PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo’s approval rating is down again as she looks ahead to her 2018 re-election race, according to a poll released Tuesday.
The survey of 718 Rhode Island registered voters by the website Morning Consult found 43% approved of the job Raimondo is doing, while 47% disapproved. Previous Morning Consult polls put her approval rating at 48% in April and 38% in September 2016.
The website said Raimondo was among “the most unpopular governors” who are “facing difficult paths to re-election next year.”
The Rhode Island results were gathered through weekly online national polling of about 195,000 U.S. registered voters conducted by Morning Consult from April 1 to July 10 – an unusually long period of time to test a job approval rating. The margin of error for the Rhode Island results is plus or minus 4 percentage points.
The Republican Governors Association, which has been assailing Raimondo for months, used the new poll numbers to argue she is the nation’s “most unpopular and most vulnerable Democrat incumbent running for governor in 2018.” The GOP’s potential nominees against her include Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan and former state Rep. Joe Trillo.
But Jared Leopold, a spokesman for the Democratic Governors Association, dismissed the data as unreliable. “The Morning Consult online survey is a laughingstock among pollsters,” he said in an email. “They should present their state-by-state methodology and questions if they hope to be taken seriously.”
R.I. Republican Party Chairman Brandon Bell also used the opportunity to lash out at the governor. “Raimondo wears her ambition on her sleeve and treats Rhode Island as her stepping stone. People know this, which is another reason why her poll numbers here at home are so bad.”
He added: “Drop out of the race for governor and run for the office you really want. The office you think you deserve – president of the United States. It will be wonderful to see Rhode Island vote for a Republican president for the first time since 1984 with you at the top of the ticket.”
Tolulope Kevin Olasanoye, the R.I. Democratic Party’s executive director, countered: “The numbers that matter to working families are the 12,000 jobs that have been created in Rhode Island under Governor Raimondo, and an unemployment rate that has fallen below the national average from the worst of any state in the nation before Governor Raimondo was elected.”
Across the border in Massachusetts, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker once again ranked as the most popular governor in the country by Morning Consult’s estimation, with a 71% approval rating and a 17% disapproval rating.
Another Morning Consult poll released last week that was conducted over a slightly shorter duration, from April 1 to June 18, also showed sharp declines in the approval ratings of Democratic U.S. Sens. Jack Reed, who fell from 63% to 51%, and Sheldon Whitehouse, who fell from 52% to 46%.Ted Nesi (firstname.lastname@example.org) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook