Governor Gina Raimondo's approval rating stands at 43 percent -- four points less than her 47 percent disapproval rating, according to the latest survey of the nation's governors by the Washington, D.C., firm Morning Consult.
Raimondo rates "among the most unpopular governors," indicating a "difficult" path to re-election next year, according to Morning Consult's Cameron Easley.
However, Raimondo also has more than $2 million in her campaign account and she may benefit from a crowded GOP primary involving potential candidates like Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan, former state Rep. Joe Trillo, businessman Giovanni Feroce, and former two-time gubernatorial candidate Ken Block.
Ten percent of respondents in the new Morning Consult poll said they didn't know or didn't have an opinion about Raimondo, and the finding had a four percentage point margin of error. The findings were based on surveys with registered voters from April 1 to July 10.
During an unrelated news event at T.F. Green Airport, Raimondo offered this response when asked why she has had difficulty topping a 50 percent approval rating in publicly released polls: "I don't know and I don't pay a whole lot of attention to it."
In a statement, Tolulope Kevin Olasanoye, executive director of the Rhode Island Democratic Party, said: "The numbers that matter to working families are the 12,000 jobs that have been created in Rhode Island under Governor Raimondo, and an unemployment rate that has fallen below the national average from the worst of any state in the nation before Governor Raimondo was elected. Rhode Islanders need and deserve jobs and opportunity, and that will continue to be Governor Raimondo's top priority."
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican, had the best rankings in the new Morning Consult poll, with 71 percent of respondents approving of him and 17 percent disapproving. The 10-best ranked governors in the survey are all Republicans.
But another Republican -- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie -- has the worst ranking, with an approve/disapprove ranking of 25/69 percent. Connecticut's Dan Malloy is the least popular Democratic governor, with a 64 percent disapproval rating.
The Republican Governors Association responded to the finding on Raimondo with this: "No matter how many early ads national Democrats run backing Raimondo, they can’t change the reality she faces in Rhode Island, which has been plagued by stagnant economic growth, a paralyzed Democrat legislature, and three bottom ten rankings for business this year by CNBC, Wallethub, and Chief Executive Magazine. Raimondo’s empty words and failed policies continues to weaken her chances of reelection in 2018."
Meanwhile, Raimondo continued to get some positive national attention in a New York Times story mentioning her as a prospective presidential candidate.
This post has been updated.