Winners and Losers in GoLocal’s Statewide Poll

Saturday, June 09, 2018


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The new numbers are out and some of the candidates and issue advocates are celebrating the data unveiled on Thursday via a new poll.

The poll, conducted by GoLocal’s research partner John Della Volpe of Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics, explores the key competitive political races in Rhode Island and the top issues ranging from the proposed 46-story Fane Tower in Providence to public financing for the PawSox stadium.

The poll both defined and redefined some of the conventional wisdom about the issues in Rhode Island.

“At this stage I think it's difficult, I never say never, but especially in an environment where there is so much disdain for so many traditional elected officials, so you never say never, but at this stage, based on what we're seeing, Raimondo and Fung clearly have advantages that no other candidate has, based on what we're seeing.  But again, I remember some the Harvard polling in the spring of '15, among young people Bernie Sanders had 1%.  Six months later, he was leading the Democratic field among young people.  So you never know what happens," said Della Volpe.

“Across the country, Americans are losing faith in the public institutions that govern us. In Rhode Island, the problem is acute and it impacts everything from the state of the economy to the state of discourse in coffee shops throughout the state,” said Della Volpe.



Related Slideshow: Winners and Losers in GoLocal’s Statewide Poll

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Winner: Joe Trillo

His 16 percent of the vote in a three-way race with Governor Gina Raimondo and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung makes him a player in the campaign and proves he has captured a significant segment of President Donald Trump’s base in Rhode Island.

But, he may be capped at high teens or 20 percent.

If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Gina Raimondo, Republican Allan Fung and Independent Joe Trillo - for whom would you vote?        

Allan Fung, a Republican..................... 33%

Gina Raimondo, a Democrat................ 33%

Joe Trillo, and Independent.................. 16%

Don't know     18%

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Winner: Allan Fung

It is a big win for GOP hopeful Allan Fung to be tied with Governor Gina Raimondo in a significant public poll five-plus months before the election, but the poll flagged a number of critical issues for the Cranston Mayor.

First, he still needs to beat back a GOP primary challenge by Pat Morgan.

Second, the strength of Trillo is a problem.  If Trillo continues to hold the base Trump voter, it is hard for Fung to get to the magic number against Raimondo with Trillo in the high teens.

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Winner: Proposed $250M School Bond Issue

Rhode Islanders are rallying around Governor Gina Raimondo’s proposal to make Rhode Island’s schools “war, safe, and dry.”

“Rhode Islanders have a long history of supporting bond measures that improve infrastructure, education and overall quality of life in the state and the $250 million "warm, safe and dry" measure championed by the Governor and elected officials across the state is no different. 

Currently, 74% approve -- including a majority of Democrats, Republicans and Unaffiliated voters -- while less than one-in-five (17%) oppose,” said pollster John Della Volpe.

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Winner: Optimism

For maybe the first time in a decade, Rhode Islanders are showing some signs of optimism.

The majority of Rhode Islanders (52%) are optimistic about the future.

“As of this moment, the fact that a majority of Rhode Islanders are optimistic about the state's future is not paying a lot of dividends for the Governor.  Only half of those who are optimistic support her in a match-up against Fung and Trillo, 19% are undecided,” said Della Volpe.

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Winner: Sheldon Whitehouse

He scared former Governor Lincoln Chafee out of a primary and now scores an early lead over both GOP opponents.

While his personal popularity is lagging with Rhode Islanders. Neither former Supreme Court Judge Bob Flanders or State Rep. Bobby Nardolillo are catching fire.

Neither is buying much media — waiting till fall will be far too late.  Can one of them exploit some Whitehouse weaknesses?

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Loser: Patricia Morgan

The feisty House Minority looks to be stuck at 20 percent in the matchups with Democrats. She is far behind Governor Gina Raimondo (-19%) and trails Matt Brown (-10).

Will have a tough time getting hardcore Republican to come over without some game-changer soon.

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Loser: PawSox

Only 13 percent of Rhode Islanders ‘strongly support’ any public financing of the proposed new privately owned stadium.

“With an understanding that the General Assembly is in the process of negotiating a $40 million public financing deal with the Pawtucket Red Sox for a new stadium -- we found that a solid majority of likely voters are opposed to the use of public funds to help finance the stadium.  Nearly three-in-five (59%) likely voters tell us that they are generally opposed to the use of public funds for the stadium, including 38% who strongly oppose the measure.  In contrast, one-third of voters favor public funds for this purpose -- with 13% strongly in favor,” said Della Volpe.

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Loser: Giovanni Feroce

Of the nine candidates running for Governor, Rhode Islanders say overwhelmingly that they will not vote for — 69 percent say they won’t vote for him.  In comparison, the percentage who say they won’t vote for Governor Gina Raimondo is 49 percent and GOP candidate Allan Fung just 46 percent.

Giovanni Feroce, a Republican 

I am sure to vote for him:  2%

There is a good chance I will vote for him:  5%

It is possible that I vote for him:  24%

It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  35%

I will never vote for him:  34%

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Loser: Jorge Elorza

The vast majority believe his rollout of the traffic camera program was a failure. Elorza is collecting a number of blunders (traffic cameras, sale of Providence Water Supply, Federal Hill fountain).

How would you rate the job that Mayor Jorge Elorza has done managing issues related to speed cameras in Providence?

Net: Excellent/Good:  26%

Excellent:  6%

Good:  20%

Net: Fair/Poor:  74%

Fair:  29%

Poor:   45%

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Loser: Gina Raimondo

It seems impossible that a governor overseeing such a strong economy and such low unemployment could be tied 33 percent to 33 percent with one of her GOP challengers Allan Fung.

But, she is.

Worst of all, the poll was taken before her meltdown week.


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