WPRI/ProJo Poll Shows a Wide-Open Race for Governor

Feb 12, 2014

The latest WPRI-TV/Providence Journal poll shows Angel Taveras clinging to a small lead among the three major Democratic candidates for governor, although the main takeaway is the wide-open nature of the contest.

The poll shows Taveras heading the pack with 31 percent of the support, followed by Gina Raimondo with 27 percent, and the most recent entry, Clay Pell, with 15 percent. The margin of error of slightly more than 4 percentage points puts Taveras and Raimondo in a virtual dead heat.

Yet many voters won't focus on the race for months to come before the September 9 primary, and 25 percent of respondents in the WPRI-ProJo poll remain undecided.

One of the main questions remains how support for Taveras will hold up when Raimondo -- who has by far the richest war chest in the race for governor -- and her surrogates begin attacking his record in Providence.

Raimondo and Pell face their own questions.

The WPRI-ProJo poll found that just 46 percent of primary voters support the pension overhaul spearheaded by Raimondo in 2011. That shows a need for Raimondo to re-make the case on her signature issue.

The poll also found a strong preference for previous electoral experience -- something that Pell lacks. Yet there's a difference, too, between an abstract question on the value of experience and the actual matter of picking between real-world candidates.