RWU and WPRI 12 Announce First Poll Results in 2018 RI Governor's Race

Democrat Raimondo in tight race with Republican Fung, 60 percent support ban on semi-automatic rifles like AR-15, 75 percent favor letting "Dreamers" remain in U.S., poll finds

Rhode Island State House
Edward Fitzpatrick

As this election year gets underway, Democratic Rhode Island Gov. Gina M. Raimondo is in a very tight race against Republican Cranston Mayor Allan W. Fung, according to a new Roger Williams University/WPRI 12 poll.

Raimondo has 38 percent of the vote while Fung has 36 percent – placing the results within the poll’s 4.8 percent margin of error. Meanwhile, former state Rep. Joseph A. Trillo, a Republican-turned-independent, has 6 percent of the vote, and 17 percent of voters remain undecided, the poll found.

Also, the poll found that 75 percent of Rhode Island voters favor allowing immigrants ("Dreamers") who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children to stay in the country without risk of deportation. It found that 60 percent support a state law that would make it illegal to sell or possess semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15. And it found that 45 percent consider sexual harassment a very serious problem in society today.

The poll results in the campaign for governor track closely with the totals from the 2014 governor’s race, in which Raimondo received 41 percent of the vote, Fung received 36 percent and Moderate Party candidate Robert J. Healey received 21 percent.

Raimondo holds a larger lead in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup against another Republican candidate, House Minority Leader Patricia L. Morgan, according to the poll results. That matchup put Raimondo at 43 percent, Morgan at 25 percent, Trillo at 9 percent and 20 percent undecided, the poll found.

The poll found voters are much more familiar with Raimondo and Fung than with Morgan and Trillo. When asked their opinions of the candidates, 69 percent said “don’t know” for Morgan, compared to 67 percent for Trillo, 25 percent for Fung and 4 percent for Raimondo.

After three years in office, Raimondo is viewed favorably by 50 percent of voters, but just 37 percent say she’s doing an excellent or good job in office, the poll found. President Donald J. Trump is viewed favorably by 35 percent of voters, while 30 percent say he’s doing an excellent or good job.

A total of 57 percent of voters says U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, a Democrat, is doing an excellent or good job, while 46 percent say U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat, is doing an excellent or good job, the poll found. 

The landline and cell-phone interview poll of 419 registered Rhode Island voters was conducted Feb. 25-28 by Fleming & Associates, based in Cumberland, R.I. Fleming has been conducting polls for WPRI 12 since 1984, and this year WPRI formed a new polling partnership with Roger Williams University. RWU will also serve as the host of a live WPRI 12 candidate debate later this year.

For more poll results, go to http://wpri.com/2018/03/05/wpri-12-rwu-poll-march-2018.