Taubman Center for Public Policy Survey

 

Chafee in Dead Heat with Whitehouse, While Whitehouse Leads Laffey in U.S. Senate Race

 

A statewide survey of 719 Rhode Island voters conducted June 24-26, 2006 also finds Governor Don Carcieri with a 5-percentage point lead over Lt. Governor Charles Fogarty and voters opposed to amending the state constitution to build a gambling casino in West Warwick.††


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

The survey was conducted June 24-26, 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 719 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, 38 percent say they will vote for Sheldon Whitehouse, 37 percent support Senator Chafee, and 25 percent are undecided (compared to Chafeeís lead of 40 to 34 percent in February).

If the Republican nominee is Mayor Laffey, Whitehouse is ahead by 55 to 25 percent (up from the 44 to 29 percent Whitehouse had in February).

In the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, Whitehouse is the choice of 60 percent of the 308 voters who indicated they were very likely to vote in the Democratic primary, while 8 percent say they prefer Carl Sheeler, and 32 percent are undecided.The margin of error in this likely Democratic primary sample is plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Governor Donald Carcieri has a lead of 44 to 39 percent over Democratic Lieutenant Governor Charles Fogarty.This is down from 46 to 35 percent in favor of the Governor in February.If the Republican nominee is Dennis Michaud, Fogarty holds a 57 to 11 percent advantage.

In the Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor, State Senator Roberts leads Spencer Dickinson by 33 to 12 percent.Roberts holds an advantage of 35 to 12 percent over Republican Kernan King in the general election contest for lieutenant governor, while 12 percent say they plan to vote for Cool Moose party candidate Robert Healey and 41 percent are undecided.If the Republican nominee is Reginald Centracchio, 29 percent say they prefer Roberts, 26 percent indicate they would vote for Centracchio, 11 percent would support Healey, and 34 percent are undecided.

 

Attorney-General Patrick Lynch is ahead of Republican William Harsch by 55 to 23 percent in his re-election bid.In February, Lynch held an advantage of 59 to 18 percent.

 

In the Democratic primary for Secretary of State, North Providence Mayor Ralph Mollis leads Guillaume de Ramel by 23 to 12 percent, with 65 percent undecided.This is down from Mollisí 24 to 5 percent margin in February.If Mollis is the Democratic nominee, 30 percent say they would support him, 24 percent prefer Republican Sue Stenhouse, and 46 percent are undecided.If DeRamel is the Democratic nominee, 22 percent would support him, 26 percent Stenhouse, and 52 percent are undecided.

 

Congressman Jim Langevin is ahead of Jennifer Lawless by 68 to 11 percent with the 131 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.If Langevin is the Democratic nominee, 60 percent say they will vote for him, compared to 11 percent for Independent Rodney Driver, and 8 percent for Republican Robert Tingle.If Lawless is the Democratic nominee, 23 percent indicate they will vote for her, compared to 17 percent for Driver, and 12 percent for Tingle.

 

Congressman Patrick Kennedy leads GOP challenger Edmund Leather by 57 to 22 percent, with 21 percent undecided.

 

Fifty-two percent say they oppose amending the state constitution to allow a gambling casino in West Warwick operated by Harrahís in association with the Narragansett Indian Tribe, 39 percent favor a casino and 9 percent are undecided.Sixty-six percent think there should be competitive bidding on the right to operate a gambling casino in West Warwick, while 22 percent do not.††

 

When asked their thoughts about this casino, 74 percent claim it would result in people betting money they can't afford to bet, 64 percent feel it would boost tourism in the state, 59 percent believe it would create more gambling addicts, 58 percent it would create meaningful jobs, 54 percent feel it would reduce revenues the state gets from gaming at Lincoln Park and Newport Grand, 51 percent think it would benefit the Rhode Island economy, 49 percent say it would increase crime rates, 43 percent believe it would help reduce taxes, 42 percent think it would raise the level of organized crime activity in the state, and 35 percent say it would harm the hotel and entertainment industry in Providence.

Only 20 percent of state voters believe President George Bush is doing an excellent or good job (dowm from 25 percent last September).Sixty-five percent of Rhode Island voters rate the performance of Sen. Jack Reed good or excellent, down from 68 percent in the previous survey. Fifty-one percent believe Senator Lincoln Chafee is doing a good or excellent job, down from 54 percent in September.Sixty-five percent feel Rep. Jim Langevin is doing a good job in Congress (up from 62 percent) and 45 percent believe Rep. Patrick Kennedy is doing a good job (down from 49 percent).

When asked about the job performance of state officials, 55 percent feel Carcieri is doing a good job as governor (up from 52 percent in September).Fifty-two percent believe Fogarty is doing a good job as lieutenant governor (up from 38 percent). Forty-eight percent think Attorney General Patrick Lynch is doing a good job, up from 44 percent in September. Thirty-seven percent feel Brown is doing a good job as secretary of state, up from 33 percent. Forty-five percent believe Treasurer Paul Tavares is doing a good job, up from 37 percent last time.Fifty-nine percent say Providence Mayor David Cicilline is doing a good job, similar to his 60 percent in September.

Forty-two percent believe the state is headed in the right direction, while 45 percent feel it is headed on the wrong track.In September, 2005, 43 percent thought Rhode Island was headed in the right direction and 40 percent believed it was off on the wrong track.

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:8% Carl Sheeler, 60% Sheldon Whitehouse, 32% don't know or no answer (N=308 likely Democratic primary voters)

 

If the Democratic primary for U.S. Congress were held today, would you vote for:68% James Langevin, 11% Jennifer Lawless, 21% don't know or no answer (N=131 likely second congressional district Democratic primary voters)

If the Democratic primary for lieutenant governorwere held today, would you vote for:12% Spencer Dickinson, 33% Elizabeth Roberts, 55% don't know or no answer (N=308 likely Democratic primary voters)

If the Democratic primary for secretary of state were held today, would you vote for:23% Ralph Mollis, 12% Guillaume de Ramel, 65% don't know or no answer (N=308 likely Democratic primary voters)

If the U.S. Senate election were held today, would you vote for:37% Republican Lincoln Chafee, 38% Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, 25% don't know or no answer

 

If the U.S. Senate election were held today, would you vote for:25% Republican Stephen Laffey, 55% Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, 20% don't know or no answer

 

If the U.S. Congress election were held today, would you vote for:22% Republican Edmund Leather, 57% Democrat Patrick Kennedy, 21% don't know or no answer (N=373 first congressional district voters)

 

If the U.S. Congress election were held today, would you vote for:11% Independent Rodney Driver, 60% Democrat James Langevin, 8% Republican Robert Tingle, 21% don't know or no answer (N=338 second congressional district voters)

 

If the U.S. Congress election were held today, would you vote for:17% Independent Rodney Driver, 23% Democrat Jennifer Lawless, 12% Republican Robert Tingle, 48% don't know or no answer (N=339 second congressional district voters)

 

If the governorís election were held today, would you vote for:44% Republican Don Carcieri, 39% Democrat Charles Fogarty, 17% don't know or no answer

 

If the governorís election were held today, would you vote for:11% Republican Dennis Michaud, 57% Democrat Charles Fogarty, 32% don't know or no answer

 

If the lieutenant governorís election were held today, would you vote for:12% Republican Kernan King, 35% Democrat Elizabeth Roberts, 12% Cool Moose Robert Healey, 41% don't know or no answer

 

If the lieutenant governorís election were held today, would you vote for:26% Republican Reginald Centracchio, 29% Democrat Elizabeth Roberts, 11% Cool Moose Robert Healey, 34% don't know or no answer

 

If the attorney-generalís election were held today, would you vote for:23% Republican William Harsch, 55% Democrat Patrick Lynch, 22% don't know or no answer

 

If the secretary of stateís election were held today, would you vote for:24% Republican Sue Stenhouse, 30% Democrat Ralph Mollis, 46% don't know or no answer

 

If the secretary of stateís election were held today, would you vote for:26% Republican Sue Stenhouse, 22% Democrat Guillaume de Ramel, 52% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job George W. Bush is doing as president? 4% excellent, 16% good, 23% only fair, 54% poor, 3% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job Jack Reed is doing as US Senator? 26% excellent, 39% good, 23% only fair, 4% poor, 8% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job Lincoln Chafee is doing as U.S. Senator? 10% excellent, 41% good, 28% only fair, 15% poor, 6% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job Patrick Kennedy is doing as U.S. Representative? 9% excellent, 36% good, 26% only fair, 22% poor, 7% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job Jim Langevin is doing as U.S. Representative? 18% excellent, 47% good, 18% only fair, 5% poor, 12% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job Don Carcieri is doing as governor? 18% excellent, 37% good, 24% only fair, 17% poor, 4% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job Charles Fogarty is doing as lieutenant governor? 9% excellent, 43% good, 21% only fair, 5% poor, 22% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job Patrick Lynch is doing as attorney general? 9% excellent, 39% good, 27% only fair, 12% poor, 13% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job Matt Brown is doing as secretary of state? 2% excellent, 35% good, 26% only fair, 4% poor, 33% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job Paul Tavares is doing as general treasurer? 8% excellent, 37% good, 18% only fair, 3% poor, 34% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job David Cicilline is doing as mayor of Providence? 17% excellent, 42% good, 19% only fair, 7% poor, 15% don't know or no answer

 

Generally speaking, would you say things in Rhode Island are going in the right direction, or have they gotten off on the wrong track? 42% right direction, 45% wrong track, 13% don't knowor no answer

 

Do you favor or oppose amending the state constitution to allow a gambling casino in West Warwick operated by Harrahís in association with the Narragansett Indian Tribe? 39% favor, 52% oppose, 9% donít know or no answer

 

Do you think there should be competitive bidding on the right to operate a gambling casino in West Warwick? 66% yes, 22% no, 12% donít know or no answer

 

Do you believe this gambling casino would:

a) benefit the Rhode Island economy? 51% yes, 39% no, 10% don't know or no answer

b) harm the hotel and entertainment industry in Providence? 35% yes, 55% no, 10% donít know or no answer

c) boost tourism in the state? 64% yes, 29% no, 7% don't know or no answer

d) increase crime rates? 49% yes, 41% no, 10% don't know or no answer

e) create meaningful jobs? 58% yes, 34% no, 8% don't know or no answer

f) result in people betting money they can't afford to bet? 74% yes, 20% no, 6% don't know or no answer

g) help reduce taxes? 43% yes, 47% no, 10% don't know or no answer

h) reduce revenues the state gets from gaming at Lincoln Park and Newport Grand? 54% yes, 31% no, 15% don't know or no answer

i) create more gambling addicts? 59% yes, 34% no, 7% don't know or no answer

j) raise the level of organized crime activity in the state? 42% yes, 47% no, 11% don't know or no answer