Metro, News

Trump’s disapproval rating increases in R.I.

Statewide disapproval rating hits 61 percent in Sept., officials predict strong midterm turnout

Contributing Writer
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

President Trump’s disapproval rating in Rhode Island hit 61 percent this September — increasing from 46 percent at the start of his term — according to data from Morning Consult. His approval rating suffered a smaller but significant drop from a high of 47 percent in April 2017 to 35 percent this September. The margin of error for the poll is not greater than 3 percent.

Rhode Island is historically a blue state, a trend which continued in the 2016 election. Providence led with an overwhelming turnout of 45,690 blue votes, greater than the total number of red votes from the three biggest cities in the state — Providence, Warwick, and Cranston — according to the New York Times.

In Pawtucket, the fourth largest city in the state and one with a heavy democratic majority, City Councilman Albert J. Vitali Jr. “absolutely, unequivocally” anticipates more voter turnout in the coming elections. The councilman described his constituency as “not very happy” with the Trump administration, citing the Kavanaugh hearing as a touchy subject especially among women in the area. Policies that run counter to their values “would ensure they’re gonna vote Democratic,” he said. 

Situated in the middle of the Republican bloc in the western part of the state, Coventry  — the sixth largest town in the state — is also the largest town to have presented a Republican majority in the 2016 presidential election.

Council President Glenford Shibley in Coventry, an R.I. resident since 1969, said he had not personally heard anything negative about the President. He went on to describe Rhode Island as unique, very blue and resistant to change: “I would like to think things are going to change but probably they won’t.”

In Burrillville, a Republican majority town, City Councilman John F. Pacheco III expressed a sense of political isolation: “I don’t even watch the news, I don’t pay attention to it, it doesn’t affect me out here.” 

Chairman of the Burrillville Democratic Town Committee Stephen Mulcahey described possible turning points for local opinion of the President. “I think there’ve been a lot of little ones that’ve led up to the dissatisfaction. I think his war on women has been a very serious issue.”

The town of Johnston also went with the red ticket in the 2016 presidential race. When asked about how the rise in disapproval in his area and how change in public sentiment might affect the coming election, Town Councilman Robert Russo said, “I think you’re definitely gonna mobilize more people.” Russo described issues with the way in which Trump does things. “I think that’s what’s catching up with people. Now (voters are) saying ‘you know what, this is shocking.’”

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