New Poll Shows Raimondo With A 38 Percent Approval Rating

Sep 20, 2016

Governor Raimondo during a Statehouse news conference.
Credit Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Morning Consult's latest survey of the nation's governors shows that Gina Raimondo's approval/disapproval track has slipped slightly, to 38 percent/55 percent. The poll of registered voters has a six percentage point margin of error.

In a finding released last May, Morning Consult said 41 percent of Rhode Islanders approved of Raimondo, while 53 percent disapproved.

In a poll released Tuesday, Raimondo's disapproval rating is the seventh-highest among the nation's governors. The poll was conducted from early May through early September.

Raimondo, Rhode Island's first woman governor, and the first Democrat elected governor since Bruce Sundlun in 1992, fared better than Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy (26 percent approve/70 percent disapprove) and Maine Governor Paul LePage (39 percent/58 percent).

But she scored worse than Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (70 percent/18 percent), Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin (53 percent/40 percent), and New Hamsphire Governor Maggie Hassan (52 percent/38 percent).

Raimondo spokesman David Ortiz responded to the latest poll with this statement: “Rhode Islanders are frustrated. They want more jobs, better schools, better infrastructure and better government. There’s a lot work to be done, and the Governor is working every day for the people of Rhode Island to move our state forward.”

Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz, a political science professor at URI, said the good news for Raimondo is that her approval rating remains close to her share of the vote for governor in 2014: "So I would say that she is holding steady remarkably well – 40.7 percent of the population of Rhode Island voted for her. I would say she’s just held together her coalition."

Yet Raimondo's numbers could also be a troubling indicator for the governor if a third-party candidate emerges in 2018, Pearson-Merkowitz said (when Raimondo has said she will seek re-election).  “The general mood of the state does not seem to have changed," she said. "That is definitely a challenge for her if she’s not able to grow that coalition over the next few years if she’s going to run for re-election.”

In a different finding by Morning Consult, Raimondo's approval rating is 44 percent, compared with a 47 percent disapproval rating. Morning Consult said this is an aggregate finding that goes back to last year.