Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Taubman Center

Statewide election poll: governor and attorney general races

October 28, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — A new public opinion survey by Brown University’s A. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions finds that Republican Allan Fung and Democrat Gina Raimondo are effectively tied in the governor’s race, and Democrat Peter Kilmartin leads Republican Dawson Hodgson by 13 points in the race for attorney general.

The poll surveyed a random sample of 500 registered Rhode Island voters who are likely to vote or had already voted (3.2 percent of the sample) in the statewide races. This poll was conducted Oct. 25-26, 2014 and has an overall margin of error of 4.4 percent.

The governor’s race

Raimondo, who received 38.0 percent of the likely vote, and Fung, who received 37.4 percent, are statistically tied. Moderate candidate Robert Healey received 11.8 percent, and 11.2 percent of voters remain undecided about their choice for governor with one week to election day. Raimondo and Fung are neck-and-neck among men and women as well as across most age groups with a few exceptions. Raimondo (43.1 percent) has an edge on Fung (34.9 percent) among voters ages 60 to 69. Fung (54.5 percent) has a strong lead over Raimondo (27.3 percent) among voters under age 30, and an edge among voters 70 and older (41.6 percent Fung/35.4 percent Raimondo). A majority of Democrats (52.1 percent) plan to vote for Raimondo, with 10.5 percent of this group undecided. A strong majority of Republicans plan to vote for Fung (78.5 percent) and just 4.6 percent of this group is undecided. Among voters who identify as independent, Fung (37 percent) has an edge over Raimondo (32.9 percent) with 13.9 percent remaining undecided.

An earlier Taubman Center poll of the governor’s race was conducted Oct. 14-17, 2014. In that poll, Raimondo led the governor’s race with 41.6 percent of likely voters choosing her. Fung had 30.5 percent of likely voters, and Healey was at 9.1 percent. Eighteen percent of voters indicated they were undecided about their choice for governor at that time. Results of that earlier poll are available online.

The attorney general’s race

In the race for attorney general, Democratic candidate Peter Kilmartin, with 50.6 of the likely vote, leads Republican candidate Dawson Hodgson, who has 37.6 percent. Undecided voters account for 10.4 percent of respondents. Both candidates have the strongest support within their respective parties, with Kilmartin capturing 71.7 percent of Democrats, and 81.5 percent of Republicans choosing Hodgson. Hodgson has an edge with independent voters, with 44.9 percent choosing him, 39.8 percent choosing Kilmartin, and 13 percent still undecided. Kilmartin leads in each demographic, including among males and females and in all age groups.

Questions and answers for poll conducted October 25-26, 2014

Results from this poll are based on a telephone survey of a random sample of 500 registered voters in Rhode Island. The sample is comprised of registered likely voters and those who already voted (3.2 percent of the sample). The poll has a margin of error of 4.4 percent. Note that totals may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding. Likely voters were defined as anyone who voted in the November 2012 general election and at least one of the following elections: September 2010, November 2010, or September 2012. The sample only includes respondents who self-identified as likely to vote in the upcoming November 4 election.

The gender distribution of voters in the sample was 46.0 percent male and 54.0 percent female. The age distribution was 11.8 percent ages 18-39; 39.6 percent ages 40-59; 44.4 percent ages 60 and older. Party affiliation was 43.8 percent Democrats, 13 percent Republicans, and 43.2 percent independent.

Interviews were conducted on landlines (81 percent) and cell phones (19 percent) Oct. 25-26, 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 governor of Rhode Island were being held today, for whom would you vote?   Gina Raimondo 38% (with 1.6% leaning toward Raimondo); Allan Fung 37.4% (with 1.6% leaning toward Fung); Robert Healey 11.8% (with 1.2% leaning toward Healey); Kate Fletcher 0.8% (with .4% leaning toward Fletcher); Leon Kayarian 0.2%; Undecided 11.2%.
  • If the election for attorney general of Rhode Island were being held today, for whom would you vote?   Peter Kilmartin 50.6% (with 2.2% leaning toward Kilmartin); Dawson Hodgson 37.6% (with 0.8% leaning toward Hodgson); Undecided 10.4%.


James Morone, Shankar Prasad