Rhode Island Republican Makes Headway with Forbes Endorsement

Thursday, 20 Sep 2012 01:55 PM

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Republican Barry Hinckley is gaining some headway against Democratic incumbent Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse in the Rhode Island Senate race.

The latest polling numbers show Hinckley has cut Whitehouse’s lead in half from 32 percent in February to just 16 percent in July.

The shift in numbers is due to the dramatic rise of Hinckley’s name ID, which has doubled amongst voters in Rhode Island from 23 to 41 percent, Public Opinion Strategies reports.

Furthermore, a McLaughlin survey shows that among voters who have heard of both candidates, Hinckley now beats Whitehouse 48 to 44 percent.

Hinckley’s recent rise in the polls is no small feat for a Republican running in such a heavily blue state like Rhode Island.

Rhode Island was rated the third least conservative state back in 2008, trending 35th among the 50 states for voting for the GOP, according to electionprojection.org, the effects of which are still evident in Hinckley’s fundraising.

In late August, opensecrets.org reported that Hinckley has raised just over $1 million in campaign donations compared to Whitehouse’s over $4 million. However, Hinckley’s use of innovative technology may help him pull ahead.

Hinckley’s campaign is currently accepting mobile donations through a service called ROAMpay which allows for quick and secure electronic transactions through mobile devices. Using ROAMpay’s mCommerce card acceptance solution and mobile phone swiper makes donating easier and may help tap into Rhode Island’s youth vote.

In an interview with PYMNTS.com, an online media channel capturing what’s next in the payments sector worldwide, Hinckley called ROAMpay “a game changer.”

What may also be a game changer for Hinckley is having publishing titan Steve Forbes as a supporter. Forbes recently hosted a Hinckley fundraiser in Westerly, R.I., The Providence Journal reports.

What truly sets Hinckley apart from his competition is the fact that he is not a politician but rather a businessman who promises to focus on job creation, balancing the budget and jumpstarting the economy as senator.

Hinckley founded Bullhorn Software, a web-based software and services company that powers recruiting and staffing operations for startups in more than 126 countries around the world.

Bullhorn now employs 150 people, earns over $25 million in revenue and has made Boston Business Journal’s list of “10 Fastest Growing Private Companies” in New England for the past five years and has won over 50 different industry awards.

In 2005, Hinckley was named one of Boston’s “40 under 40” successful businessmen and was a finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the year in 2009.

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