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Poll shows gubernatorial candidates neck and neck

Taubman Center poll reveals state’s gubernatorial leanings, opinions on marijuana

The Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions released a poll Thursday that shows gubernatorial candidates Mayor Angel Taveras and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo in a statistical tie among likely Democratic primary voters.

The poll surveyed a random sampling of 600 Rhode Island voters April 3-5 on their opinions about the upcoming gubernatorial primaries, marijuana legalization and statewide economic issues, according to a Taubman Center press release.

Among those likely to vote in the Democratic primary, 29.4 percent said they would vote for Raimondo, 25.8 percent supported Taveras, 9.6 percent supported Clay Pell and 35.2 percent remained undecided.

Approximately one-third of voters in unions or teachers’ associations said they would vote for Taveras, while 23.5 percent answered they would likely vote for Raimondo.

But Raimondo had more support than Taveras among voters who do not belong to a union.

The poll results did not demonstrate a leaning among female voters, who were evenly divided between Raimondo and Taveras. There was a preference among male voters for Raimondo over Taveras.

Only 9.7 percent of those surveyed identified with the Republican Party — Taubman claims this represents the state population accurately, as 10 percent of Rhode Island voters are registered Republicans, according to the press release. Among those Republican voters, 36 percent said they would vote for former Moderate Party candidate Ken Block and 31 percent said they preferred Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.

Approximately half of voters also said they would support the legalization of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. The poll demonstrated age as a correlating factor with support for legalization. Among voters 18 to 29 years old, 65 percent of voters supported legalization, while only 41 percent of voters over the age of 60 were in favor of it.

The poll also showed approval ratings for President Obama, U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Reps. David Cicilline and Jim Langevin. Obama received an approval rating of 43 percent. Taveras received the highest approval rating given to a Rhode Island politician with 54.4 percent, while  Raimondo followed in second at 49.3. Cicilline received the lowest approval rating at 26 percent.


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