A poll released Thursday by North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling touts Gina Raimondo's gubernatorial prospects for 2014, while casting doubt on the re-election hopes of Governor Lincoln Chafee.
Chafee's prospects for a second term as Governor of Rhode Island are looking pretty dim. Only 33% of voters in the state approve of the job he's doing to 59% who disapprove. That ties him for the second most unpopular Governor in the country in our polling- the only person with worse numbers is Pat Quinn of Illinois.
Liberal-leaning PPP says Chafee placed third in four different scenarios with Gina Raimondo or Angel Taveras as the Democrat, Allan Fung or Brendan Doherty as the Republican, and Moderate Ken Block in the mix.
-In two scenarios testing Chafee as the Democratic candidate he finishes second, running 4 points behind the Republican candidates we tested, Brendan Doherty and Allan Fung.
-It would be difficult for Chafee to become the Democratic candidate anyway though. 35% of Democratic primary voters want Gina Raimondo to be their candidate next year to just 22% for Chafee, 19% for Angel Taveras, and 11% for Erni Almonte.
Overall 57% of voters don't want Chafee to seek reelection next year. 20% want him to run as an independent and 18% think he should run for election again as a Democrat.
PPP calls Raimondo, who says she remains undecided on her future plans, the early frontrunner for 2014:
In addition to leading the Democratic primary field, she also leads every general election scenario we tested. She leads Brendan Doherty by 4 points and Allan Fung by 12 points in four way contests with Chafee in the picture as an independent. When you take Chafee out of the picture Raimondo leads Doherty by 12 points and Fung by 19 points in three way contests. 57% of voters in the state have a favorable opinion of Raimondo, and her popularity holds true across party lines. Majorities of independents (63/19), Democrats (53/23), and Republicans (52/23) all have a positive opinion of her.
Angel Taveras has an even better statewide favorability rating than Raimondo, with 63% of voters seeing him positively to 21% with an unfavorable opinion. But Taveras' general election numbers for Governor aren't as strong as Raimondo's. In four way contests he trails Doherty by 5 points and ties Fung. In three way contests without Chafee he leads Doherty by 4 and Fung by 6.
The poll is based on interviews this week with more than 600 Rhode Island voters. The margin of error is between 4 and 5.5 percentage points.