October 23, 2014
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Two new public opinion surveys by Brown University’s A. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions find that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo, and Providence mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza, also a Democrat, lead their respective opponents by 10 points.
The first poll surveyed a random sample of 1,129 likely registered Rhode Island voters about statewide races, the Providence mayoral race, a statewide ballot measure, the state of the economy, and government approval ratings. This poll was conducted Oct. 14-17, 2014, and has an overall margin of error of 2.9 percent. A second poll surveyed a random sample of 500 likely registered Providence voters about that city’s mayoral race. It was conducted Oct. 21-22, 2014, and has a margin of error of 4.4 percent.
The governor’s race
Raimondo leads the governor’s race with 41.6 percent of likely voters choosing her. Men and women support Raimondo at nearly identical rates. Republican candidate Allan Fung has 30.5 percent of likely voters, and Moderate candidate Robert Healey is at 9.1 percent. However, 18 percent of voters are still undecided about their choice for governor. Likely voters of all ages support Raimondo in greater numbers than Fung with the exception of one age group: Among voters ages 40 to 49, Raimondo and Fung are in a statistical tie. A majority of Democrats (55.4 percent) plan to vote for Raimondo, with a strong majority of Republicans voting for Fung (64 percent). Among voters who identify as Independent, Raimondo (38.6 percent) has a slight edge over Fung (34.1 percent). Among voters with no party affiliation, Fung leads with 36.6 percent and Raimondo has 28.9 percent.
The Providence mayoral race
In the poll conducted Oct. 14-17, 2014, a sample of 500 likely Providence voters favored Democratic candidate Jorge Elorza (47.6 percent) over Independent candidate Vincent A. Cianci Jr. (37.2 percent). Three percent chose Republican candidate Daniel Harrop and 12.2 percent were undecided. Cianci’s strongest support came from Republicans (67.9 percent), with 17.9 percent of this group choosing Elorza. A majority of Democrats favor Elorza (55.3 percent) with 31.9 percent of this group choosing Cianci. Among likely voters identifying as Independent or unaffiliated, the two frontrunners are in a statistical tie, with both candidates garnering about 40 percent of these groups.
In a follow-up poll conducted Oct. 21-22, 2014, Elorza was found to lead Cianci by a nearly identical margin, with 48.4 percent of voters choosing Elorza and 38 percent choosing Cianci. This margin reflects both likely voters and respondents who indicated that they had already voted (5.6 percent of the sample). Harrop drew 2.8 percent of the vote, and 9.6 percent indicated that they are still undecided with less than two weeks remaining before the November 4, 2014, general election.
Other statewide races
In the race for general treasurer, likely voters are favoring Democratic candidate Seth Magaziner (47.0 percent) over Independent Ernest Almonte (33.1 percent) with 19.8 percent still undecided. Democrat Nellie Gorbea leads the race for secretary of state (37.7 percent) over Republican John Carlevale (23 percent), but 39.2 percent of voters remain undecided. In the race for lieutenant governor, undecided voters (46.6 percent) greatly outnumber those who favor Democratic candidate Daniel McKee (29.3 percent), Republican candidate Catherine Taylor (20.2), Moderate candidate William Gilbert (2.4 percent) and Libertarian candidate Tony Jones (1.5 percent).
The poll asked likely voters about state ballot Question 3, which, if approved, would call a convention to revise the Rhode Island Constitution. A third of voters said they know nothing at all about Question 3 and 31 percent said they know a fair amount or a great deal about this question. Forty-two percent of voters would approve Question 3; 26.8 percent would reject it; and 30.9 don’t know how they will vote.
Pessimism about state government and the economy
Nearly eight in 10 Rhode Island voters (78 percent) are dissatisfied with how the state is governed, and just 14.9 percent were satisfied. When asked to compare the effectiveness of Rhode Island’s government with other states, a strong majority (61.2 percent) felt that Rhode Island is doing a worse job, 28.6 percent felt the state government is doing about the same as other states and just 4.3 percent feel Rhode Island’s government is better than other states. Nine out of 10 voters think Rhode Island’s economy is in not-so-good or poor shape, and just 7.3 percent rate the local economy as excellent or good. However, a majority (60.3 percent) says their personal finances are excellent or good, and 36.4 percent say their finances are not so good or poor.
James Morone, professor of political science and director of the Taubman Center, will be available for interviews and further analysis during the day at 401-863-1573.
Questions and answers for statewide poll conducted Oct. 14-17, 2014
Results from this poll are based on a telephone survey of a random sample of 1,129 registered likely voters in Rhode Island, including 500 Providence voters. The poll has a margin of error of 2.9 percent. Note that totals may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding.
The distribution of voters in the sample by gender was 45.6 percent male and 54.4 percent female. By age, respondents were 18.2 percent ages 18-39; 50.8 percent ages 40-64; 31 percent ages 65 and older. By party affiliation, respondents were 42.3 percent Democrats; 8.9 percent Republicans; 25.7 percent Independents; and 20.8 percent unaffiliated.
Interviews were conducted on landlines and cell phones Oct. 14-17, 2014. Researchers from the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy’s John Hazen White Public Opinion Laboratory designed the survey instrument and conducted the analysis. The Taubman Center contracted Portable Insights Inc., a Rhode Island-based research firm, to conduct interviews.
- If the election for governor of Rhode Island were being held today and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? Gina Raimondo 41.6%; Robert Healey 9.1%; Allan Fung 30.5%; Kate Fletcher 0.3%; Leon Kayarian 0.5%; Undecided 18.0%
- If the election for lieutenant governor of Rhode Island were being held today and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? Daniel McKee 29.3%; William Gilbert 2.4%; Catherine Taylor 20.2%; Tony Jones 1.5%; Undecided 46.6%
- If the election for secretary of state of Rhode Island were being held today and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? Nellie Gorbea 37.7%; John Carlevale 23.0%; Undecided 39.2%
- If the election for general treasurer of Rhode Island were being held today and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? Seth Magaziner 47.0%; Ernest A. Almonte 33.1%; Undecided 19.8%
- A provision in the Rhode Island Constitution created Question 3, which would call a convention to amend or revise the Rhode Island Constitution. How much have you read or heard about Question 3? A great deal 11.2%; A fair amount 19.8%; Just a little 34.5%; Nothing at all 33.3%; Don’t know 1.2%
- Each state has its own constitution that is separate from the United States Constitution. Would you vote to approve or reject a convention to amend or revise the Rhode Island Constitution? Approve 42.3%; Reject 26.8%; Don’t know 30.9%
- On the whole, would you say you are satisfied or dissatisfied with the way Rhode Island is being governed? Satisfied 14.9%; Dissatisfied 78.0%; No opinion 7.1%
- Would you say that Rhode Island government is doing a better job, worse job or about the same as other state governments? Better job 4.3%; Worse job 61.2%; About the same 28.6%; No opinion 5.9%
- Would you describe the state of the nation’s economy these days as Excellent 0.7%; Good 26.4%; Not so good 41.7%; Poor 29.8%; Don’t know 1.4%
- Would you describe the state of Rhode Island’s economy these days as Excellent 0.5%; Good 6.8%; Not so good 36.5%; Poor 55.0%; Don’t know 1.2%
- Would you describe the state of your own personal finances these days as Excellent 8.2%; Good 52.1%; Not so good 26.3%; Poor 10.1%; Don’t know 3.4%
- If the election for mayor of Providence were being held today and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? Jorge O. Elorza 47.6%; Daniel S. Harrop 3.0%; Vincent A. Cianci, Jr. 37.2%; Undecided 12.2%
Questions and answers for Providence mayoral poll conducted Oct. 20-22, 2014
Results from this poll are based on a telephone survey of a random sample of 500 registered voters in Providence. The sample is comprised of registered likely voters and those who already voted. The poll has a margin of error of 4.4 percent. Note that totals may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding.
The distribution of voters in the sample by gender were 45.0 percent male and 55.0 percent female. By age, respondents were 24.0 percent ages 18-39; 35.0 percent ages 40-59; 41.0 percent ages 60 and older. By party affiliation, respondents were 63.2 percent Democrats; 5.0 percent Republicans; 28.4 percent Independents; and 0.4 percent unaffiliated/other. Results for the third question represent 28 respondents who had already voted.
Interviews were conducted on landlines and cell phones Oct. 21-22, 2014. Researchers from the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy’s John Hazen White Public Opinion Laboratory designed the survey instrument and conducted the analysis. The Taubman Center contracted David Binder Research Inc. to conduct interviews.
- If the election for mayor of Providence were being held today, for whom would you vote? Jorge O. Elorza 42.6% (with 3.4% leaning toward Elorza); Daniel S. Harrop 2.2% (with 0.4% leaning toward Harrop); Vincent A. Cianci Jr. 31.6% (with 3.6% leaning toward Cianci); Someone else 0.6%; Would abstain 0.4%; Undecided 9.6%
- How much of a chance is there that you will change your mind and support another candidate? Strong chance 5%; Slight chance 15%; Just a very small chance 10%; No chance at all 68.3%; Not sure/prefer not to say 1.7%
- (For respondents who have already voted) In the race for mayor, for whom did you vote? Jorge O. Elorza 42.9%; Daniel S. Harrop 3.6%; Vincent A. Cianci Jr. 50%; Did not vote 3.6%