Taubman Center for Public Policy Survey

 

Chafee in Close Senate Race with Democratic Opponents; Brown Opens Slight Advantage Over Whitehouse in Democratic Primary

 

A statewide survey of 785 Rhode Island voters conducted February 4-6, 2006 also finds Governor Don Carcieri with a 11-percentage point lead over Lt. Governor Charles Fogarty and a majority of state voters saying they are unprepared for a major hurricane.


PROVIDENCE, R.I. ó U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee is locked in a close race with Democrats Sheldon Whitehouse and Matt Brown in the Senate general election, according to a new statewide survey conducted by researchers at Brown University.

The survey was conducted February 4-6, 2006, at Brown University by Darrell M. West, director of the Taubman Center for Public Policy and the John Hazen White Sr. Public Opinion Laboratory. It is based on a statewide random sample of 785 registered voters in Rhode Island. Overall, the poll had a margin of error of about plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

If the general election is held today, Senator Chafee has an advantage of 40 to 34 percent over Whitehouse (compared to his lead of 38 to 25 percent in September).If Brown is the Democratic nominee, Chafeeís lead is to 38 to 36 percent (compared to 41 to 18 percent in September).

If the Republican nominee is Mayor Laffey, Whitehouse is ahead by 44 to 29 percent (up from the 35 to 25 percent Whitehouse had in September). If the nominees are Laffey and Brown, Brown has an advantage of 47 to 24 percent over Laffey (up from 30 to 26 percent in September).

In the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, Brown is the choice of 31 percent of the 323 voters who indicated they were very likely to vote in the Democratic primary, while 25 percent say they prefer Whitehouse, 0 percent say they plan to vote for Carl Sheeler, and 44 percent are undecided.The margin of error in this likely Democratic primary sample is plus or minus 5 percentage points.In September, Whitehouse had an advantage of 32 to 16 percent over Brown.

Governor Donald Carcieri has a lead of 46 to 35 percent over Democratic Lieutenant Governor Charles Fogarty. In September, Carcieri had a margin of 42 to 31 percent over Fogarty.

State Senator Elizabeth Roberts holds an advantage of 41 to 16 percent over Republican Kernan King in the contest for lieutenant governor.

 

Attorney-General Patrick Lynch is ahead of Republican William Harsch by 59 to 18 percent in his re-election bid.

 

In the Democratic primary for Secretary of State, North Providence Mayor Ralph Mollis leads Guillaume de Ramel by 24 to 5 percent, with 71 percent undecided, among the 323 voters who say they are very likely to vote in that primary.

 

Congressman Jim Langevin is ahead of Jennifer Lawless by 58 to 14 percent with the 160 voters who indicate they are very likely to vote in the second districtís Democratic primary.The margin of error in the second district Democratic primary sample is plus or minus 7 percentage points.

In preparation for the Taubman Centerís February 10, 2006 Thomas Anton/Frederick Lippitt Urban Affairs Conference on ďDisaster and Emergency PreparednessĒ, the survey also asked a series of questions about hurricane preparedness in the Ocean State.Details on the conference are online at www.brown.edu/Departments/Taubman_Center/Events.html.

 

The survey revealed that a majority of Rhode Islanders do not know official evacuation routes or their closest designated emergency shelter and that many do not have an emergency kit with food and water in case a hurricane strikes Rhode Island.Only 28 percent know the official evacuation routes that authorities want them to take in case of an emergency, 42 percent are aware of their closest designated emergency shelter, and 35 percent have prepared an emergency kit with food and water in case a hurricane strikes the state.

 

Sixty-two percent indicate their residence would be vulnerable if a major hurricane hit Rhode Island.Sixty-six percent say they would be very likely to evacuate their residence for another location if a major hurricane landed in the state.When asked how confident they are in the ability of government to help them in case of a natural disaster, only 10 percent say they are very confident.

Further information on the survey can be found online at www.InsidePolitics.org.For more information, contact Darrell M. West at (401) 863-1163.

Survey Questions and Responses

If the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate were held today, would you vote for:31% Matt Brown, 0% Carl Sheeler, 25% Sheldon Whitehouse, 44% don't know or no answer (based on 323 voters who say they are very likely to vote in this yearís Democratic primary)

 

If the Democratic primary for U.S. Congress were held today, would you vote for: 58%James Langevin,†† 14% Jennifer Lawless, 28% don't know or no answer (based on 160 voters who say they are very likely to vote in this yearís Democratic primary in the second congressional district)

 

If the Democratic primary for secretary of state were held today, would you vote for:24% Ralph Mollis,5% Guillaume de Ramel, 71% don't know or no answer (based on 323 voters who say they are very likely to vote in this yearís Democratic primary)

If the U.S. Senate election were held today, would you vote for: 38% Republican Lincoln Chafee, 36% Democrat Matt Brown, 26% donít know or no answer

If the U.S. Senate election were held today, would you vote for: 40% Republican Lincoln Chafee, 34% Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, 26% donít know or no answer

If the U.S. Senate election were held today, would you vote for: 24% Republican Stephen Laffey, 47% Democrat Matt Brown, 29% donít know or no answer

If the U.S. Senate election were held today, would you vote for: 29% Republican Stephen Laffey, 44% Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, 27% donít know or no answer

If the governorís election were held today, would you vote for: 46% Republican Don Carcieri, 35% Democrat Charles Fogarty, 19% donít know or no answer

If the lieutenant governorís election were held today, would you vote for:16% Republican Kernan King, 41% Democrat Elizabeth Roberts, 43% don't know or no answer

 

If the attorney-generalís election were held today, would you vote for: 18%Republican William Harsch, 59% Democrat Patrick Lynch, 23% don't know or no answer

 

How likely do you think it is that a major hurricane will strike Rhode Island in the near future?25% very likely, 45% somewhat likely, 23% not very likely, 7% donít know or no answer

 

If a major hurricane hit Rhode Island, how vulnerable would your residence be? 20%very vulnerable, 42% somewhat vulnerable, 35% not very vulnerable, 3% donít know or no answer

 

If a major hurricane hit Rhode Island and your home was in danger of serious flooding, how likely would you be to evacuate your residence for another location?†† 66% very likely, 12% somewhat likely, 18% not very likely, 4% donít know or no answer

 

If you had to evacuate to another community, do you have someone you could stay with?82% yes, 15% no, 3% donít know or no answer

 

Would you be most likely to evacuate by: 87%your own car or truck, 7% a friend or relativeís car or truck, 1% bus, 0% taxi, 0% train, 1% plane, 4% donít know or no answer

 

Have you prepared an emergency kit with food and water in case a hurricane strikes Rhode Island? 35% yes, 64% no, 1% donít know or no answer

 

Do you know the official evacuation route that authorities want you to take in case of an emergency? 28% yes, 68% no, 4% donít know or no answer

 

Do you know where your closest designated emergency shelter is located?42%yes, 56% no, 2% donít know or no answer

 

How many times during the day do you hear a weather forecast? 2% none, 39% once or twice, 34% three or four times, 12% five or six times, 12% seven or more times, 1% donít know or no answer

 

How confident are you in the ability of the government to help you and your family in case of natural disasters?10%very confident, 40% somewhat confident, 47% not very confident, 3% donít know or no answer

 

Which of the following would make you likely to obey an evacuation order:

-the U.S. Weather Service issuing a hurricane warning? 60% yes, 34% no, 6% donít know or no answer

-a media outlet reporting an evacuation order?†† 68% yes, 24% no, 8% donít know or no answer

-a government official telling you to evacuate? 77% yes, 16% no, 7% donít know or no answer

-a friend or relative saying you should evacuate?†† 29% yes, 58%no, 13% donít know or no answer

 

Which of the following factors would make it difficult for you to comply with an official evacuation order:

-not having a car? 37% yes, 60% no, 3% donít know or no answer

-having to care for someone who would have difficulty leaving? 36% yes, 60%no, 4% donít know or no answer

-needing to protect home from theft? 20% yes, 76% no, 4% donít know or no answer

-not believing the storm would be very bad in your area? 31% yes, 60%no, 9% donít know or no answer

-not trusting government officials? 26% yes, 63% no, 11% donít know or no answer

-not trusting media reporting? 27% yes, 62% no, 11% donít know or no answer

 

How close do you live either to Narragansett Bay or the Rhode Island coastland? 8% right on the water, 19% within a mile of the bay or coastland, 18% 1 to five miles away from the bay or coastland, 52% further than five miles away from the bay or coastland, 3% donít know or no answer

 

How long have you lived in Rhode Island? 0% less than one year, 3% 1 to 5 years, 5% 5 to 10 years, 9% 10 to 20 years, 83% more than 20 years, 0% donít know or no answer