recalled Coyne McCoy. ``It was an awful night.’’

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On Politics
9:07 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

East Side voters snub Buddy Cianci

Buddy Cianci’s steep hill : Results from the Hope High School polling place on Providence’s East Side. The results show a huge landslide for Democrat Jorge Elorza. Elorza had 823 votes in the precinct, Cianci pulled a paltry 163 and Republican Dan Harrop had 31.

The same polling place carried good news for Gina Raimondo, who polled 805 to Allan Fung’s 151 and Bob Healey’s 50. Thanks to Brown super intern Emily Woolridge for harvesting these results.

On Politics
5:35 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Senate control at stake for Jack Reed

As U.S. Senate returns flow in later this evening from around the nation, the Rhode Island politician with the most at stake is U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, who is expected to coast to reelection.

First elected in 1996 to the seat held for 36 years by the late Claiborne Pell, Democrat Reed has accumulated enough seniority to become  chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, a crucial post for Rhode Island’s defense industry and the U.S. Navy installation in Newport that is anchored by the Naval War College.

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On Politics
4:51 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Voter turnout high in Newport's 5th Ward polling place

Newport voter turnout, likely driven by the casino referendum at Newport Grand,  is high. That report comes from old friend and former great ProJo reporter Brian C. Jones.

As of 3:30 about 820 of the estimated 2,200 voters eligible to cast ballots at the city’s `Fifth Ward’ polling place at Rogers High School had voted. Election officials said that there have been a steady stream of voters all day.

As the late U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill  so famously said, ``All politics is local.’’

On Politics
5:16 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Where the R.I. governor race will be won/lost

Latest talk among Democratic operatives: Optimism about Elorza in Providence, worry about Raimondo in governor's race. If she loses there will be lots of second-guessing her general election campaign.

The Rhode Island gubernatorial election between Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung has become much closer than anyone thought even a month ago. Raimondo’s lackluster general election campaign, which followed a very well done primary effort, is surely part of her problem.

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On Politics
2:58 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Slinging Mud All The Way To Election Day

As election day approaches, the campaigns have been getting more and more negative, including in the gubernatorial race between Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung.
Credit RIPR FILE

Why have political campaigns become so relentlessly negative? RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it reflects the cynicism of the times and the way political money is raised and spent.

Click the television remote as many times as you like but don’t expect to escape the nasty political spots running nonstop until the polls close tomorrow. Hike to the mailbox and you’re greeted by an avalanche of political flyers spreading dirt on one politician or another. Ditto for the Internet.

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On Politics
2:24 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Rhody Votes '14: VIDEO Providence Mayoral Math With Scott MacKay

Map of Providence, with wards highlighted

The winner of the Providence mayor’s race all comes down to who wins which neighborhoods.

Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay has followed Providence politics for more than 25 years. Here’s his take on which wards Independent Buddy Cianci and Democrat Jorge Elorza have to win to become the next mayor of Providence.

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On Politics
4:58 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

President Obama To Tout Stellar GDP Growth In RIC Speech

The Presidential motorcade sits outside the Omni hotel in downtown Providence. President Barack Obama speaks at Rhode Island College Friday morning.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

When he visits Rhode Island Friday, President Barack Obama will speak about the improving national economy and the latest Gross Domestic Product data that was released today by the federal government.

Obama is scheduled to arrive at Green State Airport  this evening and stay overnight in Providence. While the White House is not disclosing where the president will stay, sources in Providence say it will be the Omni Hotel downtown, which is attached to the Rhode Island Convention Center.

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On Politics
2:43 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Fung has campaign finance edge as election day nears

As the hours dwindle until next Tuesday, Republican Allan Fung has a significant edge in campaign money over Democrat Gina Raimondo in the Rhode Island gubernatorial campaign.

Reports filed with the state Board of Elections show that Fung has about $270,000 remaining in his campaign account, while Raimondo’s campaign chest has only about $32,000. Moderate Party candidate Robert Healey, the third candidate in the race to succeed Lincoln Chafee as governor, has not solicited campaign contributions.

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2014 Providence Mayoral Race
9:47 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Providence Mayoral Candidates Spar In Final Broadcast Debate Before Election

Buddy Cianci, Jorge Elorza, and Daniel Harrop at the RIPR/WJAR debate.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

The three candidates for mayor of Providence took part in a spirited debate last night at Rhode Island College.  The candidates mostly rehashed their stances while tossing sharp remarks at one another.

With a boisterous audience, it didn’t take long for things to get heated between independent Buddy Cianci, Democrat Jorge Elorza, and Republican Daniel Harrop. Cianci took aim at Harrop for contributing to Elorza’s campaign and saying he might vote for the Democrat.

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