12 News/RWU Poll: McKee, Gorbea in tight race for RI governor

PROVIDENCE, R.I. ( WPRI ) — Gov. Dan McKee and Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea are neck and neck in the democratic chief for governor, but more voters are open than supporting either campaigner, an exclusive 12 News/Roger Williams University poll released Tuesday shows .
The survey of 400 likely Rhode Island Democratic primary voters finds McKee at 25 % and Gorbea at 23 %, but 37 % of voters are open. McKee ’ sulfur lead over Gorbea is within the margin of error .
The other three democratic candidates are even in single-digits : erstwhile Secretary of State Matt Brown is at 7 %, early CVS executive Helena Foulkes is at 6 % and community activist Luis Daniel Muñoz is at 2 % .
“ There is no question — this slipstream is wide outdoors, ” said 12 News political analyst Joe Fleming, who conducted the pate. The primary is Sept. 13.

The cellular telephone and land line interview poll was conducted Monday, May 9, through Thursday, May 12, by Fleming & Associates of Cumberland, R.I. The surveil has an overall margin of sampling error of plus or minus approximately 4.9 percentage points. Fleming has been conducting polls for WPRI 12 since 1984 .
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McKee and Gorbea are benefiting from their higher profiles as the merely two candidates presently serving in elect office, Fleming said. Foulkes has the most money of the five Democrats but lone began running television campaign ads on Tuesday, after the pate was completed. She is the first candidate in the primary to go on the air .
“ These numbers could change greatly between now and September, ” Fleming said. “ The early candidates in the race do not have high identify recognition, which is why they need to get out there and start doing their media, to build their name recognition up, to give the voters an mind of what they stand for. ”
The poll finds a ample sex gap among democratic primary voters. McKee leads Gorbea by double-digits among male voters, 32 % to 17 %, while Gorbea leads by double-digits among female voters, 28 % to 18 % .
Gorbea is well ahead of McKee among voters ages 18 to 39, while McKee leads among voters ages 60 and older. McKee has a slender lead among both self-identified Democrats and self-identified independents, while Gorbea has a little lead among voters who say they are “ very likely ” to cast a vote in the September primary .
The democratic primary winner will go on to face the Republican campaigner. political newcomer Ashley Kalus, who began a six-figure ad crusade in April, is viewed as the frontrunner for the GOP nomination .
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Primary voters divided on McKee

McKee took agency as Rhode Island ’ s governor in March 2021, succeeding Gina Raimondo after she resigned to join President Biden ’ s cabinet. democratic basal voters are giving a blend verdict on his leadership of the department of state over the last 14 months .
The 12 News/RWU poll shows 45 % of primary voters say McKee is doing an excellent or beneficial job as governor, while 44 % say his performance has been merely fair or inadequate, and 12 % don ’ metric ton know. He is rated positively by 48 % of self-identified Democrats, but closely half of self-identified independents — 49 % — rate him negatively .
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“ If I ’ m the governor, these are not the numbers I want to see going into the primary season, ” Fleming said, partially attributing the gentle support for McKee to controversies such as the FBI investigation into the ILO Group condense and a series of $ 3,000 bonuses for state employees .
“ I would be concerned, ” Fleming said .
McKee received his strongest reappraisal from middle-aged voters, 51 % of whom rated the governor ’ s performance positively in the poll. He was weakest with younger voters, 51 % of whom rated him negatively. His job approval was slenderly positivist with male voters and slightly damaging with female voters .
One positive for McKee : just 7 % of basal voters rate his occupation performance as poor, suggesting they may be open to opinion by his political campaign team .
“ He can however move these numbers, ” Fleming said. “ They are stuck in the center. ”
McKee ’ s job approval is running well behind that of President Biden, a chap Democrat. The poll finds 60 % of Rhode Island Democratic primary voters say Biden is doing an excellent or good job, which is 15 share points higher than the governor .
primary voters ages 60 and older rate Biden positively by a 48-point margin, but he is in slenderly minus territory among younger voters. Two-thirds of self-identified Democrats rate Biden positively, but he is rated negatively by 50 % of self-identified mugwump elementary voters .

Cost of living top issue; Matos ahead for LG

Like Americans more broadly, democratic primary coil voters in Rhode Island say ostentation is a acme concern at the moment .
The 12 News/RWU poll finds 36 % of primary voters describe the cost of living as the single most important issue for them in the race for governor, which was double the plowshare who cited the return that came in irregular, health care ( 18 % ) .
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After cost of support and health concern, the top issues cited by smaller groups of primary voters were education ( 13 % ) and taxes ( 12 % ). barely 5 % cited the COVID-19 pandemic and alone 3 % cited populace guard, while 14 % either pointed to a unlike issue or were diffident .
More than 40 % of younger voters and independents cited the cost of live as their top offspring in the gubernatorial race .
“ They ’ rhenium seeing prices skyrocketing, gasoline rocket, and they ’ rhenium concerned, ” Fleming said. “ So they ’ ll be looking to see what the next governor is going to do to help with the cost of living in the state of Rhode Island. ”
A separate wonder in the poll revealed that 91 % of probable democratic basal voters think the cost of buying or renting a home in Rhode Island is a serious trouble .
McKee ’ s aggrandizement to the governor ’ mho office last year besides opened up his former place as Rhode Island ’ south lieutenant governor. McKee tapped companion Democrat Sabina Matos, who was then president of the united states of the Providence City Council, to replace him in the express ’ s No. 2 job .
The poll shows the majority of democratic primary voters aren ’ t tuned into the race for lieutenant governor even, with 53 % saying they are undecided about who to support .
Among the three announced democratic candidates, Matos leads with 21 %. Behind Matos is state Rep. Deb Ruggiero at 13 %, and submit Sen. Cynthia Mendes at 12 %. ( Mendes is campaigning jointly with gubernatorial bright Matt Brown. )
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Fleming said the results were no storm, since the race for lieutenant governor broadly garners little attention, particularly months before the primary .
“ There has not been a fortune of bodily process going on, ” he said. “ There ’ sulfur been no pay media from any of these three candidates however on television receiver or radio or with direct mail that I ’ ve seen. They haven ’ t gotten their message out, and they don ’ t have very high name recognition right now. ”
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Campaigns, GOP react to results

The campaigns and political parties quickly weighed in about the new poll results .
McKee ’ s political campaign coach, Brexton Isaacs, said the governor has “ worked indefatigably ” to improve Rhode Island ’ s economy since he took office .
“ While he doesn ’ t put much stock in polls, today ’ south numbers are a unclutter sign that Rhode Islanders recognize that Governor McKee is fighting to raise Rhode Islanders ’ incomes, back small businesses, and tone department of education, ” Isaacs said. “ He looks ahead to engaging directly with voters over the advent months while continuing to deliver strong, steadily leadership for the people of Rhode Island. ”
Gorbea ’ s political campaign coach, Dana Walton, said : “ This poll shows that this slipstream is a dead hotness. ”
“ Nellie Gorbea is well-positioned to win the democratic nomination for governor because Democrats know she ’ randomness been an effective secretary of express and they like her, ” Walton said. “ Despite being governor for more than a year, Dan McKee is unpopular and in a far weaker position than a sitting governor should be. ” She added that Gorbea is focused on caparison, education and climate change .
Foulkes ’ spokesperson, Audrey Lucas, found a argent lining despite their political campaign merely polling at 6 % .
“ With 37 % of respondents on the fence, the takeaway from this poll is clearly : democratic elementary voters are looking for an alternate to Governor McKee and Secretary Gorbea, ” Lucas said. “ We ’ rhenium confident that voters will support Helena once they hear her message and imagination for Rhode Island. That ’ south why we ’ re then agitate to have launched our campaign ’ second first television ad nowadays. ”
In an unsigned statement, Rhode Island Republican Party leaders said, “ 12 News fair released a poll showing what we have known : Rhode Islanders are frustrated with Gov. Dan McKee ’ s incompetence and insider politics and they are ready to kick him to the curb. thankfully, Rhode Island has an foreigner and a combatant in Ashley Kalus. ”
“ The days of ‘ I know a guy ’ will end when we start electing more Republicans up and down the vote. Working families should not feel the brunt of louche deals and incompetence, ” the GOP instruction said. “ McKee is just not up for the job of governor, and this November, voters will fire him and his cronies. ”

Ted Nesi ( tnesi @ wpri.com ) is a prey 12 fact-finding reporter and 12 News politics/business editor program. He co-hosts Newsmakers and writes Nesi ’ mho Notes on Saturdays. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook
Tim White ( twhite @ wpri.com ) is the Target 12 managing editor program and headman fact-finding reporter at 12 News, and the host of Newsmakers. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook .

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