Taubman Center for Public Policy Survey

 

Voters Sharply Divided Over Proposed Narragansett Indian Casino

 

A statewide survey of 477 voters conducted June 12-14, 2004 also finds John Kerry with a big lead over President George W. Bush.††††††

 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. Ė Rhode Island voters are sharply divided over a proposed Narragansett Indian tribe gambling casino.When asked whether they supported or opposed this casino, 47 percent said they favored this casino, 43 percent opposed it, and 10 percent were undecided.†††

 

The survey was conducted June 12-14, 2004 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 477 registered voters in Rhode Island.Overall, the poll had a margin of error of about plus or minus five percentage points.

 

On the Narragansett proposal to build a gambling casino in Rhode Island, 55 percent believe a gambling casino would benefit the Rhode Island economy, while 38 percent do not.Fifty-one percent feel that a gambling casino would create more gambling addicts, while 45 percent think a gambling casino would reduce the revenues the state gets from Lincoln Park and Newport Grand.Forty-five percent say they worry if an out-of-state corporation in the gambling industry financed the construction of this casino.

 

If the presidential general election were held today, John Kerry holds a substantial margin over George W. Bush.Forty-nine percent indicate they would vote for Kerry, compared to 25 percent who say they would vote for Bush, 5 percent who would support Independent Ralph Nader, and 21 percent are undecided.In February, 2004, before Nader announced his candidacy, Kerry held a 53 to 31 percent lead over Bush.

 

When asked about the job performance of various public officials, 60 percent feel Governor Donald Carcieri is doing a good job (down from 63 percent last February).Forty-four percent believe Lieutenant Governor Charles Fogarty is doing a good job (up from 42 percent).Forty percent think Attorney General Patrick Lynch is doing a good job, down from the 42 percent who felt that way in our last survey.Twenty-eight percent feel Secretary of State Matt Brown is doing a good job, down from 30 percent.Thirty-nine percent believe Treasurer Paul Tavares is doing a good job, up from 37 percent last time.Sixty-one percent say Providence Mayor David Cicilline is doing a good job, down from 64 percent.†† Sixteen percent rate the job performance of Senate President Joseph Montelbano as good or excellent (up from 15 percent) and 22 percent rate the performance of House Speaker William Murphy as good or excellent, up from 19 percent.

 

President George Bush's support within the state has dropped.In this month's survey, 31 percent feel he is going a good or excellent job, down from 36 percent who rated his job performance good or excellent the last time.Sixty-three percent rate the performance of Senator Jack Reed good or excellent, down from 64 percent in the previous survey.Fifty-six percent believe Senator Lincoln Chafee is doing a good job, up from 52 percent.Fifty-six percent feel Congressman James Langevin is doing a good job (the same as last time) and 42 percent believe Congressman Patrick Kennedy is doing a good job (down from 45 percent approval in February).

 

Fifty-four percent believe the state is headed in the right direction, while 33 percent feel it is off on the wrong track.Last February, 64 percent believed the state was headed in the right direction and 24 percent stated that the state was headed off on the wrong track.

 

Our Index of Consumer Sentiment for Rhode Island this month was 82.2 percent, down from 88.0 last February.This means consumer optimism has dropped over the past few 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.A copy of the press release outlining survey results can be found at www.InsidePolitics.org.

 

Survey Questions and Responses

 

If the presidential general election were held today, would you vote for:25% Republican George W. Bush, 49% Democrat John Kerry, 5% Independent Ralph Nader, 21% don't know or no answer

 

We are interested in how people are getting along financially these days.Would you say that you (and your family living there) are:33% better off, 35% worse off financially than you were a year ago, 32% 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:26% better off financially, 10% worse off, 50% just about the same as now, 14% 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:35% good times financially, 34% bad times, 31% don't know or no answer

 

Looking ahead, which would you say is more likely--that in the state as a whole:34% we'll have continuous good times during the next five years or so, 38% that we will have periods of widespread unemployment or depression, or what, 28% 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:54% good, 23% bad time for people to buy major household items, 23% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job George W. Bush is doing as president? 6% excellent, 25% good, 30% only fair, 36% poor, 3% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job Jack Reed is doing as US Senator?17% excellent, 46% good, 18% only fair, 4% poor, 15% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job Lincoln Chafee is doing as U.S. Senator?11% excellent, 45% good 22% only fair, 7% poor, 15% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job Patrick Kennedy is doing as U.S. Representative?6% excellent, 36% good, 28% only fair, 17% poor, 13% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job Jim Langevin is doing as U.S. Representative? 10% excellent, 46% good, 18% only fair, 2% poor, 24% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job Don Carcieri is doing as governor? 18% excellent, 42% good, 23% only fair, 11% poor, 6% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job Charles Fogarty is doing as lieutenant governor? 8% excellent, 36% good, 17% only fair, 3% poor, 36% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job Patrick Lynch is doing as attorney general? 3% excellent, 37% good, 31% only fair, 12% poor, 17% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job Matt Brown is doing as secretary of state? 2% excellent, 26% good, 19% only fair, 3% poor, 50% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job Paul Tavares is doing as general treasurer? 4% excellent, 35% good, 18% only fair, 2% poor, 41% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job Joseph Montelbano is doing as Senate President? 2% excellent, 14% good, 18% only fair, 10% poor, 56% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job William Murphy is doing as Speaker of the House? 1% excellent, 21% good, 22% only fair,8% poor, 48% don't know or no answer

 

How would you rate the job David Cicilline is doing as mayor of Providence? 11% excellent, 50% good, 21% only fair, 5% poor, 13% 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? 54% right direction, 33% wrong track, 13% don't know or no answer

 

There has been a proposal by the Narragansett Indian tribe to build a gambling casino in Rhode Island.Do you favor or oppose the construction of this gambling casino?47%favor, 43% oppose, 10% donít know or no answer

 

Do you believe a gambling casino would benefit the Rhode Island economy? 55% yes, 38% no, 7% donít know or no answer

 

Do you believe a gambling casino would create more gambling addicts? 51% yes, 41% no, 8% donít know or no answer

 

Do you think a gambling casino would reduce the revenues the state gets from Lincoln Park and Newport Grand? 45% yes, 36% no, 19% donít know or no answer

 

Would it worry you if an out-of-state corporation in the gambling industry financed the construction of this casino? 45% yes, 44% no, 11% donít know or no answer