Polls

Reed, Langevin popular in RI; Chafee, Cicilline not

| Tom Jensen

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Raleigh, N.C. –
Despite narrowly besting both the Democratic and Republican nominees last fall, independent Lincoln Chafee starts out near the bottom third of the 41 governors whose approval ratings PPP has measured in the last year.  He has a 38-44 margin about a month into his term.  That puts him about where Ohio’s Ted Strickland was last December, a month after he lost re-election.  Despite being the scion of an old Republican family, Republicans give Chafee the worst marks, 10-84, and Democrats give him the best, 53-24.  What really hurts him is that the 45% independent plurality, who one would expect would embrace him, instead disapprove by a 34-51 ratio.

Rhode Island is one of the bluest states in the nation, but the Democrat who ran against Chafee and Republican John Robitaille placed third.  Frank Caprio has only a 29-46 favorability rating.  The 41% who call themselves Democrats do not give him much better marks, 33-42, and both Republicans and independents disapprove by -22 margins.

Ex-congressman Patrick Kennedy is only narrowly disliked, 43-47.  The two-thirds of Democrats who like him offset the 87% of Republicans and 58% of independents who do not.

The man who replaced Kennedy in the House, newly elected Rep. David Cicilline, is pretty unpopular so far, with a 34-47 grade statewide.  Two-thirds of Republicans and 56% of independents have unfavorable views, stronger negative sentiment than the 50% of his own party who look at him favorably.

Rhode Island’s other congressman is pretty overwhelmingly popular, however.  James Langevin posts a 50-29, including a 62-17 breakdown in his own ranks and 47-34 with independents.  Even 23% of Republicans have a positive opinion of Langevin.

But no one is better liked in the state than senior Senator Jack Reed.  In fact, with a 60-27 approval rating, no one but Wyoming’s delegation is more popular with his own constituents out of the 82 senators on which PPP has polled in the last 13 months.  At 78-9, Reed’s Democrats are pretty unanimously in his corner, joined by 56% of independents.  Even 22% of Republicans approve of the job he is doing in D.C.

PPP surveyed 544 Rhode Island voters from February 16th to 22nd.  The survey’s margin of error is +/-4.2%.  Other factors, such as refusal to be interviewed and weighting, may introduce additional error that is more difficult to quantify.

Topline results are below.  Full results, including crosstabs, can be found here.

Q1 Do you approve or disapprove of Governor
Lincoln Chafee’s job performance?
Approve…………….. 38%
Disapprove………… 44%
Not sure ……………. 17%

Q2 Do you approve or disapprove of Senator Jack
Reed’s job performance?
Approve …………………………………………………. 60%
Disapprove……………………………………………… 27%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 12%

Q3 Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion
of Frank Caprio?
Favorable……………………………………………….. 29%
Unfavorable ……………………………………………. 46%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 25%

Q4 Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion
of David Cicilline?
Favorable……………………………………………….. 34%
Unfavorable ……………………………………………. 47%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 18%

Q5 Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion
of Patrick Kennedy?
Favorable……………………………………………….. 43%
Unfavorable ……………………………………………. 47%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 10%

Q6 Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion
of James Langevin?
Favorable……………………………………………….. 50%
Unfavorable ……………………………………………. 29%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 21%

Q7 Who did you vote for President in 2008?
John McCain…………………………………………… 31%
Barack Obama………………………………………… 58%
Someone else/Don’t remember …………………. 12%

Q8 If you are a woman, press 1. If a man, press 2.
Woman ………………………………………………….. 55%
Man……………………………………………………….. 45%

Q9 If you are a Democrat, press 1. If a Republican,
press 2. If you are an independent or identify
with another party, press 3.
Democrat ……………………………………………….. 41%
Republican……………………………………………… 14%
Independent/Other…………………………………… 45%

Q10 If you are white, press 1. If other, press 2.
White …………………………………………………….. 86%
Other……………………………………………………… 14%

Q11 If you are 18 to 29 years old, press 1. If 30 to
45, press 2. If 46 to 65, press 3. If you are
older than 65, press 4.
18 to 29………………………………………………….. 12%
30 to 45………………………………………………….. 30%
46 to 65………………………………………………….. 40%
Older than 65………………………………………….. 18%

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