PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – U.S. Sen. Jack Reed holds a commanding lead over several hypothetical Republican opponents heading into next year's election, according to a survey released Friday by Public Policy Polling.
The only potential candidate to come within 30 percentage points of the Democratic senator is former Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty, who trails Reed by 29 points. Reed holds a 30-point lead over Warwick Mayor Scott Avedesian; a 34-point lead over Cranston Mayor Allan Fung; a 41-point lead over former Governor Don Carcieri; and a 65-point lead over former Red Sox star Curt Schilling, who doesn't live in the state.
None of the Republicans included in the poll have expressed interest in challenging Reed, who has cruised to victory in all three of his previous Senate campaigns.
"Jack Reed may very well be the least vulnerable Senator in the country up for reelection
next year," PPP President Dean Debnam said in a statement.
The automated telephone survey of 614 Rhode Island voters was conducted Jan. 28 to 30 and carried a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Among the Congressional delegation, Reed's job approval rating is 62%, three percentage points higher than President Barack Obama, who won re-election in November with 62.7% of the vote. Recently re-elected Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse carries a 46% job approval rating while voters prefer Congressman James Langevin over Congressman David Cicilline by a 54% to 20%.
Among the Republicans, 55% have a favorable view of Fung; 45% have a favorable view of Doherty; 37% have a favorable view of Avedisian; and 30% have a favorable view of Carcieri. The PPP also found that 40% of voters have a favorable view of former Providence Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the collapse of 38 Studios has not been kind to Schilling, whose favorability rating sits at just 9%. Schilling's video game company received a state-backed $75 million loan guarantee in 2010, but it went bankrupt in June. In November, the state filed suit against Schilling and other architects of deal in an attempt to recoup taxpayer funds.
The poll results also show overwhelming support for more gun control, with 64% saying they would support banning assault weapons. The National Rifle Association's carried an unfavorable rating of 56%.
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