Taubman Center for Public Policy Survey
Voters Give High Marks to Cicilline and Carcieri; Are Divided on Iraq Military Action
In a statewide survey of 479 Rhode Island voters conducted February 22-23, 2003, approximately two-thirds of respondents gave Mayor Cicilline and Gov. Carcieri high marks. Seventy-four percent of voters said the state is headed in the right direction. Voter responses varied widely on the advisability and timing of pursuing war in Iraq.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Seventy-six percent voters in Rhode Island say Providence Mayor David Cicilline is doing a good job and 69 percent feel Governor Donald Carcieri is doing a good job, according to a new public opinion survey by researchers at Brown University. The poll also found that Rhode Island voters are divided about military action in Iraq.
The survey was conducted February 22-23, 2003 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 479 registered voters in Rhode Island. Overall, the poll had a margin of error of about plus or minus five percentage points.
Seventy-four percent believe the state is headed in the right direction, while 14 percent feel it is off on the wrong track. Last October, 33 percent believed the state was headed in the right direction and 52 percent stated that the state was headed off on the wrong track.
Voters are divided about U.S. military action in Iraq that would try and remove Saddam Hussein from power. Forty-seven percent approved military action, 33 percent disapproved it, and 20 percent were undecided. When asked whether the United States should take military action against Iraq fairly soon or give the U.N. weapons inspectors more time, 62 percent preferred more time and 26 percent wanted to take action fairly soon.
President George Bush's support within the state has dropped since last year. In this month's survey, 45 percent feel he is going a good or excellent job, down from 59 percent who rated his job performance good or excellent in October. Sixty-four percent rated the performance of Senator Jack Reed good or excellent, about the same as his 65 percent last June. Fifty-four percent believe Senator Lincoln Chafee is doing a good job, down from 59 percent last October. Sixty-one percent feel Congressman James Langevin is doing a good job (down from 64 percent in June) and 44 percent believe Congressman Patrick Kennedy is doing a good job (down from 52 percent in June).
In terms of statewide officials, 57 percent believe Lieutenant Governor Charles Fogarty is doing a good job (up from 39 percent last June). Forty-seven percent think new Attorney General Patrick Lynch is doing a good job. Thirty percent feel new Secretary of State Matt Brown is doing a good job. Forty-six percent believe Treasurer Paul Tavares is doing a good job, about the same as his 45 percent last June.
Thirty percent rate the job performance of Senate President Williams Irons as good or excellent (up from 27 percent last June) and 30 percent rate the performance of new House Speaker William Murphy as good or excellent.
Our Index of Consumer Sentiment for Rhode Island this month was 73.9 percent, down from 87.3 last June. This means consumer optimism has dropped considerably over the last six months. The index is modeled after five questions from a national index developed at the University of Michigan and is used to determine over time how optimistic people are.
For more information, contact Darrell M. West at (401) 863-1163.
Survey Questions and Responses
We are interested in how people are getting along financially these days. Would you say that you (and your family living there) are: 32% better off, 33% worse off financially than you were a year ago, 35% don't know or no answer
Now looking ahead--do you think that a year from now you (and your family living there) will be: 29% better off financially, 16% worse off, 44% just about the same as now, 11% don't know or no answer
Now turning to business conditions in the state as a whole--do you think that during the next twelve months we'll have: 28% good times financially, 49% bad times, 23% don't know or no answer
Looking ahead, which would you say is more likely--that in the state as a whole: 31% we'll have continuous good times during the next five years or so, 48% that we will have periods of widespread unemployment or depression, or what, 21% don't know or no answer
About the big things people buy for their homes--such as furniture, a refrigerator, stove, television, and things like that. Generally speaking, do you think now is a: 47% good, 31% bad time for people to buy major household items, 22% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job George W. Bush is doing as president? 17% excellent, 28% good, 31% only fair, 17% poor, 7% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job Jack Reed is doing as US Senator? 18% excellent, 46% good, 16% only fair, 4% poor, 16% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job Lincoln Chafee is doing as U.S. Senator? 10% excellent, 44% good 21% only fair, 10% poor, 15% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job Patrick Kennedy is doing as U.S. Representative? 9% excellent, 35% good, 29% only fair, 14% poor, 13% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job Jim Langevin is doing as U.S. Representative? 14% excellent, 47% good, 14% only fair, 2% poor, 23% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job Don Carcieri is doing as governor? 34% excellent, 35% good, 9% only fair, 2% poor, 20% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job Charles Fogarty is doing as lieutenant governor? 15% excellent, 42% good, 14% only fair, 1% poor, 28% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job Patrick Lynch is doing as attorney general? 7% excellent, 40% good, 17% only fair, 2% poor, 34% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job Matt Brown is doing as secretary of state? 3% excellent, 27% good, 14% only fair, 1% poor, 55% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job Paul Tavares is doing as general treasurer? 8% excellent, 38% good, 18% only fair, 2% poor, 34% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job William Irons is doing as Senate President? 2% excellent, 28% good, 18% only fair, 4% poor, 48% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job William Murphy is doing as Speaker of the House? 2% excellent, 28% good, 18% only fair, 4% poor, 48% don't know or no answer
How would you rate the job David Cicilline is doing as mayor of Providence? 35% excellent, 41% good, 6% only fair, 2% poor, 16% 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? 74% right direction, 14% wrong track, 12% don't know or no answer
Do you approve or disapprove of the U.S. taking military action against Iraq to try and remove Saddam Hussein from power? 47% approve, 33% disapprove, 20% don't know or no answer
Should the United States take military action against Iraq fairly soon, or wait and give the U.N. and weapons inspectors more time? 26% take action soon, 62% give U.N. more time, 12% don't know or no answer