New Poll Shows RI Residents Closely Divided Over Future Of The State

Oct 6, 2015

A new poll shows that 76 percent of respondents think the state spends too little to maintain roads and bridges. A narrow majority supports Governor Gina Raimondo’s plan for improving infrastructure.

About 53 percent of respondents back Raimondo plans to use tolls on trucks to pay for fixing bridges, while 43 percent are opposed. Gary Sasse of Bryant University’s Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership explains the thin margin of support this way.

“I think there’s a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the public’s mind because, quite frankly, the information hasn’t been rolled out in a very organized and concise way,” said Sasse.

The poll also asked about the ongoing Pawtucket Red Sox saga. The new owners say they plan to move the baseball team out of Pawtucket. About 63 percent of respondents said keeping the PawSox in Rhode Island is important. However, only 21 percent back using taxpayer assistance to help the team.

Thirty-percent of respondents in a new poll give local public schools only a “C” grade for how well they’re preparing students for 21st century jobs. Twenty-two percent say Rhode Island schools deserve a “B,” while fewer than 6 percent give local public schools an “A” for their preparation of students.

Residents in Rhode Island are closely divided over the future of the state. 40 percent of respondents feel Rhode Island is moving in the wrong direction. On the other hand, 38 percent feel positive about the state’s future.

Respondents said the top problems in the state were lack of jobs, taxes, and government corruption. In general, respondents said the state spent too little on education, police, infrastructure, and Medicaid.

The poll has a five percentage point margin of error.

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