PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - Another poll shows Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo with a weak approval rating as she prepares to seek re-election.
The survey of 1,193 Rhode Island registered voters by the website Morning Consult found 39% approved of the job Raimondo was doing over the winter, while 50% disapproved and 11% were undecided. Her approval rating has ticked down in the group's last three quarterly polls.
The Rhode Island results were gathered through online national polling of about 275,000 U.S. registered voters conducted by Morning Consult from Jan. 1 to March 31. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.
While analysts have noted that the poll's duration and reliance on web surveying is unorthodox, the Raimondo results closely mirror a WPRI 12/Roger Williams University poll in late February that found only 38% of voters rated the governor's performance as excellent or good.
Raimondo is among the 10 least popular governors in the country, according to Morning Consult, and the second-weakest Democrat after Hawaii's David Ige.
Raimondo is surrounded by the most and least popular governors in the country. Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, who is up for re-election this year, remains the nation's best-liked chief executive, with a 71% approval rating. Democratic Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, who is not running for a new term, ranks last at 21%.
There was no response to the numbers from Raimondo's campaign, but her critics quickly seized on the survey to reinforce their argument that the governor is deeply vulnerable in the fall election. The WPRI 12/RWU poll showed Raimondo clinging to a tiny lead over her closest GOP rival, Allan Fung.
"Raimondo continues to face an increasingly difficult path to re-election as Rhode Islanders appear eager for new leadership," argued Republican Governors Association spokesman John Burke, accusing her administration of "scandal, lackluster economic growth, and a chronic lack of transparency."
Republican National Committee spokeswoman Ellie Hockenbury also chimed in, dubbing the governor "Reckless Raimondo" in a news release.
Raimondo and Fung are among 10 candidates who have filed to run for governor so far. The others are Republicans Patricia Morgan and Giovanni Feroce; independents Matt Brown, Joe Trillo and Luis Daniel Munoz; Democrats Paul Roselli and Spencer Dickinson; and Moderate Bill Gilbert.
Morning Consult also tested voters' opinions on the nation's U.S. senators. In Rhode Island, the survey showed Democrat Jack Reed's job approval rating at 55% and Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse's at 49%. In Massachusetts, Democrat Elizabeth Warren was at 54% and Democrat Ed Markey was at 52%.
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